Monday, November 2, 2015

'Steve Jobs' star Michael Stuhlbarg joins Marvel's 'Doctor Strange'

Despite the wild success of 2014, Marvel's 2015 was slightly less successful. Avengers: Age of Ultron is the second highest-grossing film of the year in the U.S. ($459 million) and the third highest-grossing worldwide ($1.4 billion), but according to some inside sources, many at Disney and Marvel still considered it to be a failure. In addition, Ant-Man ranked as the lowest-grossing film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe domestically since Captain America: The First Avenger, topping only that film and The Incredible Hulk. Thanks to China, overseas numbers were a bit more robust ($513.7 million and counting), but there was a general sense of disappointment with Marvel's 2015 offerings. However, no small misstep is preventing the studio from moving forward into the future with plans for several more films over the next decade. 2016 will feature two more efforts from the acclaimed superhero studio- the much-anticipated Captain America: Civil War, which will feature the showdown between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, and Doctor Strange, the debut of Benedict Cumberbatch into the MCU. The latter has had significantly less buzz, but with production starting soon, the cast is beginning to fully take shape.

Character actor Michael Stuhlbarg is the most recent addition to the Doctor Strange cast, as reported today by Heroic Hollywood among other sources. Stuhlbarg is rumored to be playing Doctor Nicodemus West, a rival of Stephen Strange and a possible villain in this new film. Not much else is known about the plot or Stuhlbarg's possible character, but he will join Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mads Mikkelsen in the cast of the hotly-anticipated film. Stuhlbarg has been acting in films and TV shows for years, but he seems to have really been gaining some traction recently. He starred in the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man back in 2009, and has been featured in prominent roles in films such as Hugo, Steve Jobs, Trumbo and Men in Black III in recent years. Sometimes I've been a big fan of his work (he's terrific in Hugo) and other times I'm less enthusiastic (Men in Black III but I had more problems with the character than anything), but I think that he's a terrific character actor. He has great presence and he's someone who can do a lot with the material that he's given. It will certainly be interesting to see him in the MCU and it's a phenomenal addition to an already stellar cast. This is definitely on my must-see list. Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson and hits theaters on November 4, 2016. 



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