Joaquin Phoenix 'in talks' to play Doctor Strange

Actor is said to be in advanced negotiations to play the Sorcerer Supreme

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Hollywood actor Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in talks to play the lead character in Marvel's 'Doctor Strange'.

The talks have passed the initial offer stage, but it is unclear whether Phoenix has accepted the role, according to a source close to the negotiations speaking to the Hollywood Reporter.

The latest speculation comes after Benedict Cumberbatch, who was said to be vying for the role, told MTV over the weekend that it "sounds like a fantastic project" but he is committed to playing Hamlet on stage in London next year.

Fellow British actor Tom Hardy, who is starring as Max Rockatansky in the upcoming reboot of the Mad Max franchise, was also rumoured to be in the running for the role.

Phoenix, who was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Johnny Cash in 'Walk the Line', was last seen on the big screen in Spike Jonze's 'Her' and James Gray's 'The Immigrant'.

Doctor Strange is a former neurosurgeon who is tasked with protecting the Earth under the title of Sorcerer Supreme. The character was conceived by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first appeared in 1963 in a comic book split with the Fantastic Four’s The Human Torch.