Doctor Strange | Meet the 16 Actors Who Almost Lived the Marvel Character on the Big Screen

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is already the new success of Marvel. The blockbuster that opened last weekend grossed nearly $200 million in the US alone in its first few days. Worldwide, the new adventure of the wizard played by Benedict Cumberbatch It is already the third most profitable film of 2022 with almost US$500 million at the box office, behind only the Chinese Water Gate Bridge and first place, The Batman. driven by veteran Sam Raimithe second Doctor Strange uses elements of horror cinema, the filmmaker’s specialty, to make the protagonist travel in the most varied universes, where we can find new versions of ourselves. This concept is not new and is studied by physics. Here, in this new article, however, we will not study the multiverse in depth, or even comment on the new adventure of the Doctor Strange. The idea here is to go back a little bit in time to 2016, to the first movie, and introduce you to which actors almost played the character on the big screen in the original film before Benedict Cumberbatch. Check it out below.

The actor who came closest to playing Doctor Strange in theaters, before Benedict Cumberbatchhe was Joaquin Phoenix. Fans may remember the news everywhere that talked about the actor’s deal with Marvel, back in 2015. It is said, however, that Cumberbatch has always been the studio’s first choice, but the original release date, in July 2016, conflicted with the actor’s schedule in a stage show, where he staged Shakespeare. Thus, the doors were open for negotiations with phoenix, who ended up not accepting Marvel’s terms because he didn’t want to be locked into a multi-picture deal. So, Doctor Strange was pushed to November 2016, and Cumberbatch could keep the paper. Phoenix, of course, would win his Oscar for the role not of a hero, but of the villain. joker.


It was in 2015 that the first accusations of Amber Heard against the then husband Johnny Depp, about their possible domestic violence, went public. What in fact could have tarnished Marvel’s overproduction if depp was chosen to be Doctor Strange in the movies – the star was one of the actors targeted for the role. And maybe that made the studio not opt ​​for him. At the time, Depp appeared as a villain in the franchise. fantastic beastsreprized the role in 2018, until it was definitively replaced that year by Mads Mikkelsen.


the irish Colin Farrell was another actor targeted by Marvel for the role of Doctor Strange in the movies. Farrell is no stranger to superhero super-productions in cinema, having debuted in the sub-genre in the success Daredevil – The Man Without Fear (2003), playing the villain Mercenary. After that, the actor would only return to a film of the type with the recent The Batman, where he unrecognizably plays another villain: the Penguin. Curiously, Farrell and Johnny Depp divided their characters into two films: The Imaginary World of Dr. parnassus (2009) and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016).


the Guatemalan Oscar Isaac recently drew attention to another Marvel project, the Disney Plus series moon knight, where he plays the complex protagonist, owner of multiple personalities. Long before that, however, Isaac was targeted for the leading role in Doctor Strange, another complex character from the studio. At that time, Isaac released in theaters the first episode of the new trilogy of Star Warswith The force awakens (2015). And he would be in all three new movies. Before Moon Knight, the actor had already played the villain Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Marvel/Fox movie.


speaking of moon knight, Ethan Hawke – a four-time Oscar-nominated actor – was another candidate to play the Marvel wizard in the cinema, in the first film of the Doctor Strange. Hawke, who had never worked within the subgenre, was convinced by his colleague Oscar Isaac to accept the project and play the villain of the story: the cunning Arthur Harrow. In the same year that Doctor Strange premiered in cinemas around the world, Hawke launched his reunion with colleagues from Training Daywith the remake of the western Seven Men and a Fate.


The world goes round. Currently, the star Jared Leto doesn’t seem to bring much luck as far as movies based on comic book characters are concerned. But going back to 2016 the case was not quite like that. Leto had just come out of his Oscar win for Dallas Buyers Club and he was on top of the world, being able to choose any project he wanted. One of those that appeared on his table was Doctor Strange, for which it was considered. However, in the end, the actor chose to give life to the villain Joker in Suicide squad, released in the same year. And we know well how it ended. This year, Leto released morbiusand well… you know the result.


Partner of Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Clubthe texan actor Matthew McConaughey also left with his Oscar statuette from the production, he as the lead actor. The star has participated in the most diverse types of film, including having started his career in horror, with the rough The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4 (1994). But if there’s one thing he never did, it was to participate in a superhero movie, although he was one of the most quoted names to be Captain America, even in the late 90’s. In the mid-2010s, McConaughey was also tipped to be Doctor Strange, however, ended up starring in dramas such as A State of Freedom and Gold and Greed In the same year.


the british actor Tom Hardy has in his curriculum several memorable characters, such as Mad Max – where he replaced the star Mel Gibson in the fourth film of 2015. He is also no stranger to comic book productions, having entered the subgenre in 2012, playing the muscular villain Bane, from Batman the Dark Knight Rises. In 2016, at the same time he was tipped to be Doctor Strange, he ended up also opting to leave. Suicide squadwhere he would play Rick Flag – a role that ended with Joel Kinnaman. At the moment, hardy lives another strong villain/anti-hero from the comics in the movies, the slimy Venom.


