Marvel has said that they want Doctor Strange to be the Iron Man of Phase 3. This is a tall order to fill, because they need someone with acting chops and name value, and they also need someone who can commit to a large number of films but at a cost that allows them to appear in team movies. My proposal, and the one that Josh and I are throwing our support behind is current and soon-to-be-leaving Doctor Who, Matt Smith.
And here are a bunch of reasons why the time is right to snatch him up, presented in list format, because this is the internet, and that’s what you do here.
6. He just spent four years carrying a franchise.
Come December, Matt Smith will finish up his four-year run as the 11th incarnation of Doctor Who, and it’s been a very successful one. The Doctor is a very demanding role. Smith’s portrayal has been wildly popular (more on that later) and garnered him numerous nominations and wins for British acting awards. In short, he’s already a science fiction hero.
When he took on the role, he was only twenty-seven, making him the youngest Doctor to date. He’s spent the past four years learning how to act in sci fi, saying made up words, and being called “Doctor.” The transition should be pretty easy, and Smith will be the ideal age to take on the role.
5. He wants to move to America.
Smith has expressed desire to move to New York when he wraps up his time as The Doctor. It only goes to reason that he also wants to work in the American film or television scene. This positions him better for that. Doesn’t hurt that New York is where all the Marvel heroes live.
4. He probably wants to dodge the “Doctor’s Curse.”
The one thing that sucks about Doctor Who is that actors who play the Doctor tend to vanish. Even David Tennant, the most popular Doctor, hasn’t appeared in much film since, making a career out of guest spots and TV mini-series. And when’s the last time you saw any of these guys?
This is casually called “The Doctor’s Curse” by fans, and so far 9th Doctor Christopher Eccleston has probably done the best to avoid it. How bad is it? Tom Baker, who spent several decades as the most popular Doctor and spent the longest time in the role, has said that it “destroyed his career.” Matt Smith has become a bit more of a celebrity than most past Doctors, but he’s still the Doctor. Someone needs to snatch him up before the curse sets in.
3. There’s a built-in fanbase.
If you’re not a Doctor Who fan, odds are you’ve met someone who is. Or you’ve been trapped in a room with two of them, and I’m so sorry for you if you have. Because we’re rabid and we don’t shut up.
Since Matt Smith has taken over the role, Doctor Who‘s fanbase, particularly in America, has grown immensely. Granted, that’s probably due more to Netflix than Smith in particular, but he’s still one of the most popular Doctors of all time. Put him as the star of a super-hero movie, and you can pretty much guarantee that every current Doctor Who fan in the world will be there.
Bonus fact, a recent poll shows that the British greatly prefer Marvel to DC, and having a British star head the pack for Marvel’s Phase 3 could only go over well.
2. He’s at the perfect point in his career.
All of the above really boils down to one bottom line: he’s an attractive young actor of the right age looking to take the next big step in his career. He has a lot of star power, particularly in the geek/nerd community, but has not yet made a name in movies and should carry a reasonable price tag. This kind of franchise is the exact kind of thing that could launch his career to the next level, and he has the exact right kind of appeal to sell it.
Marvel has already cast the aforementioned Eccleston as the villain in Thor 2, so they’ve shown they understand Doctor Who‘s appeal to fans.
1. Think of the t-shirts.
So you’ve probably seen this meme before: