While Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has gone on record to say that Chadwick Boseman was the only actor they'd considered for Black Panther, finding the right actor for other characters hasn't always been as easy.
Before Benedict Cumberbatch signed on to play the titular hero in Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange, the studio had been in talks with Joaquin Phoenix to tackle the mystical role. Now, as Phoenix looks ready to take on the role of the Joker in a still untitled origin film from Warner Bros, the actor is opening up about passing on joining the MCU.
In an interview with Little White Lies to promote You Were Never Really Here, Phoenix was asked about "flirting with the Marvel Cinematic Universe" and ultimately opting to pass on Doctor Strange. While he doesn't go into specifics as to why he passed up the offer, Phoenix believes his decision worked out best for all parties involved.
"I think they make some great, fun movies. There’s nothing wrong… I’m not a fucking, like, cinephile," Phoenix said. "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, is… I’m trying to figure out how to say this most diplomatically, okay… I think everybody was really happy with how things turned out. All parties were satisfied."
While Phoenix has flirted with numerous comic book roles, including Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman, many have often viewed him as a "serious actor" who wouldn't want to do any of those projects for the long run. However, it appears that Phoenix is very much open to signing on for a comic book film -- if it's a project that truly captures his interest.
While the actor has yet to comment on his potential involvement with The Joker, the film is expected to go into production in May, the first project under a new banner that will house a range of properties outside of the DC Extended Universe, with different actors playing iconic roles. As of right now, the project does not have a release date.