The Alternate Marvel Cinematic Universe Actors We Didn’t See

The Alternate Marvel Cinematic Universe Actors We Didn’t See

In 2008, Iron Man not only launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also helped Marvel form its movie studio, which had been a for the company for decades. Part of that level of success hinged on the right casting. As we know, Robert Downey Jr. was anything from a sure thing with his checkered past. Downey proved to the studio and the world that he was the right choice. Iron Man and Tony Stark would be synonymous with Downey for a decade, arguably the rest of his career.

Only some get that lucky break, though. Downey was far from the first choice for Iron Man and dozens of actors tried to break into the superhero game, but for one reason or another, weren’t cast, and the rest is history. We do have instances of actors trying for one role and getting another, e.g. Tom Hiddleston auditioning for Thor, but landing Loki, and Sam Rockwell being interested in Iron Man, but becoming Justin Hammer.

So let’s look at some actors who didn’t quite make the final cut, or in the rare case of actually being cast and then cut.

1. Glenn Howerton as Peter Quill

As Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s local sociopath Dennis Reynolds, Howerton has proven he can be vulnerable, manic, and swarmy, but a charismatic leader? It almost happened. Taking an Instagram Q&A, Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn was asked who else auditioned for the role of Star-Lord.

Gunn confirmed that Howerton was his second choice since the actor had already gone on record saying he almost got the role. What do you think the Q.U.I.L.L. System would have been about?

2. Ryan Gosling as Doctor Strange

The three-time Oscar nominee has come close to joining the MCU, but perhaps the closest was for the role of Dr. Strange. Joaquin Phoenix was in early negotiations but bowed out, and Marvel looked at several actors for the part–with a few eventually joining the MCU later.

Gosling was another high-profile star Marvel considered for the role and even got to the concept art stage, showing what he would have looked like as the good doctor. The actor has recently expressed interest in joining the MCU as Ghost Rider with Kevin Feige wanting to make room for him.

3. Amanda Seyfried as Gamora

This inclusion might be the weirdest because of why the actor turned down a role: Seyfried’s reason for not playing Gamora was she simply didn’t want to be green for hours a day. That’s understandable. Even Jennifer Lawrence’s time in Mystique’s prosthetics and makeup lessened with each movie.

Even more interesting, the actor also thought that Guardians of the Galaxy would do poorly at the box office and she didn’t feel like being a part of the first Marvel movie bomb. She had mentioned that if you’re the star of a giant movie like that, and it bombs, Hollywood does not forgive you. Better safe than sorry, sure, but also no risk, no reward.

4. Timothée Chalamet as Peter Parker

He’s one of the hottest young stars in Hollywood now, but before his bit part in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and his Oscar-nominated role in Call Me By Your Name, Chalamet confessed to bombing his audition for Spider-Man. In 2015, Spider-Man was folded properly into the MCU after years of being on Sony’s lonely island.

The role became one of the most sought-after and the young actor recalled reading for Peter Parker/Spider-Man and having a panic attack. It was rumored that former Percy Jackson star Logan Lerman had nabbed the role before Tom Holland swung in and became this generation’s Spider-Man. Things worked out for Chalamet though, and there’s still plenty of time if he wants to suit up down the line.

5. Daniel Craig as Balder the Brave and Thor

The former James Bond has had a couple of near castings, both involving being an Asgardian. Back in 2008, Craig was propositioned to audition for the upcoming Thor movie–which had started early production without a director. He turned it down to focus on his budding Bond career, but Marvel would try again to catch Craig and bring him over.

Last year, Elizabeth Olsen confirmed that Craig was almost Balder the Brave for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. There was concept art and a design in place for Thor’s half-brother featuring Craig’s resemblance that eventually found its way online.

6. Matthew McConaughey as Ego

The 2010s were very kind to McConaughey, who sought to shed his himbo image and prove to the world not only was he an actor, but an actor’s actor. Winning his Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club reinvented his image and made him a hot commodity, primed to take on a big-budget supervillain role in the MCU.

Instead, he chose another big-budget supervillain role with The Dark Tower. McConaughey had been looked at for the role of Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and turned it down as he thought the role was more of an “amendment,” while with The Dark Tower, he could make the role of the Man in Black his own.

7. Lena Headey a mystery Asgardian

This is a bit like a Schrödinger’s casting. The former Game of Thrones star was cast in Thor: Love and Thunder for an undisclosed role, but whatever footage was filmed was cut from the final version.

There are rumors about her being a longtime Thor villain the Enchantress or even a Valkyrie general, but it’s doubtful we’ll ever know. So in this instance, there’s a chance for Headey to come on board eventually–if this didn’t burn her too bad.

8. Patrick Wilson as Ant-Man character

Another case of case of casting of someone that got a role and then leaving the role behind is Patrick Wilson. He was involved in the Ant-Man movie when Edgar Wright was still helming it. After Wright departed, so did Wilson.

Marvel never confirmed who Wilson was playing, leading to fan theories like a young Hank Pym, Eric O’Grady, or Yellowjacket–who was eventually played by Corey Stoll.

9. Chace Crawford as Captain America

The former Gossip Girl star, who can be currently seen on Prime Video’s The Boys and its spin-off Gen V as The Deep, was on the shortlist for the role of Captain America for The First Avenger.

Crawford auditioned for the role alongside some then-rising stars and a few established names like John Krasinski, Channing Tatum, Scott Porter, and Ryan Phillippe. Chris Evans would go on to add another comic-book character to his resume after Johnny Storm, Lucas Lee, and Jensen from The Losers.

10. Jason Momoa as Drax the Destroyer

Before he donned the golden armored mantle of Aquaman, but after his Stargate days, Momoa was looked at for the role of Drax. The actor ultimately turned it down as he felt it was too similar to his Stargate: Atlantis character Ronon and he wanted to explore a bigger range for himself.

Despite not accepting the Drax role, Momoa praised wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista for what he did with the character and thought he was perfect for him. The two would later both star in Dune.

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