Being the Sorcerer Supreme is risky for Doctor Strange, but Benedict Cumberbatch says bringing the Marvel magician to life in a movie isn’t a risk. The Sherlock star is currently promoting his film The Imitation Game, but in an interview with The Wall Street Journal he peels back the curtain a little bit on the planning behind 2016’s Doctor Strange with director Scott Derrickson.
“I don’t think it’s a risk because of Marvel,” Cumberbatch tells WSJ’s Barbara Chai. “Marvel is a stable of bringing out ordinary comic characters and turning them into screen-like gods. It’s very different, it’s an Astral Plane. There’s a huge new element to this Marvel universe that’s going to be employed in building this story and this character. But you know, I’m really excited about it, about working with Scott [Derrickson] whose imagination is endless, and all the boys and girls at Marvel who know what they’re doing.”
Cumberbatch was careful not to release any details on the movie itself, but did say that he’s “very excited about that spiritual dimension” Doctor Strange brings. He did, however, seemingly reveal he’s about to shoot a Christmas episode for this BBC TV series Sherlock starting this week.
Asked the ubiquitous comic book question “Did you read the Doctor Strange comics growing up?” the actor replied: “Growing up, no. I didn’t read many comics at all. Asterix a bit. I think that was it. There weren’t many comics in my household… We didn’t have Marvel so much. But you can bet your bottom dollar I’m reading them now, avidly.”
Skitch Commentary: I was a latecomer to Sherlock, but I fell in love with the show immediately. Benedict Cumberbatch is a terrific actor, and Hollywood has definitely embraced him. Between big-budget movies like Star Trek Into Darkness and The Hobbit and award-bait like The Imitation Game and The Fifth Estate, you can’t seen to go five minutes without hearing an announcement about the latest Benedict Cumberbatch casting news.
Doctor Strange is going to be the biggest movie to date he plays the lead role in, but his comments above definitely make me think he’s the right man for the job. Doctor Strange is a quirky genius, and that is right in Cumberbatch’s wheelhouse.
I also have to compliment Marvel on the decision to bring Doctor Strange to the big screen. Doctor Strange has been around for over 50 years, but he’s never really been one of Marvel’s headliners. He’s always had a strong niche following, but you rarely saw a Doctor Strange book at the top of the sales charts. Like Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel is taking the opportunity to use their movies to expand some of their lesser known (to the general public, at least) characters, and I think this is a great approach. I am really looking forward to this one.
If nothing else, at least it should be better than the 1978 TV movie…
Tags: Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Strange, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sherlock