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10 Actors Who Turned Down Marvel Roles

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has forged lots of acting careers, like Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pratt.

It has also refreshed others and has enjoyed bringing in huge talents for one-off appearances.

Whilst most actors are champing at the bit for a role in the MCU, there are some incredibly famous actors who have actually turned Marvel down.

Tom Cruise

by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Iron Man was the definitive starting point of the MCU.

Clearly, a lot was riding on it and the studio originally wanted a guaranteed money-maker to lead the new franchise.

Even though it’s now impossible to imagine the role being played by anyone other than Robert Downey Jr, he was not the first choice.

Acting legend Tom Cruise was the top pick, but he turned down the part because Marvel ware unwilling to accept his conditions.

Emily Blunt

by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

Although landing a role in the MCU definitely would’ve helped Emily Blunt’s rise to stardom, she hasn’t needed it.

Marvel were so keen on having the actress in the franchise that she was actually offered two roles.

First, Black Widow in Iron Man 2 and then, Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger.

It’s almost a blessing in disguise she was too busy with other projects to take on either of the parts. Hayley Atwell and Scarlett Johansson are irreplaceable.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

by Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s career was on the rise in the early 2010s.

Fresh off Inception, Gordon-Levitt was actually offered the role of Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy.

He’s a surprisingly obvious choice for the role. That is if Chris Pratt hadn’t of already nailed it.

Gordon-Levitt turned the Marvel role down in favor of a part in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. You know, that movie that nobody really likes that much.

Also Read15 Of The Most Ideal MCU Moments Of The Decade

Russell Crowe

by Shutterstock

Before the MCU, we had several little pockets of superhero movies to enjoy.

The X-Men franchise was undoubtedly the level to beat back in the early 2000s.

Before Hugh Jackman came along and defined the role of Wolverine, Russell Crowe was wanted for the role.

It’s not hard to picture a younger Crowe as the iconic mutant, but he didn’t want to do it. Instead, he recommended Jackman. And the rest is history.

Jessica Chastain

by John Salangsang/Shutterstock

Jessica Chastain recently appeared in X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

Unfortunately, that movie was a huge disappointment and her role wasn’t the greatest.

Before this, however, she was actually offered a role in the MCU.

The part that eventually went to Rebecca Hall in Iron Man 3, was intended for Chastain.

As excited as she was the prospect, a packed schedule forced her to drop out.

Joaquin Phoenix

Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

Having won the Oscar for playing the Joker last year, it’s not surprising this talented actor was sought after by the MCU.

However, Phoenix clearly found Joker a unique exception to his tastes.

Offered the part of Doctor Strange, he rejected it due to the fact he didn’t like superhero movies.

Clearly, a grounded take on a tragic villain was a much more exciting prospect.

Matthew McConaughey

by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

Marvel attempted to ride off the back of Matthew McConaughey’s career surge.

The part of Peter Quill’s dad, Ego, eventually went to Kurt Russell.

But the guest part in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 was offered to McConaughey. At the time, he simply wasn’t interested.

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Leonardo DiCaprio

DiCaprio turned down a role from Marvel

James Cameron’s Spider-Man movie is now pretty infamous.

It was set to feature a sex scene between Peter Parker and MJ on a bridge and was very different from the family-friendly superhero takes we’re used to now.

Back when it was on the cards, Cameron wanted Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead.

Olivia Munn

by Getty Images

Although Olivia Munn did get a chance at scratching the superhero itch in X-Men: Apocalypse, it wasn’t her first offer.

Before getting cast as Psylocke, she was offered the role that eventually went to Morena Baccarin in Deadpool. Munn apparently turned it down because she wants to play ‘the eye candy’.

Matt Damon

by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutt

Matt Damon was the first actor to be offered the part of Daredevil, way back in the early 2000s.

However, Damon saw sense, turning down the role due a lack of confidence in the director and script. Instead, he decided to suggest his friend, Ben Affleck.


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