Rumor of the Day: The Oscar nominee who could be Marvel's Doctor Strange

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Jul 25, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT (Updated)

Another name's been added to the list of rumored contenders for Doctor Strange, and it's a big one.

Ever since Marvel snagged Deliver Us From Evil director Scott Derrickson to helm its big-screen take on the Sorcerer Supreme early last month, we've all been wondering if a casting announcement could be far off. The film also has a new writer in Prometheus scribe Jon Spaihts, and since both a screenwriter and director were firmly attached just weeks before San Diego Comic-Con, it's been widely speculated that Marvel's massive Hall H panel this Saturday will be the place where we finally meet our Stephen Strange. But who will he be?

Almost immediately after Derrickson was attached to the project, a new crop of rumored stars emerged, chief among them Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and Oscar winner Jared Leto. The likelihood of any of those three being interested or having the time to take on a Marvel flick (or flicks) is up for debate, but now The Wrap is reporting that a new name has risen above the rest as the most-rumored star for Doctor Strange.

According to "multiple individuals close to the casting process," three-time Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix (GladiatorThe MasterHer) is being considered for the Stephen Strange role and has "had discussions" with Marvel. In subsequent tweets about the report, The Wrap's Jeff Sneider made it clear that he's not claiming Phoenix has been cast yet, but he is hearing Phoenix's name the most, and that Phoenix seems more likely now than Cumberbatch or Hardy. Plus, it's now been claimed on Twitter (via Bleeding Cool) that Phoenix was spotted shopping for Doctor Strange comics recently.

Now, even if Phoenix is being heavily considered for the part, that doesn't mean either he or Marvel has made a final choice yet. After all, think of how heavily he was rumored to be the new Lex Luthor once upon a time. It's been speculated that Marvel wants a high-profile to star to sell the Strange movie to non-comics readers who aren't very familiar with the character, and Phoenix might fit that bill, but it's also hard for many (including me, by the way) to see him signing on for the multi-film contract Marvel usually demands. Unless of course, they aren't demanding it from him ...

There's a good chance we'll get an answer on Doctor Strange once and for all tomorrow night in Hall H. For now, though, Phoenix's name is dominating the rumor mill. What do you think? Could he be Strange?

(Via The Wrap