8 Actors Who Regretted Being In Marvel Movies (And 12 Who Adored It)
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently dominating Marvel‘s slate of movie, as well as the superhero genre as a whole, the films in the series aren’t without their fair share of problems. However, fans tend to overlook them in favor of the franchise’s massive scale, failing to consider the hard work, effort, and good or bad times put in by actors of the MCU. Don’t feel bad, though, as we can instead look at the other movies Marvel has produced over the years, whether it’s the ongoing X-Men franchise or the multiple attempts at a Spider-Man or Fantastic Four series.
However, what makes an actor have a good or bad time with a superhero role? Well, actors may enjoy it because of a connection with their character, whether it’s a sharing of morals or a genuine adoration for the character since they were young. On the other hand, some adult actors tend to shy away from superhero franchises due to the possibility of getting signed on for multiple movies, the physical training they’d have to undergo, or the fear of being confined to a previously-established character (given that most superheroes got their start in comic books). Also, sometimes (like most cases on this list), none of this is a problem, but, instead, the actor simply doesn’t like how the movie turned out. Regardless, superhero films stand out on any actor’s resume and usually serve as a great learning experience for their career.
With that said, here are the 8 Actors Who Regretted Being In Marvel Movies (And 12 Who Adored It).
20 ADORED: ZAZIE BEETZ – DEADPOOL 2
Stealing the spotlight from Golden Globe nominee Ryan Reynolds is no easy task, especially when he’s inhabiting his star role of Deadpool. However, Emmy nominee and Atlanta star Zazie Beetz definitely gave Reynolds a run for his money, as her turn as luck-manipulating mercenary Domino proved one of the highlights of Deadpool 2.
“I liked playing this woman who could meet Deadpool face-to-face and toe-to-toe,” she told ComicBook.com. “In terms of our wit and our banter, we match.” Beetz’s daily workouts and a three-movie deal (as well as her desire to see Domino cross paths with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn) further proves her love for the role, and fans eagerly await her next appearance in the upcoming X-Force movie.
19 ADORED: DAFNE KEEN – LOGAN
Logan not only set the bar for X-Men movies to come, but also superhero movies in general. While this is thanks in no small part to Hugh Jackman’s stellar sendoff for Wolverine (and Patrick Stewart’s for Professor Charles Xavier), the film would not have been the same without newcomer Dafne Keen’s breakout movie performance as Wolverine’s cloned daughter, Laura/X-23.
Though a girl of few words, Laura is capable of fending off enemies with her adamantium claws and animal-like rage (like father, like daughter), which is why Keen loved the role so much. “All the wire stuff in the stunts was great, but most of all I liked being a wild animal,” she told THR. While the Disney-Fox merger puts the X-Men franchise’s future in question, director James Mangold recently revealed he was writing a spin-off sequel focusing on Laura.
18 REGRETTED: JAMIE BELL – FANTASTIC FOUR (2015)
Being involved with any of the first three Fantastic Four movies would be bad enough, but having one’s name attached to 2015’s Fant4stic would be a total nightmare (nobody seems to understand this better than director Josh Trank). Unfortunately, a host of talented actors, including Black Panther‘s Michael B. Jordan and Whiplash‘s Miles Teller have to live with just that.
BAFTA winner Jamie Bell (who played the CGI version of The Thing) spoke of the final product with Los Angeles Times, stating that despite “the best of intentions,” he believes the entire cast was “bitterly disappointed with that film.” Well, at least Bell can look back on the movie fondly, as it led to his marriage to co-star Kate Mara.
17 ADORED: ED SKREIN – DEADPOOL
Ryan Reynolds isn’t the only one who got to have fun with 2016’s Deadpool, as evidenced by Ed Skrein, aka Ajax, aka Francis, aka whatever Deadpool feels like calling him to his face.
