Yesterday, we got some bad news. Joaquin Phoenix's negotiations with Marvel Studios broke down, and he's no longer in the running to play Doctor Strange. I had been looking forward to seeing what he would do the character, but the show has to go on.
Before Phoenix emerged as the frontrunner, there were a host of other actors up for the role, including the internet's favorite Benedict Cumberbatch. Back at Comic-Con, the "Sherlock" star confirmed to us that he had heard about "Doctor Strange," but that he couldn't do it due to his commitments to a London production of "Hamlet."
Cumberbatch wouldn't comment if he had any official discussion with Marvel, but it certainly sounds like the part was seriously considered by the actor.
And Cumberbatch was far from the only other actor connected to the role. As Marvel heads back to square one for casting, let's take a look at who has been considered for Stephen Strange.
The Facts: Deadline named him as one of the two actors Marvel was interested in. Cumberbatch then told MTV that scheduling got in the way.
How Likely: It's possible that Cumberbatch could do both "Hamlet" and "Doctor Strange," since it's shooting just outside London, but the crammed schedule is still an issue.
The Facts: Hardy was the other name on Marvel's early wish list. Deadline mentioned that scheduling would also be an issue, but there weren't any further details on his involvement with the project beyond the studio's interest.
How Likely: He's always been selective with his roles, especially which big budget projects he takes on. So far it's only been Christopher Nolan movies and "Mad Max: Fury Road," in which he barely speaks, so it's hard to predict which directions Hardy chooses to take his career.
The Facts: Back before Scott Derrickson signed on, CHUD cited a "trusted industry source" when it named Justin Theroux as someone that Marvel had interest in.
How Likely: There's been no more talk of Theroux since that rumor, but he does have a history with Marvel Studios, having written the script for "Iron Man 2."
The Facts: This Is Infamous added the "Boardwalk Empire" star to the list of contenders about a month after Phoenix reportedly started negotiations.
How Likely: Huston has been one of those starts on the verge of crossing over to the mainstream. He's phenomenal on "Boardwalk Empire," so there's no doubt that he could pull it off. But he's the least known of the actors on the list.
The Facts: The latest name to enter the conversation, Hawke has a working relationship with Derrickson...
How Likely: ...but none of the trade publications bought this as a legitimate tip.
The Facts: Deadline added the Oscar winner to the list when they revealed Jon Spaihts would rewrite the movie.
How Likely: A big blockbuster is a logical next step after Leto's Oscar win, and Marvel was reportedly very interested at the time.
"Doctor Strange" is scheduled to hit theaters on July 8, 2016.