Colin Farrell And Keanu Reeves Join The Doctor Strange Race

Keanu Reeves

There’s been yet another shift in the seemingly never-ending casting race for Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Just a few days ago, we learned that Marvel’s new shortlist included Matthew McConaughey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor, Oscar Isaac, Jared Leto and Ethan Hawke. Then, on Friday, we heard that Ryan Gosling had actually taken a meeting with the studio for the titular role of Sorcerer Supreme.

Now, however, there seems to be a new list of frontrunners, which was reported by TheWrap late Friday night. The new names in Marvel’s crosshairs are apparently Colin Farrell, Keanu Reeves, Benedict Cumberbatch and… Joaquin Phoenix?!

Last we heard, Phoenix had gone so far as to enter final negotiations for the role, but eventually took his name out of the running as he was supposedly uncomfortable with the studio’s demands. The actor’s publicist insists that the talks with Marvel are, “dead dead dead,” but Jeff Sneider of TheWrap isn’t convinced, so we may have to keep him on the back burner for now.

It’s interesting to see Cumberbatch’s name on the list, since he was once on Marvel’s wishlist for the role for a while but was thought to be too busy with other high-profile projects to sign one of the studio’s infamous multi-picture deals. However, multiple sources are claiming that the English thespian remains “high on the studio’s list” and that Marvel was “surprised when the actor’s name was omitted from this week’s round of media reports.” The studio has reportedly long been interested in getting in the Cumberbatch business, and there’s no denying that he’d be a great fit for Doctor Strange.

Farrell is the sudden new arrival here, while Keanu Reeves is a name that many fans (including myself) have been suggesting for quite some time now. Marvel has supposedly been “paying attention” to Reeves’ fan support, especially with the praise he’s currently getting from early screenings of John Wick. Farrell, on the other hand, is about to be a hot commodity now that he’s boarded HBO’s True Detective, so Marvel may be looking to strike while the iron is hot.

Judging by what we’ve heard about this casting race so far, this list could very well change over the weekend, so proceed with caution before getting too attached to one actor in particular.

Directed by Scott Derrickson, Doctor Strange is slated to hit theaters on July 8th, 2016.