While many of the Comic-Con faithful (myself admittedly included) were hoping to hear an announcement that Benedict Cumberbatch would play Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel’s upcoming Doctor Strange film, it doesn’t sound like that’s going to happen. Cumberbatch addressed the rumors in an interview yesterday saying he didn’t think it was likely because of his commitment to starring in a production of “Hamlet” across the pond, and now Deadline drops news that seems to put the Cumberbatch hopes to an end.
The outlet says that Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to star in the film, which will be directed by Scott Derrickson and written by Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts. Phoenix’s name had appeared in relation to this part before, back when the playing field for who might ultimately take the role was wide open. Interestingly enough, the Oscar nominee was also reportedly courted to play the villain in Warner Bros.’ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so it seems that he’s in demand when it comes to Hollywood’s superhero fare.
Could this be one of those cases where news breaks right before the studio officially announces it at Comic-Con, like the Mark Ruffalo/Hulk casting from a few years ago? Is this massive misdirection by the studio in order to preserve the surprise of casting Cumberbatch? Who knows, but we’ll see what Marvel has to say about it at their panel tomorrow night.
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