In the last decade or so, Benedict Cumberbatch has done spectacular work proving himself as one of the movie industry’s most excellent and stalwart performers – and today he was honored in a significant way for all of his achievements. Friends and colleagues were gathered in Los Angeles to commemorate the British star’s name being added to one of the town’s lasting landmarks: the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
The actor’s performances in a variety of projects were celebrated during the event, with lauding speeches delivered by writer/director J.J. Abrams and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige… but when it was his turn at the microphone, Feige also couldn’t help himself and took a jab at one of Cumberbatch’s more notorious roles, namely Khan Noonien Singh from 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness.
Benedict Cumberbatch had large shoes to fill playing the villain role that Ricardo Montalbán made iconic in 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, and Kevin Feige playfully reminded the Doctor Strange star that he didn’t manage to do work quite as noteworthy as his predecessor. Said the Marvel executive, via Variety,
In truth, Benedict Cumberbatch actually wasn’t the “first” actor to take on the role of Doctor Strange in live-action, as Peter Hooton first played the titular part in the 1978 TV movie Dr. Strange. But unlike Cumberbatch’s turn as Khan, his time as the Master of the Mystic Arts has become the dominating image of the character in pop culture.
You can watch the video clip from Kevin Feige’s speech below, and it’s worth it to watch just to note his willingness to look right at Benedict Cumberbatch while executing a verbal towel snap (though I wish there was also a camera on J.J. Abrams, the director of Star Trek Into Darkness):
Kevin Feige to Benedict Cumberbatch: “You were an amazing Hamlet. You were an incredible Sherlock Holmes. You were the second best Khan ever… But to us, you deserve this honor for being the first, the best, the greatest & the only Doctor Stephen Strange” https://t.co/OXdlS1KrO0 pic.twitter.com/NNSHWjhDtjFebruary 28, 2022
Without belaboring the point, Star Trek Into Darkness isn’t exactly viewed as one of the great cinematic Star Trek offerings, and a significant part of the backlash against it was its attempt to create a rebooted Khan Noonien Singh (notably after months of telling fans that it wasn’t happening). Fortunately, the series was able to rebound with its next installment, Star Trek Beyond, which is a superior film, albeit not as financially successful.
The Khan hiccup is now very much in the past, however, as Benedict Cumberbatch has not only become a megastar since then thanks to his role as Dr. Stephen Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but has also earned his second Academy Award nomination for Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog. Fans will learn whether or not he takes home the Best Actor Oscar when the ceremony airs just a little less than a month from now on Sunday, March 27.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s next film, of course, is Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, which will be arriving in theaters on May 6. You can learn about everything that’s going on with that particular project by heading over to our Doctor Strange 2: What We Know So Far guide.