Joaquin Phoenix In Final Negotiations To Play ‘Doctor Strange’

Published 8 months ago by

Joaquin Phoenix Doctor Strange Negotiations Joaquin Phoenix In Final Negotiations To Play Doctor Strange

At San Diego Comic-Con last month, Marvel Studios held back on announcing any upcoming projects outside of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 despite having – at the time – just added six release dates for untitled theatrical releases. It was strange but perhaps not when considering that rival comic book movie studios Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. also opted out of unveiling their future plans.

Given that Doctor Strange still didn’t have a date despite Scott Derrickson being officially attached to direct and Jon Spaihts brought in as a new writer, it seemed the most likely to show up in some capacity at the convention, even it it was just a title card and confirmed release date. We know after Captain America 3 in May 2016 there’s a second release date in July 2016 reserved for a new property. It’s all but confirmed that the new property is in fact, Doctor Strange, especially since it begins production early next year.

We did learn though through reports towards the end of the event that multiple Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix was in talks with Marvel Studios for the lead role in Doctor Strange and heard nothing since. Previously, high profile stars including Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and Jared Leto were namedropped as contenders, and more recently, Jack Huston.

Marvel Studios Doctor Strange Movie Logo Fan Made Joaquin Phoenix In Final Negotiations To Play Doctor Strange

According to Collider’s sources, the Huston rumor isn’t quite true, at least when it comes to the lead role. They report that Phoenix is very much still the lead contender and is actually in final negotiations for the part. It seems Marvel is waiting to lock down their next future Avenger before announcing anything official regarding production and release dates.

We can only assume the lengthy negotiations are due to locking down a salary that works for Marvel (they don’t want another repeat of Robert Downey Jr.’s contract) and the a schedule that works for Phoenix. The standard minimum for the franchise’s core heroes so far has been for six films and that usually includes options for standalone sequels should Doctor Strange succeed, along with roles in future Avengers installments. It is possible however, that the new Phase 3 characters – which also includes Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man – could just be getting one-and-done standalone introductions before bringing them into the team-based fold under The Avengers banner. It just depends on how bankable Marvel’s littlest Avenger and the Sorcerer Supreme are.

Now that Marvel is pushing towards releasing three films a year beginning in 2017, Phase 3 could change the formula for how the studio delivers new characters and team-ups. Only time will tell.


More: The Timing & Magic Behind Doctor Strange


The Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on July 28 2017,  and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 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: Collider

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  1. Personal in my opinion I want to see johnny depp as doctor strange

    • I would rather bleach my eyebrows than see Johnny Depp as Dr. Strange.

      • I feel you. I don’t think Johnny Depp is well-suited for this role. He seems like a nice guy, but he isn’t my pick for Doctor Strange. I’d rather Joaquin, if it was between them.

      • I’d rather bleach my eyes than see Johnny Depp as Doctor Strange. He’d just play him as a prissy weirdo (his only other acting mode is drunken lunatic, I guess that could be before the car crash). Joaquin Phoenix might actually create a unique character rather than just do some lazy schtick.

    • I would picket the movie if he insists his boyfriend, Tim Burton has a hand in making it.

      Lot more BETTER picks than Depp.

    • No.

      He would play “Doctor Odd”, not Doctor Strange.

    • Im with you, I’d like to see Johnny Depth play Dr Strange as well. His dark personality would mesh well with a character who does sorcery. I think Johnny would surprise the naysayers.

  2. Depp is overrated. He played the same character in the lone ranger, pirates, and dark shadows. He is onr dimensional. Dr strange is not a eccentric briton which is what depp has turned into

  3. Ugh, This is such a mistake. Dr. Strange is a cool character who I followed as a child. It would be so much better served by Tom Hiddleston, Jason Issac or Benedict Cumberbach. Phoenix comes with too much crazy baggage and to also add, does not have the looks required for the dashing character. Very sad that I will not be inclined to watch this movie despite loving the character.

    • Tom Hiddleston certainly ain’t gonna happen…. and Jason Isaacs is too old to be applicable for the franchise. I was really hoping Benedict would get the role though. I’d love to see him play this character.

      • Benedict Cumberbach is my number one pick for the role of Dr Strange.

        • Benedict Cumberbach would be good in this role. I agree with you. The only thing is that I almost feel like we’ve seen too much of Benedict lately.

          I would prefer that they use Joaquin Phoenix. I haven’t seen him in too many movies lately. I’d like the Hair and Make-up Department to completely change his look, so that he looks more like the comic book character.

          I think that Joaquin will do a great job.

          If they can’t get Joaquin then I’d like them to (but I know that they won’t) find an extremely talented stage actor who is largely unknown to movie-goers.
          They probably won’t do this because they (the producers and movie houses) like the marketability of big name stars.

