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Benedict Cumberbatch officially to make magic as Doctor Strange

Cumberbatch can now add "comic book superhero" to his film credits. Marvel finally officially confirms that the actor will be playing the ultimate sorcerer Doctor Strange.

Fans know Benedict Cumberbatch as the brilliant and tactless Sherlock Holmes, but as Doctor Strange he may need to channel an even darker psyche. BBC One

After endless rumors, Marvel finally confirmed Thursday that British actor Benedict Cumberbatch ("Sherlock") will indeed be playing the mysterious superhero Doctor Strange, scheduled to debut in theaters on November 4, 2016.

"Stephen Strange's story requires an actor capable of great depth and sincerity," Marvel Studios producer Kevin Feige said on Marvel.com. "In 2016, Benedict will show audiences what makes Doctor Strange such a unique and compelling character."

The film will be directed by Scott Derrickson, whose credits include quite a few horror hits such as "Sinister," "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" and "Deliver Us from Evil," which could be interesting to fans who hope Doctor Strange will be a darker kind of Marvel superhero.

Jon Spaihts ("Prometheus") will be writing the screenplay that tells the story of a doctor who, "after a horrific car accident, discovers the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions," according to Marvel.

But not without cost: "Doctor Stephen Strange, brilliant neurosurgeon, bit of an arrogant fellow who gets in a car accident and ruins what he thinks are the tools of his trade: his hands," Feige said.

Cumberbatch most recently starred as World War II code breaker and mathematician Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game," but previously gained worldwide fame thanks to his ongoing portrayal of the Great Detective, Sherlock Holmes, in the BBC TV program "Sherlock," which begins filming season 4 in January 2015.

The casting is an ideal choice considering Cumberbatch's reputation for heavily researching and studying his characters. The versatile roles he's already played, from a socially inept modern Sherlock Holmes to a dangerous dragon to an animated wolf, show he deserves to play a Marvel superhero who also is a Black Magic sorcerer.

So far the movie character sounds similar to its comic book origins: Doctor Strange -- originally created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko during the Silver Age of comics -- is an ex-neurosurgeon who, as the Sorcerer Supreme, protects us humans from magical threats.

Which Doctor Strange costume will Cumberbatch wear? Marvel