The Real Reasons These Actors Are No Longer Part Of The MCU

Sadly, not every actor who joins the Marvel
Cinematic Universe ends up sticking around. Some become unhappy with Marvel, some fall
out of love with blockbusters altogether, and some become victims of scheduling conflicts. These are the reasons some of the MCU’s
key players have said farewell to that universe. A lot of fans were surprised when Marvel Studios
announced in 2010 that it wouldn’t ask Incredible Hulk star Edward Norton to reprise his role
in Avengers. The company put out a press release saying,
in part: “Our decision is definitely not one based
on monetary factors, but instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity
and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members.” Norton’s agent called the statement “offensive”
and claimed the studio unexpectedly cut off negotiations. Norton changed his story over the years, telling
NPR in 2014 that he chose to leave the role because he wanted more diversity in his career. “What’s the problem?” Before 2010 there was already bad blood between
Norton and Marvel. Norton signed on to the lead in The Incredible
Hulk under the condition that he could rewrite Zak Penn’s script. Marvel agreed and while Norton’s added scenes
were filmed, most were cut before release. Two months before the movie’s premiere,
Entertainment Weekly reported Norton was refusing to do press for the film. And the break with Marvel still appears to
be on Norton’s mind. In July 2018 – just over a decade after Incredible
Hulk’s release – he took a swipe at Marvel during Comedy Central’s Roast of Bruce Willis,
using his turn at the podium to say: “I tried to be like [Willis]. I did a big action movie called The Incredible
Hulk. You know what went wrong? I wanted a better script.” Tim Roth, who played The Incredible Hulk’s
main villain Emil Blonsky, has revealed in the past that Marvel actually considered bringing
him back for the sequel to The Avengers. He told Crave Online: “They were going to do it. They were thinking, in The Avengers 2 or something
[…] It just kind of got swept under the carpet I guess.” It isn’t clear from what Roth said whether
they were considering Abomination as the main villain, or if he would have been working
with Ultron. Roth has since said he isn’t confident about
returning to the MCU, and considering the unlikelihood of a Hulk sequel, his doubts
are understandable. Answering fan questions on Reddit in 2017,
Roth wrote: “I don’t think Marvel will ever use me again,
but it would be fun.” Luckily, if Roth were to reprise the role,
the fact that it’s been so long since he last played Blonsky would actually help to
serve his character. Roth was in his late 40s when The Incredible
Hulk hit the big screen, and the fact that his character was an expert soldier in an
aging body was one of Blonsky’s prime motivations for allowing himself to be transformed into
a monster. According to Terrence Howard, the sole reason
he didn’t get to reprise his role as James Rhodes in Iron Man 2 and beyond is simple
– money. Howard discussed his side of things in 2013
with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live, alleging that Robert Downey Jr. was partially
responsible. “It turns out that the person that I helped
become Iron Man… took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out.” Howard said Marvel signed him up for three
films and then, when it was time to make Iron Man 2, they demanded he take an almost 90
percent pay cut. “And I called my friend, that I helped get
the first job, and he didn’t call me back for three months.” In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, Howard
clarified that he was cast before Downey and that he took a $1 million pay cut to help
convince Downey to jump on board – though Marvel took issue with Howard’s story. During a second appearance on Watch What Happens
Live in 2017, the actor said fences had been mended between him and Downey – but also that
Marvel threatened him with legal action after his public attacks on Downey and Marvel. “Am I gonna come back and be War Machine? I think they could have a huge franchise off
of it, but f— ‘em.” When Entertainment Weekly asked Chris Hemsworth
and Kevin Feige about Jane Foster’s absence in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, their answers focused
largely on the film’s narrative. Hemsworth explained that Thor and Foster had
broken up and that his character was enjoying being “a solo cowboy.” “Sorry to hear that Jane dumped you.” “She didn’t dump me. I dumped her. It was a mutual dumping.” Feige added that with Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie,
the filmmakers were matching Thor with a warrior who was, quote, “much more his equal and in
many ways his superior.” But a much earlier story suggested there was
a real-world reason for the breakup. According to a report from THR, bad blood
started flowing between Portman and Marvel as early as 2011 over the firing of director
Patty Jenkins from Thor: The Dark World. The report, citing unnamed sources, said Portman
was on the fence about participating in the Thor sequel because she wanted to spend more
time with her son, who was only six months old at the time. The fact that Jenkins’ involvement in Thor:
The Dark World would make her the first woman to direct such a big superhero film was what
convinced Portman to sign on. THR’s sources said once Jenkins was fired,
