With all eyes on the Marvel universe and its future, every man, woman and raccoon has been linked to a superhero casting rumour. But there's one lead character coming up with his own movie that we're all desperate to see cast: Doctor Strange.
The strongest tip-off we've heard so far is that
longtime Burton-botherer Johnny Depp was in talks to play the Sorcerer Supreme
. Cold water has been thrown on these rumours since, but nothing has been confirmed either way.
Personally, we think Depp would make for a great Doctor Strange. Want to know why? In fact, want to know 20 reasons why? Go on, then...
20. Larger-than-life acting for a larger-than-life character
The struggle that Marvel has every time it brings a new character to the big screen is appropriately grounding them in reality. And if it was tough to do that with a flying alien space Viking, then it's going to be just as hard with Earth's protector against mystical and magical threats.
Yet, Johnny Depp's exaggerated style would be the perfect match for a film concerned with big, bold concepts and over-the-top baddies. We can't think of an actor more likely to give an appropriately stunned reaction to facing the fiery dark warlord Dormammu.
19. He will make the transition work
In the origin story of Doctor Stephen Vincent Strange, he starts off as an egocentric, wealthy neurosurgeon who cares more about treating rich patients than sick children. But he learns an important lessen in humility when he loses both the use of his hands and his fortune following a car accident, eventually becoming homeless and learning modesty before being introduced to the world of mysticism.
We know that Depp can easily portray both sides of that coin, having played arrogance in the likes of
, and been the humbled hero in the likes of
18. He can pull off the facial hair
If Doctor Strange is known for anything - other than his mighty magical abilities - it's his awesomely trendy soup-catcher. So any man that steps into his boots need to be able to rock a goatee. Enter one Johnny Depp, who looks so good wearing a fine moustache-beard combo, he chooses this as his normal everyday look.
17. He already exists within the Marvel universe!
Ok, this one is a bit of a cheat but Johnny Depp has kind of technically already appeared in
Iron Man 3
, as in the picture above. So basically, if Depp were cast as the character, we'd be able to look back on this scene and wonder how Doctor Strange came to be modelling sunglasses. We'd at least expect it to be the focus of one of Marvel's shorts.
16. Age before beauty
One problem with casting Strange is that it makes sense for producers to go with someone younger, who can keep playing the character throughout many years' worth of various instalments. But this goes against the character himself - you can't have a well-respected, experienced neurosurgeon who's just 30 years old.
No, at 50, Depp is the perfect age to play the older, wiser Strange, and with the added bonus of still looking young enough to appease those producers worried about alienating younger audiences.
15. Give Depp a new franchise already!
The main criticism levelled at Depp recently is that he flits between wildly comical characters and has become a bit samey. In short, his unpredictability has become predictable.
But Captain Jack Sparrow proves that Depp works best when he really sinks his teeth into a role and is given the opportunity to play out that character over several films. No more kooky vampire and wise Native American one-offs, give Depp a role he can really settle into and it will work wonders for the character.
14. He can handle trippy
It's fair to say that, between mystical amulets and powerful white magic, the finer plot points of any Doctor Strange are going to be a bit... out there.
It's good to know then that Depp will be able to take it all in his stride. His work on films like
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Alice in Wonderland
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
means that he has got every aspect 'trippy weirdness' down pat. And that's not even mentioning
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
13. Depp and Downey Jr... together
Just a thought this one, but with Marvel making frequent swap overs, cameos and team-ups, there's every chance that we'll see Doctor Strange and Tony Stark in the same room at some point in the future. And Johnny Depp acting opposite Robert Downey Jr is just too enticing.
12. He's comfortable with green screen
Let's face it, whoever is cast as Doctor Strange is going spend a lot of the time surrounded by bright green walls, talking to thin air and fighting men covered in ping pong balls. So it needs to be an actor who can comfortably sell realism when acting opposite nothing.
Pirates of the Caribbean
franchise, as well as films like
Alice in Wonderland
The Lone Ranger
, have given Depp plenty of practice with this.
