Updated May 3rd, 2024 at 21:34 IST

Doctor Strange Director Says Joaquin Phoenix Didn't Belong In MCU

Scott Derrickson recently revealed the reason behind Joaquin Phoenix rejecting Doctor Strange, which eventually led to him being a part of the DC Universe.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and Joaquin Phoenix | Image:X

Benedict Cumberbatch rose to prominence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after portraying the role of Doctor Strange. Interestingly, before him, Joker star Joaquin Phoenix was being eyed for the role. Recently, director Scott Derrickson revealed the reasons behind his rejection of the Marvel movie, which eventually led to Phoenix being a part of DC Universe and winning an Oscar for his portrayal of the deranged Joker.

Joaquin Phoenix was in talks to play Doctor Strange

In a conversation with Slash Film, Scott Derrickson revealed he met Phoenix a couple of times before he rejected the titular role in 2016 Marvel movie, Doctor Strange. The director said, “I met with a bunch of actors, and Joaquin was the one that I spent the most time with. As we continued to talk, it became clear to me that Joaquin didn’t really belong in that movie and probably never belonged in the MCU. He’s a very specific guy with very specific goals as an actor and a very specific way of performing. I think it became clear to both of us that this might not be a good fit, really is what it came down to.” He also added that Phoenix wasn’t sure about signing a multiple films project with Marvel.


Even after looking for other actors to cast in the role, Scott confessed that his first choice for the role of Doctor Strange has always been Benedict Cumberbatch but the actor was busy doing Hamlet in London theatre at the time of the film's shooting, so he had to look for other options. Eventually, he convinced the makers to postpone the filming so that Cumberbatch could be a part of it. 

“I just went back to Kevin [Feige] and I just said, “We have to move the date because it’s got to be Benedict.” Kevin went to Bob Iger and Alan Horn, and told them what I said. To their credit, they moved the date and it became a fall movie,” said Scott. 


Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange

After the 2016 film, Doctor Strange, Cumberbatch played the same character for Marvel Studios in the following films: Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022). 



All of these are available to watch on Disney+.


Published May 3rd, 2024 at 21:34 IST