Portman was livid with Marvel, but contractually obligated to continue. Whether or not the story is true, publicly
Portman has said she’s open to reprising her role as Jane Foster. Talking to ScreenRant in early 2018, she was
asked about the possibility and said: “I’m completely open to everything. But I have no news about that.” While 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok was unquestionably
a hit, one event in the film left fans furious. When Hela arrives on Asgard, she immediately
murders two of the famous Warriors Three: Volstagg and Fandral. “Who are you? What have you done with-” Hogun the Grim at least gets a few lines of
dialogue and a bit of a tussle with Hela before she kills him. Kevin Feige addressed the reason why Ray Stevenson,
Zachary Levi and Tadanobu Asano won’t be seen again in the MCU in a November 2017 junket
press conference. Feige said the filmmakers wanted to make sure
the audience saw Hela as a real threat. He explained: “[The Warriors Three] had noble ends, mainly
to serve the arrival of Hela.” The following month at the Heroes and Villains
Fan fest in San Jose, California, Levi admitted to fans that he was disappointed not only
with leaving the MCU, but that Fandral’s final words were left on the cutting room floor. According to Levi, the way the scene was originally
shot, the swashbuckling ladies’ man charged Hela crying “For Asgard!” before dying. While the Red Skull does appear in Avengers:
Infinity War, that wasn’t actually Hugo Weaving under all those prosthetics – it was The Walking
Dead’s Ross Marquand who replaced Weaving for the third Avengers film. While Weaving had signed a multi-picture deal
with Marvel Studios, he decided he didn’t want to return after Captain America: The
First Avenger, and told Collider he wasn’t concerned about Marvel muscling him into fulfilling
his contract. He said: “I would be obliged to, if they forced me
to, but they wouldn’t want to force someone to do it, if they didn’t want to.” Unlike Terrence Howard and Natalie Portman,
there aren’t any reports of Weaving harboring any harsh feelings toward Marvel; rather,
he simply wanted to turn his attention away from blockbusters. Weaving told Collider: “I think I’ve done my dash with that sort
of film. It was good to do it and try it out, but to
be honest, it’s not the sort of film I seek out and am excited by.” For a long time after Captain America: The
First Avenger, the only blockbuster films Weaving had been a part of was his return
as Elrond in the first and third Hobbit movies, and even in those films his screen time was
relatively short. While you’d be hard-pressed to find many fans
complaining about Josh Brolin’s casting as Thanos, he wasn’t actually the first actor
to play the Mad Titan. Brolin first played Thanos in 2014’s Guardians
of the Galaxy, but it wasn’t Brolin giving us that sinister profile in the mid-credits
scene of The Avengers – that was Damion Poitier , best known as Duprez in HBO’s True Blood. Poitier told Geeks WorldWide that he didn’t
know he’d been cast as Thanos until he was sitting in the make-up chair. He said: “I thought I was Kl’rt. I thought I was going to be Super Skrull,
because the whole rumor was that the Skrulls were going to be in Avengers.” No reports suggest that Marvel was in any
way unhappy with Poitier’s performance. More likely it wasn’t a question of Poitier
being the wrong choice, but of Brolin being so right. Kevin Feige has told Collider: “You look at [Brolin’s] face and the performance
he gives, he could be Thanos without any effects. He has that kind of face and that kind of
gravitas to it.” Though he never reprised his role as Thanos,
The Avengers wasn’t Poitier’s last appearance in the MCU. He also had a small speaking role in Captain
America: Civil War as one of Crossbones’ henchmen. “Drop it. Or I’ll drop this. Drop it!” Sadly, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver
didn’t survive 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. “You didn’t see that coming?” His death came as a surprise to many fans,
who were quick to speculate that the motivation to kill the character had something to do
with Evan Peters being introduced as Quicksilver in the previous year’s X-Men: Days of Future
Past – long before Disney acquired Fox. Speaking to MTV in May 2015, Kevin Feige said
Fox’s Quicksilver had nothing to do with the decision. He said: “[Quicksilver’s death] adds stakes to the
ending of the film… to show repercussions to Ultron’s actions, and also in a way to
solidify Scarlet Witch’s character, and Wanda’s arc in the movie and where we’ll see her in
the next films.” Feige went on to say Quicksilver died in “every
draft” of the script. In 2016, while promoting another movie, Taylor-Johnson
echoed Feige and said Age of Ultron writer/director Joss Whedon was “lulling the audience into
a false sense of security,” and playing with the widespread fan belief that it would be
Hawkeye who didn’t survive the film. But Taylor-Johnson had a slightly different
story to tell while talking to CinemaBlend in 2015. While he did say the plan always was for Quicksilver
to die, he also admitted there was a costume designed for him if his character were to
survive – and that it was, in his words, “really cool.” Oh well! “Keep up old man!” “Nobody would know. Nobody.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about the MCU
are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

