I’m told by Marvel moles there is really nothing to this rumor about Johnny Depp playing Steven Strange in Dr. Strange for Marvel Studios. The story’s being bannered by Variety online, but don’t dress for it. I’m told that Depp was approached eons ago, and it never went anywhere.
EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Studios is moving forward on a live action feature version of Iron Fist, hiring screenwriter Rich Wilkes to draft a movie based on a martial arts expert whose battle with a dragon–ended when he plunged his hands through the beast’s molten heart–turned his fists into indestructible weapons.
Iron Fist was on the minds of many fanboys when Disney paid $4 billion for Marvel’s 5000 superhero library and vowed to turn the less obvious comic book heroes into films and TV properties. Marvel tried to make an Iron Fist movie with Artisan nearly a decade ago, as a vehicle for X-Men villain and martial arts expert Ray Park. The Iron Fist comic book mythology was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane in the 1970s, when the popularity of martial arts films was on the rise.
Iron Fist was among a bunch of Marvel superhero properties scattered around Hollywood. While tent poles like X-Men, Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, Fantastic Four and a handful of others remain at other studios, Marvel has recaptured rights to many wayward properties and Kevin Feige is hitting the reset button on a bunch of them. Marvel recently began work on Dr. Strange, hiring Conan scribes Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer to generate a film from a superhero property that four studios tried to crack over the years. Both Iron Fist and Dr. Strange will be distributed by Disney. Marvel Studios has four more films under the preexisting …
EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Studios has hired Conan scribes Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer to write Dr. Strange, marking forward progress on a long-gestating superhero property which will likely be among the first Marvel films generated under the Disney banner. Aside from Conan–the Marcus Nispel-directed Lionsgate film that stars Jason Momoa–Donnelly and Oppenheimer also scripted a live action adaptation of the vidgame Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune for Sony and producer Chuck Roven, and they wrote a draft of the Jon Favreau-directed Cowboys and Aliens for DreamWorks/Universal.
Originated in 1963 by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, Dr. Strange was a self-centered New York surgeon robbed of his touch after a car accident. After a stint as a wandering derelict, he found his way to a healer in the Himalayas, where he learned to tap into psychic powers to battle evil wizards and other wrongdoers. His mind is his weapon, rather than the brute force that distinguish most memorable Marvel heroes.
Dr. Strange has had a long strange journey to the screen that included stints at Savoy Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Dimension Films and Paramount–with a parade of writers and directors that included Bob Gale, Wes Craven, David Goyer, Stephen Norrington and Guillermo del Toro. Marvel finally got the rights and brought the property back into the fold.
Marvel Studios has four more films committed to be distributed through Paramount (including Iron-Man 3). Those will include Thor and The First Avenger: Captain America, with the last to likely be …