Superhero movies, especially during the last decade, have gained quite a prominence. You can check out the list of highest-grossing films of the last few years and spot more than one superhero film in the top 10 every single year. Not only are such films a commercial success, but the particular genre is now also breaking through critically with quite a few Marvel and DC films getting nominated for and even winning Academy Awards. Thus, being affiliated with superhero flicks can do wonders for the involved party. However, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows”. Thus, even highly-anticipated comic book adaptations flop badly sometimes and this can upset the actors that worked in those films. Actors can also be turned off by superhero movies for several other reasons, despite the countless benefits that come along with starring in these movies. Thus, without any further ado, here are 15 actors who regretted their involvement in superhero movies:
15. Edward Norton (The Incredible Hulk)
2008 was an important year for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it was in its early stages of launching a shared universe of Different Marvel heroes. The second installment in the now gigantic franchise was The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton as the titular character. As amazing as Norton appears in front of the camera, he is an equally gifted person behind the lens.
Therefore, he had a lot of creative input to offer for his superhero outing. This led to a lot of creative differences before the release of the film and the role of the raging green monster had to be re-casted shortly after the release of The Incredible Hulk. The Fight Club star later admitted that although he was grateful to get a chance to try out the superhero genre, it wasn’t something he would pursue in the near or distant future.
14. Kirsten Dunst (Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy)
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films will always have a place in our hearts, no matter how successful the rebooted series turns out to be. The casting, location setting, plot, etc. nothing could have been done to make the franchise better (well at least the first 2 films). Still, one particular cast member wasn’t happy with the direction of her character and grew tired of her role by the time Spider-Man 3 underwent production.
The cast member in question is Kirsten Dunst who portrayed Peter Parker’s love interest, Mary Jane Watson, in the series. According to Dunst, her character’s purpose was barely more than that of a generic love interest who needed to be saved by Spider-Man. She wanted out of the third film but was convinced to stay on board.
Interestingly, she once again had to play the damsel in distress during the third film’s climax. Although she fulfilled her commitments in the most professional way imaginable, we can bet that Dunst still has a bad taste in her mouth for superhero films.
13. Terrence Howard (Iron Man)
Before Don Cheadle took the mantle of Iron Man’s sidekick War Machine in Iron Man 2, the role was portrayed by Terrence Howard. In both MCU’s and Iron Man trilogy’s first installment, James “Rhodey” Rhodes didn’t suit up but near the film’s end, he passed by the War Machine suit and hinted at donning it in the future.
Everything was all set for Iron Man 2 before Robert Downey Jr. demanded increased pay for the sequel due to the first film’s success. This led Howard to put forward his demands as well, but instead, he was offered a significantly lesser amount than what he made from 2008’s Iron Man film.
Due to this, he walked out. Although he has claimed to have moved on, his interviews and statements still reflect that he hasn’t, and quite frankly, we can’t blame him.
12. Ryan Reynolds (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
Over the last few years, the names Ryan Reynolds and Wade Wilson/Deadpool have become synonyms of each other. The way Reynolds embodied the character of “Merc with a Mouth” is commendable. Reynold loves playing Deadpool and often pitches hilarious ideas that end up making the final cut of the movie. However, he hasn’t always had the best time playing Deadpool.
In 2009’s Wolverine Origin film, the character of Deadpool was poorly portrayed, much to the displeasure of the comic book geeks as well as Reynolds himself. He admitted in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that the entire experience was very distasteful but he had to take the role due to his passion for playing the anti-hero, or he was told that he would get re-casted.
Although it took some time, we are glad that Reynolds and others were able to figure out everything and bring the true version of Deadpool to the Big Screen in 2016’s Deadpool!
11. Jared Leto (Suicide Squad)
Let’s just say that the DC Movie Universe should stay away from team-up movies, just for the time being. Out of the three chances it had been given, it has disappointed fans every single time. 2016’s Suicide Squad looked to be different in tone than the other films.
To amp up the hype train, the character of Joker was also announced to appear in the film and Jared Leto landed the part. Leto had big shoes to fill as he was succeeding Heath Ledger as the Joker. Although the Joker was featured prominently in the film’s marketing campaign, the end product barely featured him and even the scenes that he was a part of were over-produced and Leto’s portrayal came off as corny in more than one instance.
Talking about the movie to different news outlets, Leto said that most of his scenes were cut from the final film and that he felt “tricked” into taking the role.
10. Jessica Alba (Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer)
Comic books based on the Fictional Marvel superhero team Fantastic 4 are filled with intriguing stories. Yet, no live-action adaption has been able to do justice to the source material. The 2005 adaptation as well as its 2007 sequel, despite having a stellar cast, didn’t perform as expected.
Jessica Alba, who portrayed Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman in both films, doesn’t have many good things to share about her experience working on the Rise of the Silver Surfer.
According to Alba, she was asked by the director to look “pretty” while crying in one scene instead of acting naturally. Working on the film was such a nightmare for Alba that she almost quit acting due to the distasteful experience.
