Superhero movies are immensely popular and have been dominating the box office for a longtime. While DC is attempting to keep up, Marvel has seen the most success in the genre in recent years. Many of their movies launch actors to stardom or resurrect careers.
With all of the success that Marvel has seen, it’s easy to forget that some of their characters in movies haven’t been all that great. Some films have been better than others. The Fantastic Four films are known as some of the worst superhero movies in history, while The Avengers movies have seen wild success.
Unfortunately, whether a movie is good or bad, sometimes actors simply aren’t a good fit for a certain role or aren’t received well by audiences. Marvel movies can make careers, but they can also break them.
Some actors, like Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston, have achieved even more fame after taking their roles as Captain America and Loki. Other roles, however, were so bad that they actually helped destroy an actor’s career.
Some of these people have tried desperately to leave these characters behind them, but they simply can’t be shook.
Here are the 15 Actors Who Were Ruined By Marvel Movies.
15 Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver
The MCU has launched a lot of actors to bigger and better stardom than they had before they took their roles as iconic superheroes. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, however, was not so lucky after his time with the franchise.
He played the speedster Quicksilver, twin brother to the Scarlet Witch, who was quickly killed off before fans could really get to know the character. People complained that his character was horribly underdeveloped and rushed.
Before his role as the hero, he was one of the stars of the Kick-Ass movies.
Despite his successful performance in those, his brief role in the Marvel universe is now what he is remembered for.
It seems like Taylor-Johnson will be seen as a deceased, lackluster, weak superhero for quite a while.
14 Topher Grace as Venom
Topher Grace is most well-known for his role as Eric on the popular sitcom That 70’s Show. It seemed like his career was just beginning. However, his first big movie role was as Venom in Spider-Man 3, and it confused everybody.
Eddie Brock, also known as Venom, is supposed to be one of Spider-Man’s most intense and awesome foes. He is meant to be a monstrous, twisted version of Spider-Man. Skinny, dorky Eric Forman resonates more with Peter Parker than Eddie Brock.
The movie was not very successful and nobody took Venom seriously as a villain. A lot of it was attributed to the casting of Grace.
He hasn’t been able to escape the role for over a decade and it seems to have impacted his movie career.
13 Edward Norton as The Hulk
Mark Ruffalo is so familiar to audiences as Bruce Banner, it’s easy to forget that he wasn’t the only Hulk. Edward Norton played the giant green hero in The Incredible Hulk.
The movie was meant to follow up the success of the first Iron Man film, but it was an incredible disappointment. Not only did Norton star in the movie, he also tried to gain creative control over the film.
There was some friction between he and Marvel over the production and editing.
Supposedly he rewrote some scenes and then ultimately didn’t receive credit for it.
This conflict resulted in the recasting of Ruffalo in The Avengers. While Norton is still an accomplished actor, the issues between he and the filmmakers definitely impacted his career.
12 Jessica Alba as Sue Storm
As soon as Jessica Alba was announced as Sue Storm in Fantastic Four, people were concerned. She had appeared in movies like Honey and Sin City, but many fans were worried that she wasn’t up to the task of portraying a well-known superhero.
People were right-- her acting was uninspired and bland on top of a poorly written script. The movie was already a disaster, and she was simply not a good fit to play the Invisible Woman.
Since her unfortunate performance in the movie, she’s appeared in what can only be called bad comedies and random kids’ films.
Her movie choices were just never the same after Fantastic Four. She did start her own company, but her time as Sue Storm ruined her acting career.
11 Dane DeHaan as Green Goblin
Before Dane DeHaan’s role as the Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he seemed to be a rising star.
He had appeared in Chronicle and Kill Your Darlings, both fairly successful movies. His role as Green Goblin was supposed to continue his climb up the Hollywood ladder.
The highly anticipated movie wasn’t received well by critics, however, and his performance was considered odd by many. The way he morphed into a strange looking goblin creature was off-putting, and not in the way it was meant to be.
Since his role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he hasn’t done much in the way of blockbuster movies.
He’s talented, his name just is not widely recognized. The movie didn’t launch him to stardom as originally anticipated.
10 Liv Tyler as Betty Ross
The Incredible Hulk wasn’t just unfortunate for Edward Norton. Liv Tyler played Betty Ross, Bruce Banner’s love interest, and she didn’t impress too many people.
Her performance was bland at best, and she and Norton had zero on-screen chemistry. Tyler’s version of Betty Ross brought nothing new or compelling to the character. She is completely forgettable, much like the rest of the film.
The actress hasn’t done much in the way of acting since the film, but there are rumors she could make an appearance in the upcoming Infinity War movie.
It would certainly be interesting to see her back on the big screen. Maybe she and Mark Ruffalo would have a little more chemistry than she had with the previous Hulk, although Black Widow wouldn’t be too happy about it.
9 Jennifer Garner as Elektra
Elektra is one of those Marvel films that fans have tried to lock away and pretend it doesn’t exist. The 2005 movie was a spinoff of Daredevil and received terrible reviews.
The storyline has been called things like “tone-deaf” and “ridiculous.” The characterization was way off compared to the Elektra fans had seen in Daredevil.
Unfortunately, Jennifer Garner is haunted by this movie even today. She played the assassin and was torn apart by fans and critics alike.
At the time, it stopped the heightening of Garner’s career dead in its tracks.
