Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has confirmed that Jason Statham was in talks to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at one point. The actor is best known for his death-defying action stunts in films like The Transporter, The Mechanic and most recently, the Fast & Furious franchise.
It was once rumored that Statham was in talks to play Bullseye in the Daredevil TV series but as it turns out, he was also considered for a big screen role. The villain Bullseye has yet to appear in the Charlie Cox-led Netflix series, so there's still a slight possibility that said rumor could come true. Unfortunately, it sounds like Marvel and Statham dropped their previous talks about a movie role for the latter.
While promoting Spider-Man: Homecoming Feige shed a bit of light on the matter, telling Den of Geek that Marvel was initially considering Statham for an undisclosed role in one of the MCU films. As to how talks fell apart, the producer ultimately chalked it up to a scheduling conflict, recalling that the actor even personally called him to decline the gig:
"I was in another meeting a few days later, and my cellphone rang. I didn't recognise the number, but I answered it. And it was Jason Statham. He was saying, 'Sorry it didn't work out, maybe next time'. He couldn't have been nicer!"
When asked however which property Statham was supposed to be in, the Marvel exec coyly declined to say. It's quite difficult to pinpoint what was Marvel's plan for the actor given that he can both play a hero and a vilain. Needless to say, with Feige refusing to divulge any clue on the matter, fans will have to just come up with their own casting choices in terms of who the action star could have played in the MCU.
In 2013, Statham said that he has no interest in playing a superhero, adding that those who star in superhero movies are just in for the money. His distaste for the thriving genre continued in 2015 - around the same time that rumors of him playing Bullseye were at its peak, when he openly dismissed the action in Marvel films, saying that stunt doubles do most of the work in those movies. Marvel veteran Paul Bettany, who initially voiced Tony Stark/Iron Man's (Robert Downey Jr.) AI, J.A.R.V.I.S., and now plays the role as Vision in the MCU, fired back at Statham, calling him out on his acting chops instead.
It would have been in interesting to see what Jason Statham could do in a Marvel film. His athleticism and agility - not to mention his swagger - would be a great fit in terms of the MCU's action-packed sequences and penchant for hand-to-hand combat. While we can expect that he won't be appearing in any superhero flick in the near future if he sticks to his previous comments, we will see more of him in The Fast and the Furious films and its off-shoots, as well as next year's sci-fi/horror film, Meg.
Source: Den of Geek