"Conan" Writers for "Strange" Film

Deadline reports writers Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer have been hired to adapt "Doctor Strange" for a feature film. It is expected to be one of the first Marvel films to be distributed by parent company Disney.

"Originated in 1963 by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, Dr. Strange was a self-centered New York surgeon robbed of his touch after a car accident. After a stint as a wandering derelict, he found his way to a healer in the Himalayas, where he learned to tap into psychic powers to battle evil wizards and other wrongdoers. His mind is his weapon, rather than the brute force that distinguish most memorable Marvel heroes," writes Deadline's Mike Fleming of the character. Dr. Strange appeared in several Marvel animated programs over the years and has a one-off live action TV pilot in the late 1970s starting Peter Hooten in the title role. He finally received his own animated direct-to-video feature in 2007

Donnelly and Oppenheimer are no strangers to comic-based properties. The duo also wrote the script for "Conan;" currently shooting. They also scripted a draft of Jon Favreau's "Cowboys & Aliens."

The project has been through many development cycles. Deadline recounts companies like Savoy Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Dimension Films and Paramount all taking a crack at it with "a parade of writers and directors that included Bob Gale, Wes Craven, David Goyer, Stephen Norrington and Guillermo del Toro." The property reportedly had a short stint at low budget Full Moon Features, ultimately losing the license; they produced a revamped version of their story under the title "Doctor Mordrid."

While there is no time table for production, the signing of writers indicates Marvel is becoming serious about adding the character to the post-"Avengers" film roster.

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