Some new names are thrown into the mix; a dynamic lead actor, a possible suspect for director and/or producer has been identified, and so has the actor playing 'Wong!' It seems Marvel's leading candidate for Dr. Strange was right under our nose all this time!

"A source of ours is telling us that Adrien Brody is very close to signing a deal with Marvel that could see him playing either Ant-Man or Dr. Strange. Now, this isn't the first time that we've heard his name and Ant-Man's in the same sentence. Other sites have reported that before. What we're being told is that we might hear an announcement about one of these characters soon. Stay tuned." http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/rorschachsrants/news/?a=20935

The 40-yo American actor and film producer first received widespread recognition and acclaim at the age of 29 when he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2002 for The Pianist, he is thus far the only actor under 30 to do so. His television debut was hosting SNL in 2003, and after giving an improvised introduction to musical guest Sean Paul while wearing fake dreadlocks and rambling in a Jamaican accent, Adrien was permanently banned from hosting as Lorne Michaels notoriously hates unscripted performances. Since then he's gone on to play the Village idiot, a stand-in for M. Night the idiot behind the camera, he was also that one typewriter guy in the King Kong remake, and starred in Ben Affleck's 1950's Superman biopic Hollywoodland as a detective investigating the mysterious circumstance of George Reeve's Cobain-esque death. While working on the Euro-caper The Brothers Bloom Brody formed a real-life bromance with co-star Mark Ruffalo, which is enough incentive for him to join Marvel's shared universe on the off-chance there's ever a movie about The Defenders.

Back in '06, Adrien confirmed some of the CBM speculation that he was interested in playing the role of The Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight, he was also in talks with Paramount to play Spock in J. J. Abrams' Star Trek XI, but ultimately those roles went to Heath Ledger and Zachary Quinto. If any movie had solidified his qualification to work with Marvel, it was the starring role of ex-military man Royce in Predators, a sequel/remake to the 1987 original, where he'd put on such Herculean levels of muscle while training in the Hawaiian wilderness with a martial arts instructor. In 2010 he starred in two Sundance films; as a genetic engineer in the science fiction thriller Splice and as psychotic drug dealer "Psycho Ed" in the dark stoner comedy High School. The year 2011 brought even more Strange parallels, as he played an amnesiac car-crash victim in Wrecked, the wild-eyed surrealist painter Salvador Dali in Midnight in Paris, and his role in the Chinese historical film Back to 1942 as a TIME magazine correspondent investigating the impoverished nation. On a less depressing note, he was in that way funnier version of Movie 43 called inAPPropriate Comedy, starring in his own co-written sketch about a suggestive 70's New York beat cop.

Stephen entered New York College as a pre-med student straight out of high school, he'd earned his medical degree in record time and entered a five-year residency at New York Hospital, where his rapid success made him into an arrogant and promiscuous young man. Strange's steady-hand precision was his ticket to the life of leisure he sought after, becoming a wealthy, aristocratic elite and celebrated neurosurgeon before he turned thirty. Described by his peers as egotistical and greedy, cold and callous, Strange's emotional investment in his patients generally began and ended at receiving the bill. The one exception was Madeleine Revell, an injured United Nations translator whom he saved and fell in love with, but following a whirlwind of romance and proposal, she left him due to his increasingly materialistic and self-centered nature. The experience left him with a sense of personal failure that eroded his medical idealism.

While driving his most prized red Corvette along a rain-soaked cliffside road, Strange careened off a very steep rock face and shattered all the bones in his hands. The nerve damage and subsequent healing effectively spelled an end to his ability to conduct surgery, since his hands now trembled. Too proud to take on a teaching job, Strange desperately begins the search for a cure to restore his hands, consulting various doctors, homeopathic treatments and traveling around the world to remote regions for exotic cures, all to no avail. Having completely exhausted all of his funds and reduced to homelessness, Strange is forced to perform back alley medical procedures for cash.Still depressed and still searching for a cure, Strange locates a hermit called The Ancient One (who is actually the Earth's Sorcerer Supreme) in a hidden monastery deep within the Himalayas. The Ancient One refuses to help Strange because of his selfishness, but senses his good side which he attempts to bring to the surface, and fails. But when Stephen discovers the Ancient One's disciple, Baron Mordo, attempting to kill the old man, Strange selflessly thwarts what would become his most enduring antagonist from doing so, and in Mordo's place is taught mystic arts within the secret realm of Kamar-Taj.

