Doctor Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein

Now that Benedict Cumberbatch is likely to lead Doctor Strange and thereby join the Avengers and Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s on a roll as far as conquering all of Hollywood’s biggest franchises. Really, he’s only been in a few so far: The Hobbit, Star Trek and soon enough Madagascar. That’s it unless we hold on to the hope that War Horse can still spawn its own mega-series of various animal stories set during World War I. Cumberbatch had been rumored for Star Wars, and eventually he’s sure to be in at least one of the 20 or 50 they’re currently planning to produce. Like many fans, I’m also still waiting for a necessary Sherlock/Doctor Who crossover, but those aren’t movie franchises — yet. Not since Hugo Weaving has there been such promise of a multi-franchise movie star such as this. And Cumberbatch is more of a leading man than Weaving and many of the others going through their career checking off film series (Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Jeremy Renner, etc.). Maybe there are equally likable guys who are actually linking up with multiple franchises front and center, such as Dwayne Johnson and Chris Pratt, but neither has seemed to be connected to so many in at least rumored form. Cumberbatch needn’t actually do a lot of these movies, just allow us to imagine him in them. That’s why I’m going to jump the gun on a handful of properties that we haven’t heard about his believed involvement in. Don’t be surprised if […]

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Doctor Strange

Everyone, calm down. It’s finally happened. Maybe. Probably. Oh, you know how these things go. Earlier this month, we reflected on the long, strange trip that had brought us to this crucial juncture in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: a Doctor Strange movie without, well, a Doctor Strange. Those days may now be over. Deadline reports that Benedict Cumberbatch is “the studio’s choice for the superhero pic, and negotiations are about to begin.” Again, no formal offers have been made, Cumberbatch has not accepted anything and nothing has been officially announced. Still, it’s no surprise that Marvel has acted relatively quickly to line up a new Sorcerer Supreme after their long-gestating chats with Joaquin Phoenix proved fruitless.

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Drive

As the search for an actor to play Marvel’s Doctor Strange rages on, a new name has been added to the mix of possible contenders (read: “actors who have name recognition and even a passing interest in being in a superhero franchise”), with Ryan Gosling joining a list that also reportedly includes Jared Leto, Justin Theroux, Keanu Reeves and Ethan Hawke. THR reports that Gosling has at least met with the Marvel team to talk about the feature, which sounds like a  nice way to pass an afternoon. This news comes on the heels of yet another big, Gosling-centric superhero rumor: that he could also star in DC’s upcoming Suicide Squad feature. THR shares that Gosling is “being courted to star” in that film, with other names like Will Smith and Margot Robbie also mentioned for possible parts. It now seems unavoidable: Ryan Gosling will probably end up starring in a superhero film. But does he need to?

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Doctor Strange

If only Marvel could conjure up some kind of magic — perhaps while someone wears a cape — to create a viable candidate to play their Doctor Strange in, uh, Doctor Strange (see! naming the movie is easy! why can’t casting be, too?). Rumors about a Doctor Strange film have swirled like so much mystical fog for years now, but the film is finally coming together for a 2016 release. One teensy problem, however? The feature still doesn’t have a leading man. Oops. We’ve been through, yes, entire years of chatter on this one, and still, no Doctor Strange. Will that change soon? (Well, yes, but haven’t we had fun getting there? No?) Behold! A brief history of trying to find a proper actor to play an iconic character as part of a multimillion dollar franchise!

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Warner Bros.

The casting you expected to not pan out has, indeed, not panned out. Joaquin Phoenix is not, according to the reporting of Deadline, going to be donning a billowy red cloak and a Van Dyke to become Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange. Phoenix had been in talks for the role since July, upgrading to “final talks” status in August, and losing him this late in the game means Marvel is most likely going to have to repeat the whole process again with someone else (that’s what Deadline indicates, anyway, in titling their expose “Back to Square One”). As a gut reaction, this is saddening news. Phoenix is a truly phenomenal performer; there must have been something in Doctor Strange that piqued a creative spark inside him (why else wade through three months of contract negotiations?), and I would have loved to see Phoenix take that spark and let it amplify out into a stunning performance. As entertaining as most Marvel movies are, nobody’s winning an Oscar for their harrowing portrait of an Avenger. It’s not likely Phoenix would have changed that, but he would have brought a gravitas to the performance that guys like Chris Hemsworth or Chris Pratt, hilarious and/or ripped as they are, simply can’t match.

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Iron Man Original Suit

Not only is Doctor Strange not going to tell us how Stephen Strange became the Sorcerer Supreme, but starting with that movie, Marvel Studios is done with origin stories altogether. That’s a scoop revealed by Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci while a guest on Meet the Movie Press last week. It’s an unconfirmed piece of information, particularly the broader point about the whole franchise, and of course it doesn’t apply to Ant-Man, which goes into production today, way ahead of the Dr. Strange vehicle. Still, whether true or not, there’s a certain excitement spreading around in fanboy and movie geek circles as a result of the possibility. Origin story movies are apparently a much-hated part of superhero cinema. But why? Because it’s the expected start of any series to set up the character, especially for audiences who aren’t as familiar ahead of time as the geeks are? Too bad, because Hollywood wants to cater to the moviegoers who aren’t also comic book readers, and those moviegoers want to see movies about superheroes, including ones they don’t know a lot about already. What I find odd about the hate thrown at origin story movies is how many of the best and most popular superhero movies are first installments focused on the beginnings of their respective characters. Look at Superman: The Movie, Iron Man, The Avengers (as a team) and I’ll throw in Unbreakable. Sure, there are a lot of number-twos favorited over their first films, including Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight and Captain America: The Winter […]

