Before we even get into this story, I know that Guillermo del Toro is probably the hottest director at the moment with about 50 films on his slate, including The Hobbit and At The Mountains of Madness, but everything he talks about is pretty much solid gold. He's a geek at heart and has great ideas and people love him for that. Empire recently interviewed Guillermo and he talked about an interesting new project - Marvel's Dr. Strange. If anything, it's probably 5 or more years out from actually being made, if at all, but what he says in this very first mention of the project is actually quite exciting for comic book fans like myself.
Dr. Strange is a Sorcerer Supreme, a superhero catered more towards the supernatural with a mastery of the mystic arts. Of all people that Guillermo del Toro could have mentioned to be involved in the project as well, he just had to throw out writer Neil Gaiman, one of the most recently prolific science fiction and comic book writers.
"I talked with Neil Gaiman [about writing it]," he tells Empire. "I said, that's an interesting character because you can definitely make him more in the pulpy occult detective/magician mould and formula than was done in the Weird Tales, for example… the idea of a character that really dabbles in the occult in a way that's not X-Filey, where the supernatural is taken for granted. That's interesting… But I wouldn't use the suit!"
The suit he is talking about is the rather goofy outfit that Dr. Strange wears. But check out that concept for a Dr. Strange movie! I love where Guillermo is going with this and taking that idea and putting it in the hands of Neil Gaiman - I think I'm going to faint from a geek overload! Unfortunately that's all that Guillermo said about the project, but at least it's a start. If it takes 10 years to actually get made, then oh well, we'll at least have one awesome Dr. Strange movie at some point in our lives!
Back onto the topic of Dr. Strange (via Wikipedia). The character was developed by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first appeared in a 1963 issue of Strange Tales. He is the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe and is responsible for defending it from mystic threats. He is a master of the mystic arts, using his abilities to battle evil magicians and other supernatural villains, and is also often consulted by other superheroes on supernatural matters. While not exactly a mainstream kind of superhero character, I think the idea that Guillermo has come up with could actually turn him into a character that could work in a big-budget comic book movie.
An extra special geek moment (courtesy of Empire) comes in pointing out that in Neil Gaiman's graphic novel 1602, Dr. Strange played quite an important role. So it's obvious that Gaiman is quite familiar with Dr. Strange, which makes this even more appealing (is that possible?). Any way you look at it, this is a very exciting project that I hope, even years from now, comes together with del Toro and Gaiman involved in some way.