Benedict Cumberbatch will be busy doing Hamlet and Justin Theroux looks busy doing everything. So who’s got time for Dr. Strange? Word on Hollywood Boulevard is that Joaquin Phoenix just might. Because you’re not anyone in Hollywood these days unless you’ve embodied a comic book character–the Marvel Cinematic Universe imprimatur is the new Actor’s Studio. Deadline is saying that Phoenix, whose off-screen “performance art” antics make him a perfect fit for a man named Strange, is now in talks with Marvel about playing Dr. Strange in the upcoming Scott Derrickson film.
Dr. Strange is a brain surgeon who gains mystical powers to protect the earth. Change “brain surgeon” to “musician” and you have a pretty good description–at least according to his fans–of the late singer Johnny Cash, who Phoenix played in an Oscar-nominated role. Dr. Strange is yet another creation of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, whose imaginations in the early 60s were as hot as Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire.