15 Actors Who Were Abandoned By Marvel

Many actors have had a great relationship with Marvel (particularly those involved with the MCU...for the most part), but like other film companies, some business relationships don't work out.

Whether it occurs through recasting, cancelled projects actors were eager to make, or the simple choice to never use characters again, Marvel has had its share of abandonment issues in terms of who they work with in TV and film.

Please note that we're not trying to shame Marvel, as some of the instances on this list were for the best. However, sometimes we wonder what could've been had Marvel just carried on ahead with their original plans. So, from the MCU's multiple re-castings to films we almost saw come to fruition, be prepared, because this is gonna get awkward.

15 Edward Norton

Via looper.com

After starring in 2008's The Incredible Hulk, Edward Norton was let go ahead of The Avengers and replaced by Mark Ruffalo.

To this day, fans still ask the same question: what happened? Well, the answer has varied, with Marvel implying he couldn't get along with the cast and Norton later declaring his decision to do other things. Since Ruffalo has gone on to cement himself as the MCU's Hulk, maybe it's high-time everyone moves on.

14 Tim Roth

Via io9.gizmodo.com

Edward Norton isn't the only Incredible Hulk actor we haven't seen since. Starring opposite Norton was Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky AKA Abomination, who fights Hulk in the climax. While his life was spared and he was sent off to prison, he has yet to reappear.

Though Marvel initially considered having Abomination return in Avengers: Age of Ultron, those plans fell apart. Now, not even Roth is sure if he'll get another chance.

13 Channing Tatum

Via screenrant.com

Ever since Channing Tatum almost played Gambit in X-Men: The Last Stand, fans have waited to see the actor's interpretation of the card-throwing Cajun. However, despite the film initially getting a 2016 release date, it kept getting pushed back and changing directors.

After Disney's purchase of 20th Century Fox, it was officially shelved in favor of rebooting the X-Men in the MCU. But, who's to say Disney won't let Tatum have his shot at the role?

12 Glenn Close

Via syfy.com

Though her role was small, Oscar-winning actress Glenn Close fit right in with the humorous, unpredictable world of James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. Cast in the role of Nova Prime, leader of the Nova Corps, Close revealed she was signed on for multiple films and expressed a desire to appear alongside Robert Downey Jr.

While we have yet to see Close return to the MCU, she did film a cameo for Vol. 2 that was ultimately cut.

11 Terrence Howard

Another major character getting recast after one film, James "Rhodey" Rhodes is a close friend of Tony Stark's and U.S. Air Force officer who later becomes War Machine. However, before original actor Terrence Howard got to don the armor, he was replaced by Don Cheadle starting with 2010's Iron Man 2.

Howard later explained he was pushed out through a salary conflict reportedly caused by Robert Downey Jr. taking some of Howard's previously-set paycheck.

10 Topher Grace

via: pinterest.com

There were many things wrong with 2007's Spider-Man 3, but perhaps the biggest issue was casting Topher Grace as Spider-Man's archenemy, Venom, as he lacked the intimidating nature of Eddie Brock.

Though he seemingly met his demise at the film's end, Sony actually had plans for a Venom spin-off. However, after the cancellation of Raimi's Spider-Man series, the film remained in development hell until 2018, where Tom Hardy replaced Grace as a rebooted Venom in a film intended to start its own cinematic universe.

9 Ray Park

Via comicpalooza.com

After wowing audiences as Darth Maul, Ray Park continued his villainous streak as Toad in 2000's X-Men. Then, he got a chance to play a superhero by landing the starring role in an Iron Fist movie.

Unfortunately, behind-the-scenes issues pushed filming back multiple times. Finally, the film was put on hold and was never produced. Though fans eventually got an Iron Fist series, it was average at best.

8 The Cast of Inhumans

via: forbes.com

Marvel may not be perfect, but fans didn't expect an MCU project to bomb this hard.

After the Inhumans movie was cancelled in favor of a TV show, Marvel planned an eight-episode season, with the first two episodes receiving IMAX screenings. However, since fans already had issues with the characters designs, some doubted the series would last...and they were correct. The show was largely panned, cancelled after one season, and the characters have since disappeared.

7 Liv Tyler

Via slashfilm.com

Yet another Incredible Hulk character never seen again (seriously, it's a wonder William Hurt got to return at all), Betty Ross was Bruce Banner's love interest prior to Black Widow. But, despite the character's significance in the comics, Ross has yet to reappear in the MCU (even though the Russo brothers took time to reveal she had been a victim of Thanos' snap).

Oh, well. She probably wouldn't recognize Bruce anymore anyway.

6 Aaron Taylor-Johnson

via: dailymail.co.uk

After his hilarious turn as "real-life" superhero Kick-Ass, many were surprised to see Aaron Taylor-Johnson appear in the MCU as speedster Quicksilver, especially considering the character was also in the X-Men films. While Taylor-Johnson stood fine on his own, the big difference was that his version didn't last long.

Despite his demise in Avengers: Age of Ultron, fans still wonder if he'll ever return. If Taylor-Johnson himself is up for it, then we are too.

5 Brigitte Nielsen

Via thehollywoodinquirer.com

After Jennifer Walters receives a blood transfusion from her cousin, Bruce Banner, she is transformed into a powerful green-skinned hero similar to Bruce (though, retaining more of her human personality). As Marvel's physically strongest woman, it's understandable why many have wanted to see her in live-action.

This almost happened in a '90s film starring Brigitte Nielsen, who even posed for official photos. However, her appearance as She-Hulk,...well, one look at the photos says it all.

4 Tyler Mane

Via youtube.com

Known for playing physically-frightening characters like Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's Halloween films, Tyler Mane seemed like a solid fit for Sabretooth, Wolverine's old foe and fellow Weapon X super soldier.

However, while he resembled his comic book appearance, Mane's lack of personality made for a weak character. It was only in Wolverine's first solo film X-Men Origins: Wolverine that fans got a more memorable Sabretooth played by Liev Schreiber.

3 Tim Blake Nelson

Via reddit.com

Okay, we promise this is the last Incredible Hulk entry.

Of all the Hulk characters given the short stick, Tim Blake Nelson's Samuel Sterns is the most interesting. After injecting Emil Blonsky with Bruce Banner's blood (turning him into Abomination), Sterns is injured, and some of the blood drips into a wound on his head, causing his head to expand. Comic book fans knew this was a tease for Leader, one of Marvel's smartest baddies. Unfortunately, we've yet to see it pay off.

2 Natalie Portman


We know, we know. At the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel announced Jane Foster would be returning in Thor: Love and Thunder as a female Thor. However, this doesn't excuse her sudden exit after Thor: The Dark World.

After she and Thor reunited on Earth at the end of The Dark World, she didn't appear again until a brief cameo in Avengers: Endgame. And, by then, Thor had already revealed their break-up. Seriously, Marvel?

1 Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood

Via ew.com

Some spin-off TV shows don't work, but ABC passing on Marvel's Most Wanted was a disappointment for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans. Set to center around on-the-run agents Lance Hunter and Bobbi Morse, a former married couple that worked with S.H.I.E.L.D. throughout seasons two and three, a pilot was filmed but never picked up by networks.

While Hunter did reappear in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season five, it was not how fans wanted to see him again.

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