Superhero movies have become huge since the turn of the century, which of course means that there's no shortage of actors and actresses who want to become a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Regardless of the tireless campaigning by some actors, Marvel tends to rely on its own shortlist of candidates it believes would be the best fit for the role. More often than not, these lists include a lot of the same actors. However, while Marvel films jump-started many aspiring actors' careers, not everyone was ensured future employment with them. Whether it was disagreements on set, accusations of sexism, or just poor acting skills, Marvel movies have lost many of their initial actors. Here are just a few examples of actors Marvel will never hire or bring back anytime soon.
20 Never Hire: Eliza Dushku
When Marvel announced that Black Widow would appear in Iron Man 2, Eliza Dushku, best known as Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off series Angel, wanted the role of Black Widow so badly she went out of her way to launch a full-on internet campaign for the role very early on. However, she has yet to be cast even for a minor role in the MCU.
19 Never Bringing Back: Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield’s short run as the webslinger was far from the worst superhero performance to ever grace the big screen. Yet, he's probably the least relevant Spider-Man actor. Sony had big plans for the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, which ended when Marvel re-acquired the rights to Spider-Man. The role of Spidey was re-cast for his appearance in Captain America: Civil War as Marvel didn't want Sony's legacy and left Garfield behind.
18 Never Hire: Armie Hammer
Armie Hammer has been rumored for a number of superhero roles. All of which were in the DCEU. But he's still to appear in any comic book movie adaptation, DCEU or MCU. A possible reason for lack of interest on Marvel’s side is Armie Hammer’s reputation and the fact that he's surrounded by controversies - mainly from his rash reactions on Twitter.
17 Never Bringing Back: Tobey Maguire
After rising to stardom with the success of the first movie in the Spider-Man franchise, a rumor revealing Maguire tried to play hardball with Spider-Man 2 surfaced. Apparently, he was hoping to get a more lucrative contract regarding potential sequels. Sony execs responded by threatening to replace him with Jake Gyllenhaal. The third film was so bad it pretty much ruined his chances of ever being called by Marvel again.
16 Never Hire: Ronda Rousey
When Marvel finally announced that Captain Marvel was getting her own movie everyone was thrilled. A number of actresses offered their services to star as the superhero but none were as vocal as former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. Rousey started talking about the role already in 2015, and while Kevin Feige stated that she’d be an interesting choice, the studio still opted for Brie Larson.
15 Never Bringing Back: Famke Janssen
Famke Janssen was a fan-favorite among the X-Men, starring as Jean Grey and Dark Phoenix. After appearing in five of the franchise's films, Janssen made a swift exit, citing Marvel's sexism for her departure. She claimed the producers gave up on her and wanted a younger model version of her character. Her role was given to Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner.
14 Never Hire: Lindsay Lohan
Everyone expected Lohan to have a long, successful acting career, but we all know that's not how things worked out. Reportedly, Lohan saw the MCU as her big chance at redemption - possibly inspired by Downey Jr.’s similar life story. Auditioning for the part of Scarlet Witch, she was very upset when she didn’t get it. She's still not the most well-behaved actress, maybe that's why they won't hire her?
13 Never Bringing Back: Mickey Rourke
Mickey Rourke, who played Whiplash in Iron Man 2, trashed both the final version of the movie and Marvel Studios. Turns out the creative team decided to make his character evil for the sake of being evil, whilst Rourke wanted a character with more layers. Rourke stated, "If [Marvel] wants to make mindless comic book movies, then I don't want to be a part of that."
12 Never Hire: Jensen Ackles
Jensen Ackles has pretty much the perfect, spotless reputation. Yet, the Supernatural star ruined his chances of ever joining the MCU when Marvel was casting the Avengers. Ackles auditioned for the role of Captain America. Obviously, he didn't get the part he wanted, but when Marvel later offered him to play Hawkeye, Ackles refused, stating scheduling conflicts with Supernatural. Strange how these conflicts didn't matter when he auditioned for Cap.
