Joaquin Phoenix Reportedly in Talks to Play DOCTOR STRANGE

     July 25, 2014


Move over Benedict Cumberbatch and those persistent rumors.  Marvel and director Scott Derrickson might have found their Doctor Strange.  Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in talks to star in the titular role for Marvel’s potential new franchise.

I think this is perfect casting because I think Phoenix is essentially always a great choice.  He’s one of the finest actors of our generation and can effortlessly disappear into pretty much any role.  Hit the jump for more on Joaquin Phoenix potentially playing Doctor Strange.

doctor-strange-joaquin-phoenixPer The Wrap, multiple sources have confirmed that Phoenix is in discussions for the role.  Marvel is also expecting Jon Spaihts‘ rewrite of Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer‘s script to come in soon.

What do you think of this potential casting?  Good choice?  Or did you want to see someone else in the role?  Does Phoenix have what it takes to play a neurosurgeon-turned-sorcerer living in Greenwich Village?  These aren’t rhetorical questions.  I ask because Doctor Strange is actually a huge blind spot for me in terms of my comic book knowledge.  Beyond Stan Lee and Steve Ditko creating the character in the 60′s, I know relatively little.  I do know that after Her and The Master I will tune into any performance Phoenix gives.  And the fact that we’re getting a collaboration between him and Paul Thomas Anderson in Inherent Vice later this year makes me very happy.  Here’s hoping he can make this role every bit as singular as the work he;s been doing lately.

Click here to get caught up on all of our Doctor Strange news, or peruse the recent links below:

joaquin phoenix-doctor-strange

  • One

    I was beginning to think Cumberbatch would be cast after all. Anyway, I think this is a superior choice.

    • Leo Spaceman

      I think Pedro Pascal would be the most superior choice.

      • Kyle Chandler

        The most supreme choice.

      • Underground Anthem TX

        I hadn’t seen Pascal’s name mentioned anywhere, but damn would he be perfect.

  • Nate

    Phoenix is always is like Sam Adams; always a good decision.

    Cannot wait to see Dr. Strange now, dude is gonna kill it!

  • Drake

    Yes please

  • DNAsplitter

    Great choice as he’s a very talented actor but I don’t see him doing the whole “franchise” type of contract that would be needed to sign for a role like this – sort of like Ed Norton. He just seems to march at his own pace – which is great but not for a studio looking to invest $170M on him.

    • GrimReaper07

      Yeah, I get the same vibe.

    • Leo Atrox

      I agree. I just commended something to the same effect. I just can’t shake the feeling that he’d eventually resent being tied to a long-term deal.

    • suave


  • Person

    He’s a very good choice, I just don’t think he’ll take it. Big-budget summer blockbusters seem like an anathema to Phoenix.

  • TigerFIST

    I’ll pass

    • pickaname


  • Agent777

    “Beyond Stan Lee and Steve Ditko creating the character in the 60′s, I know relatively little.” You arn’t really qualified to dertermine wheather he is a good or bad choice then.

    I think he is a bad pic. For some of the reasons others have listed (not a franchise guy) and because I don’t think he fits the character at all. It’s arbitrary casting at best. Besides, Cumberbatch is the best fit for Doctor Strange out of anyone in this generation and it would be a shame to pass on that.

    • Shrouded Day

      “What do you think of this potential
      casting? Good choice? Or did you want to see someone else in the role?
      Does Phoenix have what it takes to play a neurosurgeon-turned-sorcerer
      living in Greenwich Village? These aren’t rhetorical questions. I ask
      because Doctor Strange is actually a huge blind spot for me in terms of my comic book knowledge.” In this statement, he does indeed acknowledge that he isn’t qualified to determine this. So I’m not sure as to the purpose of your statement.

      • Agent777

        The purpose of this statement is to apologize, that was my mistake. I should of read the article better, and instantly wished I could edit my comments.

      • Shrouded Day

        I respect and appreciate your apology!

    • jack

      Cumberbatch is not playing Strange, he has a scheduling conflict. He said so himself yesterday. Time to let it go…..Unless he’s being a lying liar who lies….again.

      • Agent777

        Lol. I wasn’t married to the idea. So I have nothing to let go of. Cumberbatch was a good choice, I feel Pheonix is a bad choice, neither actor makes or breaks the film. What I don’t like is that all the casting relies on getting a big name as opposed to the right actor. This is a role that should be a opratunity to find someone new, and I can’t think I any actor currently who is the perfect Strange. There is simple this celebrity and that celebrity.

      • Kyle Chandler

        I almost think that Cumberbatch IS playing Dr. Strange, because it’s the only reason I can think of that Khan from Star Trek, Sherlock Holmes, and Smaug, picked THIS comiccon as his first. “For what”, you might ask?

        The Penguins of Madagascar.

        Something is up.

      • interiris

        or maybe he just has some spare time at the moment,

    • Nick Person

      I will take Kevin Feige’s pick over yours any day. Also if you are up on the latest news as we all are you would have seen that Cumberbatch has already stated he couldn’t do it.

