Benedict Cumberbatch almost missed out on the chance to play Doctor Strange, but the actor recently revealed Marvel wanted him for the role so bad that the powers that be pushed back the film’s release to accommodate his busy schedule.
Marvel had also been looking to actors like Joaquin Phoenix, Ryan Gosling, and Jared Leto to fill the role, but director Scott Derrickson said Cumberbatch was “the only actor we seriously considered.” Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige agreed. “It’s got to be Benedict,” he said, so they ended up pushing the initial summer 2016 release to its current slot on Nov. 4.
“If you can’t jump on board when the ride’s going past, that’s usually it,” Cumberbatch said, “so the hugest compliment they paid me was to come back to me. It motivated me to try to fulfil their faith in me.”
Cumberbatch will now be seen in Doctor Strange as Stephen Strange, a renowned neurosurgeon who loses the use of his hands after a crippling car accident. His desperate search for a cure leads him to Nepal, where he discovers The Ancient One and the mind-bending world (or, rather, worlds) of magic.
Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams, and Benedict Wong also star in the film.