I’ve always loved Doctor Strange. So, when Marvel Studios began repackaging their Marvel Universe as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, my Doctor Strange ‘want meter’ flew into the red. Now that we are past the very successful Phase 1 and are gearing up for Phase 2, the rumor mill has been working overtime. One of the most exciting rumors (to me, at least) is that the good Doctor will make his MCU debut in Thor: The Dark World. With the rest of the cast basically nailed down, and Viggo Mortensen seemingly out of the running, the only remaining question is: Who will play Dr. Stephen Strange?
To that end, I’ve put together a list of six actors I think could pull off the task. All of the actors can look the part, have the acting chops necessary, and would fit in the current MCU. In ascending order, here are the six actors I’d love to see play The Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Strange.
6: Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy, Transformers: Dark of the Moon)
I’m going to be honest. I’m jealous of Patrick Dempsey. Not because he’s a rich actor who can out-handsome me without trying, but because he doesn’t not do anything. The man just does everything. He’s an actor, a juggler, a race-car driver, a skier, and he’s opened a medical center for cancer. Who wouldn’t be jealous?
His role in Transformers: Dark of the Moon notwithstanding, the man can act. The fact that he’s played a doctor on TV for so long actually makes me wonder whether or not he’d accept the role if it were offered to him. I, for one, would love to see him take on the role. As previously stated, he’s played a doctor before, he almost has the look already, and he doesn’t mind taking on genre roles. Maybe he’d be willing to take a break from not doing nothing to do this.
5: Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones, Queer as Folk)
If there was ever someone who just looked like Doctor Strange, it would be Aiden Gillen. Every time I watched Game of Thrones, I’d try to peg why Littlefinger looked like a magician. That is why. Aiden Gillen has the look of The Sorcerer Supreme in the bag.
He is, in my opinion, an actor to watch. His popularity is gradually increasing and I don’t see an end to it. The fact that he popped up in the high-profile The Dark Knight Rises serves as an indicator of that. He has a smarmy exterior that would sell Pre-accident Stephen Strange and an intensity that would sell Post-accident Strange. Think of Robert Downey Jr.’s glibness at the beginning of Iron Man and how that helped transform him into a wise-cracking hero. Aiden Gillen has that.
4: Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, Heroes)
Zachary Quinto should be on everyone’s shortlist to portray Doctor Strange. He is one of the most apt actors on this list and he’s made a name for himself in genre roles. I’d bet what’s in my bank account that the first time you saw Zachary Quinto was in Heroes or in Star Trek (joke is on you; I’m broke). He’s played a Vulcan, a supervillain, and a CTU analyst. But guess what? He’s also played a magic user. Before any of those roles, he had a small part in the TV show Charmed as a warlock. Ask me how I know that and I will fiercely deny secretly liking Charmed.
An actor as versatile as Zachary Quinto would fit right in with the other actors involved in the MCU. Just watching him interact with Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr. would make it worth the price of admission.
3: Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files, Justice League: Doom)
Now we’re getting to my favorites. Paul Blackthorne is one of those ‘forgotten gems.’ Like Mr. Quinto, he has also played a magic user in the past, headlining the SciFi Channel’s series based on the Jim Butcher novels, The Dresden Files. He has also dabbled in the comic book genre, voicing Metallo in Justice League: Doom earlier this year. But what would make him perfect for this role is his dedication to his characters. For example, he spent six months learning Hindi for his role in the 2001 film, Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India. You know who else dedicates himself to roles like that? Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis. Just sayin’.
2: Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, Peter Pan)
One of the things I look for in an actor when putting together a list like this is their experience with similar roles or genres. If an actor has already appeared in a movie based on a book, video game, or comic, that equals a foot in the door. Jason Isaacs has that in spades. You may remember him as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, but it doesn’t stop there. He was also in Resident Evil, Elektra, and Peter Pan, as well as voicing Ra’s al Ghul in Batman: Under the Red Hood.
It goes without saying that he can look the part and can act. His portrayal of Captain Hook/George Darling in Peter Pan was amazing. Especially considering that I didn’t know the two characters were played by the same actor until the credits rolled. He gave them both their own separate personalities, quirks, and mannerisms. Someone who can do that would be able to give Doctor Strange his own, much deserved, space in the MCU.
1: Jeffrey Donovan – Yes, that Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice, J. Edgar)
Remember when I said experience with similar roles and genres mattered? Well, exceptions can be made. Jeffrey Donovan is one of those exceptions. While he has appeared in a TV show based on a comic book, I don’t think anyone really counts Witchblade. However, his acting skills, his dry delivery style, and his ability to perform as a leading man or as part of an ensemble really make this a wash for me. Also, like Aiden Gillen, he is moving up in popularity and I think now would be a perfect time to give him a high-profile leading man role on the silver screen. He could sell it, and I’d be first in line to buy.
So there you have it. Six actors who could pull off the big screen, MCU debut of Doctor Strange. What are your thoughts? Do you agree? Disagree? Have suggestions? Let us know in the comments!