9. Hugo Weaving (Captain America: The First Avenger)
Even though most Actors have good things to share regarding their experience working in an MCU film, Hugo Weaving would gladly separate himself from this list. He portrayed the antagonist Red Skull in the first installment of the Captain America Trilogy.
Although Weaving admits that he had a good time working on the project, he doesn’t want to play the Nazi super-villain again and regrets signing a multi-picture deal that could force him to reprise the role whenever MCU asks him to. Good for Weaver, the MCU understood Weaving’s stance and re-casted the role in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.
8. Michael Shannon (Man of Steel)
Man of Steel kick-started the DC Extended Universe. Michael Shannon portrayed the main antagonist General Zod in the film. Even though Shannon never publicly stated his disregard for the Superman movie, it is quite evident from his interviews that he doesn’t miss working on the film or that he doesn’t intend on reprising the role again.
When asked about the outcome of the highly-anticipated clash between the titular characters of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Shannon replied that he was so unconcerned with the result that he couldn’t even make up a fake answer.
7. Natalie Portman (Thor: The Dark World)
Although Natalie Portman will be taking center stage in the upcoming MCU film Thor: Love and Thunder, her relationship with the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been quite rocky so far. After The Dark World’s original director Patty Jenkins was fired by Marvel, Portman threatened to walk out of the project as well in anger but had to complete the film due to contractual obligations.
However, it is fair to assume that she didn’t have a good time working on a project that she had threatened to quit at one point. Portman’s character was written off following the release of Thor: The Dark World and it wasn’t until recently that her return was announced. Here’s hoping that everything goes smoothly this time around.
6. Idris Elba (Thor: The Dark World & Avengers: Age of Ultron)
While we are talking about The Dark World, let’s discuss Idris Elba as well. As much as the fans adore Heimdall’s character in the MCU, Elba begged to differ. Between the first and second Thor films, Elba became a huge star. He didn’t like how less of a progression his character showed in The Dark World.
In addition to that, he termed making cameos in other MCU films (Age of Ultron) as “torture” because he had to spend hours getting ready for a “minor” role. While speaking to Telegraph after the release of The Dark World, Elba openly admitted his wish not wanting to reprise the character again.
5. Halle Berry (Catwoman)
Halle Berry is one of the most decorated names in Hollywood. Her acting resume has some impressive credits on it. However, a notable career is incomplete without the presence of some absurd projects. In Halle Berry’s case, the absurdness came through Catwoman, a film centered on the titular character who appears in DC comics. The film flopped badly and won multiple Razzie Awards.
Berry attended the ceremony and accepted the award for the worst actress in person. She then proceeded with a sarcastic thank you speech, in which she took jabs at personnel involved with the Catwoman film. We wonder if the Academy Award winner ever wishes to have the film erased from her filmography. Chances are that she does!
4. Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2)
When Mickey Rourke signed up for Iron Man 2, he was told that this character would receive a well-written arc so that the audience could connect with his character and consider him a viable antagonist pitted against Tony Stark. When the film was released, however, it felt like his arc was rushed which led to the character portrayed by Rourke (Whiplash) becoming a forgettable one.
Although the actor didn’t say anything at the time of the film’s release, he expressed his displeasure about working for Marvel while promoting another film. According to Rourke, a large chunk of the footage revolving around his character was left out of the final cut.
3. Ben Affleck (Daredevil)
Ben Affleck brought the character of Matt Murdock/Daredevil to life in a 2003 film titled Man Without Fear. Despite having a decent cast and the potential to succeed, the film performed poorly both in front of critics and in terms of box office collections.
The disappointing performance of the film caused Affleck to avoid superhero films for the next 10+ years. To this day, the Argo star admits that Daredevil is the only film he regrets doing and feels that justice wasn’t done to the Marvel character.
2. Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
When Andrew Garfield was roped in to play Spider-Man in the rebooted franchise, it was a dream come true for him as he had been a huge fan of the character since his childhood. Although the first film turned out to be quite decent, things started falling apart once the production of the second one began.
Sony started focusing more on building a shared universe of heroes and villains in the Spider-verse and less on the web-slinging hero. This caused Garfield to lose interest and he even admitted that he felt tricked and (to some degree) heartbroken with the studio’s approach.
1. George Clooney (Batman & Robin)
Does anyone still remember the train wreck that was 1997’s, Batman & Robin? With a lackluster plot, poor direction, questionable production, and corny performances from A-list celebrities, this film had everything that could tarnish the image of one of the most beloved Superheroes.
Clooney, who portrayed Bruce Wayne/Batman, said that he took the role as it was too good of an opportunity to let go but later felt like he had obliterated the chances of the Caped Crusader ever appearing on the big screen again. Fortunately, George Clooney was able to land some impressive roles after that to restore his image as a Hollywood Heavyweight, while Christopher Nolan was able to revive the Batman franchise in 2005.
Do you think that the remorse shown by these stars is justified? Do you know any more actors who regretted their involvement in superhero movies? Let us know in the comments section!