During his early years as a student of The Ancient One, Strange befriended many sorcerers around the world, including Lord Julian Phyffe and Sir Clive Bentley of Great Britain; Cardinal Alfeo Spinosa and Count Tancredo Carezzi of Italy; Omar Karindu, Rama Kaliph, and Turhan Barim of the Middle East; Wai Chee Yee and Sen-YU of Asia; and Aleister Kane, Kenneth Ward, and Frank Brukner of America. Strange had studied magic under the Ancient One for seven years but upon returning to the US, he became a professional mystic consultant, establishing his Sanctum Sanctorum in New York's Greenwich Village, attended by Wong, who had became his servant and his friend. The mysterious doctor's reputation grew, and Strange even became an occasional consultant to local and federal authorities, as they militantly tried to put a stop to organized occultism.

Since the 2012 release of Greg Pak's Doctor Strange: Season One graphic novel, someone had to have seen the actor's uncanny resemblance to how the character was penciled & inked on those pages (see above). Even further back than that, someone should've noticed his resemblance to the 2007 direct-to-DVD animated release of Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme While training at Kamar-Taj Stephen is drawn with a long face, scraggly black hair and a thick beard, and only one actor can balance that look of stylishness and homelessness. Here's a guy who's wanted to be a magician since he was 10, performing magic shows at other kid's birthday parties under the name "The Amazing Adrien" and thirty years later he now lives inside a 19th-century castle in New York state. If that's not Strange enough, Brody had also experienced a traumatic automobile accident in his youth. In 1992, he was seriously hurt in a motorcycle collision, in which he flew over a car and crashed head-first into a crosswalk. He spent months recuperating, it was the first time he'd broken his nose, twice more it happened while filming dangerous stunts on the set of Spike Lee's Summer of Sam. There's an old saying about acting and I think it applies here, you have to "play the man, not the costume" having any other actor in the role would result in a hollow Cosplay performance, while "Amazing Adrien" has this much personal experience to draw from, as well as the many eccentric and flawed characters he's played before. Most importantly, getting an actor from Queens would reflect heavily on Strange's New York accent and cultural background of the character.

"We're meeting a lot of people now [to direct] we're actively looking. No, a movie star is not required, ...but that doesn't mean a movie star wouldn't be great." -Kevin Feige

ROB COHEN may be asked to DIRECT or executive-produce

The Razor's Edge (1984)Producer
The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)Producer
Light of Day (1987)Producer
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)Producer
The Monster Squad (1987)Producer
The Running Man (1987)Producer
Ironweed (1987)Producer
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)Producer
Disorganized Crime (1989)Producer
Bird on a Wire (1990)Producer
The Hard Way (1991)Producer
Dragon: the Bruce Lee Story (1993)Director
DragonHeart (1996)Director
Daylight (1996)Director
The Skulls (2000)Director
The Fast and the Furious (2001)Director
xXx (2002)Director
Stealth (2005)Director
xXx: State of the Union (2005)Producer
The Mummy 3 (2008)Director
Alex Cross (2012)Director

For nearly every plotpoint needed to tell the Doctor Strange origin story, Rob Cohen's already made an entire movie about it. Now this isn't by any means an official synopsis but.. "DOCTOR STRANGE (2016) is an epic fantasy-adventure film with impressive visual effects of supernatural beasts [DragonHeart] tons of extended martial arts fighting sequences inside of traditional Chinese set-designs [Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story] The main character is an arrogant New Yorker [Daylight] who is suddenly jarred by a violent car accident [The Fast and the Furious] and then searches the world for exotic cures, encountering a Haitian sorcerer named Brother Voodoo [The Serpent and the Rainbow] Doctor Strange will be a globe-spanning action movie [xXx] where a group of warlocks assemble a covenant to battle an enigmatic Devil-figure [The Witches of Eastwick] It's a fun popcorn flick that attempts to infuse new American mysticism into the ancient history of Chinese dynastic warfare [The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor]"

