Being part of Disney sure comes with its perks. There's no doubt that the MCU has benefited greatly from the infamous Mouse House. Although, Marvel Studios does operate independently to an ostensible degree, Disney is still the owner and its word most certainly counts when big decisions are being made. This, of course, includes casting. Over the years, there have been countless casting rumors surrounding the MCU. Some we wish actually came true, others we're still celebrating remained only rumors.
But regardless of juicy rumors and tireless campaigning of some actors, Marvel always relies on its own shortlist of candidates it believes would fit the role best. More often than not, these lists include a lot of the same actors. By now, it's become obvious that when Marvel really wants to cast an actor, it will not stop at just one attempt to do so. But what with those actors that Marvel keeps avoiding? The ones Disney doesn't seem to want in the MCU? Troubled past, bad on-set behavior, scandalous off-set behavior, and many other factors could render an actor undesirable by Disney. Today, CBR is taking a closer look at 15 actors Disney doesn't ever want in the MCU.
15 ELIZA DUSHKU
Back when Marvel announced that Black Widow is to appear in Iron Man 2, a number of actresses were rumored for the role. However, only one actress went out of her way to launch a full-on internet campaign for the part. Eliza Dushku, who is best-known as Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off series Angel, wanted the role of Black Widow so badly she started campaigning for the role very early on.
Given Dushku’s previous work as well as her overwhelming interest and the support she got from the fans, we were all half-expecting her to land the role.
Yet, not only did Dushku not get to play Black Widow, she didn’t get a role in the MCU at all -- and there have been opportunities to cast her. So, is it possible that the Mouse House just doesn’t want Dushku for some reason?
14 SHAILENE WOODLEY
Shailene Woodley is best known for her roles in the critically acclaimed Fault in Our Stars and the young adult movie series Divergent. But the latest installment in the Divergent series may have actually cost Woodley a promising movie career. The 2016 movie Allegiant bombed at the box office and received mainly negative reviews. Since then, Woodley turned to television and is currently starring on HBO’s Big Little Lies.
And to think that Woodley’s life could have possible gone a different path had she actually got to play Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as she was cast to do. Woodley's scene ended up being cut from the movie, Marvel snatched Spidey from Sony and just like that Woodley was no longer MJ. Marvel hasn’t asked Woodley to come back as MJ, or offered any other role for that matter.
13 ARMIE HAMMER
Armie Hammer has been rumored for a number of superhero roles. All of which were in the DCEU. Thus far, Hammer has not appeared in any comic book movie adaptation, DCEU or MCU. Marvel hasn’t expressed interest, at least not according to the available information.
A possible reason for lack of interest on Marvel’s side is Armie Hammer’s reputation.
Armie Hammer has been known to have no impulse control (his words), predominantly on Twitter. And while he was sometimes undeniably in the right, his rash reactions made him the center of attention -- and not in a good way. Not so long ago, Hammer deleted his Twitter account after a web portal aired all of his "dirty" laundry. While the many controversies surrounding Hammer weren’t nearly the worst we’ve heard in Hollywood, it’s doubtful he’s the kind of actor Disney would want in the MCU.
12 ANDREW GARFIELD
Andrew Garfield’s short run as the webslinger was in no way the most horrible superhero performance to ever grace the big screen. Yet, Garfield is probably be the least relevant Spider-Man actor. Sony had big plans for Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man franchise, but all that ended when Marvel finally re-acquired the rights to Spider-Man.
With two canceled Amazing Spider-Man sequels, the role of Spidey was technically re-cast for his appearance in Captain America: Civil War and Garfield was out of a job. While re-casting Spider-Man probably had little to do with Garfield and everything to do with Marvel not wanting Sony's legacy, it still made it pretty clear that Disney does not want Andrew Garfield. And given that Amazing Spider-Man is still fresh in our minds, it’s doubtful Disney will be knocking on Garfield’s door with different role.
11 NICOLAS CAGE
Honestly, we wouldn’t be surprised if younger generations didn’t even know who Nicolas Cage is. While there was a time when Cage’s name was plastered on movie posters everywhere, we can all agree that those times have long passed. Nowadays, his face is mostly used for memes. Frankly, it’s a minor miracle he was ever even considered an up-and-coming star, considering the fact that his filmography mostly consists of cheesy tearjerkers and bad action flicks.
His performance in Ghost Rider proved to be the last straw, hurling Cage’s career into a downward spiral.
His recent movies haven’t actually been huge hits -- financial or otherwise -- and Cage is nowhere near his glory days. All things considered, it’s a safe bet that Disney would never ever want Cage in the MCU. Although, Cage would undoubtedly love to get an offer.
10 RONDA ROUSEY
It took the MCU way too long to finally give one of its female heroes her own movie. And when Marvel finally made up its mind and announced that Captain Marvel -- of all people -- was getting a solo movie everyone was absolutely thrilled. Speculations on who might get the part began immediately. A number of actresses even came forward offering their services. However, no one was as vocal as former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey.
Rousey started talking about the role as early as 2015, however, that didn’t help her become Captain Marvel. And while Kevin Feige stated that she’d be an interesting choice, the studio still opted for Brie Larson. And honestly, it’s hard to blame them for picking an Academy Award Winner over a former UFC fighter. Perhaps this is something Disney considered too.
9 JOHN TRAVOLTA
John Travolta is no stranger to controversy. And to say that his professional career hasn’t suffered greatly due to his personal misguided activities would be incorrect. Though Travolta’s personal affairs haven’t always been the cause of his career ups and downs, they are the underlying cause of Travolta’s ultimate demise. Ranging from allegations of assault, various allegations that range from bad to really bad, and last but not least his membership in the Church of Scientology -- Travolta’s personal life is filled with controversies.
