It's no secret that the Guardians of the Galaxy series has become one of the most popular movie franchises in cinema today. Both the original movie and its sequel earned around $800 million at the worldwide box office, and the characters also appeared in the $2 billion-grossing blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War.
One of the best parts about Guardians of the Galaxy is their ensemble of characters. Characters like Star-Lord and Groot have become beloved superheroes, despite being generally unknown in the superhero fanbase only five years ago. These beloved characters have come to the place that they are now arguably due to their fantastic cast members. Bradley Cooper breathed life into Rocket Raccoon by giving him a great voice, and it's hard to imagine anyone else playing Drax than Dave Bautista.
Despite the cast being fantastic, there were many fans who thought that the casting decisions for this intergalactic group of misfits could have been better. A number of Marvel fans have made their own fan casts for Guardians of the Galaxy that really made us scratch our heads, wondering what it would have been like had these actors and actresses been chosen for the movie instead.
Though all of these ideas are hypothetical at this point, as the movies have clearly already been cast and its unlikely for any of the characters to need to be recast at any point in the near future, they are still fun to consider.
With this in mind, here are the 20 Guardians Of The Galaxy Fan Castings Better Than What We got.
20 Jensen Ackles as Star-Lord
There's no denying that Chris Pratt has taken the intergalactic hero Star-Lord to a new level, but there were a great number of fans who actually wanted the movie to star Supernatural actor Jensen Ackles instead. Unlike Pratt, Ackles was no stranger to the role of an action hero by the time Guardians of the Galaxy released in 2014.
While Pratt's lack of hero background may have helped the overall movie, Ackles' experience may have helped his character become even more believable.
Though he may not have had the comedy talents required for the role, there's no denying that Jensen Ackles would have brought the massive Supernatural fanbase over to Marvel, which would undoubtedly have boosted sales.
19 Danny DeVito as Rocket Raccoon
Traditionally, short character roles with a bad attitude and growly voice are given to Danny DeVito. From the Lorax to Phil from Hercules, and Frank Reynolds to the Penguin, DeVito has a long history of playing this character archetype, so it's not surprising that a number of Marvel fans immediately imagined him to be the voice of Rocket Raccoon.
Unlike most of the other fan casts on this list, this one almost became a reality. Back when Guardians of the Galaxy was casting, DeVito was one of the actors who auditioned for the role of Rocket, meaning that he was actually considered for the part. While Bradley Cooper has certainly done a good job with the role, it still leaves us wondering how different this character would have been had Danny DeVito been cast instead.
18 Gal Gadot as Nebula
Though this became more of a hindsight fan cast, with many Marvel fans coming up with this casting idea after Karen Gillan was cast as Nebula, it's still a brilliant fan cast that possibly could have made Gamora's estranged sister a bit more interesting.
Over the past few years, superhero fans have fallen in love with Gal Gadot, who has blown us away with her performance as Wonder Woman, becoming one of the few positive highlights of the DCEU.
While Nebula is certainly an interesting character in Guardians of the Galaxy, it's quite possible that, had Gal Gadot been given the role instead, Gadot would have blown the role out of the water, turning Nebula into one of the most intriguing characters in the franchise.
17 Tom Hardy as Charlie-27
After the release of the first Guardians of the Galaxy, many Marvel fans were hoping that more of the original team's members, like Star Hawk and Charlie-27, would eventually make their way into the MCU. This did eventually happen, with many of the former Guardians from the comics appearing as Ravagers in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Before Mission Impossible actor Ving Rhames was revealed to be playing the classic, burly Guardian Charlie-27 in secret, some Marvel fans actually fan casted Tom Hardy in the role, which is arguably an even better fit for the character. Unfortunately, Charlie-27 only made a small appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and there's no guarantee that we will see him again any time soon, so it may be for the best that Tom Hardy's talents weren't wasted on such a small role. He may be better off just sticking to Eddie Brock instead.
16 Christopher Meloni as Ronan the Accuser
One of the biggest complaints about the first Guardians of the Galaxy was that, like many other Marvel movies at the time, it had a weak villain. Ronan the Accuser, despite having a booming voice and a clear motivation, was ultimately disappointing. He added conflict, but not any type of conflict that left audiences genuinely worried like Thanos did in Avengers: Infinity War. Theoretically, a different casting choice could have been enough to redeem Ronan the Accuser and help make him into a truly intimidating foe.
While Lee Pace is a great actor, it's quite possible that actor Christopher Meloni could have done a much better job in the role.
Meloni has had a number of antagonistic roles in the past, playing lawful evil rather than chaotic evil, which really could have improved Ronan as a character.
