Joaquin Phoenix Doesn't Regret Passing on Joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe

When a superhero film is announced, fans automatically begin imagining which of their favorite stars could embrace the role, resulting in various rumors of varying validity. When Marvel Studios was gearing up for Doctor Strange, Joaquin Phoenix's name was emerging as a contender for the role before Benedict Cumberbatch was announced. Despite the close call, Phoenix isn't remorseful about passing on the opportunity and thinks everything worked out for the best for everyone.

"I think they make some great, fun movies," Phoenix told Little White Lies. "There’s nothing wrong… I’m not a f-cking, like, cinephile. I’m not a snob and I’m totally fine with… I enjoy those movies sometimes, and I think they keep the f-cking industry going in some ways, so I don’t have a problem with it at all. I think that everybody was, is… I’m trying to figure out how to say this most diplomatically, okay… I think everybody was really happy with how things turned out. All parties were satisfied."

Almost proving the point of an actor's name emerging as being attached to a project despite the validity of these claims, Phoenix recently reacted with bewilderment when asked about his involvement in a Joker film, which some sources claimed he was being eyed for.

"What movie about a Joker?" Phoenix shared with French publication Allocine when asked directly about the project. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

Amidst all these rumors, one thing that was confirmed from a filmmaker themselves about Phoenix playing a comic book character is that Darren Aronofsky wanted to make a Batman movie with Phoenix playing the Dark Knight.

“I understood that [with] comics, there’s room for all different types of titles, but I think Hollywood at that time was still in the Golden Age of comics, and they were still just doing the classic titles in classic ways,” the filmmaker told Yahoo! Movies. “I always wanted Joaquin Phoenix for Batman.”

Aronofsky's approach to the character came before Christopher Nolan's trilogy was created, although there were quite a few similarities between the two approaches.

Originally, Aronofsky wanted to do an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns with Clint Eastwood playing Batman, but the studio passed. The filmmaker shifted gears to another story from Frank Miller, hoping to create a film inspired by Batman: Year One with Phoenix starring as the lead.

A direct adaptation of that storyline might have never panned out, but many ideas from Year One found their way into Batman Begins.

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[H/T Little White Lies]