Latino Review is reporting that Marvel Studios has been talking to Johnny Depp about becoming the Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange, in the movie franchise that could be the centerpiece of the post-Iron Man phases of the Marvel Universe. This isn't the first time they've talked to Depp - I've heard that he took meetings about being the voice of Rocket Racoon in Guardians of the Galaxy - so I totally buy the report.
But do I like it? Depp's not been great for a while now, and I'm worried that Stephen Strange offers him just another opportunity to be a wackadoo... this time without a hat, I guess. He'd probably figure out a reason to don a wig, though. The script for Doctor Strange is supposed to be strong, but I was hoping they would go younger and feature a Doctor Strange in his thirties - capable, but still learning the ropes. Depp's 50, but like Tom Cruise his 50 is everybody else's 25.
Having someone as famous as Depp in the lead really takes the edge off the risk-taking factor of making a movie about a comic book character who hasn't always sustained his own book and whose adventures don't quite fit into any other recognizable mold; weird as they are, Guardians of the Galaxy can be related to other space operas. No other mainstream fantasy movie has been as bizarre as the best of Doctor Strange can be.
There's a lot of movement happening in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Phase Three. There are new characters to be introduced in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and I suspect that we're going to have our first female-led Marvel Cinematic Universe movie in Phase Three as well. The Netflix stuff will begin heating up soon too. 2014 is going to be a helluva year for Marvel Universe announcements and rumors.