DC Actors That Made It To The Coveted ‘Marvel Shortlist’ To Almost Play Major MCU Heroes

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These DC Actors almost got to have their cake and eat it too. It is every Hollywood actors dream to bag a Marvel role. These DC actors were almost there but fate had other plans.


Jensen Ackles – Almost Cast As Hawkeye

Jensen Ackles

The Supernatural actor has become a fan-favorite ever since the fantasy thriller show ended. Ackles is a well-renowned member of the film community who has recently dabbled into comic book movie projects. He may not be one of those live action DC actors but he does have a sizeable footprint in voice-over roles for the DC Animated Universe movies. Jensen Ackles voiced Jason Todd in Batman: Under The Red Hood. He also voiced Batman in The Long Halloween, Part One and The Long Halloween, Part Two. The original role he auditioned for in the MCU was Captain America. The producers loved him so much that they gave him another shot at Hawkeye. He didn’t bag either role though.

Danny DeVito – Almost Cast As Rocket Racoon

Danny DeVito

DeVito is well known for playing the role of Oswald Cobblepot aka the Penguin in the 1992 DC movie – Batman Returns. The 77+ year old actor has had a long journey through Hollywood. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia made him a sitcom sensation. DeVito also has had voiceover experience in the past, having voiced Phil in Disney’s Hercules. When the casting call came forth for the lovable cosmic rodent, the actors that were in the race were Adam Sandler, Jim carrey, and Danny DeVito. Bradley Cooper was ultimately given the part and he did a darn good job.


Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Almost Cast As Ant-Man, Star-Lord

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

DC actors like Joseph Gordon-Levitt came only for one movie and won our hearts. He played John Blake in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. We never got to know what happened next after Levitt’s Robin finds out the location to the Bat-Cave. He was actually considered for the role of Star-Lord, the protagonist of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. James Gunn had even claimed he liked Levitt’s portrayal of Peter Quill. he did not manage to get into the MCU though that year. Then in 2015, the actor was again in the MCU race for playing Scott Lang aka the Ant-Man in the 2015 film. That also ended up a bust.

Joaquin Phoenix – Almost Cast As Doctor Strange

Joaquin Phoenix

DC actors that are not part of the DCEU have a hard time getting noticed. That is not a problem for Phoenix though. His role of Arthur Fleck in Joker won him several international accolades. Before Benedict Cumberbatch was ultimately cast as the Sorcerer Supreme, the original front-runner in that race was Joaquin Phoenix. After Cumberbatch was reeled in, it proved to be a blessing in disguise for Joaquin Phoenix. He would have a schedule clear enough to accept the role of Arthur Fleck in the 2019 Joker movie, which won him an Oscar for Best Actor.

Jason Momoa – Almost Cast As Drax The Destroyer

Jason Momoa

Imagine how things could have been starkly different for the DCEU if Momoa ended up in the MCU rather than with Warner Brothers!! That was almost the case when Momoa, fresh off his success from Game of Thrones, auditioned for the role of Drax for the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 film. The role went to Dave ‘Invisible Man’ Bautista and the rest is history. But if things had went a little different, Momoa could have been the lovably honest nuisance of the Guardians.


Joel Kinnaman – Almost Cast As Thor

Joel Kinnaman

Kinnaman has played Rick Flag in two DCEU movies – 2016’s Suicide Squad and 20212’s James Gunn directed The Suicide Squad. The Altered Carbon actor was on the original shortlist for the role of Thor that eventually went to Chris Hemsworth. Five years later, Kinnaman was cast as Rick Flagg in DCEU, making his official comic book movie debut as one of the most famous DC actors of the 21st century.


Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

Articles Published: 1230

With a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Marketing and Operations, Bibhu found a love for writing, working for many different websites. He joined FandomWire in July 2020 and worked his way to his current position of Content Strategist. Bibhu has been involved in operating and managing FandomWire's team of writers, diversifying into varied, exotic fields of pop culture.