Rather than a strong, dominating female lead, she was reduced to just a love interest in her following films. Hopefully she won’t be remembered as often for this terrible role now that the Daredevil Netflix series is featuring a different actress as Elektra.
8 January Jones as Emma Frost
January Jones played such a bored, uninteresting Emma Frost that it’s hard to remember she was in X-Men: First Class at all. With all of her success as Betty Draper in Mad Men, it was hard to see her flop in such an important superhero flick.
Every time the character appeared on screen, all of the built up energy from the rest of the movie faded away. That’s not the kind of presence you want in a high-action superhero movie.
The overwhelmingly negative reception her performance received is a major reason the character was killed off.
She hasn’t had many major roles since the movie, and her uninterested, bland demeanor could have something to do with it. It seemed like she’d rather be doing anything else but acting whenever they showed her character.
7 Mickey Rourke as Whiplash
Fans were really excited to see Iron Man 2, but it didn’t do as well as people had hoped. The acting was mediocre and the script needed some work.
Mickey Rourke, who played the villain Whiplash, was one of the most disappointing aspects of the movie.
It wasn’t entirely the actor’s fault, although his acting could have been better. He wasn’t given very many lines, and the lines he did have were delivered lazily.
He was mostly there to look scary and intimidating.
The entire movie was pretty uninteresting, though, so he fit right in. Even Rourke wasn’t happy with the film. He trashed Marvel executives, claiming he tried to give his character more depth but they weren’t interested.
Either way, the role wasn’t great for Rourke’s reputation as an actor.
6 Matt Salinger as Captain America
It is hard to imagine anyone other than Chris Evans portraying the fan-favorite Captain America. He seems to completely embody the character. However, actor Matt Salinger actually had the role first.
The 1990 Captain America movie was undoubtedly unsuccessful. The script was a mess and there was practically no budget for production. His acting was just as terrible.
It seemed like everyone who saw the film agreed that it was bad. It did no justice to its source material. Luckily, Evans eventually came around and gave the character the on-screen treatment he deserves.
Unfortunately for Salinger, since his time as the star-spangled hero, his career has been fairly uneventful and obscure. The role completely destroyed any chances he had at a big acting career.
5 Ioan Gruffudd as Mister Fantastic
It seems like the Fantastic Four movies weren’t particularly great for any acting careers. Ioan Gruffudd played Mister Fantastic, but he isn’t known for doing a great job.
Before the superhero film, Gruffudd was in a few well-known movies, such as Titanic and Black Hawk Down. It looked as if his career was only going to go up from there. Then he made the mistake of starring in two Fantastic Four movies.
None of the cast members gave an outstanding performance, including Gruffudd.
He simply wasn’t the big action star that people expected him to be.
He’s been on a few television shows in recent years and has voice acted in some animated films, but he hasn’t been in any other major blockbuster movies.
4 Nicolas Cage as Ghost Rider
A Ghost Rider movie could have been so cool. It had so much potential. Fans were originally excited about the idea. However, the actual execution was terrible. The 2007 Ghost Rider movie did not go over well.
Nicholas Cage played the lead, and he was one of the worst parts of the movie. A big complaint was that Cage was just... too Nicholas Cage. He didn’t embody the character and the performance simply wasn’t believable.
It was amazing that the movie even received the okay for a sequel, but Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was released in 2012. Both films are known to be bad among fans, and Nicholas Cage hasn’t quite been able to escape his failed superhero role.
3 Halle Berry as Storm
Halle Berry is a really talented actress, but she has a knack for being cast in terrible superhero roles.
Her performance as Catwoman is known to be one of the worst comic book adaptations, and her performance as Storm in Marvel’s X-Men movies was incredibly weak.
For one, she couldn’t decide on the way her character spoke. Her accent changed throughout each movie she was a part of.
Berry also just didn’t have the powerful presence that the character required.
Storm is supposed to be incredibly powerful, and she simply didn’t come off that way in the movies.
She’s had plenty of roles since then, but her time as Storm is always haunting her. People will never forget the way she butchered the comic book character.
2 Ben Affleck as Matthew Murdock
While Ben Affleck has moved on to bigger and better things as Batman in the DCEU, he will never be able to shake his awful role as Daredevil in the 2003 movie of the same name.
Known as one of the worst superhero films of all time, Daredevil is the reason fans were so nervous to see the actor take on the Dark Knight.
It was dull and uninspiring in every way possible. Fans complained that Affleck didn’t understand the character, playing him more as a charity case than a badass, crime-fighting lawyer.
It doesn’t matter how successful Affleck is, he will always be reminded of his horrible performance as the blind vigilante. Thankfully, the character has been redeemed with Netflix’s Daredevil series.
1 Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man
Tobey Maguire is the Spider-Man for a lot of people. His first two performances as the young hero went over pretty smoothly, but Spider-Man 3 was a disaster.
It’s strange to think that while his time as Spider-Man is what helped launch him to stardom, it’s always what ruined him.
Everything from the script to the acting was off, including Maguire’s performance. It’s so bad, anyone who watches the movie now views it as a comedy. Even the director admitted it was a disaster.
The movie was such a mess it stopped Maguire’s growing career in its tracks.
At the time, he was an A-list star who seemed to continue to grow in popularity, but now it seems like his name is only mentioned here or there.
Can you think of any other actors whose careers were destroyed by Marvel movies? Let us know in the comments!