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Marvel Studios is currently on the hunt for an actor to play the titular hero in their upcoming Doctor Strange film, and while there has been a number of names rumored to be up for the role, one that fans have been asking for is Keanu Reeves. The Matrix star certainly has more than his fair share of experience in action films, and has comic book movie work under his belt, making him an understandable candidate for the part - but is it one that the actor would actually be interested in taking?
Collider recently got to ask Reeves this very question, the actor currently doing press for the upcoming John Wick, and they got a complicated answer. Starting on the point, Reeves noted that the idea of locking into a long-term contract - a real necessity at Marvel Studios - is something that he balks at at this point in his career. His main concern is making quality movies, and that can't necessarily be promised to him while signing on to a multiple-picture deal. That being said, he is a fan of what the comic book company has been doing in recent years, and noted that he goes "to those kinds of movies."
Another sticking point for Keanu Reeves is that he isn't actually overly familiar with the Doctor Strange character. He says in the interview that he grew up reading comics and graphic novels, but that the Marvel hero's titles were not among those that he picked up. Said the actor,
"I didn’t know Doctor Strange as a character, I didn’t read that as a kid. I’m gonna have to read it."
For those of you who are like Keanu Reeves and don't know much about the Master of the Mystic Arts, Dr. Stephen Strange was a world-class neurosurgeon before a horrific car accident left his hands permanently crippled. Searching the world over for a way to try and fix his hands, he eventually found the Ancient One in the Himalayas and was taught how to perform magics and access other dimensions. His solo film, which is expected to be released in the summer of 2016, is being based on a script written by Jon Spaihts and will be directed by Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us From Evil).
While Reeves would be a very interesting choice to play Doctor Strange, his wariness about multi-picture deals is certainly something Marvel Studios wouldn't be too happy about if negotiations were to start up. In the early years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the company had to deal with some bad recasting drama - including actors like Terrence Howard and Edward Norton - and it's pretty safe to assume that they don't want any more of that at this point. It's fairly standard for the lead actors in Marvel movies, like Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, and Mark Ruffalo, to sign six-picture deals with the studio, and whoever winds up starring in Doctor Strange will likely have to sign a similar deal.
With production on Doctor Strange said to start up next year, casting of the lead is almost certainly going to come soon. Stay tuned for more updates!