Earlier today, news broke that Benedict Cumberbatch is in final negotiations to play Doctor Strange in the character’s 2016 Marvel Studios solo film. While this is partly a relief because this puts an end to all the casting rumors, Marvel recruiting Cumberbatch is a huge win. Within the past couple years, thanks to projects like Sherlock and Star Trek Into Darkness, he’s been propelled to full-blown movie stardom. His was one of the names that kept popping up during the slew of casting articles, while some may have hoped that an actor like Joaquin Phoenix or Keanu Reeves took the role, Cumberbatch has more than enough supporters backing him as the first live-action feature version of the Sorcerer Supreme.

Although Doctor Strange is not as familiar to mainstream audiences as characters like Iron Man or Captain America, Marvel has proven that they can take obscure characters and popularize them to unimaginable levels. With Cumberbatch playing the role, not only will he be an important superhero, but he’ll be an important player in the MCU in years to come. This is why.

Marvel Needs His Charisma
Marvel Needs His Charisma
No matter what role he’s playing, Cumberbatch brings a unique charm to his performances. Whether it’s the calculating demeanor of Sherlock Holmes or the intensity of Khan, he is often the high point of any project he’s in. Off-camera he’s just as likable, giving great answers in interviews and expressing enthusiasm for each project he’s involved with. You never feel like he’s just cashing it in for a quick payday; he really cares about the roles he takes.

Marvel Studios has a variety of talented actors at its disposal, but few match the charisma of Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Pratt, the former responsible for kicking off the MCU and the latter scene stealing at every opportunity in Guardians of the Galaxy. Cumberbatch is one of those few actors who can go toe-to-toe with them both on-screen and behind-the-scenes. Just picture him engaging in witty repartee with Tony Stark and Peter Quill in the inevitable climactic team-up move, or giving snarky answers and witty retorts alongside both his co-stars and fellow Marvel heroes at the press junkets. Also, considering that Downey doesn’t have many movies left on his contract (unless he renegotiates), Cumberbatch’s Strange can take over as the MCU’s leading figure with a unique personality.

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