Report: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy Top Marvel’s Doctor Strange Wish List

Now that we’ve put the whole Ant-Man directing fiasco behind us, we can turn our attention back to the new most pressing question ever for Marvel movie fans:  Who will be Dr. Stephen Strange?

Just a week after director Scott Derrickson took to Twitter to proclaim himself the lensman for the upcoming Marvel supernatural foray Doctor Strange, the rumor mill is already churning overtime on who will don the Cloak of Levitation, the Eye of Agamotto and the Orb of Agamotto as Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme (damn, we never realized how much stuff Doc Strange totes out on a regular basis).

While early rumors attached both Johnny Depp and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Deadline is reporting (in a story re-reported by Crave movie site /Film) that Marvel’s wish list for the role currently features burgeoning stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy as frontrunners in the studio’s collective mind.

Of course, it’s hard to imagine both men WOULDN’T be among the prime contenders from Marvel’s perspective, considering both are building impressive acting resumes as they edge toward super-stardom.

Hardy has been building steam steadily since his double-shot of Christopher Nolan films Inception in 2010 and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012 and should get another career boost inheriting Mel Gibson’s role in next year’s Mad Max: Fury Road.

Meanwhile, Cumberbatch is riding a wave of public love from high-profile film roles in Star Trek Into Darkness and The Hobbit films, as well as the BBC mega-hit series “Sherlock.”

But the biggest question around casting either Hardy or Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange (the same one that haunts another rumored contender for the role, recent Oscar winner Jared Leto) is this: will any of these busy, much-in-demand talents want to tie themselves to an expected multi-picture deal so Marvel can feature the good doctor across their various Marvel cinematic universe projects?

I mean, you’re probably not signing a Tom Hardy or Benedict Cumberbatch without thinking how he might look alongside Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans as a member of the Avengers, right?

Doctor Strange doesn’t have a release date yet, but if we had to hazard a guess, it’s hard to imagine it won’t be one of the previously unannounced Marvel films already scheduled to debut on either July 8, 2016 or May 5, 2017.

This Week in Film News – Week Ending 06/13/2014