  • Shrouded Day

    While I am an unabashed Cumberb_tch, I am extremely intrigued by this possibility. After seeing Joaquin’s magnificent, nuanced performance in Her, I have more faith than I would have otherwise.

    • Person

      I like Cumberbatch but I’m kinda getting sick of him. The only reason I’d like to see him in this is just to see what he looks like with facial hair.

      • Agent777

        I felt the same way, and Sherlock has never intrested me. But since I have seen some of his other work and he is fantastic.

  • Kyle Chandler

    He’s too much of a wet blanket for Dr. Strange, in my opinion. He’s a fantastic actor, but I don’t think his personality mashes with the MCU.

  • Kyle Chandler

    If you’re curious whether or not an actor would be good in this role, just try imagining them say “I am the sorcerer supreme!”. If they can’t pull that off, they can’t pull off Dr. Strange.

    • chris

      well, that narrows it down to like mike myers

      • Kyle Chandler

        I was going easy with that quote. In reality, it’s a role that will require the actor to say things like these:

        May the Vishanti watch over thee!

        By the Seraphim’s silent chant… and by Munnopor’s mystic moon… may omniscient Oshtur grant… this fateful boon!

        Without the Eye of Agamotto…we forfeit. … Everything.

        So I guess it would actually help to have someone with some comedic
        chops. Or, at the very least, the kind of confidence and unstoppable
        charisma that makes these quotes palatable.

      • Agent777

        Hey another Doctor Strange fan!

    • Agent777

      There aren’t a lot of actors around who can pull that off… I have always imagined that Kyle MacLachlan would be a good fit, but then again David Lynch would be my first choice a director and that ain’t going to happen.

      Rupert Evertt would be a great choice, he is a stage actor, a film actor and voice actor. He also looks a lot like the good Doctor.

      Richard Armitage wouldn’t be a terrible choice. He is insanely dedicated to his portrayal of Thron Oakenshild, thus would have no issue saying those lines without the slight hint of silliness.

      I am sure there are some British stage actors who could pull this off. That would be a smart approach as you not only could discover new talent, but the actor would also be a professional who wouldn’t start upping his price. This is more or less how they (well Branaugh) found Hiddlestrom for Loki, who is by far the best casting in any of the MU films.

      • Kyle Chandler

        Wow. A David Lynch / Kyle Maclachlan Dr. Strange sounds like it would be pretty batsh!t insane…in a good way! Richard Armitage also isn’t someone I considered, but I like that choice more than Cumberbatch or Phoenix.

        I’m getting to be pretty obnoxious about it, but for me there is only one actor that fits it perfectly:

        If you haven’t seen him on Game of Thrones, he was absolutely fantastic as the Red Viper, and showed all the attributes (self-assuredness, cunning, guile, charm, intensity) that would make a perfect Dr. Strange.

        And yeah, I am a slight fan of the comics if that’s not already clear ;)

      • Agent777

        Pedro would be a excellent choice as well. I’d see that.

        I just get the vibe that Marvel always wants a celebrity.

    • Shrouded Day

      Then that kills the whole Joaquin Phoenix possibility for me. I can totally picture Cumberbatch saying that in that awesome baritone of his, but when I picture Phoenix saying it, it just comes out as a nervously-chuckled, hairlipped mumble.

  • Leo Atrox

    Great, great actor; but I’d be concerned if he was signed to the role. Phoenix is a guy that gives the impression that he could walk away from a commitment (or acting altogether) at the drop of a hat. He’s been fantastic, and has an incredible work ethic; but I just can’t shake the feeling that he’d eventually resent being tied to a long-term deal.

  • Christian

    Didn’t he turn down Bruce Banner for The Avengers? Or am I remembering that incorrectly…

    • Darling

      Lex Luthor?

  • Brandon

    Sorry, but I don’t want to be distracted by this:

    • Brandon

      OK, I see pics don’t get posted, but it was supposed to be JP’s forehead from “Her”.

  • impartial

    Not familiar with the character, but I think Phoenix would be a better pick than Cumberbatch any day.

    BC seemed to know a bit about the inner workings of the film, though. I would guess this is the project referenced in the interview with Kevin Feige, with negotiations ongoing in the lead-up to Comic Con.

    • Agent777

      I am very familiar with the character. I assure you; a terrible choice.

      • impartial

        I’ll admit my ignorance. But look at Phoenix’s track record. My reasoning is he’s a more adaptable actor and seems to commit himself more fully to roles. The physical resemblance is the least of it, but he looks the part as well.

        And we all know how Hollywood works. In my eyes at least, Benedict Cumberbatch lost a lot of cachet with some of his recent choices. The newest Star Trek is a good example – it was awful, all around. Botched PR, script, awkward performances. On the other hand, Phoenix has a lot of credibility from his roles in recent films.

        Not to play that game, though. I’m just thinking Dr. Strange will need to strike the right tone if it’s going for mass appeal. Phoenix has proven he can take odd roles and make them into something that connects with audiences.

