I’m sure the fact this rumor is hitting the day after Benedict Cumberbatch shot down his involvement in the film is just a coincidence.
Deadline‘s Mike Fleming is reporting that he is “hearing” that Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to star as Stephen Strange in Marvel’s forthcoming Doctor Strange film. Fleming doesn’t give us much more information than that, but the tone of the article makes it sound like the negotiations are close to being done. Will they be done by Marvel’s panel on Saturday? I’m leaning towards no.
This is the second comic book film in a year that Phoenix was in talks to join in, having a rumored flirtation with joining Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice in a villain role late last year.
Phoenix is a great actor, with three well-deserved Oscar nominations to his name as proof, so his name might be one of the few that could make people forget about Benedict Cumberbatch. But I’ll believe he’s signed on when Marvel announces it themselves.
UPDATE: Bleeding Cool adds that Phoenix was hitting Connecticut comic book shops last week, shopping for Doctor Strange related comics. Hmmm.