The MCU has been around for ten years. In those ten years, this mammoth franchise has released almost 20 movies as well as a handful of TV shows. Naturally, to make so many movies and TV shows you need to hire a great number of actors. And while the huge MCU stars such as Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth are probably prevented by their contracts to take on roles in the competing DC Extended Universe, those who only played smaller parts have no such limitations. Recently, Zachary Levi who portrayed Fandral in the MCU was cast as Shazam in DCEU's upcoming movie of the same name.
This begs the question, how many other MCU actors have at some point been eyed for roles in the DCEU? Turns out at least 15 MCU actors have at some point been up for a role in the DC Extended Universe. A number of MCU actors have actually been considered for DCEU roles, while other times, MCU actors auditioned for DCEU roles. And sometimes, these casting rumors turned to be only that. Still, it doesn't make them any less interesting to talk about. So, here are 15 MCU actors you never knew were up for DCEU roles.
15 ELODIE YUNG AS WONDER WOMAN
Elodie Yung is best-known for playing Elektra in Marvel’s Netflixverse. But before she took on the role of the ninja assassin in Daredevil, Yung auditioned for a different superhero role in the competing DCEU. In fact, Elodie Yung was one of the three frontrunners considered for the role of Wonder Woman -- together with the former Bond Girl, Olga Kurylenko, and of course, the prizewinner, Gal Gadot.
The French-American actress demonstrated that she has the chops to pull off a complex character such as Elektra and that she packs quite a punch, so we have no doubt she would have made an excellent Wonder Woman. We’d hate to lose Yung as Elektra, but it would have been interesting to see her take on Wonder Woman.
14 BRADLEY COOPER AS LEX LUTHOR
As we all know, DCEU’s first movie Man of Steel had General Zod as the main villain. But for a time, there were some interesting rumors about Lex Luthor making an appearance and who may be considered for the part of Superman’s arch nemesis. Among the names on the list was the Guardians of the Galaxy star Bradley Cooper.
At first the curly-haired Cooper doesn’t seem like a good fit, but shaving one’s head is hardly rocket science. However, even with a bold head it’s hard to picture the man who voices a genetically enhanced raccoon as the evil mastermind Lex Luthor. Not that what we ended up with is any better. The rumors, of course, turned out to be false and the role later went to Jesse Eisenberg who made his debut in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
13 RICHARD ARMITAGE AS BATMAN
The DCEU sure generates a lot of rumors. Given their penchant for rash and overly ambitious announcements and behind the scene turbulence, the rumor mill easily goes into overdrive when it comes to the DCEU. Is Ben Affleck stepping down as Batman? Yes. No. Depends who you ask. But, there seems to be bad blood between Batfleck and Warner Bros., so it wouldn’t be all that surprising if the role was to be re-cast.
Among the actors who are being suggested as possible replacements for Affleck is the British actor Richard Armitage, who was rumored for the part back when it was up for grabs. Armitage is not inexperienced when it comes to comic book adaptations, since he portrayed Heinz Kruger in Captain America: The First Avenger. And we must say, Armitage does seem to have what it takes to become the next Caped Crusader.
12 JON BERNTHAL AS RICK FLAG
The first season of Jon Bernthal’s series The Punisher was released last year to wide critical acclaim. In 2016, Bernthal first appeared as Frank Castle on the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil series. However, around the same time, Bernthal was rumored to be considered for a different comic book role in the DC Extended Universe. Reportedly, The Punisher star was among the actors considered for the part of Rick Flag in Suicide Squad.
As we all know, the part ultimately went to The Killing actor Joel Kinnaman, while Bernthal landed a gig in the MCU. Given both characters backgrounds, we can see how Bernthal would be a good fit for both roles, however, we have to admit we prefer him as Punisher -- and not only because the Suicide Squad movie turned out to be such a disaster.
11 BRIE LARSON AS ENCHANTRESS
Academy Award Winner Brie Larson will be making her debut as Captain Marvel very soon and we couldn’t be more excited to see this amazing hero in action on the big screen. Larson’s casting in MCU’s first female-led superhero movie was announced about a year ago to almost unanimous approval form the fans. However, a few years earlier Brie Larson was on her way to join a different superhero movie in a different superhero universe.
Before the French-American model and actress Cara Delevingne was cast as the Suicide Squad villain, Enchantress, Brie Larson was among the actresses considered for the part. Considering the bad reviews Suicide Squad got, we’re willing to bet that Larson isn’t exactly losing any sleep over her "missed" opportunity.
10 KARL URBAN AS OCEAN MASTER
Karl Urban is best-known for his roles in Star Trek, Dredd, Lord of the Rings, as well as the movie adaptation of the video game Doom. Given his filmography it was only a matter of time when this New Zealand actor will pop up in either a MCU or DCEU movie. And in 2017 it finally happened. Urban was cast as Skurge, aka Hela’s personal Executioner, and played quite a part in Thor: Ragnarok.
But if the rumor mill is to be trusted, Karl Urban had the chance to join the DC Extended Universe as well. Word on the web is, before Patrick Wilson landed the part of Aquaman’s villainous half-brother Orm, the studio was eyeing the former Batman fancasting hopeful, Karl Urban, for the part.
9 RACHEL MCADAMS AS LOIS LANE
The DCEU sure likes to cast a wide net when casting its movies. So, when time came to cast the part of Lois Lane in Man of Steel, all actresses within a certain age range were considered, including the likes of Kristen Stewart. A far more interesting choice was Rachel McAdams. The Spotlight actress had been courted by both Marvel and DC, but ultimately ended up at the former.
