Doctor Strange: Marvel looks for Cumberbatch’s mentor

Marvel eyes DC veterans to play The Ancient One in Doctor Strange

The Ancient OneNow that Scott Derrickson has officially cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, the endlessly turning rumour mill must turn its attention elsewhere.

The never-short-of-a-scoop Latino Review is reporting that Marvel has its eye on three veteran actors to play the role of The Ancient One, who acts as mentor to Stephen Strange.

They claim that Ken Watanabe, Bill Nighy and Morgan Freeman are in the running for the role. Traditionally depicted as Tibetan, these casting rumours (if true) would suggest that Marvel aren’t too caught up in faithfully portraying the character’s ethnicity.

If true, they would also suggest that Marvel have been looking across the aisle at DC for their mentors, as Watanabe played Ra’s Al-Ghul (kind of) in Batman Begins, while Freeman offered Bruce Wayne sage advice as Lucius Fox throughout all three of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies. Admittedly, he’s made offering sage advice something of a trademark over the last decade or so.

Nighy’s career is significantly lighter on comic book adaptations; he did perform baddie duties in the risible I, Frankenstein, but we’re prepared to forget that because he’s brilliant.

The Ancient One would also go on to train Baron Mordo, who becomes Dr Strange’s nemesis. Mordo is much-rumoured to be the film’s villain but that’s yet to be confirmed.

Doctor Strange is in cinemas 4 November 2016. For more on the comics that have inspired the movie, pick up our 100 All-Time Greatest Comics bookazine now!