Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man has only been out in theaters for two weekends now, but it already feels like such old news. The Marvel Cinematic Universe slows down for nobody, and so on the public consciousness moves to the next project. For example, it’s been rumored for the last few weeks that Rachel McAdams is up for a role in Scott Derrickson’s upcoming Doctor Strange movie, and now she has confirmed herself that those talks are real.
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times about the speculation regarding her potential place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, McAdams said:
It's still super-early days, and I don't know where that's gonna go - if it's gonna go anywhere at all.
It does appear that she has, at the very least, had conversations with Marvel about a part, and the newspaper says that she is considering the role - not that Marvel is considering her. From this, it seems like the question of whether or not this is "gonna go anywhere" sounds like it’s a question of hammering out McAdams deal and putting together something that everybody involved is happy with.
Those who follow the franchise closely know that taking a job in the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t a simple deal. The studio is very likely trying to work out a multi-picture deal that will allow her to star not only in any potential direct sequels to Doctor Strange, but also any other Marvel films in which the character could potentially appear. One can imagine this is a involved and complex process, making sure McAdams will be available for shooting scenes in multiple movies over the next several years - along with paying her whatever she’s looking for to do it all.
We’re still in the complete dark regarding who the character is, however. We know this will be the female lead for the film, but that’s all we know. We’ve put together a few guesses as to who the character could be, we’re putting our money on Clea, a sorceress and fellow master of magic who winds up being romantically linked to Doctor Strange in the comics.
One funny angle to look at is whether Marvel’s interest in Rachel McAdams is due to her experience playing opposite Sherlock Holmes. She appeared as Irene Adler in Guy Ritchie's recent films starring Robert Downey Jr. If she ends up in Doctor Strange she’ll be on screen with the other modern Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch who will be playing the Sorcerer Supreme. Now she just needs to get into The Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet with Iron Man, and get Ian McKellen's Magneto over back from Fox, and she can collect the whole set.
Doctor Strange is set for a fall 2016 release date. That will be post-Captain America: Civil War, but pre-Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (if you’re having trouble keeping everything straight). It’s the next Marvel film to go into production, and since a couple of the other major roles look to be set – with Tilda Swinton playing the Ancient One and Chiwetel Ejiofor attached as Baron Mordo - McAdams may be the last piece of the casting puzzle before the cast and crew behind the film can go to work.