Marvel delayed Doctor Strange so Benedict Cumberbatch could star

We’re thirteen movies deep into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, yet we’re just now getting a Doctor Strange movie. Turns out, Marvel would have released the film by now, but the studio had to wait for Benedict Cumberbatch’s schedule to clear up.

In a new Empire story, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson revealed Cumberbatch was the only actor Marvel seriously considered, which is why the studio decided to push the film back until he was available. Apparently, Cumberbatch already committed to performing in a stage play for Hamlet and couldn’t bail.

Marvel did meet with other actors, such as Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto, and Ryan Gosling, but Derrickson was intent on seeing Cumberbatch play the role, so the movie’s original summer 2016 release was pushed back to its slot in November in order to accommodate the actor’s schedule.

According to Cumberbatch, he thought the role of a lifetime passed him by when he initially had to turn Marvel down. But the studio kept their faith in the actor, which Cumberbatch says motivated him to play the best damn Doctor Strange he could play.

The actor certainly has a presence and bravado that’s hard to match, so he’s certainly a good fit for the role. While we’ve only seen a few trailers of the film, it looks like Marvel’s faith in the actor will have paid off.

Doctor Strange hits theaters on Nov. 4, 2016.

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