EXCLUSIVE: Marvel has finally found its Doctor Strange. I’m hearing Benedict Cumberbatch is the studio’s choice for the superhero pic, and negotiations are about to begin. The news comes after talks with Joaquin Phoenix around the time of Comic-Con went south, and Marvel went back to the drawing board. With names like Jared Leto and Tom Hardy also in the mix, this is obviously a coveted role. I expect this deal to make.

dr strangeCumberbatch is in the Oscar hunt this year for The Imitation Game, the Alan Turing biopic that the Weinstein Co is priming for a November 21 release. His hot streak has included winning the Emmy for playing Sherlock Holmes on the BBC/PBS hit Sherlock.

Phoenix never had a deal, and Marvel quickly got into it with other actors to play Doctor Strange in a free-standing film.