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Ghostbusters

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Dr Orpheus - Venture Bros

Dr. Orpheus from The Venture Bros. (as seen looking scholarly above) is a perfect example of Marvel‘s problem with making a Doctor Strange movie. Mostly because his grand silliness is all I can think about when I imagine someone bringing Strange to life on the big screen. Orpheus is a stellar parody which points out that Strange is dated in a way that, say, Iron Man isn’t. A guy in a flying metal suit with a bunch of munitions makes gut-level sense as a hero. Hell, even Thor has a grounding in a real-world mythological structure we’re familiar with, but when you have a guy screaming about Hoggoth and doing magic in a cinematic universe built ostensibly on humans advancing through science, you run into an issue. Specifically, whoever is going to play the character runs into the issue of not looking like Dr. Orpheus. According to Latino Review, that might be Johnny Depp. The rumor is that he’s met with Marvel about the role, and in general it sounds like a good fit for one reason: Jerry Bruckheimer won’t be involved. Yes, it’s another opportunity for Depp to go crazy. John Gholson hit the nail on the head earlier today with this tweet:

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Marvel Logo Collage

Sometimes I think that I’m being responsible and planning ahead for my future. Then I hear that Marvel has movies slated all the way up until 2021 – that’s eight years from now – and realize I’m a chump. Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige recently spoke with Wired and teased about what’s to come for his company: “I could arguably say that we’re planning for the year 2021. Will that happen? I don’t know. But what we planned for 2015 in 2006 is happening.” Oh, don’t act so coy, Feige. We know what you’re up to. The Captain America, Avengers, Thor, and Iron Man franchises were all in motion since 2006, breaking records (and hearts) worldwide. Anyone with that depth of success would want to continue for as long as possible. The trick at this point, Feige said, is convincing audiences (and the studio), to let go of The Avengers and embrace new Marvel superheroes in the next eight years. As he put it, “Five years ago, looking at our plan, we knew that if Avengers was going to work, the movies had to stand alone. Now we have to prove to the studio that we’re more than just these five characters, these five franchises.” With a vast Marvel universe at his fingertips, it will be interesting to see who Feige chooses to fill the next phase. We do know that Ant-Man will finally see his day, and that Doctor Strange gets a movie, as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy. Captain […]

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dscal1980

Editor’s Note: Paul DeBenedetto is a writer and comics fan from Brooklyn who used to run the comics blog Wednesday’s Child. He is also a reporter covering the borough of Queens for DNAinfo.com, and his work has appeared online and in print for various local and national media outlets. Given that he knows his stuff when it comes to superheroes and graphic literature, we asked him to whip something up in response to the recent confirmation of Marvel’s Doctor Strange adaptation. Dr. Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, is officially coming to the big screen. That’s the news Kevin Feige had for MTV’s Splash Page, who interviewed the Marvel Studios president on Friday about their Phase Three films. This next crop of Avengers franchise titles will touch on “different corners” of the Marvel Universe, Feige said, with Doctor Strange being confirmed for release around the same time as the long-awaited Ant-Man movie from Edgar Wright. “Doctor Strange, which I’ve been talking about for years, is definitely one of them,” Feige told Splash Page. “He’s a great, original character, and he checks the box off this criteria that I have: he’s totally different from anything else we have, just like Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s totally different from anything we’ve done before, as is Ant-Man, which keeps us excited.”

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Hook!

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of links and stories that you won’t know about unless you continue reading. Then come back tomorrow night and read more. Then the night after that. And the… You get the point. The power of Christ compels you. We begin this evening with a promo image from the 1991 Steven Spielberg fantasy epic Hook, featuring Dustin Hoffman as the titular captain and Robin Williams has his pudgy, crowing nemesis. There’s no news here, though I’m sure you were all thinking remake or sequel for a moment, just that I saw Hook on the big screen last night while eating a giant turkey leg courtesy of the Alamo Drafthouse’s Hook mini-feast. It was delightful. But more on that later.

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People have been talking about making a Doctor Strange film for years now. But seeing as how the Sorcerer Supreme isn’t as well known a name as, and is a whole lot weirder than other super heroes, the project has never emerged as a priority over at Marvel Films. That might be ready to change though. Marvel’s real heavyweight franchises are Spider-Man and The X-Men, but Sony and Fox are still controlling their film rights respectively. They had a series of second tier characters that they are in direct control of, but at this point they’ve already brought most of them to the big screen and have them poised to team up in next year’s The Avengers. With all of their biggest names out of their hands or already starring in movies, the only option they have to create new movies at this point is to start moving forward with more obscure heroes. It comes as no surprise, then, that Twitch is reporting the long rumored Doctor Strange project is beginning its first stages of moving forward in a real way. The last news on the subject of a Marvel made mystical movie was that Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer had been tasked with the job of coming up with a script. Reportedly, that script has now been turned in and Marvel is shopping it around to potential directors to “oversee continued development.”

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Marvel Third Tier Characters

Moviegoers across the world are nothing if not sheep. The most recent works of Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich have proved this to be true. If you make it loud and shiny, you will find a big audience. Although, when it comes to comic book movies in 2010, the sheep seem to be frozen stiff. From Kick-Ass to The Losers to this weekend’s Jonah Hex — if you aren’t Iron Man, you aren’t making a splash. It’s enough of a mid-level comic franchise catastrophe to have companies like Marvel Studios rethinking their strategy.

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Ten Superheroes Who Deserve Their Own Movie

Films like this week’s Iron Man give me hope that not just the huge, iconic characters like Superman and Batman are going to get their own film. Knowing that the comic book market is fresh for the picking, here’s ten superheroes who deserve their own movie… and some might actually get it.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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