The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is an incredible franchise for the lucky stars who don the superhero costumes. These huge cinematic hits have featured actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson. In fact, the latest flick, “Captain Marvel,” opens in theaters on March 8 with Jackson and Brie Larson in the leads.
What most people don’t know is that a number of notable actors just missed the mark in securing a top role in a Marvel blockbuster. Some turned down the studio for artistic differences, had a change of heart, wanted more money for the film or encountered scheduling conflicts, etc.
Here are 10 big names who missed the MCU boat:
1. Tom Cruise. The mega-star was one name the studio wanted to cast in “Iron Man.” Cruise said in an interview that he didn’t think he measured up and complimented Robert Downey Jr. as being the best possible choice.
2. Emily Blunt. The actress admits trying out for the part of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in the past. Scheduling issues have prevented her from seeking another Marvel movie role.
3. John Krasinski. Blunt’s husband John also almost made the MCU list, but he’s been busy directing and acting. He enjoys watching Chris Evans as Capt. America in the role he once auditioned for.
4. Sam Rockwell. The star had initially tried out for Downey’s lead role in “Iron Man” but settled for the part of Justin Hammer in “Iron Man 2.”
5. David Duchovny. The X-Files actor was in talks for “The Incredible Hulk” (2008) but lost the lead to Edward Norton.
6. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Chris Pratt beat Gordon-Levitt in the lead for “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but Gordon-Levitt opted to star in, “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.”
7. Jason Momoa. The hulking actor nailed his status in DC Comics’ “Aquaman,” but he claimed in an interview that he was in talks with MCU for a big, undisclosed role.
8. Joaquin Phoenix. The eccentric star revealed that he was once considered for Benedict Cumberbatch’s role in “Doctor Strange.”
9. Timothée Chalamet. The young American-French actor was in talks to become the next “Spider-Man.” That role went to Tom Holland.
10. Asa Butterfield. The star also tried unsuccessfully to nail the lead in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”