          • Agreed. Filmmakers and producers want the big name actor but that said a good talented stage actor would not be bad to play Dr. Strange, a Marvel Comic character who deserves his own film. I am hoping to see the “Master of the Mystic Arts” as Dr. Strange is called at times other than simply the “Magician” by the Incredible Hulk on the big screen.

        • ABSOLUTELY NOT, as much as I love him in Sherlock is not good for Dr. Stange

    • Of the guys you mentioned, only Jason Isaacs fits the look of the charge so you make zero sense complaining about Phoenix’s looks.

  4. Almost any actor so far rumored is a better choice than Joaquin Phoenix – no offense to the guy. For me it’s a ‘vibe’ thing. When RDJ says “I am Iron Man” there is no doubt in my mind.
    If Marvel chooses someone that doesn’t want to live and breathe Dr. Strange then there is no point in rehashing his origin that we already know.

    • Was Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the running at any point? He was my first thought when I heard they were doing the character. Well, second as I think it was in an article about Tom Hanks wanting to play a super hero, and that they were looking to cast Doctor Strange.

      • Joseph Gordon-Levitt is too young for the part.

      • Joseph Gordon-Levitt is going to be Sandman, and is also directing it.

  5. I can’t believe the there is a Screenrant person that feels like he has to read these comments.

  6. Wasn’t Doc Strange of asian ascent?

    • Nope. But there are two key Asian characters, however: Wong (I’d like him retconned into a medical colleague of Dr. Strange and only friend (Strange being a royal a-hole) who helps him get over the accident by sending him on his pilgrimage to Tibet and the other of course is The Ancient One. Also I think Clea could be played by a Eurasian actress. Plenty of room for beefing up Marvel’s diversity quotient with this one. Oh yeah and then there’s that Venezuelian guy they were looking at for Baron Mordo, had to be him because he’s a complete doppleganger of the character.

      • Uhm, I just looked up Doc Strange’s original stories and he was at least drawn asian. Not sure how he was drawn later.

        • Dr. Strange drawn Asian? Non-sense…

          There is no proof of this from Ditko (his creator) or anyone at Marvel. Just speculation that Dr. Strange’s first few comics made him look like he had slanted eyes. That’s just your perception. Mine is that he looks a lot like Stark (not Asian).

          It has been said that in Dr. Strange’s early issues it looks as if Dr. Strange is simply drawn with his eyes closed because he practices magic so much that he doesn’t need to see like we do. This is giving the look of Asian eyes (which I still dont see).

          Ditko, nor any story of Marvel has ever said Dr. Strange was supposed to be Asian.

          If you want to think he was intended to be Asian that is one thing but don’t spout it off as fact when there is no primary source to back the claim.

  7. I think that Joaquin Phoenix would be a very good choice, possibly an excellent choice.
    (We have to see how he does first.) He has the acting skills and the experience required I think that when the Hair and Make-up Department is finished with him, he will have the right look. I hope they give him a British accent.

    • Or if not a British accent then he he needs to talk like a high class individual who went to the very best schools that money can buy.

      To me, personally, the prospect of Joaquin Phoenix playing this role is much more exciting than the possibility of Johnny Depp playing this role.

      Not that I have anything against Johnny Depp, because I don’t. I just don’t think that he would be right for this role. Not every actor is right for every role.

    • Why should a guy from Nebraska have a British accent? Maybe he came from a wealthy Nebraska family, okay. What do wealthy Nebraskans sound like? Pretty much like the rest of them, right? this strikes me as a total non-issue. We are talking about Doctor Strange, not Harry Potter or Gandalf.

      • Why does he have to be from Nebraska? Do the movies have to be an exact copy of the comic books?
        It’s just my opinion, but, I think it would be fun to give him a really aristocratic
        vibe by giving him a fancy accent.

        • Why are wwe even discussing Doctor Strange being brit or having some accent. Thats just idiotic

  8. Anyone who has seen Tyrant should think that Adam Rayner should be a great fit for DS

  9. I kinda feel that Marvel missed a trick here – they could have given Doctor Strange a sex change and opened the door to even more fans. Tilda Swinton would have been a good choice.


  11. The Sorcerer Supreme Joaquin Phoenix is not, a decent villain maybe.
    Stephen Strange should already be introduced for part 2, especially with Scarlet Witch being introduced. (He is mentioned in Winter Soldier)
    The idea of Phases seems to imply a planning process but, The Plan’ in the same process seems to be Marvel making it up as they go along.
    I wouldn’t want to see Joaquin attempt to imply the concepts of the Mystic Arts or the Eye of Agamotto.
    Maybe he is an old fan and sold the idea, the Ditko understanding, of Doctor Strange.
    (My guess is Strange has already been cast and will make a cameo in part 2. Sounds better than this anyway.)
    P.S. Shield should have had a team of Avengers already formed, with Tony just being added to it, some of us may be released from the mortal coil, God Forbid, before we see this decade long final formation of a team, to then fight Thanos right?

