By now we are all used to see Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) as Doctor Stephen Strange in trailers and images. However, it was way too difficult for him to be cast as the Sorcerer Supreme. Director Scott Derrickson just revealed Cumberbatch was the only actor he “seriously considered” to play Dr. Strange. Marvel did something big for Cumberbatch to play the role indeed; they delayed the release date of the movie which is, well, unusual, to say the least.
Derrickson stated in his interview with Empire that Benedict Cumberbatch had to turn down the role since the dates of him starring in a stage production of Hamlet and the movie’s filming overlapped. Movie was supposed to start production works in the fall of 2015 to make it ready for release in summer 2016. After Cumberbatch refused the movie Derrickson apparently met with some other actors including Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto and Ryan Gosling while his mind was on Cumberbatch plaiyng the role. This caused Marvel to move Doctor Strange forward to be released in the fall season of 2016. Benedict Cumberbatch did not let the gesture go unanswered and made the following statement to give his thanks:
If you can’t jump on board when the ride’s going past. that’s usually it, so the hugest compliment they paid me was to come back to me. It motivated me to try to fulfill their faith in me.
Marvel doing this is actually a big deal for both Cumberbatch and Derrickson. It shows their faith in Cumberbatch while also is a testament of commitment to their director, to how they want him to fulfill what is in his mind.