Almost Avengers: Actors Who Were Almost Cast In Marvel Movies

tom hiddleston auditions for thor

Tom Hiddleston (Loki) auditions for Thor.

Here is a list of people who were cast and dropped out or auditioned and were basically the runner-up for various roles in Marvel Studios movies. It’s an interesting look at what might have been.

sam rockwell as tony stark

It’s hard to remember now but when Robert Downey, Jr. was cast as Tony Stark, he was seen as a big risk. He was well-respected as an actor but had been through a lengthy break from leading a movie thanks do drug use, court battles and rehab. Two actors were strongly considered for Iron Man/Stark during this time. Timothy Olyphant auditioned for Iron Man and publicly expressed interest in the role. Meanwhile, Sam Rockwell was so close to being cast as Iron Man, they used him as Tony Stark wannabe Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2.

rachel mcadams as pepper potts

Rachel McAdams was Marvel’s first choice for Pepper Potts but declined. She eventually ended up in the Marvel family when she was cast in the upcoming Dr. Strange movie.

john krasinski as captain america

John Krasinski was the front runner for Captain America until Chris Evans took back his original “no.”

emily blunt as black widow

Emily Blunt (John Krasinski’s wife) turned down Peggy Carter and then had to drop out of playing Black Widow because of a contractual dispute. She is the only actor to have rejected Marvel twice.

tom hiddleston as thor

Tom Hiddelston dyed his hair and bulked up to audition for Thor but the producers realized he’d make a great Loki. You can see his audition for Thor on the Thor Blu-Ray. Alexander Skarsgard and Channing Tatum were also finalists. Liam Hemsworth auditioned for Thor as well, but when producers saw his brother, Chris, he got the role instead.

josh hartnett as loki

Josh Hartnett was a finalist for Loki until producers decided Hiddleston, who was auditioning for Thor, would work well in the role.

mads mikkelsen as malekith

Mads Mikkelson was originally cast as Malekith, the main villain for Thor: The Dark World. He then dropped out to do Hannibal instead.

glenn howerton as star-lord

Glenn Howerton was the runner-up for Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, according to writer/director James Gunn.


olivia wilde as gamora

Olivia Wilde was offered the role of Gamora but passed.

jason momoa as drax

Jason Momoa was offered the role of Drax but passed because he was concerned about being typecast as a brute.

patrick wilson as paxton

Patrick Wilson was originally cast as Paxton in Ant-Man but dropped out. Bobby Canavale was cast in the role.

joaquin phoenix as dr strange

Joaquin Phoenix couldn’t quite commit to doing a series of movies as Dr. Strange.



  • I would have really liked Rockwell, Blunt, Hiddelston and Howerton better for those roles. (i m not sure about Hiddelstons look, and he’s perfect as Loki, but a good actor would have definitely improved the watching the horrible “Dark world” for me)

  • Ben Rollier

    How about Dougray Scott & Jim Caviezel? Cast to play Wolverine & Cyclops in the first X-Men movie, but both had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.

  • Skewed_View

    I always wished Blunt would have been able to do Black Widow. Scarlett Johannson has been fine, but I bet Blunt could have actually spoken with a Russian accent. Also, I just think Blunt is a better actress.

  • Chris Piers

    I did note at the beginning that I was addressing Marvel Studios films. May do another article in the future for other movies based on Marvel characters.

  • Ben Rollier

    Totally guilty of skimming. I did miss that. Just didn’t see a specific mention of “Marvel Studios” in the title.

    Cool list though.