The talent pool hoping to play Doctor Strange is limitless. We're going to try to narrow it down.

When reporting on the news about potential Doctor Strange directors, Bleeding Cool let slip that one of the names possibly in consideration for the lead role was Mads Mikkelsen. Which… seems cool! But the report also states that he’s one of many names, as you’d expect, for the lead role of one of Hollywood’s most attractive coming tentpoles. But who are those other names?

We decided to round up a list of people that Marvel might be considering for the role, with the note that the project is probably still in the writing stages and subject to change. No doubt Marvel has a list that is miles long, and once they scratch off those 10, there’ll be another 50 more names to consider.

A couple of notes: we eliminated anyone that seemed highly unlikely to take the role, so don’t look for any super-expensive leading men like Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, or Keanu Reeves (who should direct!). We also know that diversity should be encouraged in Hollywood, but the guess is that Marvel won’t bend from the classic incarnation of Strange as a young or middle-aged white male. If they did, we like Gael Bernal or, if this were ten years ago, Alexander Siddig. Thanks for asking!

mads mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen
Why It Might Happen: Marvel keeps tabs on guys, and Mikklesen had the character of Malekith wrapped up for Thor: The Dark World before dropping out. He’s both a familiar face and not yet established as a leading man: audiences would know him from Casino Royale, Clash Of The Titans and as the title character on NBC’s Hannibal. That show’s shooting schedule might get in the way, but that’s assuming NBC keeps it around, as it’s a very expensive and low-rated show. Mikkelsen, 48, would bring a mature and intellectual angle to the character, and turning the dead-eyed Dane into a marquee star would be one of Marvel’s great accomplishments.

Why it Might Not: We hate to pigeonhole, but there’s always been something villainous about Mikkelsen, right? It’s no coincidence that he often plays bad dudes or morally ambiguous figures. Anybody who is familiar with his work will really struggle to see him in a different light as a Marvel hero. Also, to the untrained ears (many of whom pack the theaters for Marvel movies), his accent can be pretty strong. The guess is, they’ll be looking at him in a supporting role.

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