15 Gina Carano as Gamora
Having started her career as an MMA fighter, Gina Carano is no stranger to showing her intimidating strength on screen. In franchises like Deadpool and Fast & The Furious, Carano has given herself a reputation of playing powerful, independent women. In the comics, Gamora was commonly referred to as being the "fiercest woman in the galaxy." While Zoe Saldana did a decent job living up to this title, it's quite possible that Gina Carano could have truly proved Gamora to indeed be as fierce as her title suggests.
It would have been very interesting to have seen Carano in the green Gamora make-up. Though she may not have had the character chemistry that Saldana brought to the table, she still would have made Gamora into a formidable ally for the rest of the Guardians.
14 Nathan Fillion as Rhomann Dey
Nathan Fillion is a rather close friend of James Gunn, with both of them having worked together a number of times. Fillion made a brief cameo in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, and had his cameo cut in the sequel, but many people think that Fillion's talents would have been better suited in a different role in the franchise. Many Marvel fans wanted to see the Castle star in a larger role in the first Guardians of the Galaxy.
As soon as it was revealed that he would be in the movie, many Marvel fans immediately wanted him to play one of the members of the Nova Corps., possibly Corpsman Dey, who ended up being played by John C. Reilly.
Perhaps, should Marvel ever make a Nova movie, Fillion can come back in a larger role, possibly as one of the higher ranking members of the Nova Corps. alongside Reilly.
13 Vin Diesel as Drax
Vin Diesel gave a fantastic performance as Groot in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies and in Avengers: Infinity War, but a number of fans seem to think that the small voice role of Groot was a waste of this actor's talents.
Many Guardians of the Galaxy fans would have actually preferred to have seen Diesel take on the role of Drax instead of Groot, as he would have been able to use his physical acting abilities in addition to his voice abilities. Though Dave Bautista certainly has made Drax the Destroyer unique on screen, there's no question that Vin Diesel's greater background in acting could have taken this hero even further, and possibly even made him more than just a joke character.
12 James Earl Jones as Groot
In terms of actors known for playing low-pitched voice roles, James Earl Jones is certainly at the top of the line. Many of his voice roles, such as Darth Vader and Mufasa, have become iconic simply due to Jones's phenomenal performances.
Jones would have easily blown away the role of Groot, and possibly made him even more intimidating as a character.
Jones could have also given him the same heartwarming qualities that Jones gave Mufasa in The Lion King. Not only would the role of Groot have been a fantastic fit for James Earl Jones, it would have also left Vin Diesel available to take on larger roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, such as Drax or Blackbolt.
11 Laz Alonso as Yondu Udonta
Michael Rooker may have given a great performance as Yondu Udonta in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but it's not a big secret that Rooker got the job mostly due to his close friendship with director James Gunn. Had Rooker not been in the picture, Laz Alonso may have been the perfect fit to portray the classic Guardian of the Galaxy. In movies like Fast & Furious and Avatar, Alonso has given fantastic performances, being both intimidating and down to Earth at the same time.
Not only is Alonso a fantastic actor, but he has also had experience playing a blue alien with a mohawk in Avatar. His experience in the space opera genre certainly could have helped him had he joined the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
10 Viggo Mortensen as Adam Warlock
One of the most fan casted Guardians of the Galaxy characters is Adam Warlock. This popular space superhero has been one particular hero that Marvel fans have wanted to see in the MCU for years, with many hoping that he would pop up in the Guardians franchise so he could play a role in Avengers: Infinity War like he did in the comics. Warlock did technically appear at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but was only in a cocoon. Reportedly, Warlock was even in the early drafts of the Guardians sequel, but was eventually cut out.
Had Warlock appeared in Vol. 2, many Marvel fans were hoping that he would be played by Lord of the Rings actor Viggo Mortensen.
Mortensen has given some phenomenal performances as powerful characters, leading many to believe that he would have been the perfect fit for Adam Warlock, had he appeared as more than a cocoon in the movie.
9 Michael Fassbender as Star-Lord
Michael Fassbender may be well known for playing the classic Marvel villain Magneto in the X-Men franchise, but many Marvel fans actually wanted him to play another Marvel character as well. As soon as Guardians of the Galaxy was announced, many fans initially wanted the legendary outlaw and leader of the team, Star-Lord, to be played by Michael Fassbender.
Though Fassbender may not be known for his comedic acting, he absolutely blew away the role of Magneto in all three X-Men movies he has appeared in so far, proving that playing characters in comic book movies is something he is particularly great at. Casting Fassbender in Guardians of the Galaxy undoubtedly would have added another layer of emotion to the movies.
8 Lucy Liu as Mantis
When it comes to iconic action actresses, Lucy Liu is about as great as they get. Her performances in movies like Pulp Fiction and Charlie's Angels have made her into a huge star in the action movie industry, and it would have been great to have seen her enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point.
