Today may be remembered by comic book movie fans as the Day of the Great DC News Bomb, with Warner Bros. at long last unveiling its plans for its DC Shared Cinematic Universe, naming all of the upcoming films that will be hitting theaters between 2016 and 2020. But that hasn’t stopped Marvel Studios from claiming their own share of the spotlight with the revelation that Tony Stark will be appearing in Captain America 3, setting off Marvel’s cinematic Civil War.
But before we get to superhero registration acts, Thanos, or Guardians/Avengers crossovers, we first have to meet some new heroes who are likely to play a large role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years to come. Next year will serve as our introduction to Ant-Man, and in 2016, we’ll finally see Doctor Strange take the big screen.
The Sorcerer Supreme has been making a number of headlines recently, first with the rumor that Ewan McGregor was one of the names being discussed and then the reveal that he was just part of a larger wish list. With production set to start in 2015, Marvel would like to lock someone into the role sooner rather than later. A while back, it looked like they had their first choice (Joaquin Phoenix) signed on, but the Oscar-nominee turned it down, leaving director Scott Derrickson desperate for a replacement.
Names like Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey, and Ethan Hawke (among others) are being tossed around right now, but now we’ve learned of another noteworthy thespian who is a contender. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ryan Gosling allegedly met with Marvel to discuss the Doctor Strange lead.
This may come as a surprise to some fans, since like Phoenix, Gosling is another actor who has been reluctant to sign on for big budget franchises throughout his career. One of the reasons the Drive star turned down the role of Hal Jordan in 2011’s Green Lantern was his hesitance to agree to a contract that called for sequel appearances – and based on Marvel’s track record, we can guess that their Stephen Strange will be asked to stay on for at least a few movies.
As we’ve said several times before, it’s important for readers to take this information with a heavy grain of salt. Not only does Gosling’s filmography cast doubt over his potential involvement with Doctor Strange, he’s also currently locked in to star in a different film planned for a summer 2016 release. That would be Shane Black’s The Nice Guys, which is currently scheduled for release on June 17, 2016. Derrickson’s entry into the MCU is believed to be chasing the studio’s July 8, 2016 date, so the two projects could conceivably be rolling simultaneously – making it difficult for Gosling to take on both (not to mention being considered for Suicide Squad as well).
The Marvel meeting could be a sign that a new Gosling – one who embraces the new Hollywood model of franchises – is about to emerge (he’s also allegedly discussed Suicide Squad and The Secret Life of Houdini), but he’s remained picky about his acting choices so far. When he does dive into studio fare, it’s coincidentally one-offs like Gangster Squad, and most of the time he enjoys playing on the indie circuit with Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives). A jump into the MCU would seemingly be out of character for him, but there was a time when Robert Downey, Jr. was just a talented method actor.
Nevertheless, the Gosling rumor indicates that Marvel is casting a very wide net in their search for the newest Marvel hero. Their flirtation with Phoenix seemed to illustrate that Strange is going to be a different kind of hero when compared to Thor or Captain America – which is probably why most of their choices are (currently) not known for their action chops, but their dramatic chops. A number of the potential leads have either been nominated for or have won Oscars, giving us reason to think Doctor Strange will be more character-driven than other Marvel films.
What say you, Screen Ranters? Do you think Gosling would make a good Doctor Strange or would you rather one of the other candidates takes the role?
Doctor Strange is expected in theaters July 8, 2016.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.