Marvel has been courting Joaquin Phoenix to take the title role in the upcoming Doctor Strange film since before San Diego Comic-Con, but have had quite a bit of trouble getting the three-time Academy Award nominee to sign on the dotted line. Last we heard, Phoenix was in final negotiations but was reluctant to sign on for a handful of reasons, from the famous multi-picture contracts Marvel requires of its stars to the fact that he’s never acted in anything quite like a big budget superhero blockbuster before.
Now, it looks like the studio may have finally given up on the persnickety actor and might have taken the deal elsewhere. The news doesn’t come from an official source, but rather from the website This Is Infamous, so take it with a massive grain of salt. That being said, their sources claim that Phoenix is out of the equation and Ethan Hawke (The Purge, Boyhood) is now in talks for the role.
Hawke’s name was tossed around early on in the casting process thanks to his role in Scott Derrickson’s Sinister, but he was overshadowed when bigger and far more buzz-worthy names like Phoenix, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy were tossed into the mix. However, according to the new report, he was offered the role on Friday, accepted the coveted gig over the weekend and has now “progressed into contract talks with a six-picture deal” on the table from Marvel.
The Sorcerer Supreme would undoubtedly be Hawke’s biggest role to date, so it’s no surprise that he would take the offer. I personally never thought Phoenix would choose to do the role, not only because he passed on playing Lex Luthor in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice but because he’s very picky about his work and likes his creative freedom. For better or worse, that’s just not how things really work over at Marvel.
As I said, this is still just a rumor until we get a more official report. However, it does make a lot of sense, and it’s definitely not the first time we’ve seen this kind of thing happen with superhero movie casting.
Tell us, do you think Ethan Hawke would be a good fit to play Doctor Strange? Or would you rather see Joaquin Phoenix in the role? Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned to We Got This Covered for more news about the casting once it breaks.
Doctor Strange is set to hit theaters on July 8th, 2016.