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14+ Actors Who Almost Starred In Marvel Movies

Avengers: Endgame and the entire MCU in general is stacked with A-list actors and actresses.

Marvel Studios has been able to nab several top performers for its films. However, there are a few big name performers who just missed the cut.

Tom Cruise as Iron Man

Paramount Pictures

Before the MCU truly began, Iron Man was in development as a starring vehicle for Tom Cruise.

Marvel was seemingly so convinced it would happen that Tony Stark even resembles Cruise in the 2005 Iron Man comic story, "Extremis."

John Krasinski as Captain America

Amazon Studios

Years before John Krasinski headlined Amazon's Jack Ryan and A Quiet Place, the former star of The Office was in the running for Captain America.

He got far enough to have a costume test before withdrawing from the role.

Emily Blunt as Black Widow and Agent Carter

Warner Bros. Pictures

John Krasinski's wife, Emily Blunt, is arguably an even bigger star than he is.

She was actually cast as Black Widow in Iron Man 2 before a schedule conflict forced her to pull out.

Marvel also courted Blunt for Agent Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger. However, she turned down the role.

Saoirse Ronan as the Scarlet Witch


Lady Bird star Saoirse Ronan was on Joss Whedon's wishlist for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Whedon thought Ronan would be a great choice for the Scarlet Witch. However, the role ultimately went to Elizabeth Olsen.

Liam Hemsworth as Thor


Liam Hemsworth was on the shortlist for Thor before his older brother, Chris Hemsworth, ultimately landed the role.

Liam took it in good humor and he even cameoed as an actor playing Thor in Thor: Ragnarok.

Jim Carrey as Loki and Rocket Raccoon

ET Canada

Jim Carrey headlined the comic book movie, The Mask, early in his career before returning to the genre in Kick-Ass 2.

However, he was once on the shortlist for both Loki in Thor and the voice of Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Charlize Theron as Hela

Focus Features

Charlize Theron was given serious consideration for the role of Hela in Thor: Ragnarok.

While Cate Blanchett took the part, Theron's action film experience in Atomic Blonde and Mad Max: Fury Road should give her more comic book movie opportunities if she chooses to pursue them.

Joaquin Phoenix as Doctor Strange

Warner Bros. Pictures

Joaquin Phoenix was a front runner for Marvel's Doctor Strange movie, but a deal never came together.

However, Phoenix was subsequently tapped to headline Joker, which will haunt viewers later this year.

David Duchovny as the Hulk

Fox TV

The X-Files star David Duchovny was apparently on Marvel Studios' wishlist when it rebooted The Incredible Hulk in 2008.

Naturally, Duckovny would have played the Hulk's alter ego, Bruce Banner. But the role ultimately went to Ed Norton, before Mark Ruffalo took over the part in The Avengers.

Olivia Wilde as Gamora

Disney Pictures

Tron: Legacy star Olivia Wilde was offered the role of Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy.

However, for reasons that aren't entirely clear, Wilde passed on the chance and Zoe Saldona made the role her own.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord

Warner Brothers Pictures

Shortly after co-starring in The Dark Knight Rises, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was heavily courted by Marvel to headline Guardians of the Galaxy as Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord.

He ultimately passed, leaving the way clear for Chris Pratt to be cast.

Jason Momoa as Drax the Destroyer

Warner Bros. Pictures

Game of Thrones opened a lot of doors for Jason Momoa.

For a time, Momoa was nearly a finalist for Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy.

That turned out to be a star-making performance for ex-wrestler Dave Bautista. But it worked out for Momoa too, since he's headlining the Aquaman franchise for Warner Bros.

Matthew McConaughey as Ego the Living Planet

Sony Pictures

Director James Gunn and Marvel approached Matthew McConaughey about playing Star-Lord's father, Ego the Living Planet, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

However, McConaughey ultimately passed on the opportunity.

Rashida Jones as The Wasp

Warner Bros. TV

Fan favorite actress, Rashida Jones, almost had her Marvel moment as well.

Jones was in the running to play Hope van Dyne, a.k.a. The Wasp in Ant-Man.

We believe she'll have another chance to be a superhero, if she wants it.

Timothée Chalamet as Spider-Man


Marvel and Sony cast a wide net while searching for the next Spider-Man.

Timothée Chalamet was among the young actors in the running. While Tom Holland got the role, Chalamet is headlining the new Dune remake.