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Has Marvel found their Doctor Strange?  The studio has long been rumored to be developing a film around its Sorcerer Supreme, one of the few comic book headliners that doesn’t already have a film franchise.  The character’s name was even dropped in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, much to the delight of nerds nationwide.  And nearly every name in Hollywood has been rumored to be up for the role, from Johnny Depp to Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Jon Hamm.  Well, let’s add another name to the list– eccentric method actor Joaquin Phoenix is the latest name to be attached to the superhero project.

Phoenix is largely known for smaller, indie projects but he has dipped his toes in larger studio projects in the past, including his role as the villainous Commodus in ‘Gladiator’.  He’s even provided the voice of a cartoon in ‘Brother Bear,’ so while he may seem like a dark horse for starring in a superhero movie, it’s not completely out of the question.  In fact, he even had a guest appearance on the late 80s-early 90s ‘Superboy’ TV series.  Earlier, Phoenix was in contention for the role of Lex Luthor in ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and a source reports “those talks would not have gotten as far as they did if Phoenix had no interest in doing a comic book movie.”  (The Luthor role eventually went to Jesse Eisenberg.)

So it sounds as though the ‘Her’ actor might be entering the world of big budget franchises and partnering with Marvel to play Stephen Strange.  In the comics, Doctor Strange is the foremost magical hero in the Marvel Universe and leader of The Defenders, a team that also includes The Incredible Hulk, Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Silver Surfer.  However, Marvel and Netflix are currently developing a ‘Defenders’ TV series that won’t include any of these characters.  Well… yet.

Most recently Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch have been rumored to be up for this role.  Both are fan favorites, but Cumberbatch is about to embark on a stage production of ‘Hamlet’ that would likely take him out of the running and Hardy will be headlining a ‘Splinter Cell’ movie that could turn into a franchise.

But at this point, I’m taking everything with a grain of salt.  Marvel may be making an official announcement this weekend at SDCC.  Until then, I’m considering this as just another rumor.

Source: Cinema Blend