Chiwetel Ejiofor was long a popular choice to fill the suit of Marvel’s Black Panther, but that role went to Chadwick Boseman instead. As a possible consolation prize, the Oscar-nominated actor is reportedly close to signing on to another movie in the MCU: Doctor Strange. The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop but little more than the casting, which would reunite him with his 12 Years a Slave co-star Benedict Cumberbatch, who is playing the titular sorcerer superhero.
Sources say Ejiofor is definitely not playing the villain and might be the Ancient One, a part previously linked to contenders Morgan Freeman, Bill Nighy and Ken Watanabe. There’s also suggestion that he could take the role of Dr. Strange’s manservant sidekick, Wong, with a change in race from the comics. Would he still be a martial arts master? I don’t see that in Ejiofor. I’ve also seen some fans at least wish for the actor to play Brother Voodoo, a character who took over Strange’s gig as Sorcerer Supreme, though that would be an odd choice so soon.
Whoever or whatever he’s playing, this is another awesome get for Marvel, which is keeps on packing its cinematic universe with more and more prestige players. And Doctor Strange is going to have plenty of well-honored cast members all on its own. Cumberbatch was recently nominated for an Oscar for his leading role in The Imitation Game, and rumored addition Daniel Bruhl, who is expected be portraying the big bad here after the undetermined villain character is introduced in Captain America: Civil War, should have earned a nomination supporting fellow MCU star Chris Hemsworth in Rush. Freeman and Watanabe are also Oscar vets.
Doctor Strange will be directed by Scott Derickson and arrives in theaters on November 4, 2016.