Benedict Cumberbatch to play Doctor Strange: Sherlock star in 'final talks' with Marvel

The British actor is the Disney-owned studio's first choice for the superhero role

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The Independent Culture

In the team-up sure to send the internet into overdrive, Benedict Cumberbatch is in "final negotiations" with Marvel to play Doctor Strange.

The Sherlock star is the Disney-owned studio's first pick for the lead superhero role, with Tom Hardy and Jared Leto also being considered, Deadline reports.

The storyline focuses on a neurosurgeon whose hands are ruined in a car crash, before he becomes the "mightiest magician in the cosmos", Sorcerer Supreme, and protects the world from supernatural threats.

Joaquin Phoenix was in discussions for the main part earlier this year but talks fell through after the Inherent Vice star decided against signing a contract for sequels. Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, Justin Theroux and Ethan Hawke have also been connected to Doctor Strange in the past.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Cumberbatch's casting has been welcomed on social media, as the 38-year-old remains one of Hollywood's most popular actors.

 

Cumberbatch soon be seen starring in The Imitation Game as persecuted World War II codebreaker Alan Turing, alongside Keira Knightley.

The film has received critical acclaim and already been tipped for an Oscar, despite Cumberbatch modestly dismissing awards speculation as "premature and futile". 

 

Doctor Strange is expected to be released in July 2016. Scott Derrickson is directing from a script penned by Jon Spaihts, while Marvel’s Kevin Feige will produce.

Marvel's forthcoming comic-book films include Ant-Man, coming in 2015 and starring Paul Rudd in the lead. Doctor Strange made his first appearance in Marvel's Strange Tales in 1963 before joining superhero teams including Midnight Sons, Defenders and the New Avengers.

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