When it was announced in December 2014 that fan-favorite choice Benedict Cumberbatch would play the titular role of Doctor Strange, fans couldn’t imagine a better casting choice for the Sorcerer Supreme, and according to a recent report, neither could the execs at Marvel Studios. Director Scott Derrickson said that Cumberbatch was
“the only actor we seriously considered.”
However, The Hobbit and Sherlock star wasn’t able to take the role initially due to scheduling conflicts. He was set to play Hamlet in a stage play in London in the fall of 2015, which was when Doctor Strange was set to start shooting. Derrickson then met with other actors including Joaquin Pheonix (another fan-favorite choice for the role), Ryan Gosling, and Jared Leto. After the meetings, Kevin Feige stated that
“It’s got to be Benedict.”
In an effort to accommodate to Cumberbatch’s schedule, Marvel Studios pushed the release date for the film back from Summer 2016 to November 4th, and Cumberbatch agreed to take the role. It’s rare for a major studio to push a film’s release date back in order to work around the schedule of an actor, and Benedict Cumberbatch had this to say:
“If you can’t jump on board when the ride’s going past. that’s usually it, so the hugest compliment they paid me was to come back to me. It motivated me to try to fulfill their faith in me.”
Doctor Strange is due for release on November 4th and stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Stephen Strange), Tilda Swinton (The Ancient One), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Baron Karl Mordo), Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer), Mads Mikkelson (Kaecilius), and Benedict Wong (Wong).