Putting together a movie isn’t easy, let alone an entire film franchise. So, the success of the Marvel franchise is truly something to be proud of… unfortunately, there have been many, many missteps, slights, and controversies along the way.
In their quest to become the ultimate superhero brand, the studio has angered actors, directors, and writers alike– and most of them are perfectly comfortable with calling out the studio for their misdeeds.
Directors come and go in Marvel movies and the MCU in a blink of an eye, constantly being fired and replaced if they fail to perfectly fit into the Marvel mold– and Heaven forbid an MCU director actually fight for their artistic integrity.
Multiple actors have sworn off Hollywood forever once they are finally freed from their ironclad contracts, most of them feeling exhausted and caged up after nearly a decade of superhero hijinks. Also, somehow an angry Jason Statham shows up because of course, he does.
No matter much you may love Thor and Hulk’s odd couple shenanigans or young Aunt May’s funky parenting style, there was someone behind-the-scenes of these feel-good flicks feeling hurt and slighted by the studio’s controversial decisions.
Here are the 15 Marvel Behind-The-Scenes Feuds You Had No Idea About.
15. Terrence Howard Blames Robert Downey Jr. For Getting Fired
Terrence Howard didn’t actually want to leave Marvel. According to the Hustle And Flow actor, he simply had no choice. Howard was more than interested in signing up for Iron Man 2 to reprise his role as Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes, but Marvel never extended an offer for him to return.
Howard maintained that Robert Downey Jr.’s star had become so big that he required a much bigger paycheck than he did during the first film. To combat Tony Stark’s growing budget, Howard says Marvel simply replaced him with a cheaper actor, Ocean’s Eleven‘s Don Cheadle.
Howard remained bitter about the coup for years, never letting go of his assertion that RDJ had been the true culprit. Until recent years, when he claimed that life was too short to let the feud continue.
14. A Thor: Ragnarok Writer Was Preemptively Left Out Of The Credits
Writer Stephany Folsom got hopping mad at Marvel before Thor: Ragnarok was even finished being written thanks to her work being entirely overshadowed by a male co-worker.
Folsom was outraged that when Marvel debuted both a trailer and poster at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con gave sole screenwriting credits to Eric Pearson.
Folsom aired her grievances over Twitter, describing the decision to release full writing credits before they were officially determined by Writers Guild of America as “gross.” Folsom had been brought onto the Ragnarok crew in October 2015, so she had a good two years’ worth of work put into the film, which only added to her feelings of anger over the omission.
To make matters worse, when the Guild finally decided who should receive credit for writing the film, Folsom was once again neglected, despite her assertion that Marvel was willing to add her to the final credits of the film.
13. Fantastic Four Almost Made Jessica Alba Quit Acting Entirely
Chris Evans wasn’t the only actor who soured on acting because of a stint with Marvel. However, while it took Evans several appearances before he gave up on his superhero gig, all it took was two movies to make Jessica Alba consider walking away from Hollywood permanently.
Alba accused Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer director Tim Story,of being incredibly shallow (and maybe a little sexist) during a scene in which she was supposed to become emotional and cry.
Story reportedly told Alba that her face was “too real” and asked her to look more “pretty” while she cried, telling her that the tears could be added via CGI. Alba then began to question all of her acting instincts and nearly gave up on the industry as a whole.
12. Mickey Rourke Hates Marvel With A Fiery Passion
Mickey Rourke hates Marvel– there really is no other way to describe it. He hated Marvel with a fiery passion that lasted years after his turn as Whiplash in Iron Man 2.
Legend has it that Rourke requested permission to take some liberties with his character, wanting to make him more three-dimensional. Reports claimed that Marvel had given Rourke the go-ahead, but things went sideways in the editing room.
The rumor mill alleged that the majority of Rourke’s creative choices were ultimately cut from the film, causing him to become angry with the studio. Even after moving on to a new project, Rourke still took the time to let fans know he wasn’t a Marvel fan while promoting Sin City 2.
