Thursday, February 20, 2014

Marvel Begins the Process of Hiring Its Doctor Strange Creative Team

Borys Kit at The Hollywood Reporter has come through with the list of directors and screenwriters with whom Marvel has met to bring Doctor Strange to the big screen.

While Marvel has spent the last few days bombarding us with tons of official stuff from the great-looking James Gunn helmed Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems they've been busy behind the scenes working on their next leap of faith: bringing Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, to the big screen.

According to THR, Marvel has met with a handful of directors and writers recently and are looking to hire either a cooperative creative team OR a director that can handle the screenplay himself. A Doctor Strange film has been in the works at Marvel for some time now as a pet project of President Kevin Feige. While a script by Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly had been the studio's working blueprint, it's been rumored for some time now that they were interested in heading in a different direction.

To that end, Marvel has taken or scheduled meetings with directors Mark Andrews, Nikolaj Arcel, Dean Israelite and Jonathan Levine and the writing team of Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger. Andrews wrote and directed Disney's Brave which was a wonderful film, wrote the screenplay for John Carter and was part of the creative team for Monsters University and The Incredibles. Arcel wrote and directed A Royal Affair and put together the screenplay for the 2009 non-Daniel Craig version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Israelite directed the upcoming Welcome to Yesterday, a sci-fi film in which a group of friends build a time machine. Levine has directed 50/50 and Warm Bodies, the latter of which he wrote as well. Aibel and Berger are most well known for writing the Kung Fu Panda films and Monsters and Aliens for DreamWorks.

This meshes with the conclusions I drew from the info passed on by The Schmoes Know last week. If Marvel is meeting to find a creative team now, it seems pretty likely that, barring some big failures, Doctor Strange is being eyed for the July 8, 2016 date. Marvel has followed a pretty solid pattern of getting their teams in place roughly 2 years ahead of the film's scheduled release.

It's also worth mentioning that it wasn't too very long ago that rumors about Marvel meeting with Johnny Depp to play the Sorcerer Supreme were swirling and then quickly countered with the rumor that Mad Men's Jon Hamm was the favorite for the role. There's been no word about the role of Stephen Strange recently, nor just how they'll go about outfitting Hamm for the role...certainly no tight pants if they want a PG-13 rating.