Joaquin Phoenix is in shaky final talks for the role of Doctor Strange, with fans speculating that the demands of a Marvel contract may not necessarily appeal to the actor. Regardless, the movie now has a set premiere date of July 8th, 2016 and will start filming in the UK next month. Despite being nearly confirmed for the role, Phoenix is just one candidate at the top of in a long line of rumored actors up for the role. Whether on "Marvel's Shortlist" or simply a rumor, I've collected articles on as many actors as possible for the role. Which of them will make the final cut?
Let's get this one out of the way first:
While many believed he was up for the role, reports from Deadline made it seem like Marvel's supposed dream cast list for Doctor Strange only contained his name, and didn't specifically point it towards Strange. But at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, Cumberbatch himself shut down any notion that he'd be on the cast at all during a panel. Sorry, Cumberbabes, not today.
Look, I love me some JGL. I think he's a great actor, a smart entrepreneur, a certified nerd and he also seems to be a pretty cool dude. He's already on board for the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's [Sandman](movie:401054), led the cast of [Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For](movie:1374) and was our trusty not-quite-Robin in [The Dark Knight Rises](movie:39011), so it's safe to say that the guy knows his comics. Despite that, I think he's just too young to be playing Stephen Strange. What's been promised in the upcoming film is that it won't be an origin story, so we're probably going to see strange in his 40's or early 50's, physically. Coupled with with the fact that JGL is in and out of several movie projects over the next year, I just don't see the possibility.
Another name that gained a lot of traction earlier this year was 30 Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto. But...why, though? Look, I don't know what anyone else's opinion of this guy is, but he's not high up in my book and his eyes scare me. He doesn't look a thing like Strange, and as a person, I'm just not into the guy.
Rumored at the exact same time as Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy's last major comic book movie role involved breaking Batman's back in [The Dark Knight Rises](movie:39011). Alongside having a body that could take down a mountain, he simply doesn't match the rigid edges of the standard Stephen Strange profile. I could see him playing a villain or a supporting character, but not as the Sorcerer Supreme himself.
Depp is currently working with Kevin Smith to produce (and star in) an original superhero movie starring their daughters, but seldom have we seen Johnny Depp play in the comic book realm. While it may seem a tad cheesy and predictable, I could see him doing a great job as Doctor Strange. Depp has had years of being cast as whimsical so-and-so's leading up to an IMDB page with a length akin to the Empire State Building. A lot of people might not want to see him, but I'd be okay with this casting.
So we end with the rumored Golden Child, actor Joaquin Phoenix, who is confirmed to be in talks for the role. Whether he takes it or not has yet to be seen, but with a verified release date and at least one definite set location, it's pretty easy to assume that the deal is done. Phoenix's concerns may have been getting locked into a long-term Marvel contract when he's very much looking to fill his schedule with several different types of movies.
It shouldn't be very long before we hear more on casting, plot details and the crew behind the scenes. Fall con season is on the rise, and Marvel has a massive presence at New York Comic-Con, so we could feasibly see new goods out of the Marvel house at their hometown convention.