Every fanboy in the multiverse has picked up on the so-called news that Patrick Dempsey of Grey's Anatomy is jockeying for a shot at playing the occult superhero Doctor Strange in the upcoming Marvel Comics adaptation. As it turns out, the rumor—and it's most definitely just a rumor—can be traced back to a blog post yesterday on Bleeding Cool that states, "Star of Grey’s Anatomy, Patrick Dempsey, really wants to play a different kind of Doctor. Doctor Strange. And comics artist-working-in-Hollywood Arne Starr seems to agree, whipping up this piece of art that got Dempsey seen by Marvel Studios."
As promised, the Bleeding Cool blog contains a drawing of Doctor Strange that has the vague likeness of Dempsey slapped on it. Because, you know, that's proof, seeing as how most A-list actors typically hit up relative nobodies like Starr—a veteran comic-book inker and protégé of the late comics legend Dick Giordano who's also racked up a lengthy résumé as a Hollywood extra over the past few years—to start online campaigns to get them cast as superheroes. (In its defense, Bleeding Cool does run this disclaimer: "This site is full of news, gossip, and rumor. You are invited to use your discretion and intelligence when discerning which is which.")
Bleeding Cool, of course, doesn't provide a link to Starr's own website, but a quick peek over there reveals a different story. According to Starr, he heard some kind of secondhand rumor about Dempsey wanting to play Doctor Strange back before the film was even greenlit, when Starr was an uncredited extra on Grey's Anatomy. That led Starr to take matters into his own hands and draw the Dempsey-as-Strange picture as a means to, presumably, stir up some attention for himself. Which it clearly did—eventually: Although the page in question on Starr's website isn't dated, it was apparently posted at least a year ago. On it he says, "Oh and that Grey's connection […] we have Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Denny Duquette) who is playing the Comedian in the upcoming Watchmen."
So, um, yeah, there you have it. A blog that openly acknowledges its lack of veracity swipes a year-old piece of art from some dude's website and passes it off as news. That's it. Now pipe down, you little geeks.