12 Actors Who Walked Away From Superhero Movies Roles...And 7 Who Were FIRED

12 Actors Who Walked Away From Superhero Movies Roles...And 7 Who Were FIRED

12 Actors Who Walked Away From Superhero Movies Roles...And 7 Who Were <font color=red>FIRED</font>

It's been almost two weeks since Henry Cavill decided to hang up his cape and say goodbye to Superman, so we're now taking a look at other actors who have walked away from superhero roles...or been fired!

We've had a lot of great news items to enjoy over the past couple of weeks, but not even something as cool as the Captain Marvel trailer has managed to wash away the bad taste left by the revelation that Henry Cavill is hanging up his cape and now walking away from the role of Superman in the DCEU.

As you may or may not already know, this is not the first time an actor has decided to walk away from a superhero movie franchise either before, during, or after shooting. Some have even been fired and in this breakdown, we're going to be taking a look at actors from both of those categories.

So, to check out the full list of actors, all you have to do is click on the "View List" button down below.

Andrew Garfield - FIRED

Andrew Garfield had a good thing going with The Amazing Spider-Man franchise. Sure, the first two instalments weren't particularly well-received but he had Sinister Six and at least two more solo outings to look forward to at the time he was fired. Apparently, that came after he failed to attend an event with Sony bigwigs for what he claimed was sickness caused by jet lag. That didn't go down well.

The plan had been to announce The Amazing Spider-Man 3 at that event and with Marvel pushing for the opportunity to reboot the franchise, Sony finally pulled the trigger on an overdue MCU team-up.


Edward Norton

Ed Norton was originally supposed to return as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in The Avengers but plans changed when he butted heads with Marvel Studios during The Incredible Hulk's production. After insisting that he rewrite parts of the script, Norton refused to promote the movie due to his unhappiness with how it came together and it quickly became apparent he wasn't coming back.

It's not clear if he walked away from the MCU, if he was fired, or whether it was a mutual parting of ways but we can probably forget about ever seeing him in another superhero movie after this incident!


Val Kilmer

Michael Keaton's replacement after Warner Bros. decided to take the Batman franchise in a much different direction, Val Kilmer only starred as the Dark Knight for a single movie before creative differences between him and Joel Schumacher resulted in the actor departing Batman and Robin due to "creative differences." Another story claims that Kilmer was difficult to work with so this could have been a mutual parting and while his career didn't really flourish after, he left the series at the right time.

Stuart Townsend 

Poor Stuart Townsend hasn't had much luck with blockbusters. Originally cast as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings before being replaced by director Peter Jackson (who decided he didn't have the right look for the character), he later landed the role of Fandral in Thor before being replaced by Josh Dallas. Bizarrely, Dallas was then switched out for Zachary Levi due to some scheduling conflicts of his own.

In Townsend's case, all we know is that there were "creative differences" which led to him parting ways with Marvel Studios so it is possible he was fired. Regardless, he's flown under the radar ever since. 


James Purefoy - FIRED

V for Vendetta is one of those great comic book movies which seems to have been mostly forgotten in recent years so what you may not realise is that before Hugo Weaving ended up landing the lead role, James Purefoy had been cast as the iconic character and had even shot scenes as V, but when the movie's director and producers realised he didn't have the charisma needed for the role, he was fired. 

Weaving was asked to take over and it's thought that there are even scenes in the finished movie where it's Purefoy beneath the mask (clearly not all his scenes were terrible). It's now hard to imagine anyone other than Weaving playing V, but one has to wonder about what might have been.


Daniel Cudmore

Bryan Singer isn't exactly a comic book buff so it's no great surprise that he wasted Colossus with meaningless cameos across the movies he directed. Despite that, Daniel Cudmore was still expected to reprise the role in Deadpool and was even in talks with the studio to return. However, Tim Miller took things in a more comic accurate direction when Russian actor Stefan Kapicic was cast as the hero.

The decision was then made to make Colossus a CGI creation and while it may sound like Cudmore was fired, it's not like he was ever attached and the studio simply ended up wanting something different.


Sean Young

Actress Sean Young spent years campaigning to be in a Batman movie so when she was offered the opportunity to play Vicki Vale in Tim Burton's 1989 movie, she didn't hesitate. Unfortunately, she broke her arm before shooting started and Warner Bros. wasn't willing to wait so they ended up moving forward without her. Later, she tried to land the role of Catwoman, and that's where things get weird.

While the filmmaker was auditioning actresses for the role of Selina Kyle in Batman Returns, Young became so passionate about playing the character that she showed up on Burton's doorstep dressed in a Catwoman costume. She was removed from the premises and the role later went to Michelle Pfeiffer.


Dougray Scott

Before Hugh Jackman was cast as Wolverine, Dougray Scott had been chosen to take on the role of the iconic Marvel Comics mutant. His casting had been made official and he was getting ready to start shooting before some unexpected scheduling conflicts resulted in him being forced to choose between starring in X-Men or answering the call from Tom Cruise to play the lead villain in Mission: Impossible II.

Scott didn't believe that superhero movies were popular enough to have a positive impact on his career so he went with the spy franchise and ended up starring in arguably the worst chapter in that series. He also missed out on becoming a household name so should have said "no" to Tom Cruise.


Tobey Maguire - FIRED

Another Spider-Man actor unceremoniously dumped by Sony, the original plan had been for Tobey Maguire to reprise the role of Peter Parker in Spider-Man 4. Directed by Sam Raimi, it would have pitted the wall-crawler against The Vulture and Felicia Hardy, a.k.a. The Vulturess (not the Black Cat). 

