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The Marvel Cinematic Universe grew a little bigger this month. After months of speculation, it was finally confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch has signed a deal that will see him play Doctor Strange in the comic book movie world. This news, however, came at a very interesting time. Earlier this month, it was also revealed that the folks behind the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron are getting ready to reconvene and take care of some reshoots. So could these two stories possibly be linked?
This bit of speculation has been making its way around the internet these past few day, and it's not hard to see why one could make the connection. The thinking goes that Marvel is really doing reshoots on the movie now because they have finally locked an actor into the Doctor Strange role and immediately want to take advantage of it. Whether it's for a quick cameo in the movie, or part of a post-credits teaser, the idea is that Cumberbatch could make his big debut in The Avengers 2, setting him up for his own movie in 2016.
While this is an interesting thought, and I would believe that the studio wants to establish Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before the character gets his own film, I do have a few reservations about this rumor - mostly because there tends to be a lot of confusion about what reshoots are in the blockbuster world. While many people see that word and either think "this movie is in trouble" or "they're adding something big," the truth is that most big movies have to do reshoots simply because something may not be playing right in the editing room and needs to be reworked with new footage. Applying this knowledge to the situation presented above, it seems more likely that the Cumberbatch casting and the Avengers: Age of Ultron reshoots being revealed around the same time is more likely coincidence than cause and effect.
If Marvel Studios does in fact want to introduce Doctor Strange before the Scott Derrickson-directed Doctor Strange movie in 2016, there is a possibility that the character could wind up having some kind of role in Joe and Anthony Russo's Captain America: Civil War (which will be out a few months prior). We already know that movie will feature the introduction of Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther, and given the scope of the story it might be a perfect time to get a character on the power level of Doctor Strange into the mix.
For right now, the future of Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe definitely remains a bit of a mystery - which surely pleases the comic book company greatly - but we do at least know one thing for certain: Doctor Strange will be hitting theaters on November 4, 2016.