Marvel Continuing Development of a 'Doctor Strange' Feature

Monday, 01 August 2011 11:49 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Marvel Continuing Development of a 'Doctor Strange' Feature

Ever since Samuel L. Jackson showed up draped in leather and sporting an eye-patch as Nick Fury for the post-credits scene of 2008's Iron Man, Marvel Studios has relentlessly focused collective attention on their overlapping cinematic universe and the big team-up The Avengers.  With the endgame that The Avengers represents hitting theaters in less than a year, though, both Marvel Studios and fans everywhere are looking farther into the future, beyond even the already-announced Iron Man 3 and Thor 2.  With Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger performing up to par, it looks like Marvel is looking to get a freaky.  Namely, they're looking to get Strange.

Last summer, Marvel Studios hired screenwriting duo Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer to take a crack at a Doctor Strange feature.  The duo is responsible for this summer's Conan the Barbarian reboot, as well as several drafts of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, which will not be utilized now that Neil Burger has been tasked with writing and directing the videogame adaptation. 

But I digress.  Twitch Film reports that Connelly and Oppenheimer have turned a draft of their take on Doctor Strange and Marvel is nudging the project towards actually becoming a movie someday.  The Marvel brain trust has apparently drafted a shortlist of potential directors.  The current script is being sent to these mysterious directors in order to find one who will 'oversee continued development'.  This probably means that Marvel's happy enough with the draft as a starting point and are looking for a helmer who can flesh out the story to fit their vision.

For those who might be unfamiliar, the character first appeared in the Silver Age and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  Doctor Stephen Strange was once an arrogant, egotistical surgeon who was rather conclusively humbled when a car accident took away the steadiness of his valuable hands.  He then travels the world to find a cure, eventually being trained in mystic arts far more powerful than neuroscience.  Doctor Strange is the indescribably powerful Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe, handling all threats extradimensional and mystic.

Strange is a personal favorite, with nigh-unlimited cinematic potential, but like Thor before it, a Doctor Strange movie would have to strike the right balance between trippy lunacy and the more grounded elements of Marvel's ongoing movie universe.  Still, Kevin Feige and Co. over at Marvel Studios seem inclined to take a weird path, as Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright just turned in their screenplay for an Ant-Man feature. Let's not forget that the good Doctor is Feige's favorite character in Marvel's stable.

Is it crazy that I find these developments, in many ways, more exciting than The Avengers? If an Avengers sequel ends up happening down the line, Doctor Strange could bring the mysticism.

We could be seeing a freaky-deaky Marvel universe onscreen with Doctor Strange as soon as 2013.

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