For those who don’t know, Stephen Strange was a neurosurgeon who was in a horrible car accident that severely damaged the nerves in his hands, leaving him unable to continue as a doctor. Strange bankrupts himself trying to heal his broken hands, whilst continually battling the demons of his past. In a desperate search for healing, he travels to Tibet where it is rumored that the mystical Ancient One resides.
The Ancient One at first refuses to treat Strange, but agrees after Strange earns his trust and respect. Without giving too much away, Doctor Strange is born anew.
This list has been one of the most difficult Top Tens I have created. The role of Doctor Strange could begin, revitalize or enhance a career. The list of potential suiters is diverse and..well…pretty, Strange. But nonetheless, its an interesting role to discuss!
Who will play Doctor Strange in Marvel’s Phase Three? Let’s begin…
10. Hugh Laurie
Hugh Laurie’s arrogant, self-absorbed doctor performance in ‘House’ is pretty much what has landed him a position in this prestigious list. His character Dr. Gregory House resembles that of Stephen Strange pre-accident, a doctor, remarkably skilled, but haunted, distant and stunningly self-absorbed.
That is not to say Hugh Laurie wouldn’t work once Doctor Strange swaps the scalpel for the mystical sword, as his performance as House showed he was much more than a narcissistic doctor. He has great emotional range and is a quality actor. Hugh Laurie declared his exit from television drama after House, so the transition is ready for Laurie to become a feature film artist.
Marvel love to pick up talented actors who are not quite movie stars yet – but are certainly ready to become them. This is something that will become a negative for many on this list, but not for Hugh Laurie.
Hugh Laurie could definitely achieve the signature Strange look as well. Slightly darker hair and a more striking beard and you pretty much have your Strange. His mannerisms suit the character’s uptight, proper manner. The only thing you could say against him, is would be look great dueling Mordo with magic swords and absorbing his tasty blue energy? That a-side, Hugh Laurie could play Doctor Strange.
9. Liam Neeson
We would be foolish not to consider Qui-Gon Jinn, the trainer of Jedi, Zeus, the Father of Greece and Ra’s Al Ghul, the man who trained Batman as a potential suitor to play Doctor Strange. Liam Neeson has wielded lightning bolts, light-sabers and crushed the faces of 95% of mortal men. He could handle Doctor Strange’s magic blades and sorcery no problem. Infact, Liam Neeson would likely relish moving into the celestial spheres of combat in his later years.
You also have to admit, that the silver streaks in Neeson’s hair, the kind of eastern inspired beard he wore in Batman Begins, makes you think he could aesthetically pull off Doctor Strange. Neeson is stacked whilst oozing wisdom. The perfect blend for The Sorcerer Supreme wouldn’t you say?
Doctor Strange has a very particular set of skills. Astral projection. Wielding energy blades. Manipulation. And looking smoking in a set of robes. Whilst Liam Neeson could fulfill all of this – unfortunately, Liam Neeson’s age does play against him on this one. He is now 61, which is significantly older than Strange should be (and perhaps even older than Marvel will make him in the movies).
Sadly, Taken 4: They Took My Daughter Again is more likely than Liam Neeson playing Doctor Strange in 2016.
8. Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen is perhaps the most talented and dedicated actor in this entire list. His portfolio of film varies dramatically from Lord of the Rings to the Road. Viggo would bring a brooding, tortured and haunted Stephen Strange, with few better men being able to play a hero with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Stephen Strange loses his parents, his sister and his medical career in a series of tragic events and it will take an incredibly talented actor to use this plot and not turn it into depression dive. Viggo has that talent. Though perhaps lacks the comic edge to bring audiences back up.
Viggo could wield magic and roam the Shadowlands, like he did patrol the City of the Dead in Return of the King. He looks the part, but perhaps like Liam Neeson, his age plays against him.
The actor has been linked with the role in the past, and his return to the blockbuster is surely forthcoming? Viggo could play Doctor Strange.
7. Jon Hamm
Jon Hamm was rumored to play Batman following Christian Bale’s retirement. Now, that doesn’t happen unless you have great respect for the guy within the comic book / superhero genre. Jon Hamm has the looks and the talent to play a superhero.
In all honesty, Doctor Strange is not the first hero who springs to mind when you consider Jon Hamm, but he is talented enough to deliver a convincing role without a shadow demon of a doubt. An actor of prowess, respect and reputation is what Marvel need here – and Jon Hamm is not too big for Marvel to develop further.
