Exclusive: Joaquin Phoenix Met With Kevin Feige For Doctor Strange 3 Villain Role

By Nathan Kamal | 1 month ago

joaquin phoenix

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hit theaters in the United States less than a month ago, and people are already discussing what could happen in a sequel. Of course, that is not accidental. Under the stewardship of Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios has built in hints for sequels and future story arcs ever since Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury showed up to explain the Avengers Initiative to Iron Man. At this point, MCU fans are practically required to wonder what is coming up next. And from what our trusted and proven sources have told us, Joaquin Phoenix is in talks for a role in the next Doctor Strange movie.

We are told that Joaquin Phoenix is in discussion to play a villain in Doctor Strange 3 and has met with Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige. This does not guarantee that the Gladiator star will be appearing to menace a three-eyed Benedict Cumberbatch, but it is not surprising that Marvel Studios would be trying to snag Phoenix. After beginning his career as a child actor with movies like SpaceCamp, he transitioned first into critical acclaim with the Nicole Kidman neo-noir To Die For, and then more into blockbuster movies with Gladiator, Signs, and The Village. 

Since then, Joaquin Phoenix has more often than not leaned toward intense, odd fare like The Master and Inherent Vice. However, the unexpected, mammoth success of the Todd Phillips-directed Joker not only pushed him into billion-dollar box office receipts but into the world of comic book adaptions. It was really only a matter of time before Marvel Studios came calling, and Joaquin Phoenix starring in Doctor Strange 3 is a pretty logical choice. 

Since Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark exited the MCU in Avengers: Endgame, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange has been increasingly posited as a tentpole character for the franchise. It would make sense to bring Joaquin Phoenix in the MCU in a Doctor Strange movie, considering he appears to be at the height of his drawing power. It probably would also not make the Disney-owned Marvel Studios upset to be stealing Phoenix away from Warner Bros. before the possible (even likely) Joker 2. 

On the other hand, Joaquin Phoenix has not made a movie as remotely audience-friendly as even Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness since Walk the Line. While Joker did cross the much-sought-after billion dollar gross, nothing about the grim, Martin Scorsese-imitating tone could have made Phoenix expect that. 

It also bears wondering who Joaquin Phoenix could be being sought after as a Doctor Strange villain. While the Master of the Mystic Arts has as deep a rogues gallery as any long-running comic character, not a lot of them have name recognition on the level of the Joker or Doctor Doom. However, the MCU has gotten to the point of bringing Gorr the God-Butcher into one of their most anticipated movies, so who can say? We’ve been burned before, but we might just be a few years away from seeing Joaquin Phoenix as Doctor Strange’s villain Mephisto. We hope.