Joaquin Phoenix Out As Doctor Strange

There’s probably no Marvel big screen adaptation fans are more eager for than Doctor Strange. There’s finally a Doctor Strange that’s on the tracks to get made, except now it needs a lead role.

Joaquin Phoenix was the first choice to play Doc Strange, but now the entertainment trades are telling us that talks with the actor have fallen apart, and a new actor is being sought. There were reportedly months of negotiations, but Phoenix “abruptly walked away,” as The Wrap puts it.

This has indeed been another set back for Marvel, who saw Edgar Wright walk away from Ant-Man. Current speculation has Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Justin Theroux, and Ethan Hawke potential contenders for the role.

Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) has written the screenplay for Doctor Strange, and Scott Derrickson (Sinister) will be directing.