LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - He has solved cases as Sherlock Holmes, been exiled as Julian Assange and saved Britain from the Nazis as Alan Turing, but British actor Benedict Cumberbatch is not done playing the hero as Marvel announced Thursday he will star as Doctor Strange.
Marvel's "Doctor Strange" will follow the story of neurosurgeon Stephen Strange, who suffers a severe accident and loses the ability to perform surgery, thus turning to the mysterious world of magic and alternate dimensions.
"Stephen Strange's story requires an actor capable of great depth and sincerity," Marvel studio President Kevin Feige said in a statement.
"In 2016, Benedict will show audiences what makes Doctor Strange such a unique and compelling character."
The film is scheduled for release in November 2016 and will be directed by "Sinister" filmmaker Scott Derrickson with a screenplay by "Prometheus" writer Jon Spaihts.
The role is another notch in Cumberbatch's growing portfolio of films, and he is currently gaining Oscar buzz for his performance as Turing in biopic "The Imitation Game."
The 38-year-old actor reprised the role of his breakout Emmy-winning character Sherlock Holmes for the fourth season of BBC's modern day adaptation "Sherlock" airing next year, alongside actor Martin Freeman.
Cumberbatch also starred alongside Freeman as the dragon Smaug and the Necromancer in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" films. The final installment is due in theaters this month.
Cumberbatch will enter the comic book superhero movies as Walt Disney co-owned Marvel Studios plans to enter the next big stage of the Marvel universe, with more "Captain America," "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Avengers" films planned through 2018.
Alongside "Doctor Strange," new Marvel franchises will include "Ant Man" starring Paul Rudd in 2015, "Black Panther" starring Chadwick Boseman in 2017 and "Captain Marvel," the first female superhero to anchor a stand-alone Marvel film, due in 2018.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Ken Wills)