Back at Comic-Con, it was reported that Joaquin Phoenix was in talks to star in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. The plan was to unveil him at Comic-Con at Marvel’s Hall H panel, but talks stalled and Marvel couldn’t close the deal in time. Today, Collider reports that negotiations are at “the 1 yard line”, with Badass Digest corroborating and The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline going as far as saying they’re negotiating money and talking about the role.
Yet, there’s still an air of uncertainty around this. Marvel’s first choice is definitely Joaquin Phoenix, and Phoenix likely wants to take the role to attain financial security so he could take on even riskier projects in between Marvel movies, kind of like what Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. are doing.
It seems that the main holdup is whether Phoenix wants everything that comes with the role. Badass Digest says he genuinely doesn’t know if he can pull the whole thing off, which includes a whole bunch of special effects and multiple franchise movies and a whole bunch of pandering to fans while doing tons and tons of interviews.
That’s a whole new world for Phoenix, who is far more used to doing strong dramas that come with low pressure and don’t throw you in front of all these cameras over and over again.
I absolutely would love for Phoenix to take this on. It would be the next step in his career, and seeing him take on more risky projects because of financial security would be a treat. And not only that, but it would be a massive move to see Marvel sign an actor that is one of the best in the game. It’s a complete validation for what they’re trying to do, and it bodes incredibly well for what they will try to do in the future. [Collider, Badass Digest, THR, Deadline]