10 Actors Who Turned Down Roles In MCU Movies

Who dares say 'no' to Feige?!

Joaquin Phoenix Dr Strange

From its very first film, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done one thing exceptionally well: casting. Robert Downey Jr. was an unexpected choice to play a superhero but we all know how well that worked out. Since then, the universe has continued to grow and it's now at the point where it seems like Marvel can basically hire anyone they want and it will work.

They’ve enticed Hollywood legends like Michael Douglas and Robert Redford to play the superhero game. They've also convinced Tilda Swinton and Glenn Close to have some mainstream fun. And yet with all its success, there are still a few stars who have managed to refuse the MCU’s calls.

These rare actors have gone against the grain and turned down offers to star in some of the most popular films of all time. These bold men and women have decided not to let the lure of international box office success and fanboy love tempt them into the ever-present cinematic universe.

Some have refused due to a dislike of the material, some for scheduling reasons, and some have even refused once, only to be persuaded further down the line. Whatever the case, let's look at the actors who dared to turn down the MCU.

10. Olivia Wilde- Guardians Of The Galaxy

Joaquin Phoenix Dr Strange
Universal Pictures

The Rejected Role: Intergalactic assassin and Thanos' wayward daughter, Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana in the film.

What Happened?: Wilde seems to be one of those actors whose good looks distract from their actual acting skills. Audiences likely know Wilde most from dull blockbusters like Cowboys & Aliens and TRON: Legacy, but her little-seen roles in Drinking Buddies and the recently cancelled series Vinyl show her true talent.

Evidently, Marvel and James Gunn saw that talent and offered Wilde the role of the Guardians' sole female member. Alas, Wilde turned it down for unknown reasons which lead to sci-fi vet Saldana taking the role.

For Better Or Worse?

Saldana was pretty perfect for the part. She's a real badass and can handle herself in the action scenes like a pro, but more surprisingly, she also showed a lot of comedic skills going toe-to-toe with Chris Pratt. It would have been nice for Wilde to get a decent role in a big hit movie, but she'll have other opportunities and we're certainly not sad to see Saldana returning for the highly-anticipated sequel.


A freelance writer and fan of the screen, both big and small.