October 23, 2014
Kevin Feige Shows-Up To Watch DOCTOR STRANGE Frontrunner Keanu Reeve Kick-Ass In JOHN WICK
We've seen a huge list of names attributed to Marvel's massive casting search for Doctor Strange. Names such as Ewan McGregor, Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto, Oscar Isaac, Keanu Reeves, Ethan Hawke, and the heat-magnet Matthew McConaughey (True Detective, Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar). While this might seem like an overload of actors circling for one role, this was the same case for Marvel finding an actor to play both Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Peter Quill (Star-Lord).
They are being extremely tough with their casting, and are likely trying to find someone good enough to take on the the important role. It's been said that Stephen Strange will eventually replace Tony Stark as the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A huge feat and Marvel needs to make this casting choice perfect, or this concept might not work as they planned.
TheWrap is now stating the search might be two three frontrunners with a couple still in the race for the lead role. Colin Farrell fresh-off landing the lead in HBO's True Detective is the newest name added to the mix. Previously linked actor Benedict Cumberbatch makes comeback and newly resurrected action star Keanu Reeves is apart the group as well. However, it might seem like one of these gentleman is wooing Marvel a bit more.
Marvel's Kevin Feige actually showed-up to a screening of Keanu's latest flick John Wick, with the actor and director in attendance. Which is being strongly compared to the action-level of the original Matrix, earning a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from early reviews. While it says a lot that Kevin would make such a public appearance to the film of an active casting candidate. It should be noted that Adrianne Palicki is also in the film, who takes the role of Avenger Mockingbird in the Agents of SHIELD series.
Palicki has confirmed there are plans for Bobbi to make the leap to films, which could mean she's already filmed scenes. It could be just the case of Kevin sporting one of his Marvel alumni. Another theory is that Keanu is actually the main frontrunner, and Feige wanted to see audience reaction to the film first-hand. Ever since it's screening at SXSW the buzz has been huge, and it continues to impress critics and moviegoers alike. This new life given to Reeve's recent foggy action career, could be the final bit of heat needed for him to land the role.
I've already suggested that Marvel work fast to get Wick director Chad Stahelski on a project, before other studios try to lock him into a franchise. This could also be the case of Feige trying to figure out if Chad would be a good fit at Marvel as well. Chad has gone from stuntman to second-unit director to feature director in such a small span of time, this kind of talent will be noticed by a major studio very soon. It's said that excellent word-of-mouth could see Wick earning a lot more than originally projected for it's opening weekend.
Keanu Reeves is actually one of the only actors candid about the process. Talking with Collider it actually sounded like this was the first time he had heard about being a fan-favorite for the role. This could have led to him getting his agent to talk to Marvel about the idea. Reeves is famously known for being against sequels, and a Marvel contract could scare him away. However, he recently mentioned on the Jimmy Kimmel Show that his favorite film experience was making the Matrix trilogy. Could this mean he's a bit more open to a franchise role, if he's sort of clued-in to the overall plan?
Let's not forget that Keanu Reeves has worked with Doctor Strange's director Scott Derrickson on The Day The Earth Stood Still.