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Reader Comments

  1. Roger H Werner

    Matrix isnt a blockbuster? Hugo Weaving was in the 3 Matrix films, the LOTRs trilogy, and The Hobbit. Weaving has been in plenty of them.

  2. Dontaz Bailey

    Just wanted to say great video good seem to be very talented at this and doing decent research. I applaud you for your efforts. Truly enjoyed.

  3. Tony Ottomanelli

    I liked the interpretations throughout this video. However, I must point out that claiming the actor Hugo Weaving was never really in any big blockbuster films besides Lord of the Rings and only on screen for a few seconds is absolutely FALSE. Here’s why, Hugo Weaving was in the Matrix Trilogy as the main villain — that was a pretty big blockbuster film trilogy. Right? Not to mention, he also was the voice of Megatron in the first 3 Transformers movies — another major blockbuster trilogy. So, do your research before you create content. At the same time, everything else in this video was very entertaining— thanks for your work.

  4. ArcanePath360

    Seriously, no one cares about Black Widow? I know she's been dialing in her performances lately and the scripts haven't been the best, and she's not as fit as she once was…… oh wait I answered my own question.

  5. Brad Taft

    professor Hulk vs abomination would be pretty interesting to see Banners reaction to it especially because he last fought him when hulk was its own entity within him

  6. Maria Lewis

    Norton was ALWAYS wrong for Marvel and so was Terrence Howard…Mark Ruffalo is perfection and the Avengers Team is epic legend now!!

  7. phatbassanchor

    Ed Norton, who is a brilliant actor, was my favorite Hulk ever. I don't blame Norton or Tim Roth for not wanting to reprise those roles. Both actors are amazingly diverse in the types of roles they can play and should never be type cast. Besides, Mark Ruffalo is also an incredible Hulk, pun intended.

  8. PiazzaGurl

    Lies. Terrence wanted the pay bump. He felt he deserved to get paid more. Also Howard wasn’t hired first, Downey was kept secret because MCU had issues wanting someone with RDJ’s past. Terrence and Jon had the issues. It’s funny when your let go because of your ego and then after talking smack you lighten up. Personally I prefer Don, he captured the essence of Rhodes. Everything happens for a reason.

  9. Kiauna McDaniel

    Hugo Weaving’s only blockbuster wasn’t just Lord of the Rings franchise – did you not watch the Matrix ???? He was the agent that fought w Neo . He’s a great actor and has had more than 1 blockbuster

  10. Annihilator2011

    Natalie Portman had no chemistry with Hemsworth her acting is always wooden and she never has chemistry with other actors. Of course she's open to playing Foster again, It's called a paycheck…

  11. Lafe Denton

    Waaa Waaa Waaa I am Terrance Howard. Waaa Waaa I forgot the movie was called iron man and not the Terrance Howard show. You were not important to the script. The reason Ironman worked was because of Downey ' s talent not because of the lack of yours.,night F'ing baby

  12. Jordan McCallan Eph: 6-12

    How did you forget about him playing agent smith?! 🤦🏾‍♂️🤷🏾‍♂️ I like how you tried to play him. Lol

  13. not my opinion

    terrence howard is so unlikable as a person. 'the person who i helped become iron man took the money that was suppossed to be for me' no! just no! It's not robert downey jr problem, if the studio cuts his half of the money and decides to give it to someone else… you can't just argue like that. If they raised his payment and cut yours, doesn't mean that 'your money' was given to someone else… he sounds like douchebag tbh

  14. N. Jacobs

    Terrance Howard made Robery Downey Jr. great? Did he also invent the internet?

    Here's a bottom line for Mr. Terrance Howard: they felt what he brought to the table was easily replaceable… and according to ticket sales and fan response, he was

  15. Flashback007

    Didn't the fact that Hugo Weaving left also had something to do with the prosthetics/make-up he was supposed to wear as Red Skull?

  16. K Ronnie

    Yes, Cheadle is great as Rhodey people but I think Howard would have been also. If you have a true criticism with Howard it would have been when he calls Stark To-NAY.

  17. wickedphantom24601

    Loved Ruffalo and Norton both. I think I favor Ruffalo a little but probably only because hes had more screen time as the Hulk. Norton was wonderful in his movie.

    I dont dislike Natalie but she didnt seem a good fit for the Marvel universe. She was just not that interesting.

  18. renoloverxoxo

    Didn't the original Hulk director want Ruffalo to begin with?

    Norton is notoriously difficult to work with as well. Hence why you don't see him in much. The last film I remember seeing him in was a 30 second cameo in Alita.

  19. C. Malheur-T

    I like Ruffalo as Hulk, but Norton is just at a different league as an
    actor. Might be that this opinion of mine is just due to the fact that
    Ruffalo is kind of a late bloomer actor-wise (which isn't a bad thing
    and my opinion might be based on to my affinity to mainstream movies).
    But his performances are nowhere near Norton's (–> American History
    X, Fight Club etc.). Oh and Tim Roth is just brilliant. Love him since I
    first watched Resevoir Dogs twenty years or so ago.

  20. Joshua Patrick

    No, Natalie Portman is no longer in the MCU because she's a goddess who finds snogging a Hemsworth for money beneath her….

  21. Julie K

    I bet you didn't see that one coming! Thor 4 Jane Foster, female Thor. Personally can't wait though I really only want Chris Hemsworth as Thor!

  22. Yosafat Theo

    I've come from the future to tell y'all that Marvel Studios today confirm that Natalie Portman will reprise her role in future Thor Movies not only as Jane Foster but as woman Thor.

  23. Louis Francisco

    Why is Natalie Portman no longer part of the MCU.
    Explanation given: because Natalie Portman is open to reprising her role…
    And 3 months later, she's announced as being in the next Thor movie.
    Good job Looper.

  24. CiinSeRe

    You can come for me if you want but i gotta say. I love Don Cheadle. He’s cool and seems like a chill dude. But Terrance had way more of a presence as Rhodes. I do think they could’ve definitely made money from a spin off or something with him as Rhodes.

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