Now don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an actor and being excited that you landed a role in a movie. But can you imagine how excited you would be if you were an actor and the movie that you landed was one that saw you get to be a superhero? That's the reality for several amazing actors in Hollywood who have used their talents to bring the comic book world of Marvel and DC to life. It might even be hard to think of some of these actors - such as Robert Downey Jr. - without thinking about how amazing he is in the role of Iron Man.
But now can you imagine how different the Marvel universe would look if instead of RDJ suiting up, it was Tom Cruise? You can understand why Marvel was interested in bringing in Cruise, but I'm sure they are thanking their lucky stars that they ended up going with RDJ.
Tom Hiddleston is also perhaps the best villain in the Marvel universe for his portrayal of Loki. But did you know it wasn't the God of Mischief, but the God of Thunder that Hiddleston was the most interested in playing? Though speaking of villains, Josh Brolin has helped bring Thanos to life, but it wasn't that long ago when he was being considered to be the Dark Knight before Ben Affleck took the role.
Regardless if you are grateful that the studio went in a different direction - such as Bradley Cooper instead of Adam Sandler for Rocket Raccoon - or disappointed like Robin Williams as the Joker instead of Jack Nicholson, I'm sure you're going to love reading about these 25 Celebs That Almost Played These Beloved Superheroes.
25 Tom Hiddleston: Thor
No, you aren't reading that wrong! While Tom Hiddleston went on to become one of the most influential actors for his role of Loki, he originally had hoped to become the God of Thunder. This included putting on nearly 20 pounds of muscle (from 180 to 198) after his first audition went really well. Though we must give Hiddleston credit for having a great attitude about the situation,
"In a way, it was a gift – and I have no regrets about it at all. I’ve never once thought, ‘I wish I were playing Thor."
24 Emily Blunt: Black Widow
Emily Blunt recently hit it out of the park alongside her husband, John Krasinski, in the horror film A Quiet Place. But had she ended up getting the role of Black Widow, she definitely would have had a very different schedule and probably never would have had the chance to work so closely with John. The next big project for Blunt is the lead role in Mary Poppins which may also help her not regret missing out on the role.
23 Sam Rockwell: Iron Man
Sam Rockwell definitely impressed people when he auditioned for Tony Stark. Just not enough that they gave him the role. But he still made a positive enough impression that when the sequel was casting for a similar role of Justin Hammer, that Rockewll got the role.
"There was some things he would bring to the role that would have been great. Sam is very charismatic and when I was looking at the character there was a list and he had a spot on it, which might have surprised some people," said director Jon Favreau.
22 Angela Bassett: Storm
Angela Bassett may be a name that you best recognize from the American Horror Story series, as she has appeared in several of the seasons. Though she was also in Mission: Impossible - Fallout which may end up being the biggest movie of the summer. At the very least, the biggest movie not starring superheroes! Bassett had the opportunity to put on the tights with the role of Storm in the original X-Men series but the role ended up going to Halle Berry instead.
21 Viggo Mortensen: Wolverine
Viggo Mortensen is always going to be able to say that he was Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings franchise and that should always earn him some serious cool points. But it is as cool as almost getting to play Wolverine? When discussing the opportunity, Mortensen stated,
“I was offered Wolverine for the first movie—I guess it would have been for the franchise then. That was before I got Lord of the Rings. I remember going to the meeting with the director, Bryan Singer.... I believe it coincided with another project, and I couldn’t do it.”
20 Heath Ledger: Spider-Man
Heath Ledger has forever solidified himself in the hall of amazing superhero portrayals for how he brought The Joker to life. But do you think he would have been as successful as the popular web-slinger, Spider-Man? While Tobey Maguire was hired, Heath was definitely in the running to take the role.
When discussing why he stepped away, Ledger said,
"Sony asked me to come over and read the script for Spider-Man. It was going to be a really cool tentpole movie. But as soon as I said 'Spider-Man' It's not for me. I would be taking someone else's dream away'."
