When last we heard about Marvel Studios and their planned adaptation of the cult comic book series Doctor Strange, Patrick Dempsey was lobbying to win the title role. Not much has come of that in the last ten months, and there has been little news about the project. But today, it has been noted that writers Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, who came aboard Doctor Strange way back in August of 2010, have finally completed their script.

Marvel Studios has confirmed this, and are now moving forward, actively searching for a director to take on this project, which they hope to have in theaters by 2013. Key cast members are also being sought at this time, but plot details and characters have not yet been disclosed.

The comic upon which the upcoming movie will be based follows a New York surgeon who suffers injuries in a car crash, awakening to find himself endowed with great psychic powers. These include telepathy, teleportation, and astral projection. Possible enemies include Nightmare: "A fear lord who rules the plagued dreams of all humans, and one of Strange's greatest enemies." Xandu: "A sorcerer seeking power through the Wand of Watoomb." And Mephisto: "One of the most powerful Hell-lords." He has also tangled with the real Dracula, lord of all vampires, which might be a popular way to go with the script if the studio is looking to cash-in on the vampire craze of the past few years, which sees no sign of dying out anytime soon.

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As has become the case with Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, who are gaining a reputation as being strident penny pinchers, Doctor Strange will be shot on a considerably low budget, one that is reportedly smaller than the films leading up to and including Marvel's the Avengers. This makes sense, though, and could actually work in the film's favor, as it surely won't be pulling in the same kind of audience as Marvel Studio's previous movies, and should be shot on a smaller scale.

What do you think? Should Patrick Dempsey be Doctor Strange? Or should they go after John Hawkes? Maybe his Deadwood buddy Timothy Olyphant, who already seems to be growing the side gray for the part. Mark Strong in a wig? Anyone?

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B. Alan Orange