[Note: I know Linda covered this brilliantly well last night, but my draft gets into different territory so we considered it worth running too]
According to the latest shortlist story in a very long roster of those to drop out of the trade papers over the last couple of years, Marvel are close to selecting a director for their long in-development Doctor Strange. As you should have come to expect by now, the studio is looking at a very curious mixture of candidates.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the four possibles who have or will soon meet Marvel brass are:
- Mark Andrews – co-director of Brave, second unit director on John Carter
- Jonathan Levine – director of 50/50, Warm Bodies and All The Boys Love Mandy Lane
- Dean Israelite – director of the recently postponed time travel found footage movie, Welcome To Yesterday
- Nikolaj Arcel – director of A Royal Affair, nominated last year for best foreign film
Seeing Arcel’s name on the list made the most impact here because it really lit up a different story that I’ve been hearing. According to one pretty solid Marvel-adjacent source, Arcel’s Royal Affair star Mads Mikkelsen apparently is, or has been, somewhere in the mix for the film’s early casting discussions.
I’m still trying to find another source on that, or to clarify which part it would be, and whether or not Mikkelsen might have already passed or been passed over. And there were other names mentioned at the same time, that I’m also still investigating…
It doesn’t necessarily follow that Arcel would bring Mikkelsen or Mikkelsen bring Arcel, of course. We could just as easily see the actor on board with Levine, or Israelite.
I’m also particularly intrigued by the inclusion of Mark Andrews on this list. For a while at least he was developing an original sci-fi film at Pixar and, if he does take on Strange, any development on that would have to go on hold or stop outright. Not to say it already hasn’t, which is a real possibility if he’s out there looking for other gigs.
There’s a new script for Strange in the works right now with Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger said to be “in the mix” to take a seat at the keyboard. They’re probably best known for their work on the Kung Fu Panda* films, including the upcoming part 3, but they’ve also written on the second Spongebob Squarepants movie and a Monster Trucks toon.
Whenever and wherever Marvel are looking to get Strange rolling, it’s now pretty certain that this film is a going concern for the studio. I bet we can expect to hear a lot more over the coming months.
*Glenn Berger is my second favourite Berger to have written Kung Fu Panda material after Todd, director of The Scenesters and It’s a Disaster.