Top 10 Actors Who Hated Working with Marvel

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Top 10 Actors Who Hated Working with Marvel

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
You'll be shocked when you learn why these actors hate Marvel! For this list, we'll be going over the performers who appeared in films based on Marvel comics who expressed dissatisfaction or regret with Marvel, the films they appeared in, or had another complaint, even if they have continued working with the franchise. Our countdown includes Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Portman, Jeremy Renner, and more!
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Top 10 Actors Who Hated Working With Marvel



Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 actors who hated working with Marvel.

For this list, we’ll be going over the performers who appeared in films based on Marvel comics who expressed dissatisfaction or regret with Marvel, the films they appeared in, or had another complaint, even if they have continued working with the franchise.

If there’s an actor you hate that isn't on our list, please express your own displeasure in the comments!

#10: Ryan Reynolds

“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009)

Ryan Reynolds is basically Deadpool in real life. The guy is perfect in the role. Still, he had a rough start as the wisecracking vigilante. Although he played Wade Wilson in “X-Men Origin: Wolverine,” the actor was less than enthused with the direction they took the character, namely the whole mute grab bag of superpowers thing. When he objected to it, Reynolds claims he was threatened with replacement. He kind of was since the mouthless version was played by another actor, Scott Adkins. Still, Reynolds stuck with the part and managed to get Deadpool the portrayal they both deserved…and take some shots, both figuratively and literally, at the “Origins” version.


#9: Christopher Eccleston

“Thor: The Dark World” (2013)

This former “Doctor Who” actor has been burned by big budget blockbusters several times, but never more so than with “Thor: The Dark World.” Christopher Eccleston has fully admitted to taking the job for the paycheck, but even so, he feels Marvel weren’t upfront about the amount of prosthetic and makeup work that went into the role of the film’s villain, Malekith. He has also criticized how much of his character’s backstory was cut from the film. We must agree that the finished film does leave Malekith feeling kind of wooden and underdeveloped. But Eccleston wasn’t the only actor unsatisfied with the film.


#8: Natalie Portman

“Thor: The Dark World” (2013)

Natalie Portman has had quite the interesting career, particularly with regards to big franchises. The actress plays Jane Foster, Thor’s love interest in the first two “Thor” movies. Portman was reportedly extremely disappointed with Patty Jenkins being removed as director of “Thor: The Dark World,” as working under her had been what drew her back to the franchise in the first place. Contractually obligated to finish on “Dark World,” Portman was absent from “Thor: Ragnarok,” though her desire to spend more time with her children also played a part. However, Portman is set to return to the role, which will see her take more of a lead in “Thor: Love and Thunder.”


#7: Hugo Weaving

“Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)

Just to say upfront – Hugo Weaving didn’t hate working on “Captain America: The First Avenger.” According to an interview with Timeout, Weaving enjoyed his time on the film as the villainous Red Skull. However, you might have noticed that Red Skull isn’t played by Weaving in “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Endgame.” In that same interview, Weaving reveals that he was offered much less money for both of those movies combined than his single appearance in “The First Avenger.” He also found negotiating with Marvel difficult. Weaving is a busy and talented actor, so we can understand why he would pass up the part if it wasn't worth missing out on other work.


#6: Terrence Howard

“Iron Man” (2008)

One of the more public splits between Marvel and an actor was Terrence Howard losing the role of Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine in “Iron Man 2.” While it wouldn’t be the last time Marvel would recast a character, it was the first. Howard was reportedly contractually promised 8 million dollars for the second film. However, Marvel instead wanted to pay him only 1 million instead, causing Howard to walk away from the role. Howard also blamed Robert Downey Jr. for this reduction in salary, as Downey received a substantial pay bump. There was no “next time” for Howard’s Rhodes after all.

#5: Edward Norton

“The Incredible Hulk” (2008)

While we’re on the subject of recasting, Edward Norton is another actor whose character, Bruce Banner/The Hulk, was given a new face between films. Norton was involved in partially scripting “The Incredible Hulk,” and had a darker vision for the character than Marvel ended up going with. Although Norton has spoken favorably of his time with the movie and role since departing from it, at the time of his split from Marvel there were plenty of recriminations thrown by both sides. Norton, or at least his agent, found the statements put out by Marvel disingenuous. It’s a good thing Norton isn’t the Hulk anymore, because we hear you wouldn’t like him when he’s…hungry?


#4: Idris Elba

“Thor: The Dark World” (2013)

Idris Elba is a huge star, though his role in the MCU has been a supporting one. While his character Heimdall can see everything in the Nine Realms, Elba himself had a hard time finding enjoyment during reshoots for “Thor: The Dark World.” Being fresh off of playing Nelson Mandela, Elba found returning to do stunts in an elaborate outfit torturous and less rewarding. Regardless of his experience on that film, Elba continued appearing in the MCU though, and has expressed a willingness to make further appearances as Heimdall; despite the character being dead.

#3: Jeremy Renner

“The Avengers” (2012)

As Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner has been a long running part of the MCU. However, Renner was less than satisfied with Clint Barton’s beginnings in the franchise. In only his second film, Renner was asking the higher-ups for his character to be killed off. His reasoning was because he didn’t feel he was able to explore the character, given that Hawkeye spends most of “The Avengers” as a brainwashed minion for Loki. We can definitely see how that would be frustrating as an actor, as it certainly felt disappointing for some of the fans. We’re glad Renner stuck with the character, and we’re sure he is too.


#2: Jessica Alba

“Fantastic Four” series (2005-07)

Given the reputation of the Fantastic Four on film, it’s hardly surprising that some of the actors had bad times working on them. Even so, Jessica Alba’s experience playing Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman, was particularly bad. Alba has gone on record with her dislike of her time on the movies. A particularly upsetting experience she has recounted involved the director of both films, Tim Story, asking Alba if she could “cry prettier” during an emotional scene in the second film. We’re embarrassed for both parties. No wonder Alba wanted to disappear from acting for a while after this.


#1: Mickey Rourke

“Iron Man 2” (2010)

“Iron Man 2” went through some changes behind the scenes, and one of the most notable led to some disgruntlement from Mickey Rourke, who played Whiplash/Ivan Vanko, the film’s antagonist. Rourke worked hard with the writer and director to flesh out Vanko to give him depth and substance. However, according to Rourke, most of his hard work ended up being cut from the final film. Seeing your efforts go to waste can be difficult for anyone, particularly if the thing you’re most remembered for in a movie is an apparent obsession with birds. But Rourke calling the Marvel movies “mindless” might be a little harsh.
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