Well-known in pop culture, the Scotsman Ewan McGregor truly became a star playing the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy (1999-2005) of Star Wars – role he will reprise this year in the series named after his character on Disney Plus. In 2016, McGregor was one of the most quoted by Marvel to be Doctor Strange, but ended up not avenging and going to make his directorial debut in the indie drama American Pastoral. In 2020, the actor would finally make a superhero movie, as the villain Black Mask in the “Harley Quinn movie”, Birds of prey.


At the height of his career and his performative reach in the middle of the last decade, Jake Gyllenhaal gave shows in movies like Marked to die, The suspects, The Duplicate Man and, mainly, in the vulture (with Oscar snub and all). At this stage, of course, the actor attracted Marvel’s attention and found himself on the studio’s shortlist for the role (although he was too young for the character). Three years later, Gyllenhaal would be in a Marvel movie, not as the hero, but as the villain, in the role of Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home. A curiosity is that Gyllenhall almost replaced Tobey Maguire in spiderman 2in Sam Raimi.


the internet muse Keanu Reeves is one of the few Hollywood stars who have never ventured into a superhero movie – the most profitable source of entertainment cinema today. Of course, Reeves has already starred in his share of movies that look like they’re straight out of comics, see Johnny Mnemonic – The Cyborg of the Future (1995) and the franchise Matrix (1999-2021), but being original productions. The star was another one of those considered to be Doctor Strange in the cinema, but instead, at the time, he went on to films that almost no one saw, such as cannibal loves, neon demon and Versions of a Crime.


Our reality is made of ups and downs. One hour we’re on top and another, half gone. is the case with Joseph Gordon-Levitta young actor who was on the crest of the wave in the early 2010s, with films such as The origin, 50%, Looper – Assassins of the Future, Lincolnand even risking the direction with How not to lose this woman. At that time too, the actor played the police officer Blake in Batman the Dark Knight Rises, later revealed to be Robin, the successor to Gotham’s vigilante. So, even though he was very young for the role, Gordon-Levitt was considered by Marvel for the role of Doctor Strange. As he didn’t make it, he set out to star Snowden – Hero or Traitor.

Jon Hamm is one of those actors that fans thought were perfect to play Batman or Superman in the movies, just look for the memes on the internet. In fact, the actor who made fame with the series Mad Men – Making Truths has the right look for such characters, however, he never managed to become a real star and have strength to his name – no doubt being a superhero in the movies would help. In the middle of the last decade, hamm was one of those considered by Marvel to play Doctor Strange. Interestingly, at the time he starred Not Secret Neighbors alongside Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadotand then he would make one of his most famous films, In Escape Rhythm.

Now we come to the lesser-known actors part of the list. Of course, many actors who lived superheroes in the movies were unknown or little known until they put on the Superman, Spider-Man or Thor uniforms, for example, and then exploded as the newest star on the block. These blockbusters have such power. So this magic could have occurred to the young man Jack Huston, targeted by Marvel for the role of Doctor Strange. Jack is part of one of Hollywood’s most traditional clans, the hustonbeing nephew of Anjelica Huston and Danny Hustonand grandson of the great director John Huston. The actor lived his most famous role so far as the protagonist in the remake Ben-Huralso in 2016, and last year Domenico lived in Gucci House.

Known to comic book fans for writing the screenplay for Iron man 2 for Marvel itself, Justin Theroux has in his resume as an actor participation in pop films such as The panthers, hauling, Miami Vice, bumblebee, joker and The Lady and the Tramp. The actor, writer and director was another one considered by the studio to bring the mystical character of the MCU to life. At the time, however, Theroux was starring in films such as zoolander 2 and The Girl on the Train.

Closing the list we have a special case, of an actor who was not considered by Marvel to be Doctor Strange. 80s teen comedy star, Patrick Dempsey He became well known at the time for starring in films such as Rent Girlfriend (1987) and Loverboy – Call Boy (1989). As an older man, some of the actor’s best-known roles were in famous films such as panic 3, Sweet Home, The bride’s best friend and mainly, enchantedin which the “real-life prince” of Amy Adams, and whose sequel has already recorded for the premiere this year. It turns out that at the time, Dempsey drew attention for making one of the most intense campaigns to live the role. Too bad it didn’t work.

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