While Benedict Cumberbatch finally got the gig, Ethan Hawke was one of several names linked to the part of Doctor Strange, and has revealed that he was close to bagging the role.
“I would love to work with Scott [Derrickson] and I have a sneaky suspicion that Scott wanted me for that too,” says Hawke. However, he believes that Marvel eventually decided he would be too much of a risk, against a more proven box-office draw.
“If people are gonna put up with somebody like me,” he explains, “they wanna make sure you’re gonna put asses in seats, and there’s a lot of actors that are gonna put more asses in seats than me.”
Hawke goes on to explain that a Marvel movie would certainly hold some appeal, but admits that the off-screen responsibilities remain something of a deterrant.
“There was something really exciting to me about Iron Man,” says Hawke. “That’s a movie directed by a real director, Marvel’s giving him a real budget, with one of the great actors of my generation. What would it be like to see Daniel Day-Lewis as Doctor Strange?”
“So my point is I am totally open to doing something like that, [but] there’s a problem that comes along whenever Marvel’s gonna approach Joaquin [Phoenix] or me or anybody who’s in love with acting, because there’s a tremendous amount of salesmanship that is now really important to a studio like that.”
“It’s a tremendous amount of time of your life where you’re working and you’re not acting,” he conludes, and indeed, it will be Cumberbatch leading those press junkets until the film arrives in the US on 4 November 2016, with a UK date to be confirmed.