After months of negotiations, Joaquin Phoenix still hasn't accepted the title role in Marvel's 'Doctor Strange' and if you want to believe that latest rumor floating around the internet, Phoenix's hesitation and resistance is Ethan Hawke's gain. Yep, according to at least one source, Hawke is now the new frontrunner to play Marvel's cinematic Sorcerer Supreme.

The scoop comes via This is Infamous, whose track record with major news like this has been a little inconsistent, but they've hit big on some 'Star Wars' stuff. We'll still classify this as a rumor; however, Hawke fits a lot of the proper criteria. He's worked with 'Doctor Strange' director Scott Derrickson previously on the horror movie 'Sinister' and he's not too expensive, which is key for the budget-conscious Marvel Studios. He's a recognizable name, but he's never had a franchise to call his own. And, he fits the slightly older age range that Marvel is supposedly looking for in their Stephen Strange.

The report claims that Hawke accepted the job over the weekend and is currently negotiating the typical six-film Marvel contract. There could be truth to this, but until we hear more, treat this as pure speculation. It's common Hollywood practice to leak discussions with another actor in a sneaky bid to convince your first choice to take the part. It wouldn't surprise us at all if that's the case here.

In any case, Hawke would make for a solid Doctor Strange. He's always been a dependable onscreen presence, but he's rarely been allowed to cut loose in a truly fantastical role. Watching him suit up in the Marvel universe could be a lot of fun.

'Doctor Strange' is eyeing an early 2015 shoot for a July 8, 2016 release date.

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