“Doctor Strange” lead role up in the air

Marvel-Studios-Doctor-Strange-Movie-Logo-Fan-MadeIt appears that in this day and age of constant news updates, word from Hollywood should be taken with a grain of salt. That is definitely the case in regards to Marvel’s upcoming film “Doctor Strange.” It’s a the story of Stephen Strange, a former neurosurgeon who gains magical powers and becomes the most powerful sorcerer in the Marvel Universe and was to be the character’s first appearance in a live-action Marvel movie. Up until October 1, it was widely accepted as near-fact that the person to portray Strange in the upcoming film would be Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix (“Walk The Line,” “The Master”). However, it was recently reported that talks between Phoenix and Marvel Studios had soured to the point that the role offer was revoked.

What all of this means, essentially, is that Marvel is back to square one when it comes to casting. The film’s director Scott Derrickson, famous for his work in the horror genre, has yet to make a statement about the setback.

Several names were being thrown around as potential candidates before Phoenix emerged as the frontrunner, including Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock,” “Star Trek: Into Darkness”), Tom Hardy (“Inception,” “The Dark Knight Rises”) and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyer’s Club,” “Requiem for a Dream”). So, many assumed these names will be tossed back into the mix as the search for the “Sorcerer Supreme” starts over from scratch.

However, Hollywood would not be able to function if the rumor mill powered down. Recent word comes from MTV News and an interview that was conducted with Ethan Hawke, when on a press tour for his recent work in Richard Linklater’s newest film, “Boyhood.” During the interview Hawke was asked about his interest in portraying Doctor Strange. With great enthusiasm he said he would “Pick up the phone if Scott ever called.” Derrickson and Hawke have worked together before in the critically acclaimed horror film “Sinister” and the connection that the two have has spurred on a lot of dialogue and murmurs about the chance of a possible reunion for the upcoming Marvel epic.

However, as of right now, all casting rumors are mere speculation. The filming of “Doctor Strange” has not been pushed back. It is still set to begin in May 2015 at Pinewood Shepperton studios in the United Kingdom. The film’s release date is targeted for July 8, 2016.

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