Thomas Roach on whether Doctor Strange will become the new face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe…
Currently Marvel Studios is dominating the film industry. It has just released its teneth film with Guardians of the Galaxy and is showing no signs of slowing down. Next year we will see Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man and each year after we have slots for Marvel films through till 2019, with speculation suggesting that the current crop of characters will be phased out and replaced with new ones.
Despite the popularity of the current line up of characters, they will eventually phased out, or perhaps pushed into the background as supporting characters in future movies. Currently it is clear that Tony Stark – a.k.a. Iron Man – is the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is is due to Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal being so well recieved by fans. However, Downey is almost 50 and despite his popularity there is talk about recasting.
However, Robert Downey Jr. is the thing that makes Iron Man popular and not the character itself, so recasting would likely not go down well for audiences. There are alternatives for a new face for the Marvel Cinematic Universe though. Where the current Avengers are now, I think it is safe to assume that Doctor Strange will become the new face of the MCU, or at least Marvel wants that to be the case.
Doctor Strange does appear to be a bit of a niche character but frankly Iron Man was hardly the A-lister of the Marvel franchise until the movies came out. Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men and The Incredible Hulk were all the well known characters, but only the Hulk could be used by Marvel Studios as the rights to the others are with Sony and Fox. Marvel Studios made use of what they had and it took off. So they will have the ability to do it again.
To make Doctor Strange a success Marvel needs to find the right actor and frankly their casting track record has been fantastic. Not many people complain about miscasting characters and even the oddball choices have turned out to be inspired ones. Marvel knows where the stories are going and I think that they will want Doctor Strange to be the face of MCU after Robert Downey Jr. steps down as Iron Man or if the character of Tony Stark gets pushed to a supporting role.
I personally believe that Robert Downey Jr. won’t renew his contract with Marvel and Avengers 3 will be his last film. Avengers 3 is expected to be released in 2018 and by that time Downey will have played the character for ten years. Doctor Strange will be getting his first film in 2016 and will likely be around for a decade too, which would mean that the Sorcerer Supreme will be the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe until 2026 – if it continues that long before a complete reboot.
The overlap of the characters is expected and Iron Man and Doctor Strange meeting would work well as it would be a good way for Tony to pass the torch. To have Doctor Strange’s first Avengers film also being Iron Man’s last would be more than a fitting way to hand over the franchise to a new character.
It is also likely that Doctor Strange will be an older character. Maybe not as old as Iron Man, but old enough to appear to be the wise leader that other members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe can look up to as a leader. There is no official casting news as of yet for Doctor Strange, but plenty of rumours floating around. Whoever gets the job will likely be the face of the MCU for a decade after their debut.
Do you think Doctor Strange will be the face of the MCU? Would another character be more suitable? Let us know in the comments below…