Johnny Depp is reportedly in talks to star as the neurosurgeon-turned-magician Steven Strange in Marvel's upcoming film adaptation of Doctor Strange, according to Variety.
Depp's representatives, however, have called the claims bunk, and even if the actor were to take the role, scheduling could prove difficult, as Depp has already signed up for the sequel to 2010's Alice in Wonderland (set to open in 2016), as well as a fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1963, Doctor Strange follows Strange after a car accident cripples his hands, forcing him to give up his lucrative job as a top-class neurosurgeon. After saving the life of the Earth's Sorcerer Supreme – whom he initially seeks out in hopes of finding a cure – Strange is trained to be a Master of the Mystic Arts, and he goes on to protect Earth against various threats.
With Strange often appearing in comic book stories alongside other big-name Marvel heroes, including the Avengers and Spider-Man, it's no surprise Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is itching to bring Doctor Strange to the big screen.
There's no potential release date for a Doctor Strange flick yet, not that Marvel will be resting on its laurels in the meantime: Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas have both signed on to star in the 2015 adaptation of Ant-Man, while the studio is getting set for the April 4th release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, followed by the August 1st opening of Guardians of the Galaxy. The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster, is scheduled to reach theaters on May 1st, 2015. To boot, a slate of Star Wars comic books are in the works, and Netflix recently ordered four new superhero series based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, which will hit the streaming service starting in 2015.