11. Captain America Made Chris Evans Want To Quit Acting Entirely
Chris Evans is the internet’s sweetheart. He even has a goofy, adorable dog. He’s relatable in the best possible way with his big heart and hopeful personality… and Marvel practically broke him.
Evans signed onto the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2010, and by 2014, just four short years later, he already wanted out. For years now Evans has been telling literally anyone who will listen that he wants to quit Marvel, and possibly acting entirely, the second that his contract is up.
Evans has shown much gratitude to Marvel and the role of Captain America, but quite frankly, he is exhausted and really hates that star-spangled suit. He revealed that the suit, with its myriad of zippers and buttons, was a total pain to get in and out of. When Evans finally hangs up his shield, he won’t miss it one bit.
10. Comic Book Legend Mark Millar Hate’s Marvel (And DC’s) CGI Villains
Mark Millar is an industry legend. Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Wanted– his stamp is all over many of comics’ most beloved (and unique) franchises. So, he kind of knows what he’s talking about when he critiques the modern superhero movies. Unfortunately, nothing he has to say about Marvel’s current roster of Big Bads is good.
Millar ran through a list of iconic villains, stating that human villains expertly brought to life by actual actors are memorable and iconic.
He went on to assert that the audience tends to tune out by the time the boss fight rolls around as the clear use of CGI kills any sense of connection viewers may have to the characters, sucking the intensity and danger out of the fight.
9. Sally Field Hated Playing Aunt May
Everyone recognizes Uncle Ben’s death as the most significant moment in Spider-Man’s origin story. However, for Peter Parker, no one meant more than sweet Aunt May.
No matter how many professors and girlfriends come and go, Aunt May has always been Parker’s constant. None of that mattered for Sally Field, though, since she simply hated playing Parker’s cherished aunt on the set of The Amazing Spider-Man.
Field was apparently so upset about being relegated to a supporting role that she found little inspiration to do the character justice. She railed against the film, bluntly comparing the character’s writing to “ten pounds of s**t in a five-pound bag.”
8. Andrew Garfield Was Replaced Because He Didn’t Show Up To An Event
Andrew Garfield had been a fan of Spider-Man his entire life and had always dreamed of playing the amazing arachnid one day. Sadly, his run would come to an abrupt end, killing his dream and tainting his Marvel experience.
Much speculation could be had about Garfield’s being replaced by Tom Holland. Was he being unjustly punished for the sequel’s poor reception? Did Marvel want to start over from scratch after finally striking a deal with Sony? The answer was apparently none of the above.
Sony was angry that Garfield failed to show up at a gala dinner where his third Spider-Man installment was supposed to be announced. Thanks to his no-show, the speech was quickly rewritten and the third film was scrapped.
7. Jason Statham Mocked Marvel After Being Considered For A Role
Jason Statham is not in the MCU, but he almost was, and he thought that was simply hilarious. Statham famously performs many of his own stunts and is a big fan of nitty-gritty, action-packed flicks. So, when Marvel began to consider him for the MCU, he had no choice but to give them a hard pass.
Statham later called out the studio for their reliance on CGI and special effects, and for bringing in stunt doubles to perform the remainder of the actual dirty work.
In so many words, the action star claimed to be better than Marvel, saying that anyone could star in one of their films, including his dear old grandmother. He went on to say he was much more interested in projects starring actors who performed their own stunts.
6. Writer Marjorie Liu Called Out Marvel For Finn Jones’ Iron Fist Casting
The news of Finn Jones’ casting as Marvel’s Iron Fist did not go over well. Fans were immediately angered over the decision to stick with the comic book accurate depiction of Jones as a curly haired blonde.
Many believed that Marvel’s newfound progressiveness should extend to Danny Rand, believing an Asian Rand would flip what they considered to be a bizarre form of whitewashing and cultural appropriation on its head. Jones lashed out at the backlash, saying how unfair it was for the fans to be up in arms when they hadn’t even seen the show yet.
Unfortunately, those angry fans had another Marvel employee in their corner– writer Marjorie Liu. Liu echoed the sentiment that Marvel and Netflix had missed an opportunity to reclaim what she believed to be a racist character and offensive trope.
