Will Joaquin Phoenix Be Marvel’s Doctor Strange?

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Rumors are flooding the Internet about whether Joaquin Phoenix could land the role of Doctor Strange in Marvel’s upcoming superhero project. Sources close to the casting process told The Wrap that Phoenix is the most mentioned name for the role.

While it’s uncertain whether Phoenix has been offered or would accept the role, he has previously stayed away from blockbusters and superhero franchises. According to The Wrap, he was tapped to play Lex Luthor in Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, but turned down the role. Phoenix’s filmography, which has led to him receiving three Oscar nominations, has tended to opt for character-driven films like The Master, Her, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming dark comedy Inherent Vice.

While Doctor Strange would be a turn in his career, Phoenix would be a strong actor to portray the brilliant, arrogant neurosurgeon who loses everything and then trains under a sorcerer to learn magic that will help him protect the world from evil. Based on the supernatural elements that inhabit the Doctor Strange series of comics, it is different from what we’ve seen in many of Marvel’s superhero films so far.

At San Diego Comic Con, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told reporters that Doctor Strange has “one of the [best] origins ever, and it’s our opportunity to take that left turn into the supernatural.”

Added Feige: “We like the idea of playing with alternate dimensions. Strange, in the crazy Ditko acid-trip way, traveling through dimensions and traveling through other realms is something we think is very, very cool.”

The Doctor Strange film is still in the early stages, but director Scott Derrickson is already attached. Derrickson’s previous work includes The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister, and he’s worked primarily in the horror, mystery, and supernatural genresPerhaps the dark tone of Doctor Strange’s story and character could attract an actor like Phoenix.

The Wrap noted that Justin Theroux was also rumored for the role. Representatives for Marvel and Phoenix have not commented on the rumors, and no announcements concerning Doctor Strange were made at the Marvel Studios panel at San Diego Comic Con. 

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