The shortlist of directors for Marvel's Doctor Strange movie

News Simon Brew 21 Feb 2014 - 06:37
The Disney-owned (nearly) Marvel logo

Marvel is lining up a film of Doctor Strange, and the directorial shortlist has apparently been revealed...

It seems pretty certain now that Doctor Strange is being lined up as one of Marvel's Phase Three of movies. The other titles are set to be Ant-Man, Captain America 3, Thor 3 and The Avengers 3. Of those four, only Thor 3 is apparently without a director so far.

But who will take the reigns for Doctor Strange? Well, a story broken by The Hollywood Reporter has put four names in the frame. The candidates are apparently Mark Andrews (Brave), Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair), Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies, 50/50) and Dean Israelite (the upcoming Welcome To Yesterday).

Meanwhile, Jon Albel and Glenn Berger are also said to have met with Marvel with a view to writing the screenplay. They've previously penned the Kung Fu Panda films.

It's still early days of course, but it seems as though Marvel wants to get its writing team and director locked down at around the same time, so that they can work closely in tandem on the project. As we hear more...

The Hollywood Reporter.

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Levine seems like a good choice to make a movie that combines tragedy with humour and special effects.

I've not really heard of dr strange so can somebody point me in the right direction ? thanks

The origin of Dr Strange should lend itself well to film, if they can avoid the Batman Begins parallels.

Short version, he was a talented but incredibly arrogant neurosurgeon whose
career was ruined when his hands were wrecked in a car crash. He searched all over the world for a way to heal them, eventually encountering a Himalayan hermit who begins teaching him magic, leading to him becoming the Sorcerer Supreme (a de facto title assumed by the Marvel Universe's most powerful magic wielder).

There's a quite good animated film telling a version of his origin that you
can rent on Netflix or buy pretty cheaply on Amazon.

More importantly, who should play Dr Strange?
Would need to be someone in late 30s/early 40s if he is going to be one of the world's best surgeons.Sod it, I am going to suggest Jason Isaacs.

Are we so sure that there's only going to be 4 films between Avengers 2 and 3? Marvel release two films a year, but this time they've put Ant-Man in the same year as an Avengers film. Could we get 5 in between?

Andrew Scott?

Levine is a solid choice. Adrian Brody for Dr Strange!

It's got to be The Stath, right? ;)

I'm hoping for six; Ant-Man, Thor 3, Dr. Strange, Cap 3, Black Panther, GotG2

What will the tone/appraoch of this film be? What already existing film(s) do you imagine it being similar to?

50/50 was brilliant, Warm Bodies was okay. Good choice though.

This is how I think it's gonna end up:

May 2015 - Avengers: Age of Ultron
July 2015 - Ant-Man
May 2016 - Thor 3
July/August 2016 - Doctor Strange
May 2017 - Captain America 3
August 2017 - Guardians of the Galaxy 2 OR Black Panther
May 2018 - Avengers 3
August 2018 - Hulk

That's my best bet, though I expect a Black Widow film to pop up at some point, as well as a tiny possibility Iron Man 4.

They're gonna want to try to keep throwing out films featuring the "original" Avengers well into Phase 3, though after Guardians, Age of Ultron and Ant-Man

This is how I think it's gonna end up:

May 2015 - Avengers: Age of Ultron
July 2015 - Ant-Man
May 2016 - Thor 3
July/August 2016 - Doctor Strange
May 2017 - Captain America 3
August 2017 - Guardians of the Galaxy 2 OR Black Panther
May 2018 - Avengers 3
August 2018 - Hulk

That's my best bet, though I expect a Black Widow film to pop up at some point, as well as a possible Iron Man 4. They're probably gonna try to keep throwing out films with the "original" Avengers to try to keep the audiences familiar with the characters

I can't see Hulk happening

I would like to know more about the possible plot and/or other marvel characters crossing over into it.


I think you're over ambitious for a Hulk movie, but the rest looks about right. DoG keep talking about the next phase as if it only had 5 films in it, but I'm fairly certain it'll have six including Avengers 3. If the final unknown film is Guardians 2 then I wouldn't be surprised if the recent reports are accurate and it's being targeted at 2016 (since all the major creatives are in place, whereas Dr Strange doesn't have anyone signed yet), which would put Dr Strange in 2017. But that's looking like roughly the layout for Phase 3.

Ah this comment was me but I deleted it because I replied to the wrong person, I didn't realise it would come up as a Guest comment though. Sorry!

With the exceptions of Iron Man 2 and Thor 2, all sequels have had roughly 3 years of production. I'm not sure if Marvel would be prepared to rush into Guardians 2, particularly given that it's the first departure from the "original" Avengers and they don't know how it's going to perform at the box office.

I was thinking the same thing. I haven't seen Warm Bodies but friends have told me they enjoyed it. I loved 50/50. Bloody Joseph Levitt Gordon had me in tears near the end.

I understand that, but it's still potentially closer to production than Dr Strange, since it's already got a cast and could potentially use James Gunn again (depending how they like the film). Iron Man 2 had only two years, but because so much of the creative side was in place from IM1 they got a long flick out pretty easily. Not that it was great (I'd certainly hope Guardians 2 would be better), but on that occasion they chose to get IM2 out for 2010 rather than rushing Cap or Thor forward.

It all does come down to how confident they are with the people they're meeting for Dr Strange, and how confident they are of Guardians going down well.

Of course, there's always the possibility of a similar thing to what happened with Cap 2 happening; advance screenings going really well, and a sequel being ordered straight away.

There are huge possibilities for Guardians 2 too, as well as Marvel potentially tagging onto the whole "outer-space" sci-fi genre after the release of Star Wars Episode VII - there'll be a lot of buzz after that.

Whatever way it goes, I think it'll be wise for Marvel to choose Guardians 2 over Black Panther, and leave him for Avengers 3. If Guardians goes down well in August, they'll be stupid to not revisit it post-Age of Ultron.

Warm Bodies is a really nice film - not amazing or Oscar-worthy, but it's enjoyable.

Exactly. As much as I'd like to see Black Panther or Ms/Captain Marvel (or Black Widow get her own movie), if Guardians goes well they don't really want to leave its sequel out of Phase 3, otherwise it'll be at least 4 years between films (not an insurmountable gap, but franchises can lose steam with that kind of break). I also think you're right that they need to work with Star Wars (so to speak) to make space epics a popular genre again.

There was some talk last year of a Guardians TV series, potentially within the MCU (as opposed to connected to any of the Marvel animated series), I wonder if that's still going anywhere.

I heard something about an animated Guardians series at some point, but haven't heard anything since. As always, there's Agents of SHIELD potential there, and Agents could possibly help set up both Cap 2 and Guardians' involvement in Age of Ultron - but I doubt the show will take it.

Sharlto Copely as Dr Strange, think he could pull it off.

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