Benedict Cumberbatch set to sign on for Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’

British actor tipped to play lead role in 2016 movie

Benedict Cumberbatch will reportedly star in Marvel’s Doctor Strange.

Deadline reports that Cumberbatch has signed on to appear in the film, which will open in cinemas in 2016. Cumberbatch has been linked to the role in the past but it was previously thought that his theatre commitments would rule him out of contention.

Other actors believed to have been in the frame for the role include Joaquin Phoenix, Tom Hardy, Jared Leto, Keanu Reeves and Colin Farrell. Phoenix’s agent recently confirmed that negotiations with Marvel came to an end, whereas a delay in production means that Cumberbatch is now free to appear in the film.

Doctor Strange is the story of an ex-neurosurgeon who must defend Earth from danger after becoming the Sorcerer Supreme. It will be directed by Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us from Evil, Sinister).

Cumberbatch will next be seen in The Imitation Game, based on a true story and on general release from November 14. The actor plays Alan Turing, the maths genius and breaker of Nazi code during WWII, who was prosecuted for homosexuality.