doctor strange benedict cumberbatchAfter securing a director, Marvel's latest quirky superhero flick, "Doctor Strange," is now trying to find its titular leading man, and the Hollywood rumor mill suggests that there are already three strong candidates.

First, Deadline reports that both Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy are high on Marvel's list to star as the doctor. According to the trade, Hardy is currently the frontrunner of the two, having proved his action chops in a big budget blockbuster by playing Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises." But Cumberbatch, no stranger to action thanks to his villainous turn in "Star Trek Into Darkness," is also still very much in the mix, Deadline writes, and the decision between the two men may ultimately come down to whose schedule will allow a commitment to what's sure to be an extensive, effects-heavy shoot.

Meanwhile, Badass Digest is reporting another name: Jared Leto. The recent Best Supporting Actor winner has apparently caught the eye of filmmakers, and while his current status is unclear, Marvel reportedly very much liked the idea of casting the quirky-looking Leto as the quirky Doctor.

Of those three, one or none may snag the part. After all, with all the trouble Marvel has had with securing an "Ant-Man" director, it seems that the studio's Phase Three projects are currently in a bit of limbo. And it goes without saying that Cumberbatch, Hardy, and Leto are just the rumored choices at this point, and nothing should be set in stone until Marvel issues official word on the subject itself.

Still, it's fun to speculate. And when the odd back story of the Doctor is taken into consideration -- a former neurosurgeon who becomes the Earth's Sorcerer Supreme, protecting the planet from mystical threats using magic and martial arts, among other powers -- it seems Marvel could go in literally any direction for its lead, and make it work.

We're eager to see who they've got up their sleeve for the job.

[via: Deadline, h/t Uproxx]

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

categories Movies