Marvel's next superhero could be the man who's already conquered cinema.
Benedict Cumberbatchis in final talks to play Doctor Strange, according to Deadline. The character, created in the 1960s by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, is a neurosurgeon who becomes Sorcerer Supreme and helps the Avengers with mysticism and, presumably because there are forces in the Marvel universe you can't fight with magic, martial arts.
After the studio seemingly locked down Joaquin Phoenix for the role just before San Diego Comic Con in July, Variety reported that they couldn't come to terms on the number of films he would be expected to appear in. (Marvel's superheroes all famously/notoriously signed six-picture deals.) That could be a stumbling block for Cumberbatch, who has commitments on the London stage as Hamlet and the BBC's "Sherlock" in 2015.
This deal would complete Cumberbatch's domination of current major movie franchises. He played the villain Khan in last year's "Star Trek Into Darkness" and will voice the dragon Smaug and the Necromancer this December in the final installment of Peter Jackson's trilogy, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." He also told British television talk show host Graham Norton recently that he's visited the set of "Star Trek" director JJ Abrams' new project, a small film you may have heard about called "Star Wars: Episode VII," reigniting rumors that he's involved with the project.
Cumberbatch will next be seen as the persecuted computer genius Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game," opening Nov. 21.