12 Actors Who Turned Down Roles in Superhero Movies

Not everyone wants to star in a superhero movie. There are actors who run away from it. Then, there are also actors who turn down Superhero movies because they don’t align with their vision. Sometimes, their tight schedule stops them from accepting the film.  Whatever be the reason here is the list of actors who almost played a superhero or starred in a superhero film. They either turned down the role or the project didn’t materialize.

12. Matt Damon (Daredevil)

Here’s what Matt Damon said to Peter Travers on why he refused the role: “I passed on ‘Daredevil,’ to be fair. I didn’t love the script and I didn’t know the director … So, I just tried to divorce my emotion from [it]. Ben is more of an emotional guy, he was like, ‘Daredevil!’ He just went and did it.”

11. Emily Blunt (Black Widow)

Here’s why Emily turned down the role in her own words, she said to Vulture: “Usually the female parts in a superhero film feel thankless: She’s the pill girlfriend while the guys are whizzing around saving the world. I didn’t do the other ones because the part wasn’t very good or the timing wasn’t right, but I’m open to any kind of genre if the part is great and fun and different and a challenge in some way. I would love to do a comic-book movie or a science-fiction film that would scare the bejesus out of me. Maybe I need to be James Bond! I just did Looper, because it’s so original and breathtakingly cool. The time-travel aspect is just a backdrop to visit this heightened world, where you’re atoning for something and attempting to be more than you’ve been.”

10. Josh Hartnett (Batman, Superman and Spider-Man)

In an interview with GQ, Josh revealed: “Spider-Man was something we talked about. Batman was another one. But I somehow knew those roles had potential to define me, and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to be labeled as Superman for the rest of my career. I was maybe 22, but I saw the danger. I didn’t have those agents for much longer after that. There was a lot of infighting between my manager and agents, trying to figure out who to put the blame on. It got to the point where none of us were able to work together”.

9. Joaquin Phoenix (Doctor Strange)

Joaquin Phoenix revealed the reason why he rejected the role of Doctor Strange to Timeout London: ““When I was younger I was probably a bit of a snob about [taking on blockbuster roles]. But 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. There were too many requirements that went against my instincts for character. I’ve been spoiled. I’ve never had to make those compromises. I’ve not met a director yet with one of those films where we go through the script, they say: ‘You know what, fuck this set-piece, let’s focus on the character!’ I understand, but it’s best I don’t do it.”

8. Jessica Chastain (The Wasp/Maya Hansen)

Chastain posted on Facebook why she couldn’t do Iron Man 3: “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. Shane Black and everyone on the IM3 team are really wonderful. I’m very excited to see the film when it comes out.”

7. Olivia Wilde (Gamora)

Olivia has never revealed the reason why she turned out the role of Gamora in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, so we’ll never know for sure. What We know that the role ultimately went to Zoe Saldana.

6. Jake Gyllenhaal (Rick Flagg)

Again, we don’t know why Jake passed on the role. Once Tom Hardy couldn’t do the film, it is learnt that Warner Brothers approached Gyllenhaal. Ultimately, the role went to Joel Kinnaman.

5. Mel Gibson (Odin)

Here’s what Mel Gibson told to The Guardian when he was asked if he was ever offered a role in a superhero movie “Yeah, long time ago, to play Thor’s dad. There is a slight shift in film. But, then again, I think all films are suffering from people not being able to now open them with their name. It’s a different kind of business these days…I think you used to get more variety of stories, films and performances. You had more of a chance of a profound film experience. But that’s not gone. I think that has been relegated to the independent world – but they have to do it twice as fast for half the money.”

4. Pierce Brosnan (Batman)

Pierce Brosnan revealed to ABC News:  “I went and met with Tim Burton for the role of Batman. But I just couldn’t really take it seriously. Any man who wears his underpants outside his pants just cannot be taken seriously.” He continued. “That was my foolish take on it. It was a joke, I thought. But how wrong was I? Don’t get me wrong, because I love Batman, and I grew up on Batman. As a kid in Ireland, we used to get our raincoats and tie them round our neck and swing through the bicycle shed.”

3. Tom Cruise (Iron Man)

It is learnt that Marvel originally wanted Tom Cruise to play Tony Stark in ‘Iron Man’. They were in talks with him on and off for awhile, but Cruise eventually lost interest in the film and walked away. He just didn’t feel like a project he could commit himself 100%. It all worked out in the end when Jon Favreau cast Robert Downey Jr., who turned out to be the best Tony Stark Marvel could get.

2. Will Smith (Superman)

Producer Jon Peters wanted Will Smith to play the Man of Steel in the Kevin Smith-scripted movie. That script included a black superman suit and a giant spider for Superman to fight. He did approach the actor about taking on the role, but the movie fell apart. Years later Bryan Singer flirted with the idea of bringing Smith on board. He offered Smith the role and sent him the script, but the actor turned it down. Smith went on to star in Peters’ Wild Wild West.

1. Leonardo DiCaprio (Spider-Man)

Initially Cameron Crowe was supposed to direct the Spider-Man, but once that didn’t work out the rights to the character landed at Sony Pictures. This was in 1999, and the studio wanted to get Leonardo DiCaprio, who was still riding high on his Titanic success.  Recently Leo revealed in an interview with Empire Magazine: “I think there was a screenplay that I read, but I don’t remember. This was 20 years ago!” But after Sam Raimi was brought to direct the film, he went with DiCaprio’s longtime friend Tobey Maguire.