Ahead of his inevitable run at the Oscars next year, Benedict Cumberbatch has been confirmed to play Doctor Strange in Marvel's forthcoming movie. The studio has been searching for their Sorcerer Supreme for months now, with Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix being considered.

Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch is Marvel's Doctor Strange and will begin shooting in mid 2015

However, Phoenix never had a deal (despite reports to the contrary), and Marvel quickly got its act together, courting the Sherlock actor.

Now, Marvel has finally confirmed that Cumberbatch - an actor at the top of his game - will take the lead in Scott Derrickson's adaptation of the 1960s series created Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Strange is a neurosurgeon who becomes Sorcerer Supreme, protecting Earth against various magical and mystical threats with powers of sorcery and martial arts. 

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In a statement from Marvel's studio president Kevin Feige said that the role "requires an actor capable of great depth and sincerity," adding that Cumberbatch "will show audiences what makes Doctor Strange such a unique and compelling character."

Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch appears to have beaten Tom Hardy, Joaquin Phoenix and Tom Hardy to the role

Cumberbatch is an awards season front runner for his performance as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game - the mathematics genius who cracked the Nazi's seemingly unbreakable Enigma Code. He was prosecuted by the British government for being homosexual and was chemically castrated, as an alternative to prison. His treatment led to his eventual suicide. 

Doctor Strange is set for release on November 4, 2016, meaning Cumberbatch will probably have chance to film David Lowery's drama The Yellow Birds, as well as lending his voice to Andy Serkis' Jungle Book Origins movie in which he plays Shere Khan. That film hits on October 21, 2016. 

More: Benedict Cumberbatch confirmed as Marvel's Doctor Strange