Cumberbacklash: Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange riles Marvel fans

The Sherlock star is strongly rumoured to be taking on the superhero role

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The Independent Culture

The Marvel universe exploded yesterday, first with news that Benedict Cumberbatch is favourite to play Doctor Strange, and later with the big announcement about upcoming superhero movies.

But, somewhat surprisingly given his at times scarily-dedicated Sherlock fanbase, not everyone was impressed with the Cumberbatch rumours.

Comic book writer JM DeMatteis may have branded it the "best comics-to-screen casting since Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man", but some Marvel fans were so disgusted by the news that they dramatically announced their intentions to boycott the movie.

It seems that, inevitably, people are starting to get sick of Cumberbatch following his recent exposure (in Star Trek, The Hobbit, and most recently as persecuted World War II codebreaker Alan Turing in Oscar-tipped biopic The Imitation Game).

One other major problem is the studio's poor track record for racial diversity. The last five Marvel films have had white, male leads and female characters are repeatedly slotted into supporting roles.

There are black and female-led superhero movies on the wayBlack Panther and Captain Marvel – but Doctor Strange could be played by an actor of any race.


Of course, the masses soon came out to defend their "awesomely talented" and "absolutely gorgeous" Hollywood hero from the so-called 'Cumberbacklash', so perhaps those cinema seats will be filled after all, should he sign on the dotted line as expected.

Directed by Scott Derrickson, Doctor Strange is scheduled for release on 8 July 2016.