Joaquin Phoenix "didn't really belong" in 'Doctor Strange'.

Joaquin Phoenix held talks over starring in the Marvel movie

Joaquin Phoenix held talks over starring in the Marvel movie

The 49-year-old actor was once eyed to play the lead role in the Marvel movie - but director Scott Derrickson now admits that Benedict Cumberbatch is much more suited to the part.

Scott, 57, told SlashFilm: "I met with a bunch of actors, and Joaquin was the one that I spent the most time with.

"As we continued to talk, it became clear to me that Joaquin didn't really belong in that movie and probably never belonged in the MCU.

"He's a very specific guy with very specific goals as an actor, and a very specific way of performing. I think it became clear to both of us that this might not be a good fit, really is what it came down to."

Scott "spent a couple of long afternoons" with Joaquin, but Benedict was always his number one choice for the role.

The director - whose other credits include 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' and 'Sinister' - shared: "I spent a couple of long afternoons with him and really was really impressed with him personally and his thought process.

"This is what I'll say: I think he was giving, I think he was opening his mind to the possibility. I think he was investigating the possibility.

"What happened, just to be clear, we offered the movie to Benedict. I wanted Benedict. That was my choice for the role.

"I flew all the way to London to try to talk him into doing it."