How Close Was Ethan Hawke To 'Doctor Strange'?

Plus, Hawke reveals his take on Marvel movies at large.

With Reporting by Josh Horowitz

Benedict Cumberbatch is officially set for "Doctor Strange," but several other actors were in the running to play the Sorcerer Supreme before Marvel found their man.

Joaquin Phoenix was famously linked to the role of Stephen Strange back in July, and other names cropped up along the way — including Ethan Hawke, who worked with "Strange" director Scott Derrickson previously on "Sinister."

Just how close was the "Boyhood" actor to becoming one of Marvel's newest heroes, though? During an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Hawke credited host Josh Horowitz with getting him "as close as anybody could," thanks to this interview:

At the time, Hawke said he'd happily answer the call from Derrickson should the "Strange" occasion arise. But with Cumberbatch now officially in the role, that ship has sailed, even though Hawke says now that he has "a sneaky suspicion that Scott wanted me for that, too."

However, Hawke sees challenges with signing onto a Marvel movie, or any project of a similar scale — mainly, the commitments to multiple pictures and promotion tours.

"There's a tremendous amount of salesmanship that's now really important to a studio like that," he said. "It's a tremendous amount of time in your life where you're working, and you're not acting."

With that said, Hawke believes that "we're living in the age of Marvel," with the studio holding "tremendous power over what everyone's going to see."

"They're making movies at a high rate, and they're making them successfully," he said. "I'm totally open to doing something like that."

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