“Ajax is a very fun character to play,” Skrein told Screen Rant on the Deadpool set in 2015. “He’s quite lighthearted in his approach to a lot of things. And I think he enjoys a lot of the things he’s doing. So in terms of the shoot, I’m having a lot of fun doing the scenes.” Director Tim Miller also praised Skrein’s love and dedication to the role in a talk with Empire, stating he trained even harder than Reynolds for the fight sequences. “Probably 80 percent of what you seen on screen is [Skrein],” Miller said.
16 REGRETTED: ANDREW GARFIELD – THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2012-14)
Getting to play Spider-Man is a dream role for many young actors, and Oscar nominee Andrew Garfield was no exception. Unfortunately, the job can prove as troublesome as actually being a crime-fighting superhero. As part of Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” series, fellow Oscar nominee Amy Adams interviewed Garfield about his time as the web-head through two movies, and his response that the films’ story and main character were not high priorities was definitely disheartening.
“I signed up to serve the story, and to serve this incredible character that I’ve been dressing as since I was three, and then it gets compromised and it breaks your heart,” he said. Thankfully, Garfield has continued to advance his career with award-nominated roles in Hacksaw Ridge and Silence, and Tom Holland has breathed new life into the role with his presence in the MCU.
15 ADORED: SOPHIE TURNER – X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
Like X-Men: The Last Stand, 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse was another divisive third entry in an X-Men franchise. Thankfully, Sophie Turner (known by Game of Thrones fans as Sansa Stark) played a standout younger version of a fan-favorite character: Jean Grey.
Taking over for Famke Janssen, Turner continued to display the powerful psychic’s vulnerable side, who is frightened of what she can (and eventually will ) become once her powers take over. Also, while the role did cost Turner her partying lifestyle, she seems to be enjoying the opportunity to help bring the young Jean to life. “As an actress, it’s been amazing to play a superhero that people look up to so much and that people really love,” she told Time. Fans will next get to see Turner take on the Dark Phoenix Saga storyline in this June’s Dark Phoenix.
14 REGRETTED: RYAN REYNOLDS – X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
Deadpool may be a beloved movie character now, but, back in 2009, his prospective movie career was almost permanently silenced (sewing the Merc with a Mouth’s pie hole shut will do that). Ryan Reynolds, who tried for years to play Deadpool on the big screen before having his dream come true in 2016, discussed playing Wade Wilson for the first time in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine with EW, calling it a “very frustrating experience.”
“I was already attached to the Deadpool movie,” he said. “We hadn’t at that point written a script yet. [Origins] came along, and it was sort of like, ‘Play Deadpool in this movie, or we’ll get someone else to.’ And I just said, ‘I’ll do it, but it’s the wrong version. Deadpool isn’t correct in it,'” he said.
13 ADORED: KIRSTEN DUNST – SPIDER-MAN (2002-07)
The “damsel in distress” cliché has certainly started to show its age given the rise of women-led superhero movies. However, it’s still a part of superhero history, and Golden Globe nominee Kirsten Dunst had to play the role in Sam Raimi’s classic Spider-Man trilogy. Having played Peter Parker’s main love interest, Mary Jane Watson, in all three movies, Dunst was in need of saving a lot.
While it certainly seemed like a lot of work (especially with all the screaming involved), Dunst looked back on the role fondly in a 2017 Variety interview, expressing her desire to have made a fourth movie. Dunst went on to state her preference for Raimi’s movies over later iterations of the web-head, stating that she’d “rather be in the first ones than the new ones.”
12 REGRETTED: BEN AFFLECK – DAREDEVIL
Before Charlie Cox made Netflix headlines as Marvel’s main Devil, Oscar-winning actor/director Ben Affleck tried his hand at saving Hell’s Kitchen in 2003’s Daredevil. The results? Well, they went about as well as Golden Globe winner Colin Farrell’s take on Bullseye. When looking back on the movie with Latino Review, Affleck revealed that it was the one movie he regretted doing.
“It just [hurts] me,” Affleck said. “I love that story, that character, and the fact that it got f***ed up the way it did still stays with me. Maybe that’s part of the motivation to do Batman.” While Affleck certainly isn’t the worst actor to don the Dark Knight’s cape and cowl, the fact that his future with DC remains uncertain shows history may repeat itself with Affleck’s superhero career.
