Strange, Stephen Strange.1 of 12
For more than 50 years, Dr. Stephen Strange has thwarted the mystical forces that would harm our realm, defending it with unparalleled magic skills as the Sorcerer Surpeme, Dr. Strange. Co-created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1963, Dr. Strange has been a Marvel staple for decades, making appearances in various animated series, video games, and now he’ll be making his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Strange's first foray into movies didn't exactly flourish; a made-for-TV movie that was set to become a series following in the footsteps of the smash hit, The Incredible Hulk. Now being a part of Marvel's movieverse, comic fans are abuzz with who might don the cloak and tunic of the Master of the Mystical Arts.
Now we know that Scott Derrickson will be directing Doctor Strange for Marvel Studios, but we don’t have another key component: the star. Now, there are a couple of names that have been tossed around for seemingly every major role for Marvel movies, and specifically for the role of Stephen Strange. Specifically, we’ve frequently heard the names Jon Hamm and Johnny Depp, and a few others without some variation of Jonathan and a last name with two repeating consonants at the end. But we’ll let other people tell you why you can jump on those particular bandwagons.
Instead, Newsarama has compiled a list of ten other contenders who could be up to the mystical task, including some comic book movie veterans and a couple off-the-beaten-path suggestions.
TIMOTHY OLYPHANT2 of 12This one is a bit of a long shot, but it'd be sort of fun, especially if you play him off of Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark.
Olyphant is best known for his work on TV's Deadwood and Justified (both times playing something of a cowboy type), so something like stepping in the role of Stephen Strange would be fun to see. The past few years he's shown some comedic range with roles on The Office and The League (plus every interview he's in), and he has a charismatic aura about him that screams personality. Olyphant has also shown his darker side playing the occasional bad guy, and Strange, while not a villain, definitely has his mood swings and moments of silent rage.
Olyphant might be the dark horse here, but there's definite potential.
ERIC BANA3 of 12Once upon a time, Eric Bana was the green goliath in Ang Lee's Hulk, which received mixed reviews from fans and critics. Audiences were going in thinking they were getting one type of Hulk movie, and the rest, as they say is history.
Bana has kept busy and put his shredded purple pants behind him, and has shown the type of actor he really is. He might have left a bad taste in our mouths with his green grimace, but I'd be all for giving him another swing at comic book stardom.
HUGH LAURIE4 of 12Hugh Laurie at one time was mostly known for being a comedic actor, alongside Stephen Fry in the BBC sketch comedy show A Bit of Fry and Laurie. Through the years he was simply one of "those" guys a face you'd see and recognize from various things (he was the dad in Stuart Little), but nothing really stood out.
House changed all that. Laurie stretched his more serious side of things, and while Gregory House had a witty and snarky side, he wasn't known for making the audience laugh as much as giving the impression that he is somebody to fear and respect. Stephen Strange was once a vain man until humbled with broken hands. Laurie has shown both sides of a broken man, and is a solid candidate for the role.
JASON ISAACS5 of 12Jason Isaacs is the perfect movie villain, but could he handle being the lead hero?
While most moviegoers know him as Lucious Malfoy, the villainous father of Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter franchise, Isaacs has shown further dramatic chops over years in such films as Ridley Scott's Oscar-winning Black Hawk Down, and the short-lived television series Awake. He has loaned his voice to the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold as well as Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Isaacs has a refined silhouette that would look great next to the rest of the Avengers in battle. And he'd look mighty dapper with that cloak.
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS6 of 12As the most decorated actor on this list with two Oscars and another one likely on the way for Lincoln Daniel Day-Lewis is absolutely more of a fantasy than a legitimate possibility, but there's no denying that it'd be intriguing to watch him don the cloak and tunic of the Master of Mystical Arts.
His portrayal of Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York is one of the finest performances of the decade, and, along with films like There Will Be Blood, defines him as an actor. Yes, his reputation of being one of the most selective actors in the industry makes him a very long shot, but it would most certainly be something to watch.
JOSEPH FIENNES7 of 12Sort of cheating a bit here and going strictly on dead-on appearances, but hey, he can't help that.
Joseph Fiennes has defined a certain breed of actor in his almost two decades in the business. Not many actors this generation can say they were in two different movies with two different portrayals of Queen Elizabeth I in the same year. His recent role in FX's American Horror Story: Asylum gives a small hint of him playing a supernatural hero of sorts, though it'd be interesting to see him battle Mindless Ones in the next go round.
Fiennes is known for more of a classical style, but it wouldn't be the first time a Shakespearean actor took the stage in the Marvel movieverse.
PATRICK DEMPSEY8 of 12Now here's a guy who just wants it.
I've been lobbying [to play Dr. Strange]. There's a whole bunch of people [on the Grey's Anatomy crew] who are into comics and Marvel, too, on the set and they're like, 'Doctor Strange, that's the one you should do.' It would be fantastic." That was Dempsey a few years ago talking to LA Times' Hero Complex about how he's been trying to get the role for quite some time now. He certainly has that whole "playing a doctor" thing down. And there's just something about wish-fulfillment factor, too.
From McDreamy to McSorcery? It could work.
IOAN GRUFFUDD9 of 12Casting Ioan Gruffudd, a.k.a. Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic in Fox's 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four films, wouldn't be the first time Marvel has double-dipped. Not ruling out Chris Evans as Captain America just because he played the Human Torch proved beneficial for the Marvel movie franchise, especially if you consider the casting came out of left field.
Gruffudd is a classically trained actor with some serious credentials, as well as a face that comic fans already know. Could comic fans adapt to seeing him summoning powers from the Vishanti instead of making the Ultimate Nullifier?
VIGGO MORTENSEN10 of 12Having already established himself as a dramatic actor with The Road, A History of Violence (itself a comic book adaptation), Eastern Promises (which garnered an Oscar nomination) and that little thing called the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen definitely has both the acting ability and a good dose of nerd cred to don the Eye of Agamotto.
Since the Doctor Strange movie will likely involve lots of special effects, Mortensen comes prepared with some heavy experience working with green screens, so that's also a plus.
AIDAN GILLEN11 of 12Not even going to lie, his goatee is the best.
Of course that wouldn't be fair to make him number one just on that, given his talent and extensive resume. Most known for his roles as Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish in Game of Thrones and Tommy Carcetti in The Wire, the Irish-born Aidan Gillen has won numerous acting awards throughout his career, and is this list's top pick for Stephen Strange.
Much like Chris Hemsworth in Thor, the announcement of his casting would bring several quizzical expressions and a slew of "who?" from fans. And yes, while Gillen has been had more exposure in recent years, by Hollywood standards, he's still under the radar, unlike many on this list.
Casting a relative unknown for Strange makes the most obvious sense. Some may doubt Marvel's ability to pull Doctor Strange off, but as the success of Thor shows, any hero can succeed if provided the right material and a lead that can deliver the goods.
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