Becoming an actor for Marvel is nothing short of a big deal, especially if you land a huge role. You have prominent names such as Ryan Reynolds who plays Deadpool, Chris Evans as Captain America, Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger, and the list keeps going. However, there are some who turned down the chance to utilize such a monumental opportunity.

In the past, live-action comic book adaptations primarily targeted teenagers, but as time passed, the genre has left an indelible mark. Superhero movies in recent years have accomplished feats that were long reserved for critically acclaimed films in other genres. From winning prestigious Academy Awards to breaking box office records and becoming the highest-grossing film of all time, the superhero genre shows no signs of slowing down.

Marvel comic book adaptations, in particular, dominate the current cinematic landscape, with a multitude of Marvel movies hitting theaters every year. These films are produced by major studios like 20th Century Fox, Sony, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Consequently, being part of a Marvel production can work wonders for an actor in this day and age.

Whether it was a case of scheduling conflicts with prior obligations or flat-out refusing, there are some huge names in the industry that didn't take Marvel on their offer. The question then becomes, why wouldn't these people want to star in one of the most popular franchises ever to exist?

Here are four of the biggest stars who turned down Marvel roles.

Olivia Wilde – Gamora

Marvel's quest to cast Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy wasn't smooth sailing. Olivia Wilde, a top contender for the role of the lethal extraterrestrial assassin, had all the right qualities but had to pass due to scheduling conflicts. Despite the challenges, Marvel eventually found their ideal candidate, and the outcome seems to have worked out favorably.

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Bryan Cranston – Sebastian Shaw

Bryan Cranston's unforgettable performance as Walter White in the acclaimed series Breaking Bad will forever be hailed as one of the most compelling portrayals in fictional history. While his talent shone on the small screen, it would have been intriguing to witness Cranston's prowess in portraying a ruthless character on the grand stage of cinema.

There was a time when he was being considered for the role of the villainous Energy Absorbing mutant Sebastian Shaw in the 2011 film X-Men: First Class. Imagining Cranston's presence in the film, which ultimately turned out to be fantastic, would have taken it to even greater heights. However, due to prior commitments to star in Drive, Cranston had to regretfully decline the offer, and the role eventually went to Kevin Bacon.

Joaquin Phoenix – Hulk And Dr. Strange

Marvel Studios had their sights set on securing the talented actor Joaquin Phoenix for their superhero films, but fate seemed to conspire against their plans. Initially, they had envisioned Phoenix in the role of The Hulk/Bruce Banner, only to see the part eventually go to Mark Ruffalo. Undeterred, Marvel then sought to cast Phoenix as Dr. Stephen Strange, but once again, their pursuit was met with disappointment as the actor declined the opportunity.

When questioned about his reluctance to join the Marvel universe, Phoenix candidly expressed that the films simply did not resonate with him on a deeply fulfilling level.

Jason Momoa – Drax The Destroyer

Jason Momoa's exceptional portrayal of Aquaman has left a lasting impression on audiences. Despite only appearing in three DC movies, he has already cemented his status as an irreplaceable King of Atlantis. Surprisingly, there was a time when Marvel considered signing Momoa to play Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Fortunately, Momoa decided to decline the offer due to concerns about being typecast. He felt that the role of Drax would be too similar to characters he had already portrayed multiple times. While Momoa's decision may have been disappointing for Marvel, it proved to be a fortunate turn of events for both Dave Bautista, who ultimately took on the role of Drax, and the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).

Reflecting on the situation, Jason Momoa humorously remarked on the irony of once again playing a character who doesn't wear a shirt, as he does with Aquaman.

Image Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

As you can see, Marvel might've looked completely different had any of these stars accepted the MCU call. Still, fans can rejoice that the right actors and actresses ended up portraying the characters they love today. Robert Downey Jr. is virtually the perfect Iron Man, and he wasn't the first choice either!