Over the past few years, Joaquin Phoenix has been up for some pretty big movie roles. He was up for the role of Stephen Strange in Marvel's Doctor Strange, as well as the role of Lex Luther in Batman v Superman. Neither of those roles ended up working out for him. If you remember, he was actually in final discussions for Doctor Strange before he pulled out. During an interview with Time Out London, the actor talks about why he's not interested in these kinds of roles, saying:
“When I was younger I was probably a bit of a snob about [taking on blockbuster roles]. But they’ve gotten better. I’ve flirted with several of those films, having meetings and getting close, but ultimately it never felt like they’d really be fulfilling. There were too many requirements that went against my instincts for character. I’ve been spoiled. I’ve never had to make those compromises. I’ve not met a director yet with one of those films where we go through the script, they say: ‘You know what, fuck this set-piece, let’s focus on the character!’ I understand, but it’s best I don’t do it.”
Phoenix is a great actor, and he would have made a great Doctor Strange, but judging by the films that he's made in the past, these kinds of movies just really don't seem to fit his personality. Instead, he opted to make another little horror thriller with M. Night Shyamalan. It's not to say he doesn't enjoy watching these movies, because he does! He goes on to say:
“I enjoy watching those movies. Did you see the rebooted ‘Star Trek’? That kid Chris Pine who plays Kirk is fucking genius. I just don’t know if I want to have the experience of being in them. I’ve read some of those scripts and 75 percent is a description of some asteroid going through space.”
Who knows? Maybe one day Phoenix will find a role in one of these upcoming big blockbuster films that he just can't say no to. I'd personally love to see him take on a role in the Star Wars universe. I think he'd fit in perfectly as a hero or a villain.