Benedict Cumberbatch is Doctor Strange

He has voiced a dragon and a wolf, played an arrogant detective, a whistleblower and a genius code-breaker. Now he's a superhero

By Andrea Tim | Published: 5 Dec 2014

Benedict is Strange
Photo: Getty Images; Marvel

Thank you Marvel, for making our dreams come true. The comic and film powerhouse has announced that Benedict Cumberbatch will star as the titular character in 2016 film Doctor Strange.

Previous speculation about the casting has linked the British actor to the role, but also threw around names including Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto and Tom Hardy.

Marvel president and Doctor Strange producer Kevin Feige said the character needs to be portrayed with "great depth and sincerity."

"In 2016, Benedict will show audiences what makes Doctor Strange such a unique and compelling character," he added.

Benedict will work under the direction of Scott Derrickson, who is something of a supernatural horror film buff. He has helmed The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister and Deliver Us From Evil, so Strange's magic shouldn't be alien to Scott.

A little background on the superhero Benedict is to play: Brilliant but pompous neurosurgeon Stephen Strange's hands are injured in an accident, ruining his career. Taking extreme measures to search for a cure, he travels to the Himalayas to meet a mysterious sorcerer called the Ancient One, who has plans for the destitute former doctor. Stephen is given new powers and a destiny to protect the world against evil.

Doctor Strange will be the second film in the third phase of the Marvel cinematic universe, following the third Captain America instalment, Civil War. Avengers: Age of Ultron is up next in phase two, which will end with Ant-Man in July 2015.

Strange's 4 November 2016 release means that Benedict's three-month Hamlet run at the Barbican Centre in 2015 won't get in the way. Considering how the Shakespearean play sold out in hours (no guesses as to why), we're going to have ourselves a fight for cinema tickets once Doctor Strange hits our shores.

Related: Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter walk their first red carpet together
Related: Disney teases us with new Cinderella posters


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