Though rumored to be starring in the title role in Marvel's "Doctor Strange" back in July, reports of Joaquin Phoenix playing the role heated up again this week as it was reported that actor was in the final stages of making a deal but hadn't yet signed.
In fact there's been some quite obvious signs of reticence on Phoenix's part, and it seems to go beyond both compensation and contractual length issues. Badass Digest appears to have a bit more of an explanation.
The site says Marvel Studios had hoped to sign Phoenix in time to announce him during their panel at Comic-Con last month, but they couldn't close the deal. In fact, not much has changed since then. Things are almost there but there's a personal issue stopping Phoenix playing the Sorcerer Supreme:
"[The] problems that have kept the deal from closing remain, and they go beyond the basic fact that Phoenix is balking at the heavy multi-picture contract: Joaquin Phoenix literally doesn't know if he can work on this kind of movie. He's a great actor, and he can play the role.
But the Marvel Studios blockbuster machine is full of pre-viz and fight-viz and green screen and massive reshoots. It's not a world that's as comfortable for him, and he's just not certain he can do it.
I kind of think this is a terrific piece of self-awareness, and a piece of self-awareness that might keep the deal from closing. If Marvel can get past any issues Phoenix has with the larger contract they still have to get over the doubt this terrific actor has about working in this larger environment."
Time is also running out to lock down a name as "Doctor Strange" is slated to go before cameras in early 2015.