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Marvel Plans Short Live Action Films and Dr. Strange Movie

Smaller Characters to Get 10-Minute Intro Movies, Writers Hired for Strange

Jun 23, 2010 Marvel
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On Sunday, Latino Review broke the story that Marvel Studios is planning to develop a series of “10-minute short films in front of their feature length movies that will introduce secondary characters like Black Panther, Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, etc.” There are no definite details but it jibes with previous rumors that the studio is planning a series of more modestly-budgeted projects revolving around the very same characters. The Playlist posits that this would be a good way to gauge public interest in less-popular comic book properties before dumping 20 or 40-million dollars into a flick nobody will see (coughcoughJonahHexcoughcough).

It’s a good theory, which makes yesterday’s newsbreak from Deadline Hollywood all the more interesting:

“Marvel Studios has hired Conan scribes Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer to write Dr. Strange.... Donnelly and Oppenheimer also scripted a live action adaptation of the vidgame Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune for Sony and producer Chuck Roven, and they wrote a draft of the Jon Favreau-directed Cowboys and Aliens for DreamWorks/Universal.”

Debuting in 1963, the creation of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Stephen Strange was an egocentric, world-reknowned neurosurgeon until a car accident mangled his hands. While searching for a cure for his condition, Strange travels to the Himalayas and encounters a hermit called the Ancient One who teaches him the mystic arts.

Dr. Strange is one of those long-gestating, studio-hopping projects (Savoy, Columbia, Dimension, Paramount) that will get a boost from the Disney/Marvel merger, and Deadline suggests this is the likeliest contender to be the first film released under that banner.

Bleeding Cool reports that Grey’s Anatomy‘s Patrick Dempsey is lobbying to play Dr. Strange (and even have an artist’s rendering of Dempsey as the character). And in our interview with him last year, Doctor Who‘s David Tennant expressed passing interest in starting a pattern of playing famous doctors by taking on the character, saying, “I could play Dr. Strange maybe. I could grow I nice little ‘70s tash. And do little, he has little gray bits there, gray temples. And I could talk about the Orb of Agamotto or whatever it was that he used to have. I’d look quite good in a cape.”


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