Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange Cost Marvel Millions But Paid Off Remarkably

Benedict Cumberbatch: The First and Only Choice

Benedict Cumberbatch, recognized for his portrayal of Doctor Strange in Marvel Cinematic Universe, set a high bar. Fans of the film hold no reservations, despite supporting other candidates initially. One such candidate was Joaquin Phoenix. However, today, they can’t imagine anyone but Cumberbatch in the mystical role.

In many circles, it came as a surprise that Cumberbatch was the first choice for the role. Scott Derrickson, the director of the 2016 movie, had always favored Cumberbatch. He went over the moon to secure the actor for this role, even flying to London to convince him. Despite understanding the significance of the role, Cumberbatch, involved in ‘Hamlet’ production, initially was hesitant to commit.

Phoenix’s Potential Role

The studio examined other actors as alternatives, with Joaquin Phoenix at the forefront. Scott Derrickson revealed in an interview that he spent a considerable amount of time with Phoenix. However, Derrickson found Phoenix’s style at odds with Marvel’s nature, ending Phoenix’s journey in the casting process.

Persistence Pays Off: Cumberbatch Secured

The quest for the perfect Doctor Strange continued with Cumberbatch still at the top of Derrickson’s list. Derrickson’s faith in Cumberbatch prompted a significant move. The director persuaded Marvel head, Kevin Feige, to revise the original schedule. This decision came with a hefty price tag as the movie was set for a summer release, moving it meant a rise in production costs.

Despite the accompanying hitches, Disney’s Bob Iger and Alan Horn embraced the change. They shifted the release date to fall, making way for Cumberbatch’s inclusion.

Well Worth the Price

Marvel and Disney’s mutual agreement to welcome Cumberbatch into the character of Dr. Stephen Strange was not without cost. Time and financial changes were significant, but the vision of Scott Derrickson had a substantial influence on the decision.

Derrickson’s conviction that Cumberbatch was the perfect fit for the role prevailed. He reported that the heads of Disney accepted that less money would be made off the movie, but they agreed to have the ideal actor for the role.

Success Story: Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange

The gamble taken by Marvel and Derrickson proved enormously worthwhile. Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Doctor Strange met and exceeded Derrickson’s expectations. The actor’s performance was spellbinding, leading Derrickson to state, “There’s no one else who’s going to do what he can do in this role.”

The decision to go with Cumberbatch was a grand slam. Doctor Strange became a beloved superhero, accompanying Marvel’s already admired heroes. Fans can view Doctor Strange on Disney+, enjoying Cumberback’s admiral performance and reaffirming Marvel and Derrickson’s choice. The millions spent have reaped exponential rewards in the form of a cherished character and a fortified Marvel Cinematic Universe.


The journey paved with millions spent and stringent rearrangements led to the inhabited character of Doctor Strange by Benedict Cumberbatch. The decision, whilst financially taxing, paid off brilliantly, enhancing the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actor’s portrayal of the character left an indelible mark immortalizing him as the one and only Doctor Strange, a gamble that paid off heavily.

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