Last month, when word broke that Joaquin Phoenix was being courted by Marvel for the titular role in an upcoming Doctor Strange project, the Internet promptly freaked out. After stunning turns in The Master and Her, and landing the lead role in Paul Thomas Anderson's forthcoming pic Inherent Vice, it really does seem like Phoenix is in the middle of an unstoppable career apex. Upon hearing the news, comic fans were calling the idea his potential casting as Stephen Strange a stroke of genius within the zip code of Robert-Downey,-Jr.-as-Iron-Man and Heath-Ledger-as-Joker.
But the Internet has a habit of overstating things and making a fuss over something that might not even happen. Indeed, it's one month later and Marvel doesn't seem any closer to announcing that Joaquin Phoenix is their new Doctor Strange. However, we're seeing reports that a deal may be reached soon. Though with Marvel's history of low-balling their actors and their general requirement of multi-film commitments, it's easy to see how Phoenix, an actor who has found so much success in modest prestige films may ultimately bail.
Still, Phoenix's reps maintain that a deal has not been finalized or rejected. "Lots still to work out." Let's hope they work it all out.