Cohen's direction of the 3rd entry in The Mummy film franchise was especially indicative of Doctor Strange being in his future, especially considering the Himalayan temple setting. But he might be better served as an executive producer or creative consultant, I'm sure there's plenty of new directors lining up to work for Marvel, eager to adapt a CGI-heavy superhero movie and someone who rightfully deserves a crack at this true epic knowing everyone will want to watch it. I can see how Marvel would hesitate to bestow it's helm on a veteran rent-a-director like Rob Cohen, whereas a fresher talent could be more enthusiastic about the source material than any grown man should be. Right now they're looking for someone capable of editing together quick-paced fighting, someone who can invigorate the martial arts genre with some hyper-stylized action and plenty of homage to classic Kung Fu cinema: "We always look at a wide range of people with a wide range of backgrounds. There's only one criteria: do something that we think is really cool. [Laughs] That's about it." Maybe they'll go with a virtual unknown like Guy Moshe, writer and director of 2010's Bunraku, but Robert Cohen could still be there most valuable asset. He's got a great vision for how to best utilize filming locales in East Asia, filming for Doctor Strange could take place entirely or primarily in China, where you have cities like Beijing that could easily represent NYC, given the country's heavy smog and air pollution would display an eerie, supernatural quality and atmosphere.

MMA Fighter CUNG LE is Marvel's #1 choice for WONG

Cung Le is a world-class fighter, American mixed martial artist, and actor of Vietnamese heritage, disciplined in a variety of fighting styles like Taekwondo, Kuntao, Sambo, Kung Fu and was an undefeated Sanshou kickboxer. Le began acting in 2009 as Marshall Law in the live-action Tekken film based on the popular video games, and the hard science fiction film Pandorum with Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster, to the antagonist role of Dragon Lee in Channing Tatum's sports action drama Fighting. He's worked with superstars like Donnie Yen in the Hong Kong martial art film Bodyguards and Assassins, Dolph Lundgren in the explosive action movie Certain Justice and Cung Le even choreographed most of the stunts in the 2012 JCVD action film Dragon Eyes. He's most widely recognized for being part of an all-star ensemble in RZA's The Man with the Iron Fists Le played Bronze Lion alongside Marvel's Drax the Destroyer recipient "Brass Body" Bautista.

Strange's mononymous sidekick and faithful house servant, Wong is the latest in a centuries-old bloodline of noble guardians protecting the Ancient One from all frequent attempts at his life, against those who wished to repossess the Sorcerer Supreme's relics. Contrary to how he was portrayed in the animated DVD or the Season One Graphic Novel, Wong is completely bald with a short, stocky build, part of the character's charm is packing a bigger punch than you'd expect out of a 5'11" peaceful Tibetan pacifist. Wong is an athletic man with no spell-casting powers, but fully capable of incapacitating all manner of terrestrial foe with speed and efficiency. Though he has no magical abilities of his own, Wong can perform healing spells and can hold his own against almost many mystical forces with striking power alone. He doesn't believe in the use of weapons or any physical extensions to his own body, Wong uses several different martial arts to cripple foes and attack with blinding speed. While holding a weapon in his hand, his superhuman strength is nullified, he can't transfer the impact of his explosive killing blows through an object.

The character's style is comparable to the Diablo III character class "The Monk" Wong is a pure melee attacker with superhuman gymnastic abilities, the paralyzing effects of his punches and kicks can be visually represented by glyph projections. Wong is the humblest person in the whole Doctor Strange universe, almost to the point of being it's moral center, the perfect foil to Strange's overbearing self-importance. So having on board a self-effacing martial arts expert like Cung Le would allow Wong to play that "comedic sidekick" angle to a more experienced actor, only to have their roles be reversed when the fighting begins. Cung is very experienced as a fight choreographer, when setting up and executing the complexity of a modern martial arts, breaking tables, flips and kicks, they need as much talent as possible on set to make it look perfect. Man With the Iron Fists added a layer of supernatural special effects to the raw stuntwork they began with, and Cung Le knows exactly what Marvel needs to pull this off. He's also a great representative for the People's Republic of China where they might be filming, he was chief coach and mentor on The Ultimate Fighter: China, the Chinese-based branch of the UFC.

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