There’s been no film series in this millennium that has the type of fanfare that the “Avengers” series has had. The Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole plans years in advance for their storylines, and it usually culminates in something massive. After all, “Endgame” became the highest grossing movie on a worldwide basis ever.
It would be hard to imagine the original Avengers without the actors that played them. Of course, Robert Downey Jr. was Iron Man, Chris Evans was Captain America, Mark Ruffalo was Hulk (after Edward Norton left), Chris Hemsworth was Thor, Scarlett Johansson was Black Widow and Jeremy Renner was Hawkeye. Though that was the final cast, it could’ve looked much different. Here are some of the actors that were almost cast to play Avengers roles.
Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man to pretty much any Marvel fan, but he was going through a tough time in his life in the years that led up to his iconic role. When doing the casting, Tom Cruise was heavily considered for the role. Sam Rockwell (the villain from “Iron Man 2”) was also considered for the role of Tony Stark. “I love Robert Downey Jr,” Cruise said. “I can’t imagine anyone else in that role, and I think it’s perfect for him.”
When the original “Hulk” movie was released with Eric Bana playing the title role, it wasn’t part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A remake was then made that would tie in the Hulk, with Edward Norton taking on the part. However, it was nearly David Duchovny of “X-Files” and “Californication” fame that nearly landed the role. Both Duchovny and Norton were eventually replaced by Mark Ruffalo, though.
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski
Blunt and Krasinski are married in real life, and have starred together in movies like “A Quiet Place”. They were almost co-stars for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, too. Black Widow made her debut in “Iron Man 2”, and Captain America’s first film was “The First Avenger”. Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans landed the roles, and Blunt was offered to play Peggy Carter, too, which would have made her an on-screen love interest for Captain America. However, Blunt ultimately turned the roles down and has been happy with her career ever since.
Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler
The role of Rocket Racoon in “The Guardians of the Galaxy” is a comedic one, and director James Gunn wanted a comedic voice for the character. Bradley Cooper, who deals more in drama these days, was ultimately selected, but names like Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler were in strong consideration. Both were also considered to voice Groot (who only says “I am Groot”), but that went to Vin Diesel.
You know Glenn Howerton from the long-running series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, but he almost went intergalactic with his career. Chris Pratt took on the role of Peter Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord) for the movie series and the “Avengers” films, and he was the first choice. However, Pratt had a very busy schedule, so Gunn kept Howerton in mind. Pratt was able to do the film, so Howerton wasn’t used.