When a director is hired for a high-profile project, as Scott Derrickson was recently for Marvel Studios' "Doctor Strange," fans are quick to look at the filmmaker's resume for potential leads in past collaborators.
With "Doctor Strange," movie sites (including MTV) were quick to point out that one of Derrickson's "Deliver Us From Evil" actors, Joel McHale, would make a great Stephen Strange. And he would, as would his co-star Eric Bana, but most people failed to suggest another great candidate from that film's cast.
Édgar Ramirez, who previously wowed critics in the miniseries "Carlos" and had a memorable role in "Zero Dark Thirty," would make a fantastic Doctor Strange, and it's just the kind of role to prove to wider audiences that he's a total star.
The reason why Ramirez hasn't gotten the same consideration that other Derrickson collaborators have is obvious. As a Latino man, Ramirez doesn't spring to the minds of the often race-obsessed fans while fantasy casting — just look at any comment thread about "Fantastic Four" — but ignoring Stephen Strange's race from the comic books opens up the film to great casting choices like Ramirez, someone who is long overdue for a big-budget break.
If you haven't seen Olivier Assayas' brilliant miniseries about the notorious political terrorist, do yourself a favor and watch it on Netflix. Ramirez completely holds your attention over the story's five-and-a-half-hour runtime, and by the end of it, you're left amazed that this guy isn't it everything. He's magnetic.
And he's exactly he kind of talent that Marvel Studios prides itself on backing. The company's casting department has played a crucial role in its success and continuing that run means picking the right actor for the role, regardless of surface details like skin color.
"Deliver Us from Evil" opens in theaters on July 2.