When Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as the Sorcerer Supreme, comic book fans couldn’t believe their luck. After all, he’d been a fan-favourite choice for the role for years, and this was one of those rare cases when everyone was 100% on board with Marvel’s decision.
However, the Sherlock star came very close to missing out on the role of Doctor Strange. That was because he had committed to playing Hamlet in London’s Barbican back in 2015, and the actor admits in a new interview that, “I really did think I had to kiss it goodbye.”
Despite considering the likes of Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto, and Ryan Gosling, director Scott Derrickson admitted that Cumberbatch was, “the only actor we seriously considered.” Despite that, he added that at one point, “It just wasn’t possible. To his credit he said, ‘I can’t bail out of Hamlet. I’ve given my word.’” Ultimately though, “It’s got to be Benedict.”
To make it happen, Marvel pushed back the release date of the movie, something Cumberbatch was extremely grateful for. “If you can’t jump on board when the ride’s going past. that’s usually it, so the hugest compliment they paid me was to come back to me. It motivated me to try to fulfil their faith in me.” Doctor Strange will be released in October.