by: Sammy Mink
We’re hearing lots of rumors this week about Marvel’s upcoming superhero flick DOCTOR STRANGE. While it’s clear Marvel is looking for a new writer and a new director (or possibly a writer/director hybrid), it seems like the short lists never seem to get any shorter.
DOCTOR STRANGE centers on Dr. Stephen Strange, a young, arrogant surgeon with a promising career, who loses his ability to operate after a terrible accident. Despondent and suicidal, Dr. Strange seeks advice from a mystical being known as the Ancient One and learns that he is the newly designated Sorceror Supreme, responsible for protecting the planet from evil. With his girlfriend Clea and his loyal assistant Wong in tow, Strange sets out to fulfill his destiny. The script will be based on the 1963 Stan Lee comic “Strange Tales No. 110.”
For directors, the list includes:
Mark Andrews – director of Pixar’s “Brave”
Jonathan Levine – “Warm Bodies” and “50/50” director
Scott Derrickson – “Sinister” and “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” director
Nikolaj Arcel – director of “A Royal Affair”
Dean Israelite – director of “Welcome to Yesterday”
Allegedly, there’s no one currently at the top of the list and we’re getting some reports that Arcel and Israelite might not be in contention at all. One thing is clear, though, Marvel doesn’t have a clear “type” in mind when it comes to directors for this project.
As for writers, the list is a bit more concise, consisting only of the writing team Jon Aibel & Glenn Berger who have written all the installments of DreamWorks’ “Kung Fu Panda” series. The current draft of the script was penned by Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly, although it has gone through a number of writers since the project began.
We’ve also heard the names Johnny Depp and Joseph Gordon-Levitt come up through the rumor mill more than once for the lead role but Marvel producer Kevin Feige demurred, suggesting they might be looking for an up and coming actor rather than an established star.
As soon as they get the attachments they’re looking for, we expect Marvel to go into production, hopefully dropping the project into one of their placeholder release dates in 2016.