Popular actors like Donald Glover, John Boyega, and Angela Basset were fan-casted for various Marvel roles but did not get the parts.
Some actors, like Glover and Basset, eventually appeared in Marvel projects in different roles or capacities.
Characters that these actors were cast for have been rebooted or recast, indicating the ever-evolving nature of the Marvel universe.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe lives and dies off of the success of its star performers, and fans have often had different ideas as to who should play who in the blockbuster series. Ever since the premiere of Iron Man in 2008, the MCU has made it abduntantly clear that the talent of superstar performers goes a long way when it comes to bringing popular comic characters to life. Though the MCU’s many films are saturated with excellent casting choices, plenty of adamant fan campaigns have fallen by the wayside.

Sadly, after a certain point, it’s impossible to hold on to hope that these popular fan casts will ever see the light of day. Some actors simply age out of a given character, no matter how perfect they may have been for them earlier in life, and others have since become far too busy, often with other blockbuster franchises. If all casting decisions were up to fans, the hall-of-fame of perfect superhero castings would need an update.


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10 Bruce Campbell As Mysterio

Nearly Happened In Spider-Man 4

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy deserves credit for trailblazing the cinematic success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately, despite plans for a fourth entry, Raimi never got to add on to his trilogy, making way for Sony to produce the ill-fated Andrew Garfield duology. Part of the tragedy of missing out on Spider-Man 4 is the fact that fans will never get to see Bruce Campbell as Mysterio.

Bruce Campbell appears in every Sam Raimi film, including multiple small roles in the Spider-Man trilogy. In the late 2000s, speculation abounded that Campbell would be revealed to be the illusionist villain Mysterio, with fan casts of the Evil Dead legend returning to the series as a staple villain. It’s since been revealed that this was exactly the plan, making it all the more disappointing that Spider-Man 4 never came to be.

9 Emily Blunt As The Invisible Woman

Could’ve Formed A Real-Life Husband-And-Wife Superhero Duo

For a long time, John Krasinski’s Reed Richards was one of the most-requested Marvel Studios castings, with many fans seeing him as perfect for the role. Eventually, this dream came true, if but briefly, in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with Krasinski’s Reed Richards showing up alongside the other memebers of the Illuminati. However, another popular Fantastic Four fan-cast, Emily Blunt as Sue Storm, has still never come to be.

Considering John Krasinski and Emily Blunt are married in real life, and have played a couple before in blockbuster films like A Quiet Place, it seems like a no-brainer to cast the two alongside each other as Marvel’s most famous husband-wife superhero duo. Unfortunately, both lost out to Pedro Pascal and Vanessa Kirby in the MCU’s upcoming The Fantastic Four, leaving a deep well of marital crimefighting potential on the table.

8 Donald Glover As Spider-Man

Had To Settle For Aaron Davis

For a long time, Donald Glover as Spider-Man seemed like a sure thing. Hot off the back of playing a young college student in Community, fan demand for Donald Glover to play Miles Morales, or some other version of Spider-Man, was through the roof. Glover himself even directly addressed the buzz through jokes in his stand-up special Weirdo, seeming to be receptive to be the idea throughout the bit.

A talented triple-threat of musician, actor, and comedian, Donald Glover is now far too busy to play Spider-Man full-time, and the window has certainly closed on him being a college-age Miles Morales or Peter Parker. As a consolation prize, Glover has at least been able to play Miles Morales’ uncle, Aaron Davis, a.k.a. The Prowler, in both Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Despite how perfect he may have been for the role, both Spider-Man and Childish Gambino have since gone their seperate ways.

7 John Boyega As Blade

The Rising Star Could’ve Easily Taken The Mantle Of Daywalker From Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes’ Blade is one of those rare superhero castings that seems to be almost pre-ordained. Embodying the character with his attitude, effortless delivery, and martial arts skills, finding a replacement Blade to fill his leather-clad shoes is no easy task. While Mahershala Ali is set to provide the MCU their own version of the vampire-slaying swordsman, it’s hard not to feel like fans’ voices weren’t heard in campaigning for John Boyega.

A rising star ever since his character, Finn, hit screens with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, John Boyega has proven that he has what it takes to carry a major sci-fi franchies, easily being the best part of the sequel films. With no signs of slowing down with major work any time soon, by the time another Blade movie rolls around after the MCU’s upcoming reboot, it’s unlikely that Boyega will be interested. Considering the production woes of the MCU’s Blade, he may have dodged a silver, garlic-stuffed bullet.

6 Angela Basset As Storm

Was Just Out Of Reach For The Nascent Franchise

As the first major superhero film to focus on a team, 2000’s X-Men was more groundbreaking than it gets credit for. It’s hard to recall fan casts for the film so far back in the public coinsciousness, but Angela Basset was a name that frequently came up when it came to discussing one of the team’s most powerful members, Ororo Munroe, a.k.a. Storm. Once worshiped as a goddess because of her weather powers, Storm commands an authoritative aura that would be perfect for Basset’s regal performances.

