Benedict Cumberbatch — the brilliant mind at the heart of "Sherlock," the evil superhuman at the heart of "Star Trek Into Darkness," among so many other roles — turns 39 today. Every single one of your fans hopes you have a magical birthday, Benedict. Like, a literally magical birthday.
That's because in a little bit more than a year, Mr. Cumberbatch will become a full-fledged doctor, in the form of "Doctor Strange," the 2016 Marvel Studios movie about a former surgeon who becomes the magic-wielding Sorcerer Supreme. It's one of the most ambitious ideas for Marvel yet, and there are few people on the planet who can handle the weirdness quite like today's birthday boy.
As Cumberbatch enters the final year of his 30s, we're sending him off on his mystical path with some hopes for what he'll bring to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and they are some very "Strange" hopes at that.
His pal Martin Freeman's mustache.BBC
Benedict is gonna need that thing when he plays Stephen Strange.
A Marvel meeting with Martin.BBC
Freeman stars in "Captain America: Civil War," in an unspecified role, and we're hoping the erstwhile Sherlock Holmes and John Watson can join forces in "Doctor Strange" as well.
An Ant-Man team-up.Ian Walton/Getty Images for Laureus
Those are not Paul Rudd's giant legs sandwiching Benedict, but THEY COULD BE! Let's make sure an Ant-Man/Doctor Strange team-up happens come "Infinity War" at earliest.
A Loki team-up.
At least, a Loki run-in. Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston are good pals IRL, and let's see them cross paths IMCU.
A Baron Zemo beat-down.Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Benedict Cumberbatch versus Daniel Brühl can happen now that Brühl is in "Captain America: Civil War" as the villainous Baron. Keep him alive just long enough so he can run right into Cumberbatch's fist. Bring Dan Stevens along as well if you want; I'm sure we can find him a role.
A Ulysses Klaw beat-down.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Andy Serkis' Marvel maniac typically one of Black Panther's foes, but there's room for Doctor Strange to give him a whooping, isn't there?
A merging of the Marvel universes.Getty Images
Benedict, use those mystical arts of yours to fold the "X-Men" movies into the greater MCU. You're pals with James McAvoy. Between his telepathy and your magic, you can make it happen.
Enlist the whole "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" crew.Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Colin Firth, Gary Oldman and John Hurt all need roles in Marvel. Benedict, call them up and lure them into your new playhouse, for all our sakes, please.
Get J.K. Simmons back as J. Jonah Jameson.Michael Buckner/Getty Images
I don't know how you could possibly have the authority to do that, Benedict, but you know Marvel and Simmons better than I do, so… please? (Don't worry about Eddie Redmayne here, that guy is doing just fine.)
Get Naomi Watts cast as Carol Danvers.Kevin Winter/Getty Images
AGAIN, Benedict, you know her and Marvel better than I do, and we all know this would be perfect casting. Work that magic!
Get Bill Murray cast as ANYONE in Marvel.Ian Walton/Getty Images
P.S., I'm sorry I keep asking you to work so much on your birthday, let alone as a casting director, but you know people I don't, and I get excited when I see you together with people like Bill Murray, so… yeah, please, back to work.
Open up an alternate dimension and play Superman.Jason Merritt/Getty Images
I say this because (A) Stephen Strange can dabble in different dimensions and (B) Cumberbatch rocks a mean Clark Kent when wearing glasses. Who among you wouldn't be interested in the Cumberbatch of Steel?
Don't get beat up by Henry Cavill.Ian Walton/Getty Images
Okay, maybe we found the one guy who has no curiosity about the Cumberbatch of Steel.
Glasses off, then.Jason Merritt/Getty Images
But don't shut the door on the alternate dimension, though. There's another great DC Comics role for Cumberbatch…
Become Two-Face.Christopher Polk/Getty Images
I mean, come on, that's pretty good.
Beat up Batman with John Malkovich as Penguin.Kevin Winter/Getty Images
This is a deep-cut "Penguins of Madagascar" and alternate dimension combo joke.
Just enjoy your birthday, Benedict.Charley Gallay/Getty Images
And rock the glasses as much as you want, Superman shaming be damned.