Benedict Cumberbatch has been staying quiet about his role as Doctor Strange’s titular character since being cast in December, but he may have just given us a hint of what we can expect from the Master of the Mystical Arts’ live-action debut. After last night’s Academy Awards, he was quickly asked whether Doctor Strange will be American or British in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and his reaction is… well, strange (had to do it).
Thanks to that question from MTV and Cumberbatch’s non-answer, we’re now left wondering whether the Sorcerer Supreme’s country of origin will be changed for live-action. In the comics, Stephen Strange was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania while his parents were vacationing. Although his personality and demeanor might seem more similar to a posh British citizen, but he’s a pure blooded American at his core.
While having a British actor play an American is nothing out of the ordinary, making Strange a Brit would add a degree of global diversity to the MCU. Of all the human superheroes that have been introduced so far, only Black Widow hails from a country other than the United States – having previously been a Russian operative. Future non-American superheroes will include Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, who come from an unnamed country in Eastern Europe, and Black Panther, who is the ruler of the African nation Wakanda. Why not add a British citizen into the mix?
Considering how dignified Strange already sounds in the comics and animated appearances, it wouldn’t be a stretch if director Scott Derrickson and the Doctor Strange crew told Cumberbatch to keep his natural accent. He already has one of the smoothest voices in Hollywood, so why mess up a good thing just to make him East Coast-born? It would barely (if at all) affect the story, and he could still be based in New York after he becomes the Sorcerer Supreme like his comic book counterpart. Of course, when you can teleport and astrally project yourself across multiple realms, location doesn’t matter nearly as much, but still, close proximity to Avengers Tower would be nice.
If Benedict Cumberbatch does wind up going the American accent route for Doctor Strange, it’s worth nothing that this actually wouldn’t be the first time. He most recently adopted a Southern accent in 12 Years A Slave and August: Osage County.
Take a look… Get a look at those shifty eyes!