11. He can pull off the fashion
It takes a special kind of man to look good in a cape, let alone look good in a cape while in the thick of some mystical action, spouting all sorts bizarre incarnations.
And yet, thanks to
, we know that Depp can pull it off. In any case, that man would look good in anything. Stick him in lederhosen and clogs and he'd still be the coolest person on screen.
10. He can play the embattled hero
As well as squeaky clean cartoony characters, Depp has shown that he can get his hands dirty with grittier characters such as Sweeney Todd and
This of course will stand in good stead for when Doctor Strange faces seriously high stakes and Depp has to convinces audience that he is fighting for his life.
9. No one does bewilderment like Depp
You don't have to look much further than his Ichabod Crane in
, to see exactly how well Depp reacts to the supernatural with frightened disbelief.
And frankly, for a character that is going to be introduced to a baffling world of otherworldy magic for the first time, you want them to be able to react with the perfect amount of comedy eyebrow-raising.
8. Attract fans to see this new superhero
It's a sad truth that Doctor Strange just doesn't have the same kind of crowd-pulling power as the more famous likes of Iron Man and Captain America, so in order to get bums on seats, Marvel might need to cast a real A-lister to help introduce this character to the masses. And who could resist the new Johnny Depp film?
7. He can cut through the pomposity
Acting as an antidote to the gritty, super-realism of other Darker Knightier comic-book films, Marvel have always maintained a sense if comedy and fun in their film. So their Doctor Strange movie will need to keep a level of light-heartedness when addressing such serious sorcery.
While many fans might balk at the idea of Depp bringing his comedy expressions to such a revered character, we trust that he will be able to strike the right balance, bringing gravitas where needed but also poking fun at the concept too.
6. Get Depp out of his rut
While Depp always makes interesting choices when approaching his roles, he has become known for playing more caricatures than characters. Give him a fully-rounded existing superhero to bring to life - one that can't just rely on Depp's comic leanings - and it can be something for him to really work hard on and reignite something fresh within him.
5. He will ground the film for the cosmo-phobic
Doctor Strange could be a hard sell for this not familiar with the character - a sorcerer who has a magic amulet and fights warlords with spells? It all sounds a little... hokey.
But those with no interest in such magical mumbo-jumbo can still focus on the relatable Depp to help sell the story. In this way, Depp can act as a gateway for Strange's intangible world of cosmic powers.
4. Doctor Strange is like no other Depp character
Amazingly, given his extensive filmography, Depp has never played a superhero. Or a sorcerer. Or er... a neurosurgeon with broken hands. And given that he always makes every single one of his characters stand out from what he has done before, you can guarantee that he will bring something original and enjoyable to Doctor Strange.
3. The whole range of Depp's acting in one role
While Depp has become known for his more comical, bizarre characters, the actor does like to switch up between playing these and more straight roles, like those in
Public Enemies, Finding Neverland
With Doctor Strange, he gets to do a little bit of both, playing the serious doctor alter-ego alongside a more fantastical superhero. We're not saying he should switch wildly between two styles, but the character can embody a blend that feels right up Depp's street.
2. His charisma can outshine all the CGI
In any Doctor Strange movie, there's going to be plenty of computer-generated wizardry and spellbinding special effects, so it would be easy for any actor to get lost among the dazzling big-screen pixels.
Not so with Johnny Depp, a man so cool and charismatic he looks like he has never sweated a day in his life. Let there be no doubt, no matter what was going in around him, no one will be able to keep their eyes off Depp's Doctor Strange.
1. Marvel with star power
Some may have seemed controversial at the time, but Marvel has always made excellent casting choices, letting the characters themselves become the stars rather than have then fall foul of any A-lister's vanity project.
But now that we move on to more second-tier superheroes, wouldn't it be fun to see exactly how Marvel fare with a Hollywood superstar in their lead role? They have rarely taken a foot wrong when it comes to scripts and direction, so really we're just talking about another brilliant Marvel movie, but this time with added star power.