Doctor Strange – A Movie We’re (Sadly) Not Going To See

There’s a lot of characters, teams, and general intellectual property being tapped by Marvel Comics right now for movies. I feel like this is easiest to say given that Guardians of the Galaxy is going to be a thing – I’m not sure I had heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy before that. Now there’s talk of the Marvel Phase 3 Ant Man movie.

But one long-time Avenger who I just don’t see making their way onto the screen anytime soon is Doctor Strange. But given that, I still feel like it would be fun to cast the character. And actually, for a stand-along movie separate from other franchises, a Doctor Strange movie could be fun. So let me explore for a moment why I don’t see this movie happening, and then let me give you some of my casting ideas for the Doctor – Doctor Strange!


The Avengers called – he’s busy.

The Doctor Is In

I think the number one thing holding back Doctor Strange from having his own movie is that he is all about Magic. In a Marvel movie universe that is slowly working its way into a strong science-fiction space, Magic doesn’t fit in.

The Doctor Is In

The Doctor is in.

After all, they’ve slowly been working their way into space – it was slowly introduced in Marvel Phase 1. It was especially worked in with Thor being from space, but then spending most of the action and time of the movie on Earth – something pointed out when I was reading over on We Minored In Film. Because then, in The Avengers, we saw a lot more of space, with an alien invasion.

And these space threats mattered – led to SHIELD creating phase-2 weapons to fight aliens, and then to the escalation of violence in Iron Man 3. From there, Marvel Phase 2 is going to have a lot more going on in space, if the trailers for Thor: The Dark World show us anything… and then Guardians of the Galaxy. By the time we get to Avengers: Age of Ultron, we might almost be shocked for it to happen on Earth.

But nowhere in there has Magic – not like science-we-don’t-get-yet, but actual Magic – come up at all. Actually, with the franchises owned by different studios, neither has Mutation, something major in the Marvel universe…

And really, in movies, we don’t often see them mixing too many things, and certainly not mixing them without being criticized for it. Like in Looper: everyone was okay with time travel, we were promised time travel; but someone has a bit of telekinesis, a little bit of random mutation? We’re mixing our genres and plots here, and people would have none of it. I thought it was fine, but then, here I am saying I would watch Doctor Strange, too.

Doctor Strange, Magical Taxi

Doctor Strange, Magical Taxi

But basically, they’ve moved in a very science-fictional direction, and adding-in Magic would feel like a move towards fantasy. Plus, Doctor Strange doesn’t deal with problems at all in the same way, and often in group settings seems to be used as a deus-ex-Magic (or Magic-ex-machina?) and solves problems. Or he is transportation, or the solution to some problem – like breathing in space. He seems to serve a lot of these sorts of purposes in New Avengers – although that whole team is kind of cerebral.

So he would be odd in a group setting, or just a plot-solver – but on his own he could be interesting. So who would I cast?

I Am The Doctor

So, I saw this panel in New Avengers, and there was only one way I could take it:

I Am The Doctor - Doctor StrangeSo he is the The Doctor. Doctor Who?

So of course my mind turned to Doctor Who actors to play Doctor Strange. And Christopher Eccleston is already taken, what with being the villain in Thor: The Dark World. Which is exciting.

And then I feel like most people would turn to David Tennant, and Tennant is amazing. Check out Broadchurch. And if Doctor Strange were just starting out, if it were an origin sort of tale, I think the way Tennant sometimes approaches things – like words, saying them over and over, testing them out like they’re brand new – could be interesting in a world of Magic.

And there’s Matt Smith, who could be an interesting Doctor, or John Hurt. Or some of the older Doctors, if we’re just doing this as a thought experiment.

But really, then my mind turns to Peter Capaldi. And how he looks, and being a bit older – I see Doctor Strange as a bit older – and I just feel like it could be a fit. I mean…

Peter Capaldi

Add a red cape and the Eye of Agamotto, and you’re basically there, right? So I would cast Peter Capaldi as Doctor Strange. Who would you cast? Would you go see a Doctor Strange movie? Leave your thoughts in the comments down below!

12 responses to “Doctor Strange – A Movie We’re (Sadly) Not Going To See

  1. In Marvel we trust, of course, but you’re absolutely right about your reasons for why it seems doubtful that they’d make a Doctor Strange movie. It would muck up their current formula. I, too, instantly went to a Doctor Who place when I saw the panel you included with Doctor Strange announcing himself as The Doctor. If Tennant/Smith/Capaldi were cast, it would be a gift to the headline writers of the word (which, I guess, actually includes both of us now): “Doctor Who To Become Doctor Strange? Confused. Allow Us to Explain.” I wonder if you could do a mini “Who’s on First” type of bit with who being on first and strange on second.

    However, I have to admit that I am not very familiar with Doctor Strange. The first time I heard of him was in the past 5 or so years when I read that a character from the Venture Bros. was a parody of him. I’ve now seen him in several of Marvel’s animated films, but I’ve never read one of his comics. From what I’ve seen, I think a film could be pretty awesome; it’s just the part where figuring out how it would connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe where it gets dicey.


    • I too have never read a stand-alone Doctor Strange comic. I suppose they exist?

      I have seen him recently in some other comics, however. He is part of the team in New Avengers, one of the Illuminati that are trying to hold the Marvel Universe (or at least Universe 616) together. But he also had a great cameo in Uncanny X-Men – Magik, who also taps into the world of Magic with her powers, turned to him for counseling and training. And she did so by traveling back in time to visit him in the past, before there was bad blood between the X-Men and Avengers.

      But either way, he keeps showing up in my experience more as a support character – which in some ways means he would be fun to have in the Avengers movies, but he just doesn’t fit with the world they’ve been building.

      I could see a movie for him working like the Blade franchise, though – since Vampires don’t quite fit with the current cosmology either, yet it’s Marvel too… Or maybe like Ghost Rider, I suppose, tapping also into the supernatural. I’m guessing, anyway; have not actually seen either Ghost Rider movie…


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  3. Thor is from another realm. Not space. Also Doctor Strange has already been announced as next after ant man so yeah you wasted your time on this article.


    • Interesting thoughts. I am not sure I agree with you on either count, however.

      The other realms are other-worldly – and the word I am choosing to use for this is space. The Chitauri came through a portal from another realm, and Loki talked about his travels in terms of places outside time and space… but I would still describe both as coming from Space. Call it a colloquialism.

      And from the latest I am seeing (here’s a blog post from earlier today: ) Doctor Strange is not confirmed… only strongly rumored. My point here in the post was both to point out the stretch that would have to be made to get audiences there… and to have fun with the thought experiment of casting the Doctor.

      As I explored in a later blog post ( ), with Scarlett Witch showing up in Age of Ultron… we suddenly have magic coming into the movies indeed. So there are plans for Magic to work its way into the Marvel Movie Universe, and Agents of SHIELD may well be the vehicle with which this happens. I suppose time will tell.

      Meaning I will likely keep speculating about things that are not yet confirmed!


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