Back in the days before SDCC, there were rumblings that Joaquin Phoenix was all but a done-deal to play Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Some (myself included) even guessed that we were going to get an announcement at Comic-Con confirming all this. But it didn’t happen.
And since then, there have been other actors rumored for the part. Most recently, Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Houston was listed as one of the actors being considered. So what happened to Phoenix? Did he walk?
Apparently not, says Collider. Their sources say that Phoenix is literally a pen stroke away from singing the contract, and it’ll be a matter of days before the official announcement is made. However, Devin Farici at Badass Digest says there’s a catch, and it’s also the reason it’s taken them this long to get this close: Phoenix is a little wary to commit to Marvel.
Understandably so. When you sign on for a Marvel film you’re not just signing on for one film, you’re signing for their entire extended universe. On top of all that, a Marvel movie obviously involves a ton of special effects work, and with that comes pre-visualization, and fight training, and all that jazz. And then there are of course Marvel’s famous (or infamous) reshoots, which pretty much are guaranteed for all their films at this point.
Phoenix is one of the best actors of his generation (no hyperbole on that either, see: The Master), but he’s never worked on a film like this before. And he’s apparently not exactly sold on the idea. But if Marvel can land him, it will be a pretty big deal. He’s an actor with critical clout, and it would instantly make a Doctor Strange movie appealing to many people who might not otherwise care. People like me, for instance!
Collider seems almost 100% certain that this is a done deal, so we’re just going to have to wait and see.