It’s getting close to the point now where an actor will have to appear in a superhero movie to be considered a somebody. Gone are the days when the genre was considered to be cheesy or even a poisoned chalice – now, they’re the in-thing in Hollywood, and anyone who’s anyone seems to want to be a part of them.
That being said, they’re actually not for everyone and, for various reasons, a number of actors have turned down roles in the genre – albeit, in some cases, for reasons out of their control. Whether it’s refusing specific roles, ruling themselves out of the genre completely, or otherwise, some of the biggest names in cinema have said “no” to superhero roles.
Here are ten actors who refused roles in superhero movies.
The incredibly talented Matthew McConaughey has reportedly turned down roles in both Marvel and DC superhero movies, having read scripts for both companies, but the only specific role that we know he turned down is a Marvel one.
The star of Dallas Buyers Club and Interstellar refused to take the part of the main villain in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, after both Marvel Studios and director James Gunn wanted him for the role. Whether or not he’ll take on one of the many roles he’ll inevitably be offered in future superhero movies remains to be seen, but the signs don’t look promising so far.
Although Amanda Seyfried hasn’t actually been offered a specific part in a superhero movie, the Les Misérables and Ted 2 star has said on record that she will never, ever appear in one. Why? Well because superhero movies involve action, action requires stunts and stunts make Seyfried feel sick!
Speaking on Late Night with Seth Meyers, and citing her brief action cameo in 2015’s Pan, the actress stated that she enjoys watching superhero movies, but quite vehemently stated “I just don’t want to put on the suit”. In the same interview, she even stated that she’ll never do a big, blockbuster movie franchise of any kind.
Prior to the release of 2008’s Iron Man, if fans had been given the choice between Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise, 99% of them would have chosen Cruise as their Tony Stark – and that’s what Marvel Studios wanted. However, Cruise turned the opportunity down and, in hindsight, it was a blessing in disguise.
Downey Jr. has been nothing short of iconic in the role, but he certainly wasn’t the first choice. Top Gun star Cruise had been in discussions with Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige about starring in AND producing the first Iron Man movie for years, but he eventually backed off, saying that he wasn’t overly impressed with the script and didn’t feel like it was going to work. Idiot!
Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio is the only actor on this list to have turned down specific roles for both Marvel and DC movies – and, in both cases, it was because he claimed that he simply wasn’t ready to take on such roles at the times that he was asked.
First of all, he met with director Joel Schumacher about playing Robin in 1995’s Batman Forever, but didn’t feel ready for the role. Secondly, he was approached by Sony, but turned down the role of Peter Parker in 2002’s Spider-Man movie for the same reason. The two roles ultimately went to Chris O’Donnell and Tobey Maguire respectively.