This Marvel Hero Is Taking On a Very Different Role Alongside a Rival DC Actor
Marvel Cinematic Universe is having a moment. With the success of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, it’d be a leap to step outside of the franchise. That level of box office madness is unique. Likewise, “rival” comic DC, and its cinematic hits like Wonder Woman and Aquaman, also catapulted stars into the next dimension.
One non-franchise film in the works will unite MCU and DC with two of its leading actors. Maybe we can put the rivalry once and for all (kind of).
MCU’s Benedict Cumberbatch has a ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel in the works
Benedict Cumberbatch is known for his enigmatic roles as Sherlock Holmes on the BBC America series, Sherlock, and Doctor Stephen Strange in the MCU films.
The first of Strange appeared in the 2016 origin story, Doctor Strange. He made subsequent appearances in Thor: Ragnarok, and the Avengers duality, Infinity War and Endgame.
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, slated for a 2021 release, Cumberbatch reprises his role as the Sorceror Supreme.
Marvel boss, Kevin Feige, previously said: “the multiverse is the next step in the evolution of the MCU.” There are multiple phases involved in the overall arc of Marvel movies, allowing them to connect through each film.
Doctor Strange appeared in Phase 3, with Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home closing out that phase. Phase 4 officially begins with Black Widow in May 2020, followed by The Eternals in Nov. 2020.
2021 brings MCU fans Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in Feb., Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in May, and Thor: Love and Thunder in Nov. 2021.
That said, Cumberbatch remains busy with the time between MCU projects. Not only does he have the next installment of Doctor Strange, but six other projects announced. Among those projects is an unlikely role opposite a major DC actor.
DC’s Zachary Levi says that ‘Shazam!’ saved his life
Despite Zachary Levi’s rise to the top with DC’s Shazam!, the actor struggled with finding his place in Hollywood. It was so challenging, Levi first turned down the opportunity to audition for Shazam!, fear he wasn’t good enough.
The actor is previously known for NBC’s Chuck, sought different therapies and methods to help him realign his goals.
“Two years ago today I was moving to Toronto, for the 4th time 3 years, to begin working on [Shazam!], one of the single greatest gifts I’ve ever been handed,” Levi previously posted on Instagram.
“Ironically, just 4 months prior, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to live anymore. My goals, and visions, and hopes, and dreams, and therefore expectations for myself, have always been a lot.”
The movie became a hit among fans but didn’t hit big box office numbers like those top MCU films. Still, it was enough to garner Levi a second chance, with the Shazam! sequel out in April 2022.
“When I surveyed my life a few years back, I genuinely felt like I was failing it,” Levi wrote. “I didn’t feel worthy of the love that was around me. I didn’t feel worthy of any of the things I had achieved up to that point.”
He continued, explaining how Shazam! may have saved his life: “Then came therapy. Then came the beginning of finally loving myself. And then came the miracle that was me stepping into this life-changing role.”
He went on to thank those who backed him for believing he was “worthy of wearing this cape, even while I was still learning to believe that myself.”
There’s still a while before Shazam! 2 releases, leaving Levi to snag a project opposite Cumberbatch.
Cumberbatch and Levi team up for true-life legal drama
Setting his Cloak of Levitation aside, Cumberbatch teams up with Levi for a true-life legal drama, Prisoner 760. The story follows Mohamedou Ould Slahi, “a man captured by the U.S. government and held for years without charge or trial,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie is based on the New York Times best-selling memoir, Guantánamo Diary, which Slahi wrote in prison.
Slahi receives the help of defense attorneys, played by Jodie Foster and Shailene Woodley, while Cumberbatch plays a military prosecutor and will also co-produce. Levi will play a federal agent and old friend of Cumberbatch’s character.