In Jon Hamm’s favour, he does have a slight resemblance to the Sorcerer Supreme and he has a frame that any superhero would be proud of. With a little make-up and aesthetic work, he would fit the bill nicely.
If the casting of Ben Affleck taught us anything, its that you never truly know what to expect. We love that Ben Affleck got Batman. Did we expect it? Hell no. Jon Hamm is a similar case. He is not immediately who you would expect to play the World’s Greatest Sorcerer, and maybe that is why we should. Magic can happen.
6. Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch is perhaps the hottest property in Hollywood right now. His mind-blowing performance in Star Trek Into Darkness and the voice of Smaug the dragon in the upcoming Hobbit movie place him right at the top of his game.
There is no doubt in my mind that despite not particularly looking like Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch could deliver a performance that would satisfy even the most cynical fanboy. He probably has the best voice in the business. It commands attention, respect and has a powerful edge of wisdom and sophistication, teamed with menacing potential.
We all know Benedict Cumberbatch would nail the character. Will he be Doctor strange however is a whole different story. Personally, I don’t think Cumberbatch would take the job – and that is why despite his immeasurable talent, he places outside of the Top 5 on this list. Ability wise, he is right up there. Availability? And actually need or want for the role? Unfortunately, they would be very low.
Benedict Cumberbatch is far more likely to be tied up within the Star Wars franchise than become the live-action Doctor Strange.
And now, it gets serious. Here we enter our Top 5 Actors to play The Sorcerer Supreme.
5. David Tennant
Kicking off our Top 5, and I’m already ducking for cover with this one. Hear me out on this one…
I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking David Tennant could not play Doctor Strange in a million millenia. But hold on…Allow me to retort…
David Tennant is undeniably a wonderful actor. He has the ability to laugh and cry, and this quality would fit into the Marvel Universe perfectly. The actor enjoyed his role as Doctor Who, in which he was certainly the best man in the modern adaptation’s role. He is due a big break in the movie industry, which Marvel will like, and he is already suited to combat and fighting villains without the need for guns or excessive force. He brings sophistication with humor. Blends heroics with wisdom. He doesn’t exactly look like Stephen Strange now, but with make-up and costume, he would fit the bill well.
I’m not saying David Tennant WILL play Doctor strange. But he could.
4. Johnny Depp
I feel like I’m reeling off a cliché, putting Johnny Depp forward for a role in a Top 10. However, this is a calculated and considered position on my list.
It has been very difficult to remain unbiased and impartial putting this list together, with so many big names and favourite actors within its line. It started out as a Top 5, then too many names kept appearing in my head…so allow me to justify Johnny Depp’s position at Number 4, when arguably there are better actors for the role placed lower on the list that he is.
First off. Johnny Depp’s affiliation with Disney, I feel one day, will inevitably lead to some role in a Marvel movie. The actor is becoming typecast in this child-friendly, wobbly but intelligent character formed by Pirates of the Caribbean and reinforced in the Lone Ranger (both Disney productions.)
Depp is one of the most talented actors of our time, whether you like to admit it or not. Audiences love him, and he provides an enormous Hollywood draw. His talent means he could pull off Doctor Strange, if he provided a slightly more serious role, reminiscent of Public Enemies or The Tourist, but with a Marvel Disney blend. He can do haunted. He can do tortured. He can do wise and he can certainly do magic. It is not difficult to imagine Depp travelling between dimensions, battling pure evil, whilst using his talent to ground the movie within the same Universe as Ironman and Captain America. Plus, a Depp and Downey duo is surely something most movie fans would love to see, right?
Depp certainly has the ‘strange’ look and I think Depp could really master this role. His Disney connections mean his remarkable fee would not be as much of a hammer blow – as you are guaranteed results financially with his name being involved. I admit, the last two have been somewhat of a justified wildcard. The Top 3 took even more serious consideration.
3. Adrien Brody
The Dark Dimension can’t hold many surprises for a man who has fought with Nazis, King Kong and Predator.
Adrien Brody aesthetically matches the role, almost perfectly. He has the acting quality to convince audiences he really is Doctor Strange with his Oscar credibility – also giving the movie an award-winning draw. He can play tortured and haunted, then turn bad-ass and wise through the movie no problem. Adrien Brody can certainly play a man with the weight of expectation, the struggles of a weaker world thrust upon his shoulders.
