Marvel may have found its Master of the Mystic Arts, according to a new rumor — and that man is none other than superstar actor Johnny Depp.
There's reason to buy into the rumor: Latino Review has a solid (but not spotless) track record with Marvel movie scoops, for one. For another, consider Depp's connection to Marvel's owners, Disney, the makers of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films that lined Depp's pockets with oh so much gold. And consider also Depp's own tastes and sensibilities, and how they align with the eccentric Stephen Strange.
Then again ...
Consider that Latino Review just last summer tossed out the rumor that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was Marvel's top choice for "Doctor Strange." What changed? Why have the winds shifted away from Gordon-Levitt and moved toward Depp? Again, Latino Review has dropped some Marvel secrets in the past; most notably, they were first with the scoop that Marvel was developing a "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie. But they've also whiffed from time to time, including their misreport that "Black Panther" would follow "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," and clearly, that didn't pan out.
Consider again Depp's connection to Disney. Sure, that makes it easier for Depp to take a meeting with Marvel, at least on the face of it. But Depp is lined up to headline another "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie soon; production was recently delayed to get the script in shape, with a 2016 release date currently being targeted. If Depp joins "Strange," presumably an early "phase three" film for Marvel (meaning a 2016 release date or thereabouts), Disney would likely have to shift "Pirates" yet again. There's also the developing "Alice in Wonderland" sequel to consider as well, and how "Strange" would impact production on that film.
And consider again Depp's own tastes and sensibilities, and how they align with the eccentric Stephen Strange. Depp is best known for his bizarre, over-the-top flourishes, these days at least. Similarly, Strange is someone who deals in otherworldly realms and (wait for it) strange happenings.
On the surface, Depp and Strange seem like a match made in heaven. But is that when Marvel casting works best? Isn't part of Marvel's magic the ability to surprise with casting choices? That's why Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas for the "Ant-Man" leads works so well: No one saw it coming. Same with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, back in the day. Depp as Strange? It's pretty easy to see — perhaps too easy.
With all that in mind, approach the Depp-Strange rumor as nothing more than that: a rumor. Even Latino Review is quick to point out that "this is Hollywood. Plans change. Offers expire. Negotiations stall. So while Depp has met with Marvel, and both sides want this to work, it doesn't mean it well."
In other words, maybe there's nothing to see here, and maybe there is. We'll find out as 2014 rolls along.
Do you think Depp is the right choice for "Doctor Strange," or should Marvel hire someone lesser-known?