    • Kyle Chandler

      In reference to the BC knowing about the inner workings:

      Could be, but marvel has a lot of unnamed movies announced on their schedule. At least 2 we have no idea what they’re going to be (this is in addition to Dr. Strange), so it could be a character (or villain) we haven’t even considered.

      • impartial

        That’s something I hadn’t really considered, but it makes sense. Are there any specific characters he might be a good choice for?

      • Kyle Chandler

        It’s hard to say, and I don’t know if anyone is completely sure WHICH characters are actually in the Marvel Cinematic Stable. He would make a good Namor the Submariner in my opinion. He could also make a great Wonder Man (with a less absurd costume).

  • Bob

    Wow. Well, I was rooting for Cumberbatch….but this is even better honestly. Hope this happens. Would be great.

  • AverageGamers

    Definitely NOT what I was expecting, but I can see the reason why he’s considered. He’s going to bring a superb performance and added gravitas to the movie, and this fits the news that Feige wants Strange to take centerpiece from Iron Man

  • Strong Enough

    SAY WHAT!??? so Marvel is limiting the role to actors who can push their black hair back with gel

  • Jack Dennis

    this would be great but i can’t see him signing a 6 or 9 picture deal.

  • Underground Anthem TX

    All the geek sites had Phoenix cast as Lex Luthor, as well, and that turned out to be BS. Until I hear confirmation from Marvel or Phoenix’s reps, I’ll keep expectations in check. Interesting choice, if true.

    • Kyle Chandler

      Yeah, there have been more rumors brought up by comiccon than actual information, so far. Hope that changes over the weekend.

    • Michael N.

      Joaquin Phoenix was indeed offered the role of Lex Luthor but he ultimately turned it down. He is very picky with the roles he takes. He actually turned down Sea Trees now staring Matthew McConaughey in the same period.
      He then went on to do a Woody Allen movie.

      • Underground Anthem TX

        I probably could have phrased my comment better; yes, he was offered the role of LL and didn’t take it, while all the geek sites were off to the races reporting and speculating. Just venting about the cart-before-the-horse nature of media reporting these days.

        And Phoenix SHOULD be picky– he’s an excellent actor who I’d rather see continue to work with auteur directors on passion projects, not locked up in a Marvel franchise for 6 movies at a ridiculously low-balled wage. I dunno, I guess I just want better for the guy.

      • Michael N.

        To be honest I hope he turns Doctor Strange down.
        But then again it could give him some gravitas in terms of popularity and box office. I also think he would become as loved as Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Hiddleston is by comic book fans and others alike.

      • Underground Anthem TX

        Very true, DR STRANGE could give him the clout he needs to do whatever he wants, but I just don’t see the general audience embracing him like they did with Downey.

        But whatever, Phoenix will do what he wants; I just hope if he takes the role it won’t exclude him from projects like the upcoming INHERENT VICE, which I’m frothing at the mouth to see.

  • Verbal Kent

    LOL. This is just ridiculous. Classic Collider.

  • straight arrow

    Breaking News – Peter Dinklage, John Lithgow, Sylvestor Stallone, Kelsey Grammer now in the running for Doctor Strange! … oh I thought we were just shouting names to play dr. Strange.

  • zillabeast

    Joaquin Phoenix, Paul Rudd, Ben Affleck…..none of these choices are as inspired as Christian Bale, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, etc. Maybe the pool is just getting shallow, but other than Chris Pratt here next week, none of these new upcoming hero castings are very exciting.

    • Verbal Kent

      Chris Evans is inspiring? When did this happen?

    • Bob

      I think Phoenix and Rudd are pretty inspired choices tbh. Imo at least. Wouldnt have dreams they would be play superheroes, but they seems just right for the project after giving it thought really.

  • lord jim

    the marvel movies are entertaining, in a few cases very entertaining but nothing to remember (sorry), i don´t think they can write a script that would be interesting for someone like phoenix who is becoming one of the best actors there ever was (just watch “the master” marvel would never ever produce anything that´s even close to that kind of character study), especially because he is still hungry, not old enough to do it for the money – so my guess is no.(crucify me but michael keaton with tim burton directing would be interesting, but that´s never ever going to happen lol)

  • Chris Starscream

    Personally a little dissapointed….not that I do t LOVE his performances. An not tat I don’t believe he couldn’t do the role justice. But personally, I prefer him in a villain role any day of the week. As far as him playing any comic book role, wish he was our Lex Luthor…. but alas we all know who we are stuck with in that role….

  • eternalozzie

    I hope this isn’t true … over rated actor supreme

  • Early Edition

    Pedro Pascal from GoT all the way. Fave character from this season. Pedro for Strange. Pedro will you be the mayor of my city? Pedro will you be my dad?

  • R0yBatty

    In an alternate MARVEL/EARTH reality, my pick for DS would be RDJ. Come on, think about it…

  • O.G. Loc

    Now that you mention it… I can totally see it.

  • Pingback: Joaquin Phoenix to Lead Marvel's Doctor Strange Movie()

  • Pingback: Joaquin Phoenix Drops Out of Marvel's Doctor Strange Movie()