Benedict Cumberbatch played the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Doctor Strange, but the studio had approached Joaquin Phoenix in 2014 about taking on the role. The Gladiator star took a pass, and never regretted the decision.
The subject came up during a recent interview with Little White Lies to promote his upcoming project (Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot). In response to a question from the interviewer, Phoenix heaped praise on the MCU. He then revealed that both he and Marvel Studios are fine with how everything turned out:
I think they make some great, fun movies. There's nothing wrong"¦I'm not a fucking, like, cinephile. I'm not a snob, and I'm totally fine with"¦I enjoy those movies sometimes, and I think they keep the fucking industry going in some ways, so I don't have a problem with it at all. I think that everybody was…I'm trying to figure out how to say this most diplomatically"¦I think everybody was really happy with how things turned out. All parties were satisfied.
It's unlikely that we’ll ever see Phoenix as a Marvel superhero, but there may still be a chance that he’ll play an iconic DC supervillain. Over the past few weeks, rumors have swirled about the studio’s interest in Phoenix for the lead role in Todd Phillips' origin movie about The Joker. On top of that, recent rumor had it that the actor had verbally agreed to take on the project, but that could have been an exaggeration.
During a recent conversation with Allocine, the three-time Academy Award nominee acted as though he hadn’t heard about a movie about the Clown Prince of Crime:
What movie about a Joker? I have no idea what you're talking about.