Though the next Marvel movie is Avengers: Age of Ultron (out in May of next year), the superhero pic that everybody seems to be focused on at the moment is Doctor Strange, which will work to introduce audiences to the more supernatural side of the Marvel comic-book universe. Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in final talks for the lead role, and Sinister director Scott Derrickson is set to helm, working from a script most recently written by Jon Spaihts (Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer did past drafts). And now, we’ve learned exactly when we can expect Doctor Strange – according to Screen Daily, the blockbuster is set to arrive on July 8th, 2016.
That date, which has not yet been confirmed by Marvel but seems to tie in with everything we’ve heard about the project thus far, has Doctor Strange arriving on the heels of Captain America 3, which bows on May 6th that year. If the report is accurate, that means it will be the third film in Marvel’s Phase Three, also following Peyton Reed’s troubled Ant-Man (out July 17th, 2015).
Pre-production on Doctor Strange is set to kick off either late this year or early next year, with shooting to begin in May of 2015. Of course, there’s still work to be done before that can happen. Most pressingly, a lead needs to be locked down. Phoenix, though coveted by Marvel, has reportedly been reluctant to join a studio blockbuster, so he may end up passing on the role, which would leave Marvel back on the hunt. Other actors rumored for the part over the months have included Jack Huston and Benedict Cumberbatch, though at this point it seems very unlikely that either of those two actors would get the gig.
Doctor Strange centers on Stephen Strange, a skilled surgeon who gains mystical powers following an accident. After finding that he has been tasked with protecting the world from horrifying supernatural forces, Strange’s power grows, and he embraces his destiny as the Sorcerer Supreme. Intriguingly, the film will not be an origin story, but other details about it have remained opaque.
Regardless, we’re looking forward to seeing Doctor Strange. And now we finally have a date to mark on our calendars.