Entertainment NewsMarvel Spent Millions for Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Says Director

Marvel Spent Millions for Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Says Director


Key Takeaways:

Benedict Cumberbatch was the primary pick for the role of in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Scott Derrickson directly approached Cumberbatch for the role, which led to substantial scheduling conflicts and added millions to production costs.
– The studio originally considered other actors, most notably Joaquin , for the iconic role, but eventually returned to Cumberbatch.
– Marvel and willingly adjusted the release date and absorbed the extra costs to secure Cumberbatch in the role.

Benedict Cumberbatch's Cost Marvel Millions, But They Went With Him Anyway

Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has garnered much acclaim, solidifying him as a fan favourite. His success in this role is so profound that even supporters of other potential candidates, like Joaquin Phoenix, no longer picture anyone else embodying the mystical character.

First Choice: Benedict Cumberbatch

Despite generally held beliefs, Cumberbatch was the first choice for the role of Stephen Strange by Scott Derrickson, who was the director of the 2016 movie. Fond of Cumberbatch's work, Derrickson went to great lengths to secure him for the , even travelling to London to urge him to accept the role.

Cumberbatch, comprehending the gravity of the part and its potential life-altering impact, was initially unable to commit due to prior engagements. He was already involved in the production of ‘Hamlet' in London theatre. As a result, the studio began examining other actors, including Joaquin Phoenix.

The Joaquin Phoenix Consideration

Reflecting on his decision-making process, Scott Derrickson disclosed in an interview with /Film that he spent significant time with Phoenix. The director began to realize, however, that there was a fundamental mismatch between Phoenix's style and the ethos of the MCU. Consequently, Phoenix did not progress further in the casting process.

Third Time's the Charm: Return to Cumberbatch

The casting process resumed and Derrickson, determined to secure Cumberbatch for the role, eventually convinced Marvel head to adapt the original schedule, adding, “We have to move the date because it has to be Benedict.” Noteworthy is the fact that this meant a considerable increase in production costs, as the movie was initially intended for a summer release.

Unexpectedly, Bob Iger and Alan Horn of Disney accepted the change, relocating the release date to fall. This allowed them to recruit Cumberbatch, marking a significant win for Derrickson in his quest to the ideal Doctor Strange.

Final Decision: The Right Man for the Job

Despite the time and financial adjustments, Marvel and Disney agreed to cast Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange. This decision was largely influenced by the vision of Derrickson who saw Cumberbatch as the perfect fit for the character.

Taking into account all considerations, Derrickson's preference prevailed. He was steadfast in his belief that “it has to be [Cumberbatch]” and shared with the studios: “In the end, it came down to the heads of Disney knowing they would make less money on the movie, but letting me as the director have the right actor for the movie.”

The outcome was a resounding success. Cumberbatch's portrayal of Doctor Strange bewitched audiences, and the actor's performance surpassed Derrickson's initial expectations. As the director stated, “There's no one else who's going to do what he can do in this role.”

The taken by Marvel and Derrickson proved to be a masterstroke, with Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange joining the galactic ranks of Marvel's beloved superheroes.

Doctor Strange can be streamed on Disney+, allowing fans to relish in Cumberbatch's noteworthy performance and further validating Marvel and Derrickson's choice. Undeniably, the millions they invested have paid impressive dividends in the form of a universally admired character and an enriched Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Megan Dianehttps://www.projectcasting.com
Hi, I'm Megan Browne, the Head of Partnerships at Project Casting - a job board for the entertainment industry. As Head of Partnerships, I help businesses find the best talent for their influencer campaigns, photo shoots, and film productions. Creating these partnerships has enabled me to help businesses scale and reach their true potential. I'm excited to continue driving growth by connecting people with projects they're passionate about.


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