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UPDATE: Deadline has spoken up to downplay the Johnny Depp-as-Doctor Strange talk, saying that according to their Marvel sources, there’s “really nothing to this rumor.” Specifically, the site contends Depp was “approached eons ago,” but it didn’t go further than that.
Original story: If the latest rumor is correct, Marvel may not be finished with surprise major casting announcements.
Citing “a well-connected source,” Latino Review contends Johnny Depp has “taken a meeting” with the studio to discuss taking the lead role in Doctor Strange, which was confirmed last year as part of Marvel’s Phase Three plans. The same site previously reported the studio was thought to want Joseph Gordon-Levitt for the part, but the actor of course ended up signing on to produce The Sandman for Warner Bros., with the possibility that he might also star or direct.
Latino Review points to Depp’s cozy, and lucrative, relationship Marvel’s parent company Disney, for whom he starred in the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Alice in Wonderland (and its planned sequel), The Lone Ranger (nobody wants to talk about that, though) and the upcoming Into the Woods.
There have been numerous attempts to bring Doctor Strange to the big screen, with the rights passing through six studios over the past 25 years. Marvel hired Conan screenwriters Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer in June 2010 to take a crack at the script, whose details allegedly leaked last year.
If — if — the new rumor is true, we likely won’t find out before this summer, as Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has pledged to keep a lid on the plans for Phase Three, which kicks off in July 2015 with Ant-Man.