Another day, another “Doctor Strange” casting rumor. The latest contender? None other than Benedict Cumberbatch.
The news exploded today that Marvel was ready to “begin negotiations” with the “Sherlock” heartthrob. Of course, key words indicating such a deal was far from done wasn”t going to stop the Internet machine from confidently churning out BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH IS FOR REAL, DEFINITELY, 1000000% PLAYING DOCTOR STRANGE.
Complete with photoshopped artist rendition.
Oh ye of short memory. It was only LAST WEEK when another actor had “been prepping” for the role and a week before that when a yet another actor had been “for sure” offered the role. In fact, there are enough dudes “definitely maybe playing” Doctor Strange now that Marvel can start their own Stephen Strange Multiverse baseball team!
Basically, no one knows anything. Need proof? A short, incomplete* history of every actor who”s been officially rumored to play the infamous Doctor.
January 2014 – Johnny Depp
Way back at the beginning of the year, Variety and other sources were saying Marvel was courting Depp for the project.
June 2014 – Tom Hardy
Things go quiet for months. Then, in the lead-up to SDCC, the “Doctor Strange” rumor mill rumbles to life with anonymous sources putting Tom Hardy at the top of Marvel”s radar.
June 2014 – Jared Leto
Less than two week later, Hardy is dropped according to The Wrap, but Leto is now Marvel”s top pick. Apparently Marvel casting treats leading men like an argument over dinner, “I don't care where we eat…but not there. Or there.”
July 2014 – Joaquin Phoenix
Right before San Diego Comic-Con, everyone says Phoenix has a lock on the role. Optimists even think he might be revealed during the Marvel panel. Par for the course, nothing comes of this rumor, though they will persist all the way through August when “negotiations” fall apart.
MAYDAY, MADAY! BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD! The rumor mill speeds up, cranking out a quick succession of names to fill the void.
October 2014 – Ethan Hawke
On the first of October, it is reported that Marvel has offered the role to Hawke. Nothing comes of this.
October 2014 – Ewan McGregor
Two weeks later, Obi-Wan Kenobi is prepping for the role, with Marvel sources confirming they”re considering him. Nothing comes of this.
October 2014 – Ryan Gosling
The next day Hollywood Reporter drags poor Ryan Gosling into this mess.
October 2014 – Colin Farrell
Two days after that, Farrell reportedly enters the very crowded “Doctor Strange” ring. Nothing – you guessed it – comes of this.
October 2014 – Benedict Cumberbatch
And finally, we come to today. Will anything come of this casting rumor? Well, I mean eventually ONE of these things has to pan out. Law of averages, right?
But let”s look a little deeper at these actors. If there is one thing all these men have in common, it”s that they are heartthrobs. So Marvel – or the press – definitely want Stephen Strange to have sex appeal for people who like dudes. Oh, the other thing all these dudes have in common? They”re white.
Come on, Marvel. Doctor Strange is basically Tony Stark with magic. There”s no reason to exacerbate this similarity by adding another white superhero to a stable already bursting with that particular model of beefcake. Why not branch out? Live a little.