It seems like Marvel may be done waiting on their no. 1 pick to play Doctor Strange and could be shifting to a different actor, who has a working relationship already with the director and could be headed to an Oscar nomination next year.
This is Infamous reported on Wednesday that The Purge and Boyhood actor Ethan Hawke is now the leader to play Doctor Strange in the film of the same name and is all but confirmed. The report added that Hawke accepted the job over the weekend and is working on a six-picture deal with Marvel to solidify it.
Hawke is an interesting choice that links to director Scott Derrickson after the two worked together on 2012's Sinister. The actor has gained acclaim both in writing and acting, his most recent role in Boyhood is being predicted by some to net him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Oscars, and has some experience in blockbuster movies.
While he has shown to not be fantastic in those movies (Getaway as an example), he hasn't had the chance to join a franchise much like a Marvel one and this brand has a track record with being able to correct past mistakes by actors (for example, Chris Evans as the Human Torch in Fantastic Four).
This does beg to ask what happened with, who most thought was in the lead, Joaquin Phoenix. It was reported at Comic-Con and weeks later that the actor was in deep discussions with Marvel about taking the role, but reports followed that the actor was having second thoughts about joining a franchise, especially one that would require so much time on set and special effects.
For now, it seems like Hawke is at the top as the choice by Marvel to take over the role, but until they announce anything, Phoenix's name will linger.
Doctor Strange is set to open in theaters in July 2017.