Benedict Cumberbatch feared he'd lost the chance to play Marvel wizard Dr. Strange after a scheduling conflict appeared to wreck his dream role.
The Sherlock star was in a mix of names considered for the role of the comic book world's Sorcerer Supreme, including Johnny Depp, Jared Leto, Ryan Gosling, and Joaquin Phoenix, and when he had to initially turn the part down, he feared the project was well and truly over for him.
"I really did think I had to kiss it goodbye," Cumberbatch told Empire, revealing he had already committed to tackle Hamlet on the London stage last autumn (15) when Marvel bosses were hoping to start shooting.
"If you can't jump on board when the ride's going past, that's usually it."
But good fortune shone on the Brit and studio bosses opted to change shoot dates and the release date to accommodate the star, who was flattered by their considerations.
"The hugest compliment they paid me was to come back to me," Benedict told the outlet. "It motivated me to try to fulfill their faith in me."
And now director Scott Derrickson has revealed he made the call to reschedule everything after meeting with Phoenix, Gosling, and Leto, telling Marvel boss Kevin Feige, "It's got to be Benedict!"
The new trailer for the much-anticipated movie was released this week (beg19Sep16) and Dr. Strange will hit cinemas around the world from 4 November (16).
Meanwhile, Marvel Studios bosses have recruited Dan Harmon to add some last minute scenes to the film. The creator of TV sitcom Community has been tapped to work on new pages of the script "for additional photography", according to The Hollywood Reporter. Principal photography on the film wrapped in New York in April (16).
Harmon has written for the big screen before - he worked on 2008's Kung Fu Panda and has a credit on 2006's Monster House.