Doctor Strange: We Cast the Film Version of the Comic-Book Sorcerer

Move over, Nicolas Cage, there's a new sorcerer coming to town! The latest Marvel superhero to get a feature film (maybe) has been revealed, and it's none other than Earth's Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange. A cocky neurosurgeon who damaged his hands in a drunk-driving accident, Stephen Strange traveled to the Himalayas to heal himself but ended up being tapped to defend our dimension against otherworldly foes. One of the longtime power players in the Marvel Universe, the spell-casting mystery man could be a great role for the right actor to sink his teeth into, so we thought we'd help Hollywood out by revealing who we think would be perfect for the part, not to mention Strange's mystical supporting cast. By the crimson bands of Cyttorak, read on!

Johnny Depp as Dr. Stephen Strange
Depp's already got a relationship with Marvel parent company Disney, and we think he'd be perfect to play the talented but arrogant doctor before his accident, and the humble mystic afterward. Plus, we just want to hear him say "By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!"
Alternates: We've got our hearts set on Depp, but Viggo Mortensen or Liam Neeson could also bring the required gravity to the role. Neeson might be a little old at this point, but he held his own in The A-Team and even performed a few magic tricks. He handcuffed dogs together!

Michael Paul Chan as Wong
We love Chan as Detective Tao on The Closer, and we think the already-bald actor would be perfect to play Strange's sarcastic-but-respectful butler Wong, who helps him with his mystical practices (and also cooks) at his Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City's Greenwich Village.
Alternates: If they decide to go the martial arts route (Wong is deadly in the arts of his hometown Kamar-Taj), Chinese film legend Jet Li will likely be the top choice. But don't rule out South Korean actor Rain (Ninja Assassin) or Taiwanese star Jay Chou (Green Hornet).

James Hong as The Ancient One
Maybe it's because we love Big Trouble in Little China so much, but we desperately want to see Hong (who played Lo Pan in that film) don some ceremonial robes again and play the 500-year-old sorcerer who taught Strange everything he knows.
Alternate: If we didn't think that audiences wouldn't be able to take him seriously in the role, we'd suggest George Takei (Star Trek), since he'd probably do a great job as a bored wizard who's also a snappy dresser.

Mads Mikkelsen as Baron Mordo
Baron Mordo is a Transylvanian nobleman, and has been Strange's rival since Strange prevented him from seizing the Ancient One's power. It would be perfect casting to get Danish actor Mikkelsen, who was a great bad guy in Casino Royale, to play the sorcerer's arch-foe.
Alternates: Jason Patric recently glowered it up as a bad guy in The Losers, and did a pretty good job of it. He gives good angry! And while Colin Farrell already played a Marvel villain (Bullseye in Daredevil), we don't see why he can't double up, since Chris Evans will play his second Marvel hero in Captain America.

Frank Welker as The Dread Dormammu
Since Dormammu's head is a ball of fire, with vague shadows where his eyes and mouth should be, the key thing here is the voice. So why not go with a professional voice actor? Welker has been voicing animated bad guys (most famously Transformers villain Megatron) for years, and can do pretty much anything with his vocal cords.
Alternate: Since Hugo Weaving took over for Welker as Megatron in the live-action Transformers movies, he's our second choice, but only if we can't get the original.

Alice Eve as Clea
After watching her strip-tease in She's Out of My League, we can't stop picturing Eve in skin-tight purple outfits. Put her in a white wig and teach her some simple spells and she'd set the screen on fire as the Doctor's apprentice and love interest.
Alternates: Yvonne Strahovski (TV's Chuck) has made a few small movies, but it's time she followed her co-star Zachary Levi into the big leagues. Ditto Melissa George (Grey's Anatomy), who's already got a slew of smaller supernatural movies under her belt.

Crispin Glover as Nightmare
We loved seeing Johnny Depp and a gangly, stretched-out Glover face off in Alice in Wonderland, and Glover occasionally gives us terrible nightmares, so why not cast him as the pale-skinned master of after-hours scarytimes? Glover would likely jump at the chance to ride a black unicorn.
Alternate: As long as Jim Carrey reined it in a bit from his turn as The Riddler in Batman Forever, we'd be willing to give him a screen test. We already know he looks good in a green leotard.

Vincent Cassel as Mephisto
Who do you get to play Satan? Or, at least, a demon who claims to be Satan, but may be pulling our leg as the Lord of Lies? French actor Cassel (Irreversible, Eastern Promises) has an impish look about him, and is a good enough actor to make us believe anything he says before he pulls the rug out from under us.
Alternate: He's played the Devil before (in Constantine), and we can't stop thinking about Peter Stormare swallowing our souls, so we say get the aging Swedish actor to reprise his role. No spandex, though.

Who do you think should play Doctor Strange, or any of his friends and foes? Let us know below, then see the franchise should stop at two.

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Movies Without Pity

March 2012


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