19 Joaquin Phoenix: Dr. Strange
Joaquin Phoenix has definitely had many roles in his career where he has managed to play a fantastic supporting role. Such as in Signs or in Gladiator. But Marvel was willing to at least giving him the reigns to the Dr. Strange franchise before they ultimately decided to go with Benedict Cumberbatch for the role. It was stated that Phoenix and Marvel were engaged in discussions for the role for upwards of 3 months but were unable to agree on the terms of the contract.
18 Timothy Olyphant: Iron Man
Timothy Olyphant is one of the many actors out there who has benefitted tremendously due to original programming that has been created by Netflix. Alongside Drew Barrymore, Olyphant has starred in Santa Clarita Diet which is scheduled to be releasing its 3rd season in 2019. But Olyphant may have also enjoyed getting to pal around with other superheroes like Chris Evans had he gotten the role of Iron Man. Olyphant mentioned in an interview with Conan O'Brien that he did a screen test for the role on the same day as Robert Downey Jr.
17 John Krasinski: Captain America
John Krasinski definitely knows how to make you laugh when you consider his role in the highly successful sitcom, The Office. He also knows how to scare you out of your wits with his performance (and directing) in A Quiet Place. But would he also be able to inspire you as Captain America?
"My agent called and said, 'They're going to go with Chris Evans,' And I remember I said, 'Yeah, look at him. He's Captain America," said Krasinski when discussing how he got the news, which also happened to be on Blunt's birthday!
16 Matthew McConaughey: Dr. Strange
You have to imagine that if Matthew McConaughey had landed the lead role in Dr. Strange that there would have been some form of conflict, only to have McConaughey then say that everything will be alright, alright, alright! McConaughey is clearly not too swayed by the idea of appearing in a superhero movie as he was also rumored to have stepped away from a role in the 2nd Guardians of the Galaxy. One of the main movies that pulled him away was The Dark Tower which ended up being a huge disappointment.
15 Cillian Murphy: Batman
Cillian Murphy definitely got to leave his mark on the Christian Bale-Christopher Nolan version of the Dark Knight, as he was cast as the villain, The Scarecrow. And while I'm sure Murphy was more than happy to get any role in the series, I wouldn't blame him if he wasn't at least a little bummed out when he got the news that Christian Bale had landed the lead role and not him. Though if you track down The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition you can see Murphy's audition!
14 Bradley Cooper: Green Lantern
There is probably no actor in the world that would have been able to save the trainwreck that was the Green Lantern film. A point that is perhaps proven more clearly than ever than the fact that the amazing Ryan Reynolds was in the lead role and the film still managed to flop horribly. Do you think that Bradley Cooper would have managed to do a better job? Sadly, unless Cooper also wrote the script, I don't think he would have been able to put out a strong performance.
13 Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Ant-Man
Joseph Gordon-Levitt got a small taste of the superhero universe when he appeared in the 3rd Christopher Nolan Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. But Gordon-Levitt would have been a much bigger name in the superhero universe if he had been successful in his efforts to land the lead role in the Ant-Man franchise. Gordon-Levitt did say the rumors were nothing but lies, but that didn't stop many publications from considering him to be one of the short-listed actors for the role.
12 Liam Hemsworth: Thor
Chris would never have gotten his 2nd opportunity to audition for Thor if Liam had been able to win over the casting crew.
"I did an audition in Vancouver in this hotel room with my mum reading Anthony Hopkins' part. She must have nailed it because it got me back in the room and that second audition was a lot different than my first one. I came in kind of with a little, I guess, motivation and maybe frustration that my little brother had gotten further than me. It's a little family, sibling rivalry sort of kicked up in me."
11 Robin Williams: The Joker
If you want to think about who the best version of the Joker is, your mind may first start thinking about the amazing performance that Heath Ledger pulled off in The Dark Knight. Or perhaps you are thinking about Jack Nicholson's take on the character. You probably aren't thinking about Jared Leto. But if you had the ability to re-write history, you may have been even more intrigued to see Robin Williams step into the role, as he was heavily considered to do, until Jack took the part.
10 Jason Momoa: Drax The Destroyer
If you were to judge the relationship between Dave Bautista and Disney right now, you may come out with a verdict that the two are definitely not on the best of terms. Which means that, even if Bautista has done a great job with the role, Disney may be wondering if they made the right decision to go with him. Especially because Jason Momoa - who you may know from Game of Thrones or his role as Aquaman - was definitely considered to be a strong candidate.
