Oscar-nominated star Joaquin Phoenix is no stranger to headlines regarding comic book movies. Leading up to Comic-Con 2010, Phoenix was rumored to be taking on the role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers, replacing Ed Norton who we knew wasn’t going to be reprising the role from The Incredible Hulk. Mark Ruffalo ended up nabbing that role but Marvel still reportedly has a keen interest in Phoenix, so much so that he might be one of their next big superheroes: Doctor Strange.

Previously reported as a contender to play Lex Luthor for Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment in Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, a role that went to Jesse Eisenberg, now Joaquin Phoenix might be a top contender to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe – for real this time?

The Wrap reports from “multiple individuals close to the casting” that Phoenix’s camp is in talks for the lead part in director Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange but that no deal is made. He might be one of several options Marvel is interested in, alongside previously reported Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy.

Benedict is a fan-fave and is already at Comic-Con this week to promote Penguins of Madagascar for DreamWorks and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies for Warner Bros., but he’s been downplaying the rumors. If this Phoenix news leads to anything and if Doctor Strange is part of Marvel’s Comic-Con panel this Saturday – which is almost a given at this point – then it’s possible Marvel Studios may be trying to lock the star down soon to bring him out on stage.

This is a similar scenario to Comic-Con 2010, back when Captain America: The First Avenger was just beginning to shoot and it (and Thor) were having a panel. The days leading up to the event – and the morning of – the news leaked online that Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo were joining The Avengers and then the entire cast of Joss Whedon’s team-up epic came out together on stage. This Saturday in the same all Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center the cast of The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be present (and the cast of Ant-Man) but we don’t know what will be shown or how many of Marvel’s nine unannounced movies will be revealed.

Can you picture Joaquin Phoenix as a long-term player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and future member of The Avengers?

More: 5 Movies We Want Marvel To Announce At Comic-Con

Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017, July 28 2017, November 3 2017, May 4 2018, July 6 2018, November 2 2018 and May 3 2019.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!

Source: The Wrap