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Marvel makes it official: Benedict Cumberbatch to play Doctor Strange

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Marvel Studios confirmed today that Benedict Cumberbatch, star of Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness and The Imitation Game, will play Doctor Strange in the 2016 film of the same name.

The announcement confirms earlier reports that pegged the modern day Sherlock Holmes as Marvel Studios' choice for Doctor Strange.

"Stephen Strange's story requires an actor capable of great depth and sincerity," said producer Kevin Feige in a statement. "In 2016, Benedict will show audiences what makes Doctor Strange such a unique and compelling character."

Doctor Strange is a neurosurgeon who "discovers the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions" — opening up a new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — following a horrific car accident. The film adaptation of the character will be directed by Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister) and written by John Spaihts (Prometheus).

Doctor Strange is scheduled for theatrical release on Nov. 4, 2016, and is part of Marvel's third phase of superhero movies, which also includes Captain America: Civil War, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2, Inhumans and Captain Marvel.