Unfortunately, Raimi's heart wasn't really in it and the studio couldn't stop discussing the idea of a reboot with a new actor so the decision was ultimately made to dump Maguire and start over with someone else, hence why Andrew Garfield was later revealed as a new version of the iconic superhero.


Terrence Howard - FIRED

Believe it or not, because he was a more bankable star at the time, Terrence Howard was paid more for Iron Man than Robert Downey Jr. Unfortunately, he took a little too much credit for the first movie's success and demanded a massive pay rise for the sequel which Marvel boss Isaac Perlmutter was not remotely happy with. As a result, he was fired from the role for controversial reasons. Brace yourselves.

You see, it's been said that Perlmutter was confident that no one would notice Howard being replaced...because all black people look the same. Crazy, right? Don Cheadle ended up as War Machine in Iron Man 2 and he's done a great job, with Howard starring in critically acclaimed Fox drama Empire.


Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman played Jane Foster in two Thor movies but by the time Avengers: Age of Ultron came around in 2015, she had been written out of the MCU in a rather unceremonious fashion. Unhappy with the way her character was handed and clearly soured on working with Marvel Studios after Thor: The Dark World, it seems as if she's done with the God of Thunder and won't return any time soon.

Given Marvel's attempts to focus on more female characters and an increased level of diversity, it is possible that could change but we probably shouldn't hold our breath as it would be a near miracle.


Mickey Rourke

Another actor who had some issues with Marvel Studios, Mickey Rourke put a lot of work into his Iron Man 2 role (going so far as to spend time in a real Russian prison) and clearly wasn't happy with what ended up on screen. The sequel was a real mess due to how much Jon Favreau had to squeeze in before The Avengers and Rourke's claims that most of his performance was cut could be correct.

Regardless, he's never shied away from taking shots at Marvel in the years which have followed and while he wasn't actually that great as Whiplash anyway, it's not like we'll see him return anyway.


Taylor Kitsch - FIRED

It feels like it's been a while since we've seen anything of Taylor Kitsch and while he attempted to redeem himself with True Detective season two, the fact that was panned by critics really didn't help a career that had already been hurt by his roles in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Disney's John Carter

After playing Gambit in the former, Fox was looking to do more with his version of the character but a movie was pitched which would have basically pretended that X-Men Origins: Wolverine never happened (if only). As a result, Channing Tatum was cast but that movie is stuck in development hell.


Michelle Pfeiffer - FIRED

Michelle Pfeiffer did an incredible job as Catwoman in Batman Returns and delivered the most iconic take on the character to date (even all these years later). At the time, Warner Bros. wanted her to star in a solo outing but the plug was quickly pulled on the project and she was unceremoniously fired.

The true story behind these events have never been revealed, but it's been widely reported that it boiled down to Warner Bros. and Joel Schumacher wanting to head in a more kid-friendly direction moving forward.


Ben Affleck

If Ben Affleck ends up playing the Caped Crusader in The Batman, it would be nothing short of a miracle. The actor clearly doesn't want to continue playing the character and after the poor critical response to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, it's easy to see why that is. 

Throw in rumours of Matt Reeves wanting a younger actor to play Bruce Wayne and Affleck's personal troubles and common sense says he won't don the cape and cowl again. That's a shame but it seems as if the odds were stacked against the actor from the start so it's no surprise this hasn't worked out.


Michael Keaton

Widely considered one of the best Batman actors of all-time, Michael Keaton only actually stuck around for two movies before deciding to walk away from the franchise. After Batman Returns, Warner Bros. hired Joel Schumacher to take the franchise in a new direction but they still wanted Keaton to play the Dark Knight. Unfortunately, what happened next isn't particularly easy to figure out.

There are a number of conflicting stories with some claiming that Keaton was fired for demanding more money and others saying he read the script, realised it sucked, and couldn't leave fast enough. 


Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman was first cast as Wolverine in the late 90s and the fact he was still playing the character two decades later is nothing short of remarkable. However, realising that he wanted to embark on other projects and feeling that he was too old to continue playing a superhero, the Australian actor decided to hang his claws up with 2017's Logan and brought the character story arc to a close. 

As of right now, Wolverine is very much dead and that's something Jackman seems content with. Ryan Reynolds hasn't had much luck convincing him to reprise the role for X-Force but with the Disney/Fox merger looming, it will be very interesting finding out if Kevin Feige can talk him into returning...


Henry Cavill

The parting of ways which inspired this list, Henry Cavill walking away from the role of Superman has left fans reeling and while it's possible he could return as the Man of Steel, it seems highly unlikely.

The British actor was supposed to appear in Shazam! before apparent scheduling issues stopped that from happening and it seems talks broke down from there. Warner Bros.' decision to not move forward with any more Superman projects as they look to instead put the focus on Supergirl can't have helped either and while this could be a public negotiating tactic, it's hard to get our heads around this one.


Shailene Woodley - FIRED

Shailene Woodley was cast as Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 but the apparent negative reaction from fans to her being chosen to play the character resulted in Sony completely cutting the actress from proceedings. She had shot a number of scenes (MJ would have been Peter's new neighbour) but they all ended up on the cutting room floor and she was nowhere to be seen.

It was later claimed that Marc Webb scrapped her role in order to streamline the sequel and focus on Peter and Gwen Stacy and while there was 
talk of Woodley returning for the third instalment, it didn't sound like she was particularly happy with the way she was treated and this was very much a firing.
Which of these actors were you most surprised to see get the boot from these superhero franchises? Have we missed anyone that deserves a mention? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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