11 ADORED: WESLEY SNIPES – BLADE (1998-2004)
Though vampires have become somewhat toned-down thanks to Twilight, they are still forces to be feared, which is why we need hunters like Blade to keep them in check and us entertained. Though darker than recent Marvel outings, Wesley Snipes’ run as half-vampire warrior Blade is fondly remembered by Marvel fans (except for 2004’s Trinity), as well as by Snipes himself.
“It’s a good place to be and good thing to be a part of, and it’s a good legacy to have contributed to,” Snipes told VICE when questioned about his place as Marvel’s first black superhero. For those who wish to see the Blade franchise’s return, Snipes also teased two upcoming projects that fans will “have a problem with deciding which one they love the most.” It looks like it’s a great time to be a Blade fan.
10 REGRETTED: NICOLAS CAGE – GHOST RIDER (2007-12)
When depicting Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider, a man who sells his soul to a demon and becomes a sinner-hunting, motorcycle-riding fiery skeleton, it makes sense to do an R-rated movie. However, when Oscar winner Nicolas Cage played the role, they were both stuck in PG-13 land, which is something even Cage himself regrets.
“Ghost Rider was designed to be a scary superhero with an R-rating and edge, and they just didn’t have it worked out back then,” Cage told JoBlo. While Gabriel Luna did great with the Robbie Reyes version in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., it was still toned down for TV. However, he has since nominated Norman Reedus to take on the role of Johnny Blaze should Marvel decide to resurrect the character in film.
9 ADORED: JAMIE FOXX – THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
Though fans generally agree that 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a bigger mess than 2007’s Spider-Man 3 (which is no easy task), they have to admit that the movie is a bit of a guilty pleasure. Though, while Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti’s over-acting as the Rhino and Oscar winner Emma Stone’s heartbreaking Gwen Stacy passing certainly stand out, it was Jamie Foxx’s eye-popping Electro that stuck with fans the most.
Also, while his character was far from fleshed-out enough, at least Foxx had a blast doing the movie. “[Director] Marc Webb has been fantastic to work with,” he told Total Film. “What I’ve learned on the set…t hat suit, that Spider-Man suit… the first thing I had to shoot it was like… not tears, but this is the real thing.”
8 REGRETTED: JIM CARREY – KICK-ASS 2
Multi-Golden Globe winner Jim Carrey is known for his brand of slapstick humor, but he has been known to dabble in other genres (with varying results), including superhero movies. Also, while his role as the Riddler in 1995’s Batman Forever still has its share of supporters, nobody expected him to feature in a supporting role in the overly-violent Kick-Ass 2.
Carrey played Colonel Stars and Stripes, former-gangster-turned-born-again-Christian and leader of superhero team Justice Forever, an odd choice even for Carrey. However, it was even odder when Carrey condemned the movie’s violence in a tweet posted a few months before the movie’s release. While Carrey’s heart seemed to be in the right place, even Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar criticized his decision to distance himself from the movie.
7 ADORED: KELSEY GRAMMER – X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
From a toy prospector to a clown-assistant-turned-criminal, multi-Golden Globe winner Kelsey Grammer brings a signature style of gravitas to every role he plays. His 2006 debut as Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast in X-Men: The Last Stand was no exception, with a spot-on portrayal of the mutant scientist.
Despite being covered in prosthetics and hair, Grammer loved the role so much that he reprised it eight years later in a surprise appearance in Days of Future Past. When speaking with IGN, he stated that he would even consider doing another movie. “I loved playing Beast!” he said. “I call him ‘the blue guy,’ and it was just a joy for me to be involved in that franchise…” While BAFTA nominee Nicholas Hoult began playing the young McCoy in 2011’s First Class, it seems like Grammer and Hoult could still have fun sharing the character.