9 Josh Hartnett: Loki
Another entry on this list will give you the opportunity to learn about Tom Hiddleston and the process that he went through to land the role of Loki. But if Hiddleston had not been interested in taking up that role, perhaps you would have enjoyed getting to see Josh Hartnett as the main antagonist. Though unless Hartnett was as captivating as Hiddleston was, I'm not too sure the role of Loki would have ended up being as significant in the movie universe as he did.
8 Glenn Howerton: Star-Lord
Prior to his recent removal, there was nobody more influential in the GotG franchise than James Gunn. Which means that when he said,
"Glenn came along a bit later, but there was a good chance that, if I didn’t cast Chris, that I would’ve cast Glenn Howerton in the role," that it's a quote you should take as the truth. Considering Chris made a name for himself on Parks and Recreation and Glenn Howerton, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, it's possible that Gunn was just hoping to grab a wonderful comedic actor from the world of television for the role!
7 Charlie Plummer: Spider-Man
There are many talented actors that are involved with the Marvel universe. But if fans had to pick one reason to be optimistic for the future of the movies, it may be the involvement of the very talented (and relatively young) Tom Holland. One of the other actors who was considered was Charlie Plummer whose most recent film was the successful All The Money In The World. Which is ironically how much money he may have felt he had if he had landed the role of Peter Parker!
6 Evan Rachel Wood: Harley Quinn
There are many amazing television shows on the air that are well worth your time and attention. But if you aren't already watching Westworld, I'd highly recommend taking the time in between seasons to get caught up. While there are many amazing actors who appear in the series - including Anthony Hopkins - nobody holds a candle to the lead, Evan Rachel Wood. You just have to wonder if Wood would have rather become a huge movie star as Harley Quinn or continue to excel on the "smaller" screen.
5 Josh Brolin: Batman
There are many actors who have been having a great summer, but I don't know if anyone can say they have found as much success as Josh Brolin. Whose back-to-back roles in Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War has made him a household name to anyone who has even a slight interest in superhero films. I'm sure Brolin is also happy in hindsight to be able to sign on to some Marvel projects and avoid the DC Universe, something that nearly happened as he was considered to play the role of Batman prior to Ben Affleck.
4 Saoirse Ronan: Scarlet Witch
Before Elizabeth Olsen signed on for the role, Saoirse Ronan was being rumored for the role. Rumors that didn't slow down after Ronan openly supported the genre of movie and the rumors,
"I have heard about it and yes, I would. Yeah, of course I would [be interested]. I love Joss and I love those films, and I love his handle on them and how he portrayed these kinds of superheroes. I think it’s very different from what anyone else has done. So yeah, I’d love to be in it.”
Maybe Ronan will still land a role in the universe!
3 Dougray Scott: Wolverine
There may not be an actor who personifies a character more than Hugh Jackman and Wolverine who got to play the role for over a decade. Which also means that if Dougray Scott was able to have landed the role of Wolverine instead, things probably would have looked a lot different for both Scott and Jackman. Sadly for Scott, it was scheduling conflicts with his role in Mission Impossible 2 that required the studio to take the role away from him and give it to Jackman.
2 Adam Sandler: Rocket Raccoon
Adam Sandler has done several movies that, at least according to critics, are absolutely horrific. But it's very possible that if he had landed the role of Rocket Raccoon that people would have had a very different opinion on him as an actor. Though if you think Sandler has some performances while it looks like he isn't putting in any effort, can you imagine how frustrating it would be if one of those performances was in Guardians of the Galaxy.
1 Tom Cruise: Iron Man
Tom Cruise is no stranger to attaching his name to huge franchises. So you can imagine that if Marvel had given the reigns of Iron Man over to him, that he would have succeeded. Though when discussing the chances of it, Tom did admit that he may not have been as close to landing the role over RDJ as people may have thought, even if he was heavily considered.
"Not close, and I love Robert Downey Jr. I can't imagine anyone else in that role, and I think it's perfect for him."
General Source: Ranker