* (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Watoomb)
Last week’s talk of a possible big-screen future for Doctor Strange has triggered a groundswell of support for the Master of the Mystic Arts.
The Marvel-infatuated Motley Fool went so far as to suggest the company could become “the next Disney.” Because of a Doctor Strange movie?
“Just as Iron Man updated the comic book mythos for an audience all-too-familiar with human frailty, technological prowess, and Middle Eastern conflicts,” Tim Beyers writes, “a Dr. Strange movie could tap into our collective fascination with inner and outer demons. And Harry Potter, of course.”
Writing for AMC’s SciFi Scanner, Nick Nadel doesn’t go so far as to drop the D-word, but he does like how Doctor Strange “could expand Marvel’s ever growing bag of movie tricks.”
“Marvel has dipped its toes into the supernatural with mixed results in the past (Ghost Rider gave me nightmares for all the wrong reasons),” Nadel writes, “but Doctor Strange presents an opportunity to dive head first into the occult. Earlier this year, rumors swirled that Guillermo del Toro and Neil Gaiman (a geek dream team supreme) were working on an adaptation. Del Toro would no doubt push the horror elements of Doctor Strange, but, sadly, he is currently busy with other projects.”
So, what about Gaiman?
In an interview last week with Premiere, the author described writing a Doctor Strange movie as “absolutely one of my dream jobs.” But, he said, del Toro’s slate is pretty full with, among other projects, two Hobbit movies and a likely third Hellboy film: “… we may be four years away from Guillermo being free to do it, and I’m not entirely sure I’d want to do it without him. So we’ll see.”
However, neither Gaiman’s comments nor a lack of firm plans from Marvel will stop the rumor mill: LiveNews says Christian Bale is the No. 1 choice to play Stephen Strange. That’s according to “a source.”
Ah, well, if it weren’t him it would probably be Leonardo DiCaprio. Or Brad Pitt.
Heck, by the time production actually begins, Zac Efron will probably be in the running.
Or maybe one of the Jonas Brothers.
Rumors, and joking, aside, I’m reminded of one of the truths of superhero fandom: Everyone swears they love Doctor Strange, but few of them actually buy his comics. How that dictum might translate to the big screen is anybody’s guess.
So, maybe Zac Efron isn’t such a bad idea after all …