The Playlist heard at the time that Marvel Studios' highly desired choice, however unlikely to come to fruition, was for Joel Edgerton to play Strange. Locking down Edgerton now - an actor on his way up in terms of stardom, with high profile roles in Warrior and The Thing lats year and Zero Dark Thirty and The Great Gatsby on the way - would be a smart move by the studio. It would also be similar to how they got Jeremy Renner in talks for Hawkeye before he stepped up into major roles in the Bourne and Mission: Impossible franchises.
The problem is that Edgerton has too many commitments for his other films this year and so who could replace him? How about Viggo Mortensen?
We're delving deep into take-it-with-a-grain-of-salt rumor territory with this one, but a Twitter account by the name of Roger Wardell has been sharing Marvel Studios info for months, and if we look at the time stamps we can see that he knew that Falcon was going to be in Captian America 2 before THR shared their "exclusive" on the same news. This same account teased that Dr. Strange will be in Thor: The Dark World not long ago (something The Playlist said as well), and three days prior, Wardell also claimed that Viggo Mortensen was in negotiations with Marvel Studios for a role in "Phase Two."
Connecting the dots, is this too good (or crazy) to be true? Let's look at what we do know:
- Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige said he's confident in a Dr. Strange movie at the same time he said he was confident in Guardians of the Galaxy, and we all know what happened with that.
- Marvel Studios has a completed draft of a Dr. Strange movie script by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer that was reportedly sent out to directors over a year ago.
- Mortensen was a top choice for the lead role in Snow White and the Huntsman and the impossible-to-get-into-production The Dark Tower, so he's not averse to returning to blockbuster franchise roles.
And we cannot forget that it was the first Thor movie that dropped the first Dr. Strange easter eggs by including the Orb of Agamotto artifact in Odin's Vault alongside the Eternal Flame (see: Surtur) and the Infinity Gauntlet. The Agamatto objects are the source of Strange's supernatural powers, and according to The Playlist's information, one of those objects could come crashing down on earth - thus explaining Strange's cinematic origins.
Don't be surprised if Doctor Strange is at least introduced in Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe, or if Dr. Strange joins The Avengers 2 as a 2015 release. Viggo Mortensen on the other hand... well, that's a stretch and we'll have to keep an eye on the situation. It's also possible that if Viggo is in fact, in discussions with Marvel it could be for a lead role in one of the other in-development films, perhaps as a Guardian of the Galaxy member or a villain of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The Thor sequel is being directed by Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) and stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson, Jaimie Alexander, Tadanobu Asano and Christopher Eccleston.
Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014 and The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
Header image edited from Dr. Strange art by YamaO.