The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Unfulfilled Casting Dreams

by Barbara

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) thrives on the prowess of its star performers, with fans frequently proposing who should play pivotal roles in the blockbuster series. Since the release of Iron Man in 2008, it has been evident that the talent of superstar performers is crucial for bringing popular comic characters to life. Despite the MCU’s impressive track record in casting, numerous fan-favorite choices have never materialized.

As time progresses, it becomes increasingly unlikely that these popular fan casts will come to fruition. Actors may age out of potential roles or become preoccupied with other blockbuster franchises. If casting decisions were entirely up to fans, the roster of perfect superhero castings would be significantly different.


10 Best Marvel Performances Outside Of The MCU

Although the MCU boasts several iconic performances, numerous portrayals outside the franchise deserve recognition.


1. Bruce Campbell as Mysterio

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy is credited with paving the way for the MCU’s cinematic success. Unfortunately, despite plans for a fourth installment, Raimi never had the opportunity to continue his trilogy, leading to the creation of the less successful Andrew Garfield duology. One of the greatest disappointments is that fans never got to see Bruce Campbell as Mysterio.


Campbell appeared in multiple minor roles throughout Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. In the late 2000s, speculation was rife that Campbell would be revealed as the illusionist villain Mysterio. It was later confirmed that this was indeed the plan, making the cancellation of Spider-Man 4 even more disheartening.

2. Emily Blunt as the Invisible Woman

For a long time, fans clamored for John Krasinski to be cast as Reed Richards, a dream that briefly came true in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. However, the fan-favorite casting of Emily Blunt as Sue Storm has yet to materialize.

Given that Krasinski and Blunt are married in real life and have successfully portrayed a couple in A Quiet Place, it seemed logical to cast them together as Marvel’s most famous husband-wife superhero duo. However, Pedro Pascal and Vanessa Kirby were cast in the MCU’s upcoming Fantastic Four, leaving the potential for a real-life marital crimefighting duo unrealized.

3. Donald Glover as Spider-Man

Donald Glover as Spider-Man once seemed inevitable. Following his role as a young college student in Community, fan demand for Glover to play Miles Morales, or another version of Spider-Man, skyrocketed. Glover himself addressed the buzz in his stand-up special Weirdo, indicating his openness to the idea.

A multifaceted talent as a musician, actor, and comedian, Glover is now too busy to take on the role of Spider-Man full-time. However, he has portrayed Miles Morales’ uncle, Aaron Davis, a.k.a. The Prowler, in both Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Despite his potential, the paths of Spider-Man and Childish Gambino have diverged.

4. John Boyega as Blade

Wesley Snipes’ portrayal of Blade is one of the rare superhero castings that seems almost predestined. With his attitude, delivery, and martial arts skills, finding a replacement for Snipes is no easy task. While Mahershala Ali is set to bring Blade to the MCU, fans’ calls for John Boyega went unheeded.

Since his role as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Boyega has proven his ability to carry a major sci-fi franchise. Given the production issues plaguing the MCU’s Blade reboot, Boyega may have dodged a bullet by not being cast.

5. Angela Bassett as Storm

2000’s X-Men was groundbreaking as the first major superhero film to focus on a team. Angela Bassett was frequently mentioned in discussions about casting Storm, one of the team’s most powerful members. With her regal performances, Bassett seemed perfect for the role.

Fox even offered Bassett the role, but she turned it down, likely due to the unproven success of the superhero genre at the time. Bassett later appeared in the MCU as Queen Ramonda of Wakanda, but her talents as Storm remain unrealized.

6. Ronda Rousey as Captain Marvel

Known primarily for her dominance as a mixed martial artist, Ronda Rousey has also established a presence in the acting world. Many fans advocated for Rousey to be cast as Captain Marvel during the film’s production.

Ultimately, Brie Larson was cast in the role, bringing a different energy to Carol Danvers. While Larson performs admirably, it remains intriguing to consider how Rousey’s more rugged persona might have shaped the character.

7. Terry Crews as Luke Cage

Terry Crews, beloved for his roles in Everybody Hates Chris, Brooklyn 99, and his Old Spice commercials, has always been a fan favorite for Luke Cage. Crews himself has expressed enthusiasm for the role, citing Luke Cage as his favorite superhero.

However, Netflix cast Mike Colter as Luke Cage, who has yet to appear in the MCU following the show’s cancellation. For now, Crews’ dynamic comedic presence will not grace the role of Power Man.

8. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Mister Fantastic

Joseph Gordon-Levitt was another popular choice for the role of Mister Fantastic. His smart, yet cocky persona seemed tailor-made for Reed Richards.

Gordon-Levitt was previously considered for roles like Ant-Man and Star-Lord but ultimately lost out. Now that Pedro Pascal has been cast as Mister Fantastic, it seems even less likely that Gordon-Levitt will don the blue stretchy suit.

9. Daniel Wu as Iron Fist

The casting of Finn Jones as Iron Fist was a weak link in Netflix’s Defenders series. Jones’ lack of martial arts background was evident, making the popular fan cast of Daniel Wu all the more appealing.

Known for his role in Into the Badlands, Wu’s martial arts prowess would have brought authenticity to Iron Fist. However, Netflix prioritized appearances over skill, leaving Wu’s potential unfulfilled.

10. Tom Hardy as Wolverine

Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine is one of the most perfect superhero castings. While Jackman will reprise the role in Deadpool & Wolverine, fans missed out on a potential passing of the torch to Tom Hardy.

Even X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn considered Hardy for Wolverine. With his feral energy in Mad Max: Fury Road and a height closer to Logan’s comic-accurate stature, Hardy seemed an ideal successor. However, Jackman continues to hold onto the role, and Hardy is now likely too busy to join the MCU.

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