If you can remember all the way back to earlier this summer, to a heady time called “Comic-Con,” the concept of Joaquin Phoenix as Doctor Strange may not sound so, well, strange (sorry, had to do it). Back in July, a rumor busted free that Phoenix was Marvel’s number one pick for the part and, as this rumor got loose (pesky little guys) mere hours before the Marvel panel kicked off, most people expected that such an announcement of Phoenix-as-Strange would serve as the centerpiece of their presentation. It didn’t happen and we haven’t heard much since — besides a recent rumor that Jack Huston might be in talks for the role — but now it seems that Phoenix will indeed play the part. Well, if we can just get him to dot those i’s and cross those t’s.
Collider reports that Phoenix is now in final negotiations for the role. Per the outlet, “there’s absolutely no truth to that rumor [that Huston could snag the part], as Phoenix’s deal is currently being finalized.” Well, that kind of seals that.
Their report continues: “Despite rumors to the contrary, we’re hearing that Phoenix is absolutely still in line to play Doctor Strange in the Marvel adaptation, with our source telling us that his contract is essentially at the 1 yard line, about to pass into the endzone. Though some believed the length of time it’s taken for Phoenix to finalized his deal was a sign that things might have gone south, it makes sense that an actor of Phoenix’s caliber and temperament would want to ensure that his Marvel contract doesn’t restrict his creative freedom to take on other projects outside the MCU.”
As Collider notes, signing on for a big Marvel gig doesn’t mean just signing on for a single movie or even a trilogy of character-centric films, because the studio likes to set up its talent for extended contracts that can feasibly run into the double digits when it comes to films. The outlet reminds us that Samuel L. Jackson first signed a nine-picture deal for his part as Nick Fury, while Chris Evans is set with six films (which would still be three Captain America films and three others). That’s a big commitment, especially for a guy like Phoenix who, in the past, as flirted with leaving the Hollywood scene wholesale.
Doctor Strange will arrive on July 8, 2016. Now let’s lock up the actual good doctor.
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