Are Marvel and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) going after Oscar winners for their superhero films? The latest rumblings have the House of Mouse courting Johnny Depp to play Doctor Stephen Strange in a forthcoming movie.
Marvel has since squashed the rumor via a follow-up report at Deadline.com. Good thing. Hiring Depp to play Dr. Strange could have been the studio's biggest mistake since casting Edward Norton for The Incredible Hulk, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.
Why? Tim says that while Depp has the range and experience to play any role, he's better suited to playing either very serious or very goofy roles. Marvel films work best when they deliver equal doses of high action and quick wit. (Think Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark or Tom Hiddleston's Loki versus Depp's Mad Hatter from Alice In Wonderland or Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean.)
Yet, in a way, it's also easy to see why Marvel might want Depp. Strange is Sorcerer Supreme of Earth in the Marvel Universe -- a flawed character who fights very dark forces. A Doctor Strange film is likely to be a bit more serious (and more macabre) than Disney's average superhero fare. Just the sort of challenge Depp might appreciate.
History, too, favors Depp. He's one of Disney's biggest box office earners, thanks to the success of the Pirates franchise. Tim nevertheless argues that we can't expect the same performance from Depp in a Marvel film -- especially one that, when made, is likely to come off as a roller coaster blend of Harry Potter and a Lovecraftian nightmare brought to life on screen.
Do you agree? Would you see a Doctor Strange movie starring Johnny Depp? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know whether you would buy, sell, or short Walt Disney stock at current prices.