Now, Brody won’t scare anyone with his ‘imposing physique’, but does he really need to? At the end of the day, Marvel will likely physically cast Doctor Strange far differently from say Captain America – another human with powers thrust upon him. He will likely resemble ‘magic’ and ‘grace’ and ‘wisdom’ in his appearance -and that doesn’t come from raging biceps. Strange only really needs the power of the mind.
Brody has had minimal blockbuster exposure in recent years, giving Marvel that chance to utilize his good reputation and revitalize his career. Adrien Brody is the right age, the right appearance and the right ability. He is a very good shout to play The Sorcerer Supreme.
2. Orlando Bloom
By some miracle, Aragorn and Legolas are back to back again. Bias? Perhaps. In hindsight, maybe there are better actors for the role on this list than Viggo Mortensen – but Orlando Bloom?
Let’s try a different approach. Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. Fee and Age. Orlando Bloom could be said to be a bit young for Doctor Strange. I disagree. Strange shouldn’t be too old or too young. Orlando can deliver a convincing 35-45 aged performance which will be perfect for Stephen Strange. Next, his fee. In the same respect as Johnny Depp, with his affiliation with Disney in the past and his remarkable Hollywood draw, I do not feel this would be a problem for a Marvel movie. With the negatives out of the way and de-bunked, let’s move on.
Orlando Bloom is one of the most talented actors of his generation. You cannot help but feel comfortable with him taking on such a difficult, complex role as Doctor Strange. Watching the man who brought us Legolas (which people were also worried about before they actually saw Orlando play the Elven prince) learn the art of sorcery under the Ancient One in Tibet would be amazing. He would look perfect as Stephen Strange, and could even pull off the flowing cape and robes – which is something many men on this list could not do.
Orlando Bloom would go beyond providing us with an amazing Doctor Strange. He would make magic cool. To sell the film, magic has to be made interesting and sellable if it is to realistically compete with Ironman’s science of face busting power, or Thor’s hammer wielding fury. These heroes are physical, if not fantastical. It will take skill and relatability to put magic in the same league. Orlando Bloom can do this. Orlando is historically very selective about his films, so a top quality script and director would have to be on board – but honestly, do we expect anything less from Marvel at this stage? And finally…
1. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
In at Number One is a crime fighting, dream stealing, sex-addict hero – Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Levitt was heavily rumored to star in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which adds to the rumors already surrounding the Hollywood star about his potential casting as Doctor Strange. This rumor was provided by Latino Review, with the following disclaimer:
“Now at press time, we are not saying that an offer has been made, that talks have even engaged and who knows, Levitt and his team are probably unaware, BUT we are hearing that Marvel execs internally are discussing that Levitt is who they figure would be ideal.”
Now, these are rumors. I’m dealing with who is the best man for the job, and Levitt ticks every single box. Firstly, he has had superhero exposure and experience with his role as ‘Robin’ in the Dark Knight Rises. He brings a Hollywood draw. He looks the part and is at the right age to commit to a role for a significant few years. He is wonderfully talented and could make the role his own, whilst researching the character and his mannerisms to pull off the perfect Stephen Strange. He has already established an on screen relationship with certain Marvel cast members, such as Scarlett Johansson in Don Jon. Everything is there.
Like previously mentioned, Marvel are unlikely to cast an actor who is unrelatable for kids. He has to be cool and attractive, whilst wielding an air of sophistication and wisdom. Levitt can be the hero we need. But, as everyone else, I will look at negatives also…
We have discussed how Marvel are pretty business savvy. They won’t have to pay Levitt a remarkable fee. Would he require one? It’s difficult to say. He is certainly on a dramatic rise as an actor and his career is taking off – however, a role as the world’s most powerful magician can only enhance that. Marvel would prefer to develop an actor, but I believe Levitt is versatile enough to develop with the movie, not just perform the role and go home. Levitt is appearing as a fan favorite, and whilst at MovieCricket we try and provide a wide spectrum in our Top 10s, Levitt really is the best option for this role. However…any actor on this list would do an incredible job. It really is one of the strongest lists of actors we have created in the last. All are possible. and All would nail it. From Levitt to Adrien Brody to Jon Hamm.
Who do you think could play Doctor Strange? We’d love to hear your opinions!
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