While it once seemed as though Marvel had its hands full, with Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers and Iron Man 3 in various stages of production, recent months have seen that list halved. With The Avengers already being teased, it was surely only a matter of time before the studio announced its revised slate.

While nothing has as yet been set in stone, a recent report (via twitchfilm.com) holds some indication as to what might be next. With the peripheral Marvel universe in varying stages of reboot, remake and reimagining, the studio itself has a somewhat depleted stockpile of characters from which to choose, apparently pressing forward with something decidedly more Strange than the big-screen superheroics we have become accustomed to.

Doctor Strange is a superhero from Marvel’s Silver Age of comic books, who started out in 1963 as humanity’s greatest hope in inter-dimensional defence. Injured in a car accident, his hands damaged in the crash, Doctor Stephen Strange is no longer able to continue his career as a world-renowned neurosurgeon. Travelling to the Himalayas to seek a cure from the so-called Ancient One, Strange eventually overcomes his inherent selfishness to acquire the title of Sorcerer Supreme, a position he uses to protect the planet from attacks from neighbouring realms.

Although a script was commisioned in June of last year, with Cowboys and Aliens‘ Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer hired to pen the screenplay, the project has lulled in apparent limbo ever since. It appears that that script has now been submitted, however, with Marvel having since drafted a short-list of potential directors. A sign that Marvel is keen to get the ball rolling on another adaptation, Doctor Strange is currently looking at a 2013 release – a year it will ultimately share with the aforementioned Iron Man 3.

It certainly appears indicative of the direction the studio is looking to take. Having already tackled Norse gods and Captain America‘s Cosmic Cube, the studio shows no signs of pandering to the voguish pursuit of grit and realism. With Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man script also occupying Marvel’s in-tray, the Silver Age of comic book movies may be about to begin.