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Marvel’s Doctor Strange director shortlist contains four candidates

Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange movie continues to inch toward becoming a reality, with The Hollywood Reporter now revealing four directors on the shortlist to helm the project. These four are said to have either already met or are about to meet with Marvel higher-ups,a nd the list includes: Mark Andrews, co-writer/co-director on Pixar’s Brave; Nijolaj Arcel, director of Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee A Royal Affair; Dean Israelite, who made his Hollywood debut with Paramount’s Welcome to Yesterday; and Jonathan Levine, noted director of Warm Bodies, 50/50, Sundance favorite The Wackness, and reported collaborator on Xbox Entertainment’s rumored upcoming series inspired by the rapper Nas.

Writing team Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger are also said to be under consideration for the job of putting together the screenplay. Marvel’s goal is to either hire a director and writer(s) to collaborate, or to bring in a director who can write as well. It’s important to remember that nothing at this point is finalized; any of the above names could win the gig, but it’s also possible that none of them could. C’est la Hollywood.

Very little is known of Doctor Strange at this point, primarily because Marvel hasn’t set anything up yet. A rumor sprung up in January that Johnny Depp was in talks for the role – a sensible choice, given that Marvel would probably want to anchor the lesser-known superhero to a known commodity – but there’s no reason at this point to believe the claim was accurate, especially since it seems there’s no director or writer in place yet. Depp’s name was later joined by everyone from John Hamm to Richard Madden to Timothy Olyphant. All of which are intriguing, none of which are true – at least for the moment.

The only thing we know for sure at this point is that Doctor Strange definitely fits into Marvel’s Phase Three films, a group that will begin with director Edgar Wright’s long-gestating adaptation of Ant-Man, for 2015.