Doctor Strange Benedict Cumberbatch

Marvel’s Doctor Strange has become one of those projects that seems to inspire a new casting rumor every other day. Earlier this week, Jared Leto was said to be one of Marvel’s picks, and today we have word that Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy are also being considered. Hit the jump for more details.

Deadline reports that Marvel is currently putting together a wish list for the lead role, and that Cumberbatch and Hardy are among the names on it. The news comes just days after Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) confirmed via Twitter that he was on board to direct.

Interestingly, the trade notes he’ll be working off of a script by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer. Earlier stories indicated that Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger were in talks for rewrites, so it’s unclear what came of that plan.

As for the casting, just because Marvel wants Cumberbatch or Hardy doesn’t mean it’ll wind up casting either of them. Let’s not forget that the studio cycled through half the young men in Hollywood before landing on Chris Pratt for Guardians of the Galaxy. But the names do offer some insight as to the kind of actor they might be looking for.

Like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Johnny Depp, both of whom have also been rumored for the part in the past, both Cumberbatch and Hardy are critically acclaimed actors who move easily between massive studio productions and small-scale indies.

Hardy is coming off of the indie drama Locke, and has several projects coming up in the near future including Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant, the Elton John biopic Rocketman, and the video game adaptation Splinter Cell. And that’s not counting films he’s already wrapped, like The Drop, Child 44, Mad Max: Fury Road.

Cumberbatch, meanwhile, was last seen in August: Osage County and 12 Years a Slave. His next release is the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game. He is currently shooting the Whitey Bulger pic Black Mass, and will soon star in Gary Oldman’s Flying Horse.

Both are busy enough as it is without a multi-year comic book franchise contract, but on the other hand each actor has shown a willingness to do that kind of work in the past. Hardy played the villain in WB/DC’s The Dark Knight Rises, and may be leading the Mad Max franchise if Fury Road does well. Cumberbatch has done bad guy turns in Star Trek Into Darkness and Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies.

Do you think either of these men are the right fit for Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme?

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