Travolta even allegedly plugged his religious beliefs in some of his movies, which rubbed too many important Hollywood people the wrong way.
As a result, it’s nearly impossible for Travolta to get big roles. Our guess is Mickey Mouse wouldn’t want to ally himself with Travolta either.
8 LINDSAY LOHAN
Lindsay Lohan was once among the brightest young stars of Hollywood. Back in the day, everyone expected Lohan to have a successful acting career for years to come. However, after a series of arrests on DUI and possession charges in 2006, Lindsay Lohan’s career was essentially over. She’s been trying to get back in the game for some time now, although it’s doubtful she ever will.
Reportedly, Lohan saw the MCU as her big chance at redemption. Possibly inspired by Robert Downey Jr.’s similar life story. Lohan auditioned for the part of Scarlet Witch and, allegedly, was very upset when she didn’t get the part. Still, it’s easy to see why Disney wouldn't want Lohan in the MCU. She doesn’t only have a troubled past, her current behavior is not that much better.
7 JENSEN ACKLES
Jensen Ackles definitely does not belong on the Hollywood’s bad boy list. In fact, he has pretty much the perfect reputation. Yet, the Supernatural star essentially ruined his own chances of ever joining the MCU. Back when Marvel was casting its Avengers, Ackles was one of the many actors to audition for the role of Captain America.
When he didn’t get the part he wanted, Ackles apparently took it pretty hard.
Marvel later came to him with the offer to play Hawkeye, which Ackles refused stating that he had scheduling conflicts with Supernatural. It’s a bit strange that these conflicts only appeared when he was offered Hawkeye, and yet were nowhere to be found when he auditioned for Cap. So, there’s bound to be some bad blood between Disney and Ackles.
6 MEL GIBSON
Today, Mel Gibson’s name is often heard in connection to scandalous or downright illegal activities. Gibson, once a respected and sought-after actor, fell from grace when he uttered some pretty nasty words and got into trouble with the law on a number of occasions. Since then, he hasn’t exactly been the most popular casting choice for big blockbusters.
Yet, according to Gibson, Marvel came knocking on his door with the offer to play the Odin, the King of Asgard, in Thor. Gibson’s statement has neither been confirmed nor denied by Marvel or Disney, which makes us all the more wary of its validity. It’s just hard to believe that the family-friendly Disney would ever want someone like Mel Gibson in the MCU.
5 TOM CRUISE
It’s no secret that Tom Cruise was once number one in line to portray Tony Stark on the big screen. The action star has been attached to the role since the early 1990s, more than a decade before the MCU got off the ground. Still, Marvel did approach Cruise with the role when it decided to make Iron Man, the first movie in its cinematic universe.
However, Cruise had reportedly changed his mind and turned down the offer.
At the time, Marvel studios had not yet been bought by Disney, which begs the question whether Disney would ever go after Cruise for a role in the MCU. Well, given Cruise’s turbulent personal life and his role in the Church of Scientology, it’s hard to believe Disney would touch him with a ten-foot pole.
4 KRISTEN STEWART
Now that the MCU is the most successful movie franchise everyone wants a piece of the cake. Over the years, a number of renowned -- and less renowned -- actors have come right out stating that they’d be more than happy to take a role in the MCU. Among those hopeful souls is the Twilight star Kristen Stewart.
In one of her interviews, Stewart said that she’d love to appear alongside Captain America and show the world she can do more than be Bella Swan in a different setting. Naturally, MCU fans weren’t the least bit enthused at the prospect of Stewart joining their beloved superhero universe and seemingly neither was Disney. Despite the efforts the actress made to endear herself to the studio, she's still nowhere near an MCU gig.
3 KATHERINE HEIGL
Katherine Heigl can write a book on "How to Effectively Ruin Your Career in Two Steps". Step one, make tones of money off a movie and then dis on it by calling it "sexist". Step two, pull out of an Emmy race after deeming the writing on the show that basically made you bad. Heigl executed this strategy perfectly and has been having a hard time in Hollywood ever since.
No one wants a troublemaker, least of all big movie studios and franchises.
We saw with what ease Disney let go Terrence Howard when he wouldn’t behave and it’s hard to believe that they would willingly make the same mistake again by casting Heigl. Whether she wants it or not, the former Grey's Anatomy star probably won’t be joining the MCU.
2 CHARLIE SHEEN
Charlie Sheen is notorious for his less-than-stellar on-set and off-set reputation. In 2011, his bad behavior culminated in termination of his contract for the sitcom Two and a Half Men. Sheen made headlines for substance abuse, domestic violence, and most recently, revealing that he is HIV positive. Unsurprisingly, Sheen’s behavior on-set is far from being desirable, or even acceptable. He’s known to be pretty difficult to work with and tends to snap pretty fast.
Reportedly, Sheen got Selma Blair fired from Anger Management after she made a comment about his bad behavior off-set. Needless to say, Charlie Sheen is far from being Disney material. However, the actor has expressed the desire to play Spider-Man way back when. Obviously, his Spider-Man years have passed him by, but we doubt Disney would welcome him in any role.
1 SHIA LABEOUF
Shia LaBeouf made it big thanks to none other than Disney. His big break came with the Disney Channel series, Even Stevens. Gradually, LaBeouf started getting roles in movies such as Holes, Transformers and Indiana Jones. However, even before he landed roles in some of his biggest movies, LaBeouf has exhibited some questionable behavior, such as getting arrested for trespassing at 21.
His erratic behavior only got more out of control as time went by.
A series of arrests, performance art that boarders on illegality and brings into question LaBeouf’s mental stability, as well as a slur of damaging and offensive comments and statements have led studios away from LaBeouf. It's safe to say that Disney would want nothing to do with this Shia LaBeouf.