In May 2016, Marvel is beginning the summer movie season with an as-yet-untitled film. Speculation abounds as to what the film might be, but it is the most lucrative release date of the year. Marvel has been holding out on announcing what the movie might be, and there would be some disappointment if it’s just another retread like Thor 3. Most have pegged this date for Doctor Strange, which would be Marvel’s Phase 3 answer to the Iron Man movies, a franchise possibly put to pasture by star Robert Downey Jr.

If this is true, then Marvel’s going to pull out all the stops in selecting A-List talent to start the next big Marvel series. Rumors circulated recently that Johnny Depp was a possible casting choice, and while those rumors were specifically dealing with a meeting that may or may not have happened, their mere existence suggests the possible scope this project might encompass. But who would steward this ship, and how?

We decided to put together a list of people perfect for the job. This is not an ideal list, naturally: some possible choices were too expensive (Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Jackson). Others were ideal, but unlikely based on the interest level of the director (David Cronenberg, Alejandro Jodorowsky). Some were too busy (James Wan, Sam Mendes) and some just too crazy (Baz Luhrmann). Herein lies the 10 likeliest picks for the Doctor Strange director’s chair.

Neil Burger
Why It Might Happen: Burger’s a smart director who has been earmarked for several franchises, recently attached to an adaptation of the video game Uncharted. Execs are so confident in his latest, the YA sensation Divergent, that they’ve already scheduled the sequels and will develop them so quickly they won’t wait for him to complete post-production on the first film before they move ahead. Burger also directed The Illusionist, about a magician played by Edward Norton that Norton reportedly based on the Sorcerer Supreme himself.

Why It Might Not: Wait, they AREN’T bringing him back for Divergent sequels? Sounds pretty fishy. Burger’s a good director, but there’s much less heat surrounding his career than there used to be. His experience with special effects and tentpole budgets is pretty limited, so he might be the best choice if a few top selections say no.

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