UPDATED: Deadline is now reporting that their sources inside Marvel have denied the Johnny Depp rumor and have dismissed it as just that. Apparently there was a point in the past when the studio did approach the Pirates of the Caribbean star about a project, but nothing ever came of the meeting.
You can read the original story in its entirety below.
Here I was, sitting here thinking the only way a superhero rumor could possibly startle me is if Marvel announced they’d dug up Bill Bixby’s corpse and cast it in the next Incredible Hulk movie. Instead, however, the comic and film giant has reportedly taken a meeting with the inimitable Johnny Depp to discuss the idea of him taking on the lead role in Doctor Strange for Disney and Marvel’s Phase III set of standalone character films. It’s the sort of thing where you have to take your glasses off and wipe them clean to get a clearer picture, even if you’re not wearing glasses.
The news comes from the folks over at Latino Review, and it opens up a huge bag of conversations, assuming the actor is actually interested in the role. The first instinct is to scream "Are you honking kidding me?" at the top of the lungs when truly considering what Depp would be like within the cinematic Marvel universe, though the studio has admittedly done some amazing things with actors and actresses who didn’t initially seem like they’d fit in.
For those expecting Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in the next few years, this new development could be good or bad news, as Depp's involvement in Doctor Strange would likely require a production push back for the fifth film in the lucrative and often ludicrous film series. But since they’re both movies under the Disney umbrella, there won’t be much drama when it comes to the timeframe of him earning them another half billion dollars in 2016, the rumored release year for Doctor Strange. Even if he doesn’t take the gig, they’re probably going to be okay financially.
But I’m sure fans of the character are less invested in what Disney’s profits are, and how ridiculous the iconic sorcerer might be with someone like Depp involved. A reserved and realistic Donnie Brasco Depp is more necessary for the character than anything on the Jack Sparrow/Willy Wonka side of the spectrum. Early plot rumors put Strange in the 30-year-old age range, so they’d have to skew the character a little older for the 50-year-old Depp - though I guess it’s not impossible to imagine. It'd be interesting to see how he goes method for it though.
Assuming they play the origin story similarly to the comics, the film will center on Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon who gets into an accident that injures his hands and destroys his skills, prompting him to find a cure by any means necessary. Enter the mystic arts, and you’ve got one of the only characters in Marvel whose magical powers are actually called magical powers... and it’s awesome. Strange’s otherworldly stories would make for breathtaking visual feasts in the right director’s hands.
Even if all of this meeting business is legit, I can’t imagine it making it past a couple of conversations before something happens, and Doctor Strange starts looking for someone else to don the yellow belt sash thing. Michael Douglas joining Ant-Man called off all bets when it comes to where Marvel is going in landing big stars, and there's a lot of potential invested in this character. What do you guys think about it?
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.