Benedict Cumberbatch was perhaps the surprise choice to play Marvel's Doctor Strange, though the British actor - who could be "the Oscar-winning British actor" come February - insists he does not consider the big-budget comic book movie to be a potential pitfall.

Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch isn't concerned about the potential pitfalls of Doctor Strange

"I don't think it's a risk because of Marvel," he told the Wall Street Journal, bluntly. "Marvel is a stable of bringing out ordinary comic characters and turning them into screen-like gods. It's very different, it's an Astral Plane. There's a huge new element to this Marvel universe that's going to be employed in building this story and this character."

"But you know, I'm really excited about it, about working with Scott [Derrickson] whose imagination is endless, and all the boys and girls at Marvel who know what they're doing. I've got a few things to get under my belt first. I've got to do that little stage production of "Hamlet" in the summer and the Christmas special of "Sherlock," which we start shooting in about three days' time - Whoops! Yeah, that's there," he added.

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Cumberbatch reportedly fended off competition from Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix to land the role though he nevertheless concedes to not having read the classic comic as a child.

"Growing up, no. I didn't read many comics at all," he said, "Asterix a bit. I think that was it. There weren't many comics in my household - [in a self-mocking voice] "I'm so deprived." We didn't have Marvel so much. But you can bet your bottom dollar I'm reading them now, avidly."

Cumberbatch remains hotly tipped to receive an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game and could find himself battling Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne and Steve Carell come the ceremony in February.

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