11 Never Bringing Back: Terrence Howard
Terrence Howard never got to fulfill his wish of putting on the War Machine suit as his role as James "Rhodey" Rhodes was given to Don Cheadle. Apparently, Howard wasn't pleased with the suggested pay cut for starring in the Iron Man sequel - Marvel execs felt the sequel would be successful with or without him and offered to pay him one-eighth of his original salary.
10 Never Hire: Mel Gibson
Gibson, once a respected and sought-after actor, hasn’t exactly been the most popular casting choice for big blockbusters ever since he got in trouble with the law and uttered some nasty words. Yet, according to Gibson, Marvel offered him the role of Odin. Gibson’s statement is neither confirmed nor denied by Marvel or Disney, but it’s hard to believe family-friendly Disney would want someone like Mel Gibson in the MCU.
9 Never Bringing Back: Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes was one of the biggest action stars in Hollywood. After various run-ins with the law, bad roles, and tax issues, Snipes' career started to lose steam. However, Blade jump-started his career, and Snipes helped superhero movies gain the recognition they lacked at the time. After Blade: Trinity, his success turned sour when he claimed encounters with racism while on set. Other actors said Snipes was the problem.
8 Never Hire: Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise has been attached to the role of Tony Stark since the early '90s and was number one in line to portray him on the big screen. Marvel actually approached Cruise prior to the first Iron Man movie. However, Cruise had changed his mind and turned them down. Marvel has since been bought by Disney, and given Cruise's turbulent personal life, it's doubtful they'd want him in their movies.
7 Never Bringing Back: Eric Bana
These days, Eric Bana expresses relief over no longer having to bear the weight of being The Hulk. He says he feels "lucky" he's no longer tied down, and that he recognizes the backlash his version received from fans, saying, "I'm proud of what I tried to do. I apologize to all those people who were so angry about it..." It seems like both Bana and Marvel have moved on.
6 Never Hire: Kristen Stewart
In an interview, Stewart said that she’d love to appear alongside Captain America to show the world she can do more than be Bella Swan. Unfortunately for her, MCU fans weren’t the least bit enthused at the prospect of Stewart joining their beloved superhero universe and seemingly neither was Disney. Despite the efforts the actress made to endear herself to the studio, she's still nowhere near an MCU gig.
5 Never Bringing Back: Edward Norton
Norton first turned down the role of the Hulk before accepting it on the assumption any changes he made to the original screenplay would be included in the final cut. Norton's heavily edited re-write and Leterrier's attempt to combine it with Penn's script ended up turning the movie into a convoluted mess. Marvel's hatred for the film led them to replace Norton with Mark Ruffalo for The Avengers.
4 Never Hire: Katherine Heigl
No one wants a troublemaker, least of all big movie studios and franchises. Katherine Heigl pretty much ruined her own career by pulling out of the Emmy race after deeming the writing on the show bad. She's also criticized 'Knocked Up' when she was supposed to be promoting it, so it's easy to understand why she wouldn't be on Disney and Marvel's contact list.
3 Never Bringing Back: Jessica Alba
According to Alba, starring in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer made her want to "stop acting." She said the director constantly questioned her performance, asking "Can you be prettier when you cry?" Fed up, Alba declared, "I don't care about this business anymore." Alba intentionally put her career on hold, saying, "I really stopped acting when I was 27, the business side is where my heart is at."
2 Never Hire: Shia Labeouf
Shia LaBeouf became famous thanks to none other than Disney - the owners of MCU - through the Disney Channel series Even Stevens. He had roles in movies such as Transformers and Indiana Jones. However, LaBeouf has exhibited some questionable behavior - getting arrested several times, offensive comments and statements, and performance art that borders on illegality and brings his mental stability into question. Disney probably wants nothing to do with Shia LaBeouf.
1 Never Bringing Back: Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Garner has yet to recover from her Elektra mishap - a movie so bad it killed any notion that a female-led superhero film could succeed, until Wonder Woman's record-breaking success in 2017. Garner admitted the only reason she made the film was due to contractual obligations and she has now been reduced to competing with Nick Fury actor Samuel L Jackson for the spotlight in Capital One credit card commercials.
Sources: Fandom, Imdb, CBR