Agent Justin joins in on this month’s DREAMCASTING to sort out what they want for Marvel Studio’s upcoming Dr. Strange feature film.
Justin’s Director Decision
Finding the right director for Doctor Strange took a great long while for me to think about.
There wasn’t really an obvious answer.
See, I didn’t want to JUST pick someone I liked, but also someone who is actually available to do it.
Listen, it would have been easy for me to just say Guillermo Del Toro. He’d be great. He loves the genre, the character, and he gets comic book/horror/magic aesthetics. He’s also TOO DAMN BUSY.
He’s got projects lined up the wazoo, and he keeps adding new projects every year.
So, I have to pull him out of the running.
Who does that leave us with?
For me, one of the great things that Marvel Studios does is that they pick directors that either are out of the box thinking, or guys that would make sense but no one is using them any more.
Out of the Box thinking began the company, starting with Jon Favreau and continued on with James Gunn, The Russo Brothers and even Joss Whedon.
Then you got the guys that make sense, but the studios don’t really use them much any more.
That would be guys like Joe Johnston, who’s directing in The Rocketeer was pretty much the main reason he was picked to do Captain America: The First Avenger.
You want a Thor movie that is big and epic with a Shakespearean heart and soul? Marvel sought the director of Henry V and a ton of Shakespeare movies and actually picked Kenneth Branagh.
So, what I’m getting at is, the director I picked is one of the latter guys.
The way how I came to this choice was simple. I was rewatching one of my favorites that he directed. The action, the humor, the bizarre mix of the mystical. Strange creatures. Wizards fighting each other with magic spells. A fun and enjoyable lead with an awesome kick ass asian partner.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, the movie I watched…was this….
Yep, the director I picked is a Mister John Carpenter.
See, it’s not JUST Big Trouble in Little China.
John is an expert filmmaker in genre films, and the man has given us PLENTY of fantastic movies in his career.
You don’t need me to tell you what those movies are right? You should know the classics already.
And more of course.
Yeah, John’s track record with his last few films has been spotty, but it’s not like Joe Johnston and Kenneth Branagh’s last few films were classics before Marvel contacted them.
What Marvel does right with their director choices is find the right person to do the job, not the flavor of the month filmmaker.
Carpenter has been out of the spotlight, and that is a crime. Studioes keep remaking his movies, when they should be getting him to make new ones and supporting him on it. Audiences are forgetting about him.
Carpenter could use the Marvel clout right now, and I’m sure that the guys at Marvel are probably big Carpenter fans too.
And the truth is, he would get the craziness of Doctor Strange.
The tone of a Doctor Strange film can be a tricky movie to guide, but Carpenters film career has proven that he can direct light hearted fun movies as well as intense horror suspense. He can make the mystical stuff epic and visually interesting. With the budget that Marvel can get, I think he would have a ball cutting his teeth on what this generations VFX’s artist can do.
With Marvel guiding the production, and if they got a killer script, they could make one hell of a flick.
And yeah, maybe the other nice thing that could happen with this pairing? It would help remind audiences that John Carpenter can still kick ass.
I truly think he’s got a few more great films in him, he just needs the right project. I think Doctor Strange just might be that flick.
Oh…and please cast James Hong as The Ancient One.
Denise’s Strange Selection
I’m not going to lie; I didn’t exactly have any idea who to dreamcast for Dr. Strange but when Agent Justin asked to do a collab article I certainly wasn’t going to say no! All the cool kids are doing it! I had four days to scour the internet and disassemble my brain until I found the right guy.
The hardest part for me has to be the fact that I really, really like Stephen Strange but I’m not really drawn to any particular artist’s rendition of him and that usually helps a lot when it comes to fan casting. I sort of find the actor who can capture both that image and the personality. But almost every version of Doc Strange is a babe. From Marshall Rogers to Jamie McKelvie artists have been delivering solid mustache porn in the form of the Sorcerer Supreme for years.
So that meant I had to do some serious thinking and since no actors jumped out at me I had to filter through a lot of choices. Since Agent Patrick and I have established a very diverse and expanded DVD collection sometimes I can just stare at all the titles until something or someone jumps out at me but that didn’t work. In fact a lot of my go to techniques failed, at my lowest point I even Googled “actors with goatees.”
And then that miraculous moment when I came across this picture of Justin Theroux.
He looks like the most picturesque narcissistic doctor. His ego is practically palpable and as much as it pisses you off you can totally sense that it’s fully deserved. I know Theroux is not actually a dick in real life but he can play a damn convincing asshole.
Agent Justin noted Marvel Studios penchant for picking actors that are out of the box and I think Justin Theroux is just that. I’ve been against Johnny Depp donning the Eye of Agamotto from the beginning. It’s too obvious, you know? It would be the first casting that I would be apprehensive about because while Johnny is still a great actor, he has basically been playing slightly different versions of Jack Sparrow in every one of his big budget pictures for the last ten years. That’s not Stephen Strange at all. He’s the beacon of normality in the hurricane of bizarre mysticism and magic.
I think Justin Theroux would be able to really get us to care about Stephen Strange. We could watch Stephen grown from arrogant asshat to honorable hero without any unnecessary garbage. I feel like a lot of other actors might look at the script and try to flourish it, bring more to the table than is needed (*ahem* Johnny.) But Theroux would probably breathe life into the character just by playing him instead of turning into a caricature.
Maybe this all sounds too redundant and nonsensical so let me try to break it down. Justin Theroux is a good actor that is severely underused at the moment, and he though he isn’t exactly a spring chicken he is playing a renowned surgeon so his extra few years in age almost fit the mature character better. I like the route Marvel Studios has been taking in that their heroes aren’t all super young, 20-somethings who just happen to be the best at everything they try. It takes years of discipline to master these skills, unless you’re Tony Stark in which case it takes decades of self-hatred and gallons of really good scotch.
From a financial standpoint, Theroux would be awesome. He has enough experience to be trusted with a franchise but he’s not going to bankrupt the studio. From a directorial standpoint, Theroux would be awesome. He’s familiar enough with the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the screenplay writer for Iron Man 2 (the main comaplint from that flick was that it was too similar to its predecessor) but he’s not going to Ed Norton every scene and over step his boundaries. And finally from a fan’s standpoint, you guessed it, Theroux would be awesome. He’s disarmingly funny and super gorgeous but definitely not in a pretty boy sort of way. He exudes confidence and that bad boy charm which is perfect because that is something the MCU doesn’t have yet.
Marvel Studios doesn’t want all their characters to be the same (*ahem* Warner Bros.), the world is full of strange and wonderful characters so maybe it’s time to Theroux Justin into the mix. Did you see what I did there? Yeah, I know, I’m the worst.