Fox seemed to agree, and actually offered Basset the role, only for her to turn it down. An understandable move, considering the success of the superhero franchise was yet to be proven in the early 2000s cinematic landscape. Since then, Basset has appeared in the MCU as Queen Ramonda of Wakanda, though one can’t help but feel her talents have been wasted in the less prominent role.


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5 Ronda Rousey As Captain Marvel

Seemed Like A Shoo-In For The Blonde Powerhouse

Though she’s mostly known for her dominence as a mixed martial artist and athlete, Ronda Rousey has no shortage of acting credits. Having appeared in action franchises like the Fast and Furious series and science fiction video games like Mortal Kombat 11, there was a time when Rousey was one of the most prominent rising female action stars. Around the time of Captain Marvel‘s production, many fans vied for Rousey to take up the mantle of the MCU’s first leading heroine.

Sadly, this wouldn’t come to pass, and Brie Larson ended up clinching the nomination for Captain Marvel‘s lead.Larson does a fine job as Carol Danvers, but it’s fascinating to imagine what Rousey’s more rough-and-tumble energy might’ve done to the character. For now, the idea of the UFC and WWE champion piloting a major superhero franchise remains a pipe dream.

4 Terry Crews As Luke Cage

Had Just As Much Enthusiasm As Fans Did

Terry Crews is a beloved actor, comedian, and former NFL player best known for his work on TV in Everybody Hates Chris, Brooklyn 99, and his run of Old Spice deodorant commercials. Always regulated to a comedic supporting character, fans yearned to see Crews take up the mantle of a leading star in a superhero project, particularly as Luke Cage, the indestructible defender of the Marvel universe. Crews himself has stated an enthusiasm for the idea, citing Luke Cage as his favorite superhero.

Sadly for both Crews and expectant fans, Netflix wound up going with Mike Colter for Luke Cage, an achievement which Crews congratulated Colter on, clearly having no hard feelings. Though Cage hasn’t appeared in the MCU proper since the third season of Luke Cage was canceled, considering Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio both reprised their Netflix characters, it seems likely that Colter eventually will, too. For now, Terry Crews’ bombastic comedic timing will sadly never grace Power Man.

3 Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Mister Fantastic

A Popular Runner-Up To Krasinski

John Krasinski wasn’t the only name touted by Marvel fans for the role of Mr. Fantastic. While he may not have been as popular of a fan-cast as The Office veteran, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has made the rounds of fan forums multiple times as an underground alternative to Krasinski. With the history of characters he’s played in the past, the smart, but cocky personality of Reed Richards admittedly does seem tailor-made for Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Gordon-Levitt was considered in the past for both Ant-Man and Star-Lord by Marvel, but ultimately lost out both times. Unlike Krasinski, Marvel has yet to even acknowledge the fleeting popularity of the idea. Now that the ever-present Pedro Pascal has managed to secure the spot of Mr. Fantastic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s even more unlikely that Gordon-Levitt will ever wear the blue stretchy suit.

2 Daniel Wu As Iron Fist

Could’ve Brought Real Martial Arts To Marvel’s Premiere Kung Fu User

If there’s one weak link in the cast of Netflix’s Defenders, it’s Finn Jones’ Iron Fist. By all means, Jones is a fine actor, but his lack of a martial arts background became sorely apparent when it came time to play the Marvel universe’s premiere hand-to-hand combatant, an alarming issue to have with an Iron Fist series. This makes it all the more disheartening that the popular fan cast of Daniel Wu wasn’t picked up instead as Danny Rand.

Daniel Wu is known now for his work on Into the Badlands, in which he shows off his very real martial arts skills. Admittedly, Danny Rand isn’t actually Chinese in the comics, but this distinction is so minor that it isn’t worth passing over such a qualified candidate for Marvel’s Iron Fist. Unfortunately, Netflix chose appearances over Kung Fu skill, and by now it’s unlikely that Wu will ever get the chance to claim the title of Iron Fist.

1 Tom Hardy As Wolverine

Might’ve Been The Perfect Follow-Up To Hugh Jackman

Admittedly, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is one of the most perfect pieces of superhero casting of all time. While the character had the perfect send-off in Logan, his performance will be resurrected once more for the upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine. While it’ll be great to see Jackman as Logan one last time, it’s hard not to feel like fans missed out on the passing of the torch to a new star, ideally fan-favorite replacement Tom Hardy.

Even X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn admitted eyeing Hardy for Wolverine. In Mad Max: Fury Road, Hardy proved his proficiency with feral characters, and at 5’9″ tall, he’s much closer to Logan’s comic-accurate height than Jackman’s lofty 6’3″. Sadly, it seems as though the studios have mandated for Jackman to hold on to the role even all these years later, and by now Hardy is likely far too busy to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“}]] The MCU missed out on some great fan casts.  Read More