6 REGRETTED: JENNIFER GARNER – ELEKTRA
Yet again, Netflix had to step up to deliver a proper portrayal of a beloved Marvel character, this time being Daredevil’s love interest Elektra Natchios, a sai-wielding assassin. First played by Golden Globe winner Jennifer Garner in 2003’s Daredevil, the character was given her own spin-off two years later, and what fans got made the pervious movie look like The Dark Knight in comparison.
Don’t worry about Garner, though, as she is apparently aware of the mistake she made by doing the movie. Garner’s Alias co-star and ex-boyfriend Michael Vartan revealed to US Weekly (via SFGate) that she had called to tell him it was “awful” and that she had to do it because “it was in her contract.”
5 ADORED: IDRIS ELBA – GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE
Though we understand why it was hard for Nicolas Cage to look on the bright side with his Ghost Rider movies, Golden Globe winner Idris Elba seemed to do a pretty good job given that he had to star in Spirit of Vengeance (which released the same year he debuted as Heimdall in the MCU), arguably leagues worse than the first movie.
According to Collider, Idris surprisingly said that Moreau (his character in the movie) was one of his favorite to play. “I get to be a little bit more comical than usual, and that’s fun,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
4 ADORED: MATT SALINGER – CAPTAIN AMERICA (1990)
With the stellar job Chris Evans has done bringing Captain America to life in the MCU, it’s understandable that fans wouldn’t remember the original 1990 film (besides the fact that it’s one of the worst-rated superhero films ever). However, despite star Matt Salinger not making it big as Marvel’s First Avenger, he admitted the role was still fun. The only problem? The film didn’t live up to the crew’s initial vision.
“I think (director) Albert (Pyun) and the team he put together could probably have done a very good movie,” Salinger told GQ. “I thought the script was terrific; I thought it was a really nice script.”
However, Salinger also said he could match Evans’ shield-throwing. Perhaps a cameo in a future film with Evans could finally settle this debate?
3 REGRETTED: JESSICA ALBA – FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER
Even though 2015’s Fant4stic has been deemed the darkest, most troubled, and overall worst Fantastic Four movie yet, this doesn’t mean the previous three movies went smooth. The 1994 film remains unreleased and the 2005 Tim Story-directed film sits at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes.
However, while Story’s 2007 follow-up scored better critically, it seems to have been plagued with more trouble on set. According to star Jessica Alba (who played Sue Storm/Invisible Woman), after Story complained about her acting during a crying scene, she almost gave up her acting career altogether. “He was like, ‘Don’t do that thing with your face. Just make it flat. We can CGI the tears in.'” she told Elle (via SyFy). “And I’m like, ‘But there’s no connection to a human being.'”
2 ADORED: PATRICK STEWART – X-MEN (2000-17)
When multi-Golden Globe nominee Sir Patrick Stewart was first cast as X-Men leader Professor Charles Xavier for 2000’s X-Men, many fans saw it as a dream come true. Playing Professor X in seven of the series’ first 10 movies, Stewart took to the role as good as (and, to some, even better than) he took to Star Trek‘s Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
When discussing his experience playing Xavier for the final time in2017’s Logan with CinemaBlend, Stewart described portraying an older, more depressed Professor X as “just jam on your bread” in terms of adding to the already-beloved role. Despite this, Stewart has since said that he would reprise the role in a Deadpool movie, so perhaps we’ll get to enjoy his presence in the franchise a little longer.
1 ADORED: HUGH JACKMAN – X-MEN (2000-17)
While Sir Patrick Stewart’s run as Charles Xavier will be fondly remembered, X-Men fans agree that the real star of the series will always be Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Also, even though 2017’s Logan has come and gone, fans still aren’t ready to let him go. However, even though Jackman is, this doesn’t mean he loves Wolverine any less. “This is a character I love,” Jackman told ET. “I owe my career to this character.”
Fans aren’t alone with wanting the character to return, as everyone from MCU stars Mark Ruffalo and Sebastian Stan to Deadpool himself (Ryan Reynolds) is eager to see him interact with other Marvel characters. However, with all that Jackman has put into the role, maybe it’s time we finally accept his retirement.