Marvel Courting Chiwetel Ejiofor for Leading Role in 'Doctor Strange' (Exclusive)

Benedict Cumberbatch is starring as the good doctor.
Chiwetel Ejiofor  AP Images

Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor could join his first comic book movie.

The actor is being courted by Marvel to take on an unspecified role in the company's Doctor Strange, The Hollywood Reporter has learned, and could join Benedict Cumberbatch, who is starring as the surgeon turned sorcerer supreme Stephen Strange, aka Doctor Strange.

Talks are said to be in the early stages, and Marvel had no comment.

Character and plot details are being kept hidden from the all-seeing Eye of Agamotto.

Several sources have intoned that Ejiofor is wanted for a villainous role, but some insiders have pooh-poohed that. The villain is likely to be classic bad guy Baron Mordo, a sorcerer’s pupil whose next-in-line status is usurped by Strange, thus making him the physician’s mortal enemy.

If Marvel feels like mixing up ethnicities, a possible role could be that of Wong, the monk servant to Strange who is adept in martial arts. Another possibility is the role of the Ancient One, a semi-immortal mystic who mentors Strange and is the sorcerer supreme of this dimension.

Read more Is Benedict Cumberbatch Too Obvious a Choice for 'Doctor Strange'?

Scott Derrickson is directing the movie, which is in the early stages of casting and will shoot after Captain America: Civil War, according to sources. Strange has a release date of Nov. 4, 2016.

Ejiofor was reportedly due to play a villain in the new James Bond movie, Spectre, but talks never reached the dealmaking phase.

Ejiofor, who was nominated for a best actor Oscar for his performance in 12 Years a Slave, already has notched a number of villainous roles on this thespian sash, notably in Joss Whedon’s Serenity and Children of Men. He is currently shooting The Martian for Ridley Scott and stars in Z for Zachariah, which will premiere later this month at the Sundance Film Festival.

He is repped by CAA and Hirsch Wallerstein.

Email: borys.kit@thr.com
Twitter: borys_kit

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