Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in talks to play Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, for Marvel’s upcoming film based on the character, according to sources close to the studio’s casting process (via TheWrap). While no deal is yet in place, Phoenix is said to have had several discussions about the role. This follows the new back in June that Sinister director Scott Derrickson had signed on to helm.
Doctor Strange originated in the Silver Age of comics from the minds of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. A former neurosurgeon, he eventually fell under the tutelage of a Himalayan mystic and trained to become the Sorcerer Supreme, primary defender of Earth against magical threats. His nemeses included Baron Mordo and Dormammu, both of whom should be familiar to anyone that has played Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Rumors of a Doctor Strange movie have been circulating since 2010, until Marvel’s president of production Kevin Feige confirmed it in 2013. Along with Ant-Man, Doctor Strange kicks off Marvel Studio’s ambitious “Phase Three.”
While certain release dates still have no projects attached to them, the next run of movies gets to build on the strong universe foundation laid out by the success of mainstay franchises like Iron Man and The Avengers. Expect Phase Three to explore deeper cuts from the Marvel canon, as evidenced by the relatively lesser-known heroes who will be kicking things off. It’s fair to say that Guardians of the Galaxy, out August 1, is Marvel’s first experiment in pushing less widely-known characters into the Hollywood spotlight.