If Avengers: Infinity War ends up feeling slightly disjointed, we’ll know why. It’s being reported this morning that star Benedict Cumberbatch, who will be reprising his role as Doctor Strange, is getting a stand-in for the early part of the shoot. We’re not sure if this is the only actor getting such treatment. But it all makes perfect sense.
Avengers: Infinity War is the most mammoth undertaking Marvel has ever set out to accomplish. And the production will span nearly the entire year of 2017, as the Russo Bros. shoot it with Avengers 4 back-to-back. There are a reported 67 main characters. Doing the math, that’s a lot of schedules to juggle. And some of the actors aren’t going to be ready when production starts in just a few weeks.
One of those actors in question is Benedict Cumberbatch. He is currently shooting the true-life drama The Current War, where he stars as Thomas Edison. That shoot is overlapping with Avengers 3. So Disney and Marvel have been forced to bring in a stand-in for the Sherlock actor. Meet Broadway actor Aaron Lazar, who is almost a dead ringer for Benedict Cumberbatch. Almost.
Avengers: Infinity War begins shooting in Georgia in the first half of 2017. Viewers won’t ever get to see Aaron Lazar’s face, but when watching the movie, and you see Doctor Strange’s backside, you can guess your probably not looking at Benedict Cumberbatch. Lazar has been seen on the big screen in Les Misérables and the small screen in The Last Ship. For Marvel, though, he is just another body double doing the devil’s work.
When Cumberbatch is done with The Current War, which follows Thomas Edison as he competes with George Westinghouse to get America electrified, he will zip straight on down to Georgia to shoot his part of the movie facing forward. It is reported by Page Six that Cumberbatch will actually reshoot all of the scenes where the face of Lazar is being seen.
A Disney source has confirmed that none of Lazar’s speaking performance will be seen in the finished film. And that Benedict Cumberbatch’s face will not be digitally superimposed on any of the scenes, such as seen in the recent Disney outing Rogue One. This style of shooting is close to what Sean Gunn did with Rocket Raccoon on both Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
A recent cast list for Infinity War includes Josh Brolin (Thanos), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Sebastian Stan (Bucky/Winter Soldier), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man), Paul Bettany (Vision), Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk) and Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man). Guardians actors Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and even Karen Gillan as Nebula are all going to be in it, as well as Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper as the voices of Groot and Rocket Raccoon. Benedict Wong, who played Wong in Doctor Strange, is listed on the casting sheet as well. And Tom Holland, who played Spider-Man in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, has also confirmed his return.