15 Famous Actors Who Rejected Marvel Superhero Roles

It seems like every major actor in Hollywood is now being sucked into the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe these days. Between sequels and reboots, Marvel has a huge cast of heroes, villains, and every character in between. Some stars have turned down to save the world on big screen. So here we bring you fifteen famous actors who refused important marvel superhero roles.

1) Nicolas Cage


Nicolas Cage is well-known for an attempted Superman movie back in 90’s, as well as two Ghost Rider films that opened to mixed reviews. Huge comic book fan himself, he turned down a chance to play the Green Goblin in Spider-Man in 2002.

2) Leonardo Dicaprio


Three actors have till now played Spider-Man in Marvel Universe. Only one actor so far has turned down the offer of playing a role of Spider-Man, and that actor is none other than Leonardo DiCaprio. He was considered for a Spider-Man film directed by James Cameron, which never actually made it to theaters.

3) Emily Blunt


Emily Blunt has turned down not one but two major Marvel roles in the past. she turned down the role of Black Widow in Iron Man 2, as well as the role of Peggy Carter in the first Captain America film.

4) Josh Hartnett


Josh Hartnett has turned down Marvel’s Spider-Man. The reason behind turning down roles was that the roles were simply too big. As he was a major heartthrob in his early twenties, and he didn’t want his career to be defined by one superhero role.

5) Tom Cruise

Tom-Cruise-in-Guy-Ritchie marvel

Tom Cruise turned down a chance to play Iron Man himself in the movie that started the current franchise of Marvel superhero films. Now, it is hard to imagine billionaire playboy Tony Stark being played by anyone other than Robert Downey Jr. Tom Cruise turned down the offer after having a first look at the script, and allegedly, he also demanded that the Iron Man visor be redesigned so that his face would be visible at all times.

6) Giancarlo Esposito

He played Gustavo Frings in Breaking Bad which brought him huge amount of fame and money. He said that he could have been Daredevil or Luke Cage in Marvel TV but he let it pass. He said

“They came to me with something for their television department, then I realized if I did that, I’d never be able to have that same character be in the film department.”

7) Joseph Gordon-Levitt

According to Uproxx, he was in the running to play Peter Quill aka Star Lord in GOTG but turned down as he chose to play Johnny in Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

8) Mathew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey is one of the most talented actors, who clearly refused to play one of the villains in Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.2. This is not the first time that he refused the comic book roles. He revealed that he turned down the role of Ego The Living Planet in GOTG Vol.2. He said  “I like Guardians of the Galaxy, but what I saw was, ‘It’s successful, and now we’ve got room to make a colorful part for another big-name actor, I’d feel like an amendment.”

9) Dougray Scott

Bryan Singer directorial, X-Men, rose to prominence around the world and set the next level for superhero movies. Undoubtedly, Hugh Jackman was well-received for the role of Wolverine. Before Jackman, there were several actors who were shortlisted to play the character and Dougray Scott was one of them, who is known for his appearance as the main villain in ‘Mission Impossible 2’ movie. He dropped it later.

10) Olivia Munn

Before appearing as Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse, she was offered to play Deadpool’s girlfriend in a 2016 film ‘Deadpool’. But in an interview, she said she did not want to be “the eye candy” and was not interested in playing his girlfriend.

11. Russell Crowe:

It’s very difficult to land a role in X-Men franchise for any actor, but Russell Crowe was Bryan Singer’s first choice to play Logan/Wolverine in X-Men movies. He turned it down after learning more about it and instead he suggested the studio to look into Hugh Jackman as the possible choice and we know rest is history.

12. Joaquin Phoenix:

He is an Oscar-nominated actor not once but thrice but he has never done a superhero movie due to lack of personal tastes. His name was thrown around for Doctor Strange but he was just not interested. He said, 

“They’ve gotten better, I’ve flirted with several of those films, having meetings and getting close, but ultimately it never felt like they’d really be fulfilling.”

13. Jessica Chastain:

She is the hottest and one of the most talented actresses working in Hollywood. Her name was floated for Iron Man 3 to play scientist but she couldn’t manage to do it. She said “sorry to say that Iron Man 3 isn’t going to work out. My schedule is jammed packed and I can’t fit anything else in. The press announced my possible attachment far too soon. I know many of you wanted me to be involved, and I’m so sorry to disappoint you. Hopefully, there’ll be another Marvel film in my future.” Well, she will be seen in X-Men: Dark Phoenix in an anonymous role.

14. Mel Gibson:

He revealed in an interview at Cannes Film Festival in 2016 that he was offered to play Thor’s dad but he turned it down.

15. Matt Damon:

Guess what, Matt Damon was approached to play Daredevil which his close friend Ben Affleck ended up playing. He said,

“For us, it was always Daredevil, that’s the comic we read when we were kids. But when that one came along I chickened out, because I couldn’t tell. I hadn’t seen the director work and I didn’t know. So I just said, ‘No.’ Ben was like, ‘I gotta do it.’ And the movie ended up doing very well, even though I don’t think Ben was ultimately very proud of it.” Well, Matt, you couldn’t be more wrong in your assessment as movie flopped big time.

Anuj Aggarwal

A Voracious reader. An explorer. An Intellectual. A Die hard fan of Leonardo dicaprio and a Game of Thrones fanatic. Love to dabble in different things at the same time - Politics, International Cinema, History, Music, Literature etc. Welcome you all...
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