Last month, The Wrap broke the news that Marvel Studios was considering Joaquin Phoenix for the title role in DOCTOR STRANGE. Today, Collider reports Marvel and Phoenix are now in final talks with negotiations characterized as being on “the 1-yard line.” The chances of Joaquin Phoenix suiting up as Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, for director Scott Derrickson are looking pretty good.
Without question, the casting of an actor of Phoenix’s caliber would be a huge get for the new DOCTOR STRANGE franchise and the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. The assumed drawback in Phoenix taking the role has been Marvel’s preference to sign actors to long-term contracts ranging from six to nine films. Such a preference is understandable given the need to have certain characters appear in solo and AVENGERS movies.
Hopefully, today’s news means that whatever the real points of contention may have been, they’ve all been smoothed out over the last several weeks. It’s never a bad idea to have a great actor lead a new franchise. Phoenix certainly qualifies in that regard.
Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE does not have an official release date yet, but is expected to arrive July 8, 2016.