Things are busy as ever at Marvel Studios; on the film side, Captain America: Civil War has entered post-production, with a trailer for the movie (the first installment in Phase III of the Marvel Cinematic Universe) due to arrive in the next couple months. Meanwhile, James Gunn is headed to Atlanta to prepare for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to begin production in early 2016, and Scott Derrickson is over in London getting ready to begin principle photography on Doctor Strange in Fall 2015.
The cast for Doctor Strange is currently being finalized, ahead of production getting started on the first solo character (the first new MCU character, at that) Phase III movie that will open in theaters. Hence, we have now gotten confirmation that Rachel McAdams - who has been officially in talks for the Doctor Strange female lead role since late July - is set to appear in Derrickson's project.
McAdams, who appears in Tom McCarthy's buzzed-about historical drama Spotlight that just premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, confirmed to The Wrap (while in Toronto) that she has closed her deal for Doctor Strange:
CONFIRMED: Rachel McAdams tells TheWrap at Toronto that she will star opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE.
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) September 14, 2015
So far, there are two popular theories about who McAdams will play, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch as the new Sorcerer Supreme a.k.a. Stephen Strange (whom hardcore Marvel Comics fans will no doubt recall was name-dropped as being a citizen of the MCU in Captain America: The Winter Soldier):
- Clea, daughter of Prince Orini and mistress of the Dark Dimension, who becomes the pupil (and lover) of Strange after he takes on the title of Sorcerer Supreme. The character was introduced into Doctor Strange comic book mythology in 1964 and has been a key part of its mythos ever since. It's also worth noting that Clea is also the niece of Dormammu, the demonic tyrant and natural enemy to Strange; Dormammu, in turn, is speculated to be the villainous character role that Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) is being courted for in Derrickson's movie.
- Morgana Blessing, who in Doctor Strange comic book mythology (where she debuted in 1981) has varied from being a friend and foe to Strange, over the years. A longtime lover for Stephen Strange, the character also has connections to Baron Mordo (reportedly, the character Chiwetel Ejiofor is playing in Derrickson's film), which have fueled rumors that she will be portrayed by McAdams in the MCU.
The Doctor Strange movie - as written by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) based on an earlier script draft by Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly (Conan the Barbarian (2011)) - is described as being heavily rooted in the largely-unexplored supernatural and occult elements of the MCU. Those elements, in turn, have been alluded to through the introduction of different dimensions and realms (like the Quantum Realm) in previous MCU movies/TV shows.
As such, it seems likely that McAdams' character in Derrickson's Doctor Strange will be an individual who has deep ties to the MCU's mystical side, much like the movie's other confirmed cast members; that includes Tilda Swinton, who's playing the version of The Ancient One that instructs Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange in the ways of magic. Generally speaking, Derrickson's superhero film is expected to have a different sci-fi/fantasy genre flavor (with even some elements of horror, like the director's past work) than that featured in previous MCU movies, so that may be reflected in this film's characters, too (meaning, they may differ significantly from their counterparts in other Marvel Studios films).
Captain America: Civil War opens in U.S. theaters on May 6th, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange on November 4th, 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on May 5th, 2017, Spider-Man on July 28th, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on November 3rd, 2017, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4th, 2018, Black Panther on July 6th, 2018, Captain Marvel on November 2nd, 2018, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3rd, 2019 and Inhumans on July 12th, 2019.
Source: The Wrap