Marvel Studios could be setting up a 12 Years a Slave reunion. Chiwetel Ejiofor is reportedly circling Doctor Strange, which will star Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character. Scott Derrickson is directing. More on the possible Chiwetel Ejiofor Doctor Strange casting after the jump.
TheWrap reports Ejiofor is nearing a deal for the comic book movie, and in fact has already begun turning down roles to make room for the Doctor Strange shoot this fall. Marvel hasn’t yet confirmed the casting, let alone revealed which character Ejiofor will be playing. Plot details are also being kept under wraps for now.
According to their trade’s source, Ejiofor will not be portraying the villain, believed to be Baron Mordo. (Daniel Brühl has been rumored for that one.) Instead, they believe Ejiofor will be playing the Ancient One. He serves as mentor to both Stephen Strange and Baron Mordo, and precedes Strange as Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme.
An earlier rumor had pegged Morgan Freeman, Bill Nighy, and Ken Watanabe as three possibilities for the Ancient One. Ejiofor seems a bit young for the role in comparison, but maybe Marvel has decided to go in a different direction for the character.
THR additionally suggests that Ejiofor may be playing Wong, Doctor Strange’s monk servant/sidekick. Although the character is Chinese in the comics, Marvel has previously demonstrated that isn’t entirely adverse to mixing up the ethnicities of supporting characters, as they did for Heimdall in the Thor movies.
Ejiofor is currently shooting The Martian for Ridley Scott and will next move on to Billy Ray’s remake of The Secret in Their Eyes. Later this year, he’ll be seen in Craig Zobel’s post-apocalyptic drama Z for Zachariah and John Hillcoat’s crime drama Triple Nine. He was recently eyed for the villain role in Spectre, but a deal was never struck.