Top 10 Behind the Scenes MCU Dramas



Top 10 Behind the Scenes MCU Dramas

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Jacob Pitts
Thanos isn't the only problem the MCU has faced over the years. For this list, we'll be looking at feuds and creative differences between actors, directors, and studios that took place during this comic book company's productions. Our countdown includes Edgar Wright Leaves the Production of “Ant-Man”, Jeremy Renner Wanted Hawkeye to Die, Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney, and more!

Top 10 Behind-the-Scenes MCU Dramas

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Behind-The-Scenes MCU Dramas.

For this list, we’ll be looking at feuds and creative differences between actors, directors, and studios that took place during this comic book company’s productions.

What behind-the-scenes disputes shocked you the most? Let us know in the comments below.

#10: Edgar Wright Leaves the Production of “Ant-Man”

Famous for his quirky comedies like “Shaun of the Dead” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” director Edgar Wright had people excited when he was attached to bring Ant-Man into the MCU. It was also good news to hear that he had been working on different versions of a script since the mid 2000s before the MCU had really gotten off the ground. Wright’s enthusiasm for “Ant-Man” made it shocking to hear that he left the production months before shooting was set to begin. After Wright and Disney released a joint statement citing creative differences as the reason for his departure, he was replaced by Peyton Reed. While “Ant-Man” was still a success, fans will always wonder what could have been.

#9: MCU Films vs. Marvel TV

While this may be hard to imagine in a post-“WandaVision” world, there was a time where the quality of MCU’s TV properties was really inconsistent. And despite Marvel’s insistence that everything was in the same universe, the films barely seemed to acknowledge the TV shows. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” actress Chloe Bennet once called the show “the black sheep of the MCU”. Multiple creatives expressed frustration that certain characters or plots couldn’t be used if the films needed them. And after jumping through all of these hoops, it became unclear whether any of these shows were even canon. Now that new MCU series are releasing on Disney+, we can expect the studio to distance itself further from these early shows.

#8: Mickey Rourke Insults Marvel Movies

Mickey Rourke had a few negative things to say to Marvel after “Iron Man 2”. While he didn’t play the worst Marvel villain of them all, his role as Whiplash was largely forgettable. The actor later expressed his disappointment in the film’s final version of his character Whiplash. He said the studio “wanted a one-dimensional bad guy, so most of the performance ended up on the floor.” Rourke also called the MCU movies “mindless”. Although it’s unclear what exactly happened behind the scenes, it’s clear the actor felt like he could’ve brought more to the role. It’s safe to say that fans would’ve definitely liked to see a more complex take on Whiplash.

#7: Don Cheadle Replaces Terrence Howard

The MCU is no stranger to recasting its actors. After all, Mark Ruffalo notably took over for Edward Norton as the Hulk. But the high-profile replacement that really turned heads was the announcement that Terrence Howard would no longer play James Rhodes. In between the first two Iron Man films, Howard was reportedly offered less money to reprise his role. The actor later implied that the money he was promised went to upping Robert Downey Jr.’s paycheck.
After Howard couldn’t come to terms with Marvel over his pay, his involvement in the film ended and he was replaced by Don Cheadle. The latter actor has done such a great job that few fans are bothered now by this recasting.

#6: Jeremy Renner Wanted Hawkeye to Die

Hawkeye went from just another hero with a bow and arrow to an Avenger with an incredibly deep backstory. Throughout the years, we watched him protect his secret family, cope with losing them after the Snap and get chosen to headline his own show on Disney+. But all of that almost never happened. While filming the first “Avengers” movie in 2012, actor Jeremy Renner repeatedly asked to be killed off so he wouldn’t have to reprise the role. He was frustrated that he spent most of the film as a brainwashed minion instead of a fully formed character. Fortunately, the creatives didn’t listen to his requests and gave him more opportunities to grow.

#5: Joss Whedon Runs Into Problems During “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Seeing writer and director Joss Whedon’s name on a superhero project was once a good sign for the fans. People were especially psyched for his next project after he worked on the very successful 2012 “Avengers” film. However, things started to go downhill when it came time for the 2015 sequel, “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Behind-the-scenes, Whedon and the studio disagreed about certain story beats. Marvel executives were also concerned that the creative was giving too much attention to developing the “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” show. And scheduling conflicts between actors made Whedon have to rethink certain scenes. These production hurdles likely contributed to “Age of Ultron’s” mixed reception.

#4: Ike Perlmutter vs. Everyone

It’s long been rumored that Ike Perlmutter, former chairman of Marvel Entertainment, butted heads with notable Marvel figures over the years. And there were suggestions that he didn’t have faith in female led films. Former Disney CEO Bob Iger hinted that Perlmutter made it difficult to get films out with diverse or female leads. “Black Panther” and “Captain Marvel” were specifically named as projects that Iger had to push harder for. Over the years, the company was restructured so Feige no longer had to work directly under Perlmutter. Since then, “Captain Marvel” and “Black Panther” each grossed over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office. Their massive success was the best way for Feige and Iger to prove Perlmutter wrong.

#3: Natalie Portman Gets Distance From the MCU

After earning an Oscar for 2010’s “Black Swan,” it’s understandable to see why Natalie Portman wanted more to work with than she was given as Jane Foster in “Thor.” Despite being an accomplished astrophysicist, Jane didn’t really have complex motivations or a challenging role. Portman mainly wanted to return for “Thor: The Dark World” because Patty Jenkins was set to direct at the time. But when Jenkins left the project due to creative differences, the actress had to continue without her. (Xref) After not returning to film a post credits scene, follow-up MCU films kept explaining away her absence. It seemed like Portman’s Marvel career was over. However, thanks to Taika Watiti and other creative talents, she’s back on board for “Thor 4”.

#2: The Firing & Rehiring of James Gunn

While the MCU parted ways with directors before they got a chance to make their films, it was very different with James Gunn. His first two “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies were universally beloved when Disney fired him. But once extremely controversial tweets from Gunn’s past resurfaced in 2018, he was removed from production on the third volume of the series. While the company moved on, a number of fans and the cast largely stood behind the director. Dave Bautista even claimed he’d quit the film if Gunn’s script wasn’t used. While Gunn was working on “The Suicide Squad”, he was informed that he’d been rehired again. After a lot of back and forth, production on Vol 3. would continue as planned.

#1: Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney

For most people, taking on a company as big as Disney is too frightening to imagine. But Scarlett Johansson was willing to do so. The trouble started after Disney released the long-awaited “Black Widow” solo film in theaters and on Disney+ simultaneously in 2021. Johansson sued because she claimed less money came to her because the film was available to stream when it was supposed to be a theatrical exclusive. However, Disney initially called her out for not considering the effect the pandemic had on their plans. Marvel mainstays like Kevin Feige were not happy with how the company communicated with Johnansson. Although the actress and the studio eventually worked things out, the lawsuit brought her tenure as Black Widow to a dramatic conclusion.