  12. So…Craig Ferguson isn’t in talks anymore? :(

  13. As I have already mentioned it once but will reiterate, Joaquin Phoenix as Stephen Strange is not just a bad idea, it is the worst mistake Marvel could possibly make. I am sorry for you fans of Joaquin, but IMHO, he is one of the worst actors in Hollywood. How anyone can stomach his pathetic acting I will never understand. He nearly ruined Gladiator with that pathetic part of Caligula, look at his pathetic role in Signs, every last part he has ever played he is one dimensional at best. So, even when I was younger, by about 40 years ago, and would have died to seen a Dr. Strange film, count me out. This is just sad news.:( :(

    • I wonder if they would introduce his forehead as an additional character. (see the movie where he dates his computer)

    • I guess you have really made it your mission to use your time “wisely” since you post very similar words / posts on various movie sites.

      A. You are crazy if you think Phoenix ruined anything. Phoenix didn’t ruin Signs. Signs ruined signs.

      B. Phoenix is a good choice for Stephen strange because he is strange and odd and he is an excellent actor.

      C. To be honest, I think Marvel is trying to set up their poster boy actor for the Avengers world once RDJ contract is up. So think about this, in the comics Tony Stark and Dr. Strange are similar with their arrogance, looks, and intellect level. Marvel probably doesn’t want to cast another actor that will be too similar to RDJ and Stark. So why not actually make Dr. Strange unique and strange with his abilities, look, AND his personality.

      • I don’t know enough about Doctor Strange to know if JP could do the character justice, but he does seem a strange choice to be their poster boy actor for the Avengers once RDJ’s contract is up – as he is apparently only interested in doing 3 films (one of which being Avengers 3, with RDJ).

        One way that it could work though is if the Netflix series are set during the early noughties and they cast a younger actor to play Doctor Strange during this time-period. Obviously one that resembles JP. Having Doctor Strange fleshed out over 2 timelines would help strengthen his role and authority within the Avengers / Illuminati.

        The Netflix in the noughties idea would also link up with Jessica Jones coma when she was younger – in the MCU, she could be woken by Peter Quill’s abduction rather than Galactus’ arrival. It would raise questions as to where the Defenders were during the battle of New York though… but that could be explained away. Somehow.

  14. I think Joaquin can be a great Doctor Strange, but they should cast Benedict Cumberbatch too, as Dormammu, the Lord of the Dark Dimension

  15. Well this just sucks donkey balls, now don’t it?!
    I like Joaquin okay, but he is so wrong for this part. So wrong on so many levels. I am bummed.

  16. I can understand if some people feel like Phoenix may not fit the part character-wise, but the whole argument that he does not look like Doctor Strange sounds even more odd than similar complaints made about other characters. Doctor Strange is a guy with a mustache and grey streaks in his hair, there is nothing about his appearance that really has anything to do with the character.

    And as always there is rarely going to be a case where a person looks like any make-believe character that has been depicted dozens of different ways by multiple artists. People get an image in their own head and fail to realize things are not always going to match their imagination or notion of how something should appear.

  17. Okay, Phoenix is not the right guy here. We need someone who can be a rockstar surgeon, brooding alcoholic, then at the last Sorcerer Supreme. I know he does the voice of Rocket Racoon, but they are missing a goldmine if they don’t snag Bradley Cooper for this role. His character in limitless is a dry run for Dr. Strange.

  18. Yeah Phoenix will do just fine. But get the train moving already.

  19. Viggo Mortensen for Doctor Strange!!! Not this schlock whiney monotone actor.

  20. Joaquin looks wrong for it, imo, but he can act up a storm, from what I’ve seen, so it might work.

    Someone suggested Hugh Laurie, and I tend to agree.

  21. Am I the only one that can vision a perfect Dr. Strange in Jack Huston? I mean he has the look and feel…

  22. NO NO NO NO NO~!
    i seriously think he’s way overrated… he’s totally not suitable as dr strange.
    no charisma at all & isnt doc strange supposed to be this cool all powerful guy?
    if he’s casted this might be the only marvel movie i skip

  23. What do you guys think about the Ethan Hawke rumor?

    I love Hawke, not sure he’s right for the part, but I have to admit, I hoped he’d get it, although I knew (thought, anyway) that he had a slim chance.

    I hope it pans out, though. He’d definitely be an interesting addition to the MCU.