Joaquin Phoenix Is Now In Final Negotiations For Doctor Strange

joaquin phoenix

It looks like the search for Marvel’s Doctor Strange may be coming to a close, as Collider reports that Joaquin Phoenix – who was first rumored to be in contention for the role last month – is in final negotiations to play the Sorcerer Supreme.

Just a few days ago, we reported that Jack Huston (American Hustle, Boardwalk Empire) was under consideration for the role, but Collider’s sources tell them that’s not the case:

“Despite rumors to the contrary, we’re hearing that Phoenix is absolutely still in line to play Doctor Strange in the Marvel adaptation, with our source telling us that his contract is essentially at the 1 yard line, about to pass into the endzone.”

The site also notes that it’s taken a while for Phoenix’s negotiations with the studio to finalize, mainly because the actor doesn’t want his Marvel contract to restrict his creative freedom and keep him from working on other non-Marvel projects. Phoenix is notoriously unpredictable in his career choices (see: the bizarre events leading up to the fake documentary I’m Still Here that nearly derailed his career), while Marvel is a studio famous for signing their actors for anywhere from six to nine films.

Phoenix’s three Academy Award nominations and stellar resume likely helped him quite a lot with negotiating a deal with the studio, and we should expect an official confirmation from Marvel’s camp soon.

Directed by Sinister‘s Scott Derrickson, Doctor Strange lacks an official release date, but will likely hit theaters on July 8th, 2016.