Joaquin Phoenix, former rapper, Oscar nominated actor and all around creepy guy was dropped from the running to play Marvel comics next big character Doctor Strange, leaving Ethan Hawke still in the running.
Which means that we may be treated to yet another movie with a white guy in the lead. Look I love Paul Rudd and even with all the trouble going on behind the scenes with Ant-Man, I’ll still see it but he’s still a white guy in a superhero suit. Marvel has been championing changes to it’s character and title roster in the last few years so it’s only natural to hope that they’ll take the same approach to their cinematic universe but so far, it seems to be taking even longer to see diversity on screen.
Producers are looking for top tier talent with mild genre appeal to fill in the mystical boots of the good Doctor Strange, a literal cult character in the Marvel wheelhouse lovingly called Mystical Marvel. So who is Doctor Strange and why does Marvel want to give him a movie?
Steven Vincent Strange was born 1930 in Philadelphia. Destined to become the next Sorcerer Supreme (defender of Earth against mystical and magical threats) Karl Mordo cursed Steven with demons from age 8 until adulthood until the Ancient One and then Sorcerer Supreme rescued him. He earned his medical degree and fast tracked through New York Hospital, fueling his ego and providing refuge from his crumbling home life. He became an renowned neurosurgeon before the age of 30.
In 1963, Strange was in a terrible car accident where he suffered severe nerve damage, effectively ending his professional career. He took to performing risky back alley surgeries to make ends meet and ultimately lost his credibility. After hitting rock bottom, he traveled East to find The Ancient One but the sorcerer refused to heal him, instead offering to train him in mysticism. He spent years studying with The Ancient One who ultimately named him his successor and he embraced his destiny as the Sorcerer Supreme.
Here are some of the gentlemen I’d like to see take on this complex role.
Already a genre hero from his guest spot on HBO’s Game of Thrones as The Viper, and Shakespeare in the Park veteran, Pascal is poised to take over Hollywood his way. He returns to TV in a way starring in Netflix’ upcoming series Narcos. With his significant acting chops, flair for creating sympathetic characters and pretty face, Pedro has all the elements you want in your mystical wizard doctor.
Oscar nominated for his role in 12 Years a Slave, looks dead sexy in six inch platforms (if you haven’t seen Kinky Boots, you should) Chiwetel becomes his characters, making it easy to see him in virtually any role. He’s already shown he’s a sic fi genre man having starred in Children of Men, Salt and Serenity.
I always wanted to go to Egypt and the want went through the roof when this guy showed up on his horse, facial tattoos, warning the stupids poking around the cursed lands that this could only end in tears. Already a veteran in the business, starring in both film and television series, Oded Fehr has that otherworldly charm that you need to play a dude who’s supposed to be the most magical wizard in the world. Besides Harry Potter.
Deep Space Nine. That is all. Alexander will be appearing in the upcoming season of Game of Thrones as Doran Martell after his run on Da Vinci’s Demons and his time on Atlantis…the man is sci fi defined. With his charm, wit and serious eye gaze, why couldn’t he just be Doctor Strange?
So who do you think would make a better Doctor Strange?