Marvel’s long-rumored Doctor Strange feature film already has one essential talent in the bag — that would be a director, in the form of the very busy (but apparently very excited) Scott Derrickson — so it seems both totally natural and more than a bit timely that the studio has gotten around to picking a screenwriter to pen the damn thing. Deadline reports that Marvel is currently negotiating with Jon Spaihts to write the film, which would add a very impressive superhero entry to the screenwriter’s already-stacked schedule.
Spaihts is best known for being the first writer on Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, a film that had a number of problems, the least of which being it just had too many writers (Spaihts’ original script is rumored to have been much more clean and compelling, and while some of his biggest ideas did make it into the final film, there’s quite a bit left over — but why not take a look for yourselves? You can read the script here), so it’s hard to blame him for the final product (it’s much easier to blame Scott, but we digress).
Spaihts has kept himself quite busy since that film, as he’s currently writing a Mummy reboot for Universal, a reimagining of The Black Hole, an untitled space adventure film, an actioner titled World War Robot, and the medieval comedy St. George and the Dragon. Spaihts is also the screenwriter behind the plagued Keanu Reeves property, Passengers, which we’re still waiting to see get made. He previously wrote the alien invasion film The Darkest Hour.
What Spaihts does not yet have is a superhero property under his belt, but the magical weirdness of Doctor Strange just might suit his sensibilities.
Although Spaihts and the studio are currently negotiating, Deadline reports that Marvel wants to fast track this one, so they will likely get this deal done ASAP. A first draft of the script was already penned by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer.
The outlet also reiterates that Marvel’s short list of the title role still includes both Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch, which is essentially the short list for every large-scale movie in need of a male lead, but whatever. Interestingly enough, Jared Leto is now also reportedly back on that list, which sounds far more compelling to us.
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