Benedict Cumberbatch the new superhero? Actor in talks to play Dr Strange in Marvel films

British actor Benedict Cumberbatch poses for pictures as he arrives for the BFI London Film Festival's premiere of The Imitation Game at the Odeon Leicester Square in central London, on Oct 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
British actor Benedict Cumberbatch poses for pictures as he arrives for the BFI London Film Festival's premiere of The Imitation Game at the Odeon Leicester Square in central London, on Oct 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch arrives to the The Imitation Game gala at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch arrives to the The Imitation Game gala at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch arrives at the The Imitation Game gala at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch arrives at the The Imitation Game gala at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends a news conference to promote the film The Imitation Game at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends a news conference to promote the film The Imitation Game at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock Holmes fame is tipped to play superhero Doctor Strange in a new comic book film, The Guardian reported.

The British paper said on its website that the movie will be directed by Scott Derrickson, whose movies have included Sinister (2012), The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) and Deliver Us from Evil (2014).

Other actors who are said to have been considered for the Dr Strange part include Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Tom Hardy and Joaquin Phoenix.

Dr Strange is a neurosurgeon who becomes the Sorcerer Supreme - the primary protector of Earth against magical and mystical threats - after a car crash ruins his hands.

Cumberbatch, 38, who won an Emmy for playing super sleuth Holmes in the acclaimed BBC/PBS series, is enjoying Oscar buzz for his role as English mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.

During World War II, Turing played a big role in cracking the code used by the Nazis and his work is said to have enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in several crucial battles. After the war, he was prosecuted for being a homosexual, at a time when homosexuality was still a crime in the UK, and he committed suicide in 1954.

Fans have gone on social media to comment on the casting of Cumberbatch as Dr Strange with comic book writer JM DeMatties hailing it as "the best comics-to-screen casting since Robert Downey as Iron Man".