From Sherlock to Alan Turing to Stephen Hawking, the roles that prepared BenCumb for his Marvel debut, Doctor Strange...
Alan Turing, The Imitation Game
Cumberbatch won plaudits for his portrayal of the quite possibly autistic WWII code-breaker Alan Turing. Turing was socially awkward, but also self-centred and arrogant, a description often given to Stephen Strange, before he becomes the superpower-enhanced sorcerer Dr Strange.
Stephen Hawking, Hawking
Ten years before Eddie Redmayne nabbed the Academy Award for his performance as Stephen Hawking, BC played the ace physicist in a BBC TV movie. Stephen Strange is definitely considered as brilliant in his field (surgery) as Professor Hawking is in his, while both are men of science.
Cumberbatch’s signature role, as Sherlock Holmes he is brilliant, infuriating, cavalier and wallopingly charismatic. In many ways, Sherlock Holmes is a superhero, a man so blindingly extraordinary that normal people call on him like he’s a one-man Avengers.
Guy Burgess, The Turning Point
Guy Burgess, whom BC played in the play The Turning Point in 2010, was a British intelligence officer whose life altered irrevocably when it was revealed he was a Soviet spy. When his treachery was uncovered, he fled to the Soviet Union, where he spent the rest of his days. Stephen Strange also survives a life-changing event, in this case the crushing of his hands, the result of which means he will never be able to perform surgery again.
Julian Assange, The Fifth Estate
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may be a divisive figure, but BC’s performance as the chalk-topped Aussie proved the highlight of this wobbly biopic. Certainly, Dr Strange at the beginning of the film is meant to be a clever, but unlikeable individual, but we can trust BenCumb to find the humanity in Stephen Strange.
William Bulger, Black Mass
For a posh English boy brought up in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, BC’s American accent in last year’s Black Mass was note-perfect. His role as Dr Strange will also require an US twang, that might prove alarming to those who only know him from Sherlock, but having flexed his vocal muscles getting it right for Black Mass, we trust it’ll be faultless by the time Dr Strange opens later this year.