Ethan Hawke Reveals Why He May Have Turned Down The Role of Marvel's Doctor Strange
After a long search and failed negotiations with Joaquin Phoenix, Benedict Cumberbatch is officially playing Doctor Strange. Ethan Hawke was once rumored to be one of the frontrunners for the role, and today he told Happy Sad Confused the reasons why talented actors like him and Phoenix (and Daniel Day Lewis, for that matter) are not necessarily good fits for Marvel superheroes.
He doesn't explicitly state that he was in talks for Doctor Strange, although he does state that he was likely director Scott Derrickson's favorite for the role: "I would love to work with Scott and I have a sneaky suspicion that Scott wanted me for that too."
He then enumerates reasons why he might have turned down the opportunity to sign on with Marvel: "There was something really exciting to me about Iron Man. 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... 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 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 goes on to compare the commitments that accompany a big-budget franchise with those that accompany a smaller drama: "When Daniel Day-Lewis does Lincoln, he works really hard, he preps for that part, he works his ass off, he learns his lines, he comes to set…he finishes the movie, he does press for a few weeks, he collects a trunk full of awards, and he goes home. If he does Doctor Strange, you do all that, then you go on the press tour for a year, and then you have to be online and you have to do this thing and you have to do that thing, and if you don't do it, you're seen as being counter to the campaign-you're not pulling in for the big win."
Not only would that make him less inclined to accept the part, his own reputation for "not pulling for the big win" might have prevented Marvel from offering him the part to begin with: "It's a bigger burden and so I think studios like Marvel and places like that, they wanna really make sure that somebody's gonna play ball. If you have a reputation as a pretentious artist type, it doesn't work in your favor... If people are gonna put up with somebody like me, 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."
Doctor Strange is set to be released on November 4, 2016.