Marvel delayed the release of Doctor Strange just so Benedict Cumberbatch could star

The Sherlock lead was picked over Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto and Ryan Gosling to play the inter-dimensional superhero


Not sure if you’ve noticed, but Benedict Cumberbatch is quite a busy man. He’s played the dragon in The Hobbit, Sherlock in, well, Sherlock and even Severus Snape in The Simpsons. And now he’s taking on the titular character in Doctor Strange, the latest film from the Marvel cinematic universe. But only just.


As Cumberbatch recently told Empire magazine, his busy schedule – which included playing Hamlet in London last year – almost lost him the part: “I really did think I had to kiss it goodbye.”

However, Doctor Strange’s release date was moved from summer to autumn 2016 to get Cumberbatch on board. Marvel were rumoured to have met with the likes of Joaquin Phoenix, Jared ‘Joker’ Leto and Ryan Gosling, but studio boss Kevin Feige maintained “it’s got to be Benedict”.

It’s unusual for a blockbuster to be delayed just for one actor, and Benedict knows it: “If you can’t jump on board when the ride’s going past. that’s usually it. So the hugest compliment they paid me was to come back to me. It motivated me to try to fulfil their faith in me.”


Was it worth delaying all for Cumberbatch? We’ll have to wait until November 4th to find out.