After being first announced a few years ago, production on Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange is about to finally begin. Scott Derrickson (Sinister) is in the director’s chair working from a screenplay by Jon Spaihts, and filming will be getting underway in London quite soon. Cast-wise, it took Marvel a good bit of time to find their titular character, a cocky neurosurgeon who loses the use of his hands in an accident, then gains magical powers while on the search for a cure. If you followed the developments closely, you know Marvel went through a list of top tier actors in searching for the right performer, only to settle on Benedict Cumberbatch after prolonged negotiations with Joaquin Phoenix fell through.
Once Cumberbatch was set, though, Marvel wasted little time in filling out the ensemble cast, and it’s a mighty impressive lineup. Tilda Swinton is the mystical mentor The Ancient One, Chiwetel Ejiofor is Baron Mordo, and Rachel McAdams is…someone.
It’s this last point where today’s rumor comes in, as Latino Review is reporting that McAdams is not playing a Stephen Strange love interest, as previously believed. Instead, they’re hearing that she’ll be filling the role of Christine Palmer, who appeared in Marvel’s Night Nurse comics and worked as a surgical nurse.
This rumor actually makes quite a bit of sense. Steven S. DeKnight, who was the showrunner on the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil series, explained that they initially wanted Rosario Dawson’s character in that show to be a Night Nurse, but were told “no” by the higher ups at Marvel because “the feature side had plans for her down the road.” It appears the plan all along may have been to use a Night Nurse in Doctor Strange, which is where McAdams’ role comes in.
McAdams hasn’t been quick to take just any role offered her way throughout her career, so my hope is that she’s given quite a bit to do in Doctor Strange aside from simply being the “female lead.” Marvel Studios looks to be finally taking strides in putting female characters front-and-center in its films with the upcoming Captain Marvel and Ant-Man and the Wasp, so here’s hoping McAdams’ character is a welcome addition to that new cadre of Marvel characters.
Doctor Strange opens in theaters on November 4, 2016.