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We just now learned that Daniel Bruhl is going to be part of the growing ensemble of Anthony and Joe Russo’s Captain America: Civil War, and already, there’s an interesting wrinkle that might suggest the actor is in for a longer haul that expected.
Buried at the bottom of its piece on Daniel Bruhl’s casting, Variety notes that the unidentified villain Bruhl "is not the main villain in Captain America: Civil War but could potentially be the top menace in Marvel’s Doctor Strange." Hold on, what? We don’t even have a Sorcerer Supreme in place yet. You are trying to tell me that Marvel locked up the main villain in Doctor Strange before a Stephen Vincent Strange has been hired? That’s like discovering the chicken long before you’ve even hatched the egg.
This wouldn’t be the first time that a component of the Doctor Strange universe was introduced in a Captain America movie. It was during a pivotal scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that HYDRA agent Jasper Sitwell confessed that the Sorcerer was on a HYDRA watch list. "Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange… anyone who is a threat to HYDRA!" Listen to it here:
That was the first confession that Marvel President Kevin Feige had plans for a Doctor Strange movie. Those plans were confirmed, of course, during Marvel’s massive Phase Three announcement, giving Doctor Strange a juicy November 4, 2016 release date:
That puts it right after Captain America: Civil War, making it the second Marvel movie of 2016. So yes, in hindsight, it would make a lot of sense for Daniel Bruhl to be introduced as a villainous figure in Civil War, then have him bridge the gap to the Doctor Strange movie. Marvel’s excellent about laying foundations in their films, teasing out the next project. Having a gateway from Civil War to Doctor Strange feels right, on paper. Now’s a good time to mention that Bruhl worked with Benedict Cumberbatch on Disney’s The Fifth Estate. So can we just come out and confirm him as the Sorcerer Supreme, already? It would make life so much easier.