After months of rumors and speculation, it looks like, in the end, Joaquin Phoenix couldn't be convinced: the actor will not play Stephen Strange in Marvel's planned Doctor Strange film.

The news comes from Deadline, which reports that talks between the actor and Marvel have come to a close after months of negotiations. The site does make clear Phoenix never actually had a deal in place.

Deadline goes on to say that Marvel is now quickly looking at other actors for the role but believed Phoenix would have been a great fit for the part. According to Deadline, the rumor that Boyhood actor Ethan Hawke has made a deal to star in the film is "speculation run wild."

So where does that put Doctor Strange? Prior to Phoenix's name emerging at the top of the list to star, actors Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jared Leto all were said to be in the running to play the neurosurgeon-turned-Sorcerer-Supreme. It's currently unknown if Marvel is pursuing any of these actors for the part, but finding their Doctor Strange is definitely a top priority. Marvel has long teased a Doctor Strange film as part of Marvel's phase three lineup, with Stephen Strange's named even being dropped in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

According to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, fans can expect the film to be a classic Marvel origin film, but that doesn't mean it's going to be boring by any means.

"With Doctor Strange it is a classic Marvel origin story, because he's got one of the best origins ever and it's our opportunity to take that left turn into the supernatural," Feige told Collider. "Now what is the definition of supernatural? It varies. We love the idea of playing with alternate dimensions. Strange in the crazy acid trip way, traveling through other dimensions and realms, is something we think is very, very cool. Playing with the perceptions of reality."

After the massive success of Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems like a safe bet that Marvel can make even the dimension-hopping Doctor Strange work on the big screen. If they can find a leading man to play the part, that is.

Doctor Strange will be directed by Scott Derrickson, with a script by Jon Spaihts based on a first draft by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer. As for a release date, Doctor Strange is currently scheduled to hit theaters July 8, 2016.

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