Yesterday’s bombshell that Obi-Wan Kenobi himself, Ewan McGregor, was being heavily considered to play Doctor Strange got a lot of fans talking, but Variety seems to have the inside track on who is still on Marvel’s wishlist to play the Sorcerer Supreme.
In lieu of Joaquin Phoenix’s departure from negotiations, several candidates are vying to become the next big Avenger, including McGregor, but one name we had not heard so prominently is Oscar Isaac of Star Wars: Episode VII. The trade claims that “Marvel has an inside look at his Jedi prowess in Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ reboot,” which is an odd thing to say considering no one has confirmed he’s a Jedi in the film. Nevertheless, Isaac is an actor with amazing range–as displayed in films like Inside Llewyn Davis–and has been earmarked for stardom a few years running.
Another new name into the fold is Jake Gyllenhaal, who famously almost stole the role of Spider-Man from Tobey Maguire. Variety‘s sources say the Brokeback Mountain hunk “is quite interested in playing a superhero after a string of dark, brooding films like ‘Prisoners’ and ‘Nightcrawler,'” and has never had a tentpole franchise to call his own after the failure of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
They also suggest that long-rumored Jared Leto is “aggressively pursuing the mystical part since Phoenix’s departure and despite being notoriously picky about his movie roles, appears ready to get back in front of the camera.” Apparently the recent Oscar-winner’s co-star in Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey, is also a pie in the sky option for Marvel, who believe they can get anyone interested after almost securing an actor of Phoenix’s caliber. With Interstellar on the way, and a potentially meaty role in Warner Bros.’ The Stand, don’t get your hopes up for this true detective.
Finally, Ethan Hawke is said to have been an early pursuer of the role from his Sinister director Scott Derrickson, and looks to be “still very much in the mix.” If we were putting down money right now we’d lay odds on Hawke, since he’s got the same mix of acclaim and hunger for the bigtime that Robert Downey Jr. had before he signed onto the first Iron Man. Then again, there’s also Derrickson’s The Day the Earth Stood Still star Keanu Reeves, who dipped his toe into the water recently by talking to several outlets (including us) about the role, which met with very positive feedback online.
Whether it’s Reeves or Hawke or McGregor or anyone else, they all have the mighty Marvel contract to contend with, locking them into a multi-picture deal that many actors are justifiably hesitant to sign. After all, if you want to be the Master of the Mystic Arts, you’ll have your own master to answer to: Disney.