As Marvel mines the depths of their character catalog for big screen properties one thing has become clear: They are rapidly coming to the end of the big, mainstream characters and, if they are to continue, things are going to get weird. Hardcore fans of the label have been waiting for the weird factor to crank up and recent Marvel entries have nodded to the supernatural, cosmic side of the Marvel Universe with elements of both Thor and Captain America leaning in that direction. But for all that Thor is a god and Captain America showed off the Cosmic Cube that’s still not the real thing. If you want Cosmic Marvel you want Doctor Strange.
Created in 1963 Doctor Strange is the story of an arrogant surgeon who is injured in a car accident and goes on to become the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel universe. Using his magical powers Strange protects the earth from attacks from other realms.
Fans have been vocal about wanting a Doctor Strange movie for a while now and there have been rumblings that Marvel was listening, most recently a June, 2010 report that Marvel had hired Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer to draft a script. When Marvel hired the Donnelly / Oppenheimer duo they were significantly hotter properties than they are right now, the duo having just been hired to draft the Conan reboot and having turned in a draft of Cowboys And Aliens. With Cowboys not faring so well at the box office and anticipation for Conan sputtering badly the pair may be taking a bit of a hit these days but when Marvel hired them they were hot properties and the signing meant that Marvel was taking Doctor Strange seriously. And they still are.
Twitch has learned that Oppenheimer and Donnelly have now turned in their script and Marvel is pushing forward with the property. Marvel has drafted a short list of directors to approach on the title and is forwarding the current script to each to try and sign someone up to ‘oversee continued development’.
You can read that ‘continued development’ comment a couple ways. Either Marvel is basically happy with the draft that they have now but want to give the eventual director a chance to make their mark on it before considering things locked down or they are looking for a director who can also re-tool the script from the ground up. Either way, though, this is a sign that Marvel is committed to the character and are looking at Doctor Strange as a 2013 release. With word out now that Edgar Wright has also turned in his script for Ant-Man the superhero world is about to get a bit weirder.
So, what do you think? If they’re going to make a Doctor Strange movie, who should be the Doctor? And if you’re Marvel, who’s on your short list to direct?