The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been expanding with each film and phase. With it comes some truly memorable characters and the actors have done a magnificent job at literally transforming themselves into becoming those characters. Ask a number of people who Robert Downey, Jr. is and the majority would likely say Iron Man (or perhaps Tony Stark, but less likely). The actor’s names have almost become synonymous with their Marvel role. Most fans would probably be up in arms if, say, Chris Evans decided to stop being Captain America and someone else came along to fill the role. It wouldn’t be the same! Well, get this… way back when Marvel was still working on Phase I, the studio originally approached an actor to land a key role in their film(s) but that actor passed. That actor was Mel Gibson.
Marvel Studios has made some interesting and surprising choices in casting for their films. When Robert Downey Jr.’s name first got tossed around to portray Iron Man, it was met with some apprehension by fans. Mark Ruffalo wasn’t originally well-received to replace Edward Norton as Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk.
Even choosing Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow made… no, wait. No one is complaining on that choice. More recently, the third film featuring the God of Thunder, “Thor: Ragnarok,” opted for relatively unknown director Taika Waititi to helm the project. Time will tell on that decision but given Marvel track record in selecting the right talent for each movie, I’m sure Waititi will be brilliant.
Oscar-winning actor/filmmaker Mel Gibson recently revealed in an interview with The Guardian that he was approached by the studio and they wanted him to take on a big role in a Phase I film they were planning, but the actor passed on the offer.
So Marvel Studios contacted Mel Gibson, a man with a lengthy film resumé, to be in a superhero flick?
“Yeah, long time ago, to play Thor’s dad. But I didn’t do it.“
Yeah, we noticed. As most of you know the role of Odin, father to Thor and ruler of Asgard, wound up being portrayed by the talented Sir Anthony Hopkins, who has been featured in “Thor,” “Thor: The Dark World,” and is returning for “Thor: Ragnarok” (coming November 2017).
When asked his opinion on superhero movies and their success at the box office, Gibson showed he has watched some of the Marvel flicks…
“Some are good. Some are kind of funny … Guardians of the Galaxy. Or the first Iron Man. And some of them are just like retreats. I mean you can watch them do Spider-Man five times … There is a slight shift in film. But, then again, I think all films are suffering from people not being able to now open them with their name. It’s a different kind of business these days.“
Gibson is wrapping up his latest directorial feature film “Hacksaw Ridge.” The film, which stars Teresa Palmer, Andrew Garfield and Hugo Weaving, is set to hit theaters on November 4th. Guess what also opens on that date… “Doctor Strange” from Marvel. Hmm… who do you think wins that box office battle?
In retrospect, who would turn down a pivotal role in the MCU? Apparently Mr. Gibson had other ideas of how to make his name famous.