By Matt Rooney

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These Doctor Strange casting rumors are magical

Posted by jargononline on October 16, 2014 at 5:10 PM

By Matt Rooney


I have to admit I teared up a bit the day the news broke that Joaquin Phoenix was indeed not taking on the lead in Marvel’s “Doctor Strange”. His off-brand style would’ve given The Sorcerer Supreme a fine distinction between other superheroes.

But alas, like we learned with “Ant-Man” there comes a time to move on, and Marvel is doing just that having unveiled seven names that in are in contention to take the crown away from Phoenix: Ewan McGregor, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Oscar Isaac, Jake Gyllenhaal and, most recently, Ryan Gosling.

Each are tremendous actors who all have either have experience in franchise work, or have expressed keen interest in taking on that challenge. It’s all speculation at this point who may get it, and there’s no real news on the subject until a choice has been made, but let’s take a look at each actor and assess the magic in each choice.

Ewan McGregor: This man is no stranger to large franchises and contract commitments. He played Obi-Wan in the new “Star Wars” trilogy for six years. He has the look, charm and attitude fit for the character of Stranger, and could honestly use another hit. But given the new state of “Star Wars” could Disney/Marvel be looking in another direction if they feel they could use him in their planned Obi-Wan spinoff series?

Jared Leto: Fresh off his Oscar win for “Dallas Buyers Club” Leto has been experience a career surge like never before. He is also back on the circuit after retiring from acting years ago to focus on his band 30 Seconds to Mars. Sources say he has been “aggressively pursuing” the role of Strange, which means he seems to be interested in something more mainstream then his usual art-house fare. He has been on the shortlist for the role since the Phoenix days, so there is legitimacy to the rumors and means Marvel is heavily considering Leto for the part.

Matthew McConaughey: This name is new in terms of candidates, but nonetheless exciting. Like Leto, McConaughey also won an Oscar for “Club”, and is rocketing to heights he’s never been before. He is not shy to mainstream work and will see his biggest hit this November with “Interstellar”. He has the chops to back up the role, the newfound love of audiences and the well-established cool to make the role of Strange the next big thing.

Ethan Hawke: After Matty Boy Hawke is my favorite choice for the role. He has to be one of the most underrated actors around. Sure, he’s been nominated for two writing Oscars (“Before Sunset”, “Before Midnight”) and one for acting (“Training Day”), but he’s never had a huge hit. But that will change if he’s cast as Strange, which is not as farfetched as it seems. He clearly has no problem with long-term commitments (see “Boyhood”, which shot periodically over 12 years). He’s shown a lot of versatility with his dramatic roles in movies like “Training Day”, his work with Richard Linklater over the years and looks the most like Strange than all other candidates (try to even picture him without his goatee).

Oscar Isaac: Very few people know who this actor is, even with his star turn in “Inside Llewyn Davis” and his casting in the new “Star Wars”. No matter, Isaac is a great actor who shows a lot of star quality. But depending on how big his “Star Wars” role is he could be out of the running. Sure he could juggle two franchises, but he would have time to pursue personal projects, which is a factor for all the men on this list.

Jake Gyllenhaal: It’s been reported than this A-lister is looking for something lighter after all the dark work he’s been doing lately (his role in “Nightcrawler” looks to have taken a toll). “Strange” would be the perfect project for him to take on but still have a root in darker material. As a person, he exudes likeability and has worked with some of the best in the biz. His “Prince of Persia” franchise didn’t exactly take off, but that’s not his fault, and “Strange” is a guaranteed smash unlike “Persia”. Like McConaughey, he has both acting chops and mainstream access to jump into the role with ease.

Ryan Gosling: Gosling is the newest name in this list to make headlines, but is also the only one who is reported to actually have met with Marvel recently. I am a big Gosling fan and I would love to see his star shine brighter. However, at 33 he doesn’t fit the middle-age the character is said to be and he has balked at franchises in the past. He turned down “Green Lantern” due to sequel commitments (or he could have just foreseen that train-wreck) and seems content with smaller movies. At this time he also said to be on a short list for DC’s “Suicide Squad” but as one producer joked on all these rumors, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Other names have been thrown around, like Justin Theroux (who also wrote “Iron Man 2”) and Keanu Reeves, but there is little evidence those two are being actively pursued.

“Doctor Strange” is set to open July 2016…with or without a star.

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Joblo



Categories: News for Newsies

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