5. Chloe Bennet Called Out Marvel For Ignoring Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Everyone loved Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. when it first debuted. Then they got bored when the plot dragged on while trying to hold out for Captain America‘s big Hydra reveal.
However, as it turns out, maybe they shouldn’t have worried about the MCU as much as they did, because as far as Marvel is concerned, AoS has nothing to do with their cinematic universe.
AoS star Chloe Bennet angrily revealed this fact to an inquisitive fan when she was asked why none of the movie’s characters ever showed up on her show. Bennet told the fan to ask Marvel why they refused to acknowledge the show’s existence before accusing the studio of not caring about the show.
4. Natalie Portman Was Angry That Patty Jenkins Didn’t Direct Thor
Patty Jenkins may have been the most successful director of 2017. Spider-Man: Homecoming instantly endeared Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei to the hearts of Marvel fans everywhere and Thor: Ragnarok redefined superheroes as stand-ins for buddy cops, which was great, but Wonder Woman‘s stellar reviews, powerful box office performance, and take-no-prisoners financial negotiations put it firmly ahead of the pack.
However, before bulldozing her way to DCEU power, Jenkins was meant to direct Thor: The Dark World… until Marvel fired her over her unique plans for Thor and Jane Foster.
Jenkins had wanted the star-crossed lovers to be literally that. She had planned a romantic story exploring the difficulties of their very long-distance relationship, Romeo and Juliet-style.
Foster actress Natalie Portman was incredibly upset over Marvel’s decision to replace Jenkins with Alan Taylor but couldn’t get out of her contract.
3. Ryan Reynolds Fought Hard To Make Deadpool
Fans had waited for the moment that Deadpool arrived in a live-action Marvel film for years. However, when Wade Wilson strolled onto the screen in X-Men: Origins, they were immediately disappointed.
Gone were the wise-cracks, fourth wall breaking asides, and pop culture references. Instead, Deadpool was downgraded to a speechless hulk with quasi-Wolverine claws. Everyone hated it, including Ryan Reynolds himself.
Rather than abandon his character, though, Reynolds made it his mission to ensure Deadpool’s solo film stayed true to the comics. He lobbied for the movie’s R-rating. He helped to frame the story and create the personality of his manic Wade Wilson.
Also, he may have allegedly had a hand in the leaking of the test footage that helped to get the movie approved in the first place after fans went nuts for Reynolds upbeat portrayal of the Merc with the Mouth.
2. Ellen Page Accused Brett Ratner Of Outing Her During X-Men: Last Stand
If anyone has any claim to hate their Marvel experience it’s Ellen Page, especially when her harrowing X-Men: The Last Stand experience is taken into account. At just 18 years old, Page signed on to play Kitty Pryde in the X-Men installment, and her life promptly fell apart.
Page had said that she was still grappling with her sexuality at the time, and had not quite come to accept the fact that she was gay.
At one point during filming, director Brett Ratner suggested that another woman become intimate with Page to help her “realize she’s gay.” Page said that she immediately felt ashamed and violated, feelings that she claimed to have carried with her for years after the incident.
1. Joss Whedon Fought Marvel At Every Turn
Was there ever better news than that of Joss Whedon taking on Marvel’s Avengers? Well, maybe his taking over The Justice League, hardcore Whedon fans had been wishing his Wonder Woman film would come to fruition for years.
For a while there, Whedon and Marvel seemed like a match made in Asgard. Whedon’s witty one-liners and strong female characters (not to mention his penchant for ruthlessly murdering his fans’ favorite characters with no warning) promised to innovate the revitalized superhero genre.
Whedon’s sense of humor easily shone through the first Avengers film, but by the time Age Of Ultron rolled around, he was so done with the company. Whedon had wanted more slow-paced, character-driven scenes but Marvel had quite bluntly refused.
The director put up a fight but Marvel responded by threatening to scrap the scenes most important to him. After months of fighting for his creative vision, Whedon finally decided to throw in the towel on the entire franchise after his second outing.
Can you think of any other Marvel behind-the-scenes feuds that we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments!
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