Marvel Willingly Chose to Make Less Money to Cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange Instead of a Different Well-Known Actor

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Dr. Strange is at this point one of the most notable characters in the MCU, and one of the most important. Despite his origin story being a bit more humble than today’s releases, he managed to perform strong and will be a huge part of the MCU going forward.

Even though Benedict Cumberbatch is by many fans considered to be the perfect Dr. Strange, it wasn’t always like that, the role was originally supposed to go to Joaquin Phoenix, but one decision altered the course of the MCU, and endangered ‘Doctor Strange’s’ box office since the role simply had to go to Cumberbatch.

In his recent Slash Film interview director of the origin movie, Scott Derrickson explained how Marvel Studios sacrificed the summer release to nab the popular actor. The studio went along with their proposal and it paid off in the long run.

So after giving [Joaquin Phoenix’s casting] a shot — we didn’t have a script, either. Keep that in mind. I think what he was very nervous about was he’d be committing to multiple movies, which is not the kind of thing he’s ever done. I just went back to Kevin [Feige] and I just said, ‘We have to move the date because it’s got to be Benedict.’ Kevin went to Bob Iger and Alan Horn, and told them what I said. To their credit, they moved the date and it became a fall movie.

Derrickson further explained that this is not something that the studio normally does, they usually don’t put art in front of the profit, but in this case, they did and he is forever grateful.

In the end, it came down to the heads of Disney knowing they would make less money on the movie, but letting me as the director have the right actor for the movie.

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