Mantis would be the perfect fit for Liu to play, not just because they look similar, but also because in the comics, Mantis was an incredibly acrobatic, active hero, rather than the passive and shy hero we got in the movie.
Though Pom Klementieff did a decent job as Mantis, the character was ultimately forgettable by the end of the movie. Lucy Liu more than likely would have fixed this, and actually could have been one of the highlights of the movie.
7 Jeremy Irons as Thanos
While it's very difficult now to imagine anyone else playing the role of the Mad Titan in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Infinity War other than Josh Brolin, before Thanos was cast, many Marvel fans wanted to see Thanos be played by Jeremy Irons.
One of the most important features an actor would have to bring to the table for Thanos would be his voice, as the rest of him is essentially CGI. With that in mind, Jeremy Irons would have made an impeccable Thanos, as his voice has the perfect blend of intimidation and realism, as seen in movies like The Lion King. Irons also would have been able to bring out the "boom" in his voice in order to match the physical size of Thanos, just as Josh Brolin did. Josh Brolin did a great job in the role, but it's genuinely disappointing that Marvel didn't choose Irons instead.
6 Lynn Collins as Gamora
Lynn Collins is no stranger to science fiction and action movies, which is why it isn't too big of a surprise that a number of fans initially wanted her to play the role of Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy, before it was ultimately given to Zoe Saldana. While Lynn Collins is certainly a great actress, she has had some bad luck with the movies she has been in. Her two biggest blockbusters have been X-Men Origins: Wolverine and John Carter, both of which were critical flops.
Guardians of the Galaxy would have been the perfect movie for Lynn Collins to truly shine in.
Presumably, her addition also would've helped the overall movie shine as well.
5 Peter Cullen as Ego
Ego the Living Planet was a character that Marvel fans wanted to see introduced into the MCU for quite some time, so it makes sense that he received a number of fan castings prior to his appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. One of the most intriguing fan casts for Ego was Peter Cullen, who is possibly best known for doing the voice of Optimus Prime in the Transformers franchise. Cullen is a highly experienced actor and certainly could have pulled off playing an actual planet in a believable and entertaining way.
When this fan cast was first made, it was probably made under the idea that he would be playing the planet himself, rather than an avatar created by the planet. Either way, though, it would have been interesting to have seen what Cullen could have done with this unique role.
4 Jack Black as Rocket Raccoon
It is common knowledge that Jack Black is a master at comedy, which would hypothetically make him the perfect fit to voice a talking raccoon in a comedic space opera. He has the perfect growly voice to believably pull off a raccoon, and genuinely would add a lot more hilarity to the movie.
While Black may not have been able to pull off the same emotion that Bradley Cooper gave to Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy, he would have brought other elements to the role instead.
Even though many Marvel fans did not get their wish to see Jack Black voice Rocket Raccoon, it would still be nice to see Black enter the MCU at some point, especially now that he has truly returned to acting in more than just cameos.
3 Michael Dorn as Groot
When Guardians of the Galaxy was first announced at Marvel Studios, there were a number of Marvel fans who initially thought that some of the less humanoid characters like Groot would be made using prosthetics, rather than using CGI. Had Groot been made practically, many Marvel fans imagined that he would be played by Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Michael Dorn, who had to put on extensive prosthetics and make-up every day he was on set for that series in order to play Worf.
Dorn did a fantastic job at making Worf a believable character in Star Trek, and many fans assumed he would do the same thing as Groot. He was also fantastic in the DC series Arrow, where he voiced the villain Prometheus.
2 John Krasinski as Nova
One character that Marvel fans have wanted to see on screen for years is Nova, and many of those fans were hoping that this cosmic superhero would make his debut in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
One of the top fan casts for the casting of Nova was The Office and A Quiet Place star John Krasinski, who has both the look and the character vibe to pull of Richard Rider / Nova in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Even if he didn't appear as Richard Rider himself in Guardians of the Galaxy, it would have been great to have seen Krasinski appear as at least some member of the Nova Corps. in the movie, hopefully to set up another appearance down the road.
1 Jason Momoa as Drax
Though many people had their doubts at first, Jason Momoa has truly proven himself to be fantastic as Aquaman in the DCEU over the past few years. This has left Marvel fans thinking of what it would have been like had Momoa been cast as Drax.
Believe it or not, this fan cast was almost more than just a fan cast, as Momoa was actually the original actor that Marvel wanted for the role - and there was even some concept art drawn up of what he would've looked like. However, after a couple months of negotiation, Momoa rejected the role in Guardians of the Galaxy, as he didn't want to keep playing shirtless characters with little dialogue. In hindsight, it's a shame that Marvel did not fight to keep Momoa on board. Presumably, he also would have been able to bring a lot more emotion to the role than Dave Bautista did.
Which of these actors did you want to see in Guardians of the Galaxy? Let us know in the comments!