The casting of Lois Lane drew Snyder’s attention to Rachel McAdams and she was considered one of the top contenders for the part. However, the studio ultimately went with Amy Adams. A few years later, McAdams was cast as Christine Palmer opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. All things considered, McAdams would have been much better off taking the first part she was offered: Pepper Potts in Iron Man.
8 SCOTT ADKINS AS BATMAN
Scott Adkins sure does get around when it comes to superhero movies. After appearing in the X-Men franchise, Adkins went on to portray Lucian in Doctor Strange, joining the MCU. However, a few years prior to Doctor Strange, Adkins had other plans. The British actor and martial artist auditioned for the part of the Dark Knight in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
There was even a campaign on the internet for Adkins to be cast as Batman. Many were of the opinion that with his martial arts skills and looks Adkins would make a fine Bruce Wayne. However, the studio apparently had a different vision. Snyder went with Affleck, but now that there’s talk about re-casting the role, Adkins’s name is once again popping up on rumor and fancasting lists.
7 DJIMON HOUNSOU AS BLACK MANTA
Djimon Hounsou seems to be a popular choice for a lot of superhero movie roles. After providing the voice of T’Challa in the animated mini-series Black Panther, the actor was considered for the role of Drax the Destroyer, but was ultimately cast as Korath the Pursuer in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. More recently though, Hounsou’s name could be found on the list of actors rumored to take on the role of Black Manta in the upcoming DCEU movie, Aquaman.
Since Marvel’s done using him, a rumor spread that Hounsou might be up for the role of Black Manta. However, Aquaman director James Wan ended up casting Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the role of the villain Black Manta, but Djimon Hounsou might have been a good fit too.
6 COBIE SMULDERS AS WODNER WOMAN
You probably remember Cobie Smulders from the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Seems like most of us tend to forget that Smulders is also part of the MCU. The Canadian actress portrayed Agent Maria Hill in a handful of MCU movies and a couple of episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. However, what you may not know is that she was considered for the part of Wonder Woman in the DCEU.
In 2013, Smulders was rumored to be in talks to take on the role of Wonder Woman. Joss Whedon, who was once attached to a Wonder Woman movie, even stated that if he was directing the movie he’d cast Smulders to play Diana Prince. In the end, the DCEU role went to Gal Gadot, but Smulders didn’t go home empty-handed. In 2014, the actress provided the voice for Wonder Woman in The Lego Movie.
5 MICHAEL B. JORDAN AS CYBORG
Michael B. Jordan is great actor, which you will know if you’ve seen Creed, Fruitvale Station or Black Panther. However, Jordan's first superhero gig in the Fantastic Four reboot wasn’t the best. Luckily, he got a second chance as the villain Killmonger in Marvel’s Black Panther. Erik Killmonger is already being listed as one of the best MCU villains, in league with Loki.
However, Michael B. Jordan almost went to DC instead. Back when Snyder was casting Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, he met with Jordan to discuss a role in the movie. Although, nothing has been officially confirmed, rumor has it Michael B. Jordan was being considered for the part of Cyborg, the character he voiced in the animated movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.
4 CATE BLANCHETT AS HIPPOLYTA
Academy Award Winner Cate Blanchett joined the MCU in Thor: Ragnarok as the main villain of the story, Hela the Goddess of Death. Blanchett’s performance was met with praise from both the audience and the critics, and rightfully so. However, Blanchett had apparently almost joined the other team. Rumor has it that Cate Blanchett was either seriously considered for, or offered, the part of Queen Hippolyta in Wonder Woman.
It’s not hard to imagine that DC wanted an actress such as Blanchett to join their cinematic universe and we could definitely picture her as Queen Hippolyta. But since we loved Connie Nielsen in Wonder Woman as much as we loved Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok, we’re glad it worked out the way it did.
3 IDRIS ELBA AS LEX LUTHOR
Let’s just say that a great number of fans weren’t entirely happy with the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It was most certainly an odd choice, especially since actors such as Idris Elba were considered for the part. It kind of makes you wonder how the studio went from Elba to Eisenberg. It doesn’t make much sense.
When rumors started that Elba might be taking on the role of Lex Luthor opposite Henry Cavill’s Superman the fans were thrilled. Elba certainly has a dominating presence on-screen -- which cannot be said of Eisenberg -- and it was easy to imagine Elba as the evil mastermind powerful enough to stand against the Man of Steel. Sadly, for whatever reason, the studio went in a different direction.
2 KRYSTEN RITTER AS ENCHANTRESS
Come March 8th, we will finally get to see Krysten Ritter back on the mean streets of New York City in season two of Jessica Jones. Ritter was cast as Jessica Jones back in 2014 and at the time she was best known for her role in the comedy series Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23, and her penchant for comedy proved to be quite useful in her new role as well.
But Marvel is not the only studio to eye Krysten Ritter for a role in a comic book adaptation. Reportedly, the actress was also considered for the part of Enchantress in the DCEU movie Suicide Squad. The part ultimately went to Cara Delevingne, who hasn’t actually gotten the most positive reviews for her performance. On the other hand, not enough praise can be said about Ritter's portrayal of Jessica Jones.
1 JAIMIE ALEXANDER AS WONDER WOMAN
Blindspot's Jaimie Alexander has been playing Lady Sif in the MCU ever since the first Thor movie rolled out in 2011. The actress has come forward about being approached by DC for a role in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Later, Alexander admitted that the part she was being considered for was in fact that of Wonder Woman.
The actress added that she wasn’t likely to get the part, since she had a contract with Marvel. Gal Gadot got the job and Wonder Woman became the best part of the DCEU, both the movie and the character itself. Since Alexander is already playing Marvel’s Wonder Woman it’s easy to imagine her in the role of Diana Prince. Unfortunately, Alexander’s Lady Sif hasn’t appeared in the MCU since season two of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is a damn shame.