What If The Marvel Heroes We Love Were Played By Someone Else?

The Marvel What If…? series was a book I read as a kid that would put a spin on the normal for everybody’s favorite comic book characters. Taking the mythology of a character and changing one major detail was exciting and often times lead to a cool alternate take on that character. Lucky for us, Disney+ will be releasing a “What If…?” Series, with the first episode to be streaming in 2021. This series will follow the Marvel Universe anthology and apply the the classic twist to those movies.

For instance, what if Peggy Carter was given the super hero soldier serum?

It would be hard to see our favorite superheroes being played by anybody else on the silver screen after so many years of winning over our hearts. Shoot, for a lot of people, Robert Downey Jr. (RDJ for short) and Iron Man are pretty much the same person now-a-days. But what if another actor had played Iron Man? To take it a step further – what if all of our favorite comic book heroes were played by completely different actors or actresses? Let’s imagine for a minute the possibility..

Tom Cruise as Iron Man

In the 90’s when the Marvel movies were being shopped around studios, Tom Cruise was a name that was attached to play our genius, philanthropist, billionaire playboy. With a relatively shaky past before landing the man in the suit gig it really a gamble at the time to bet on him but fans are glad Marvel did. There was even a DeepFake of Tom Cruise in place of all of RDJ’s appearances in the MCU.

DeepFake of Tom Cruise as Iron Man.

Nicholas Cage as Superman

When Warner Brothers was looking to reboot Superman, they brought in Tim Burton. The movie, titled Superman Lives, was fully into pre-production, that they even had costume fittings for Nicholas Cage who was casted to play Superman. The story was supposed to feature Brainiac, Lex Luthor and Doomsday as villains. The movie was cancelled 3 weeks before filming was set to commence.

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Nicholas Cage dressed up as Superman.

Tom Hiddleston as Thor

Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, is arguably one of MCU’s best villains. Having appeared in 7 movies ( Avengers, Thor, Thor Dark World, Thor Ragnorok, Avengers Infinity War and Avengers End Game) and a show to debut on Disney+ it would be crazy to think who else could play Loki. But what if Tom Hiddleston had played Thor instead? When Marvel was developing the character Thor and doing auditions, Tom Hiddleston was brought in to try out for the lead hero. However, that role was given to Chris Hemsworth instead and Tom was given the role of Loki, which I think worked out for the better.

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A screenshot of Tom Hiddleston auditioning as Thor.

Cillian Murphy as Batman

Another hero turned villan. When Chris Nolan was looking on who to cast as Batman in Batman Begins, Cillian Murphy was being considered. He even got to wear the batsuit from Batman Forever. Similar to Tom Hiddleston, Chris Nolan saw Cillian would be better suited to play Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow. It was the right decision, too. There’s just something about Cillian Murphy‘s look that screams villain and casting directors seem to agree because he’s been cast n a role like that multiple times.

Cillian Murphy on the red carpet

John Krasinksi as Captain America

Just like any of our other heroes, it’s hard to see Chris Evans not playing Captain America. In fact, he even turned down the roll twice before he finally accepted the roll after encouragement from Robert Downey Jr, literally the God-Father of the MCU. While Marvel Studios was looking for their Captain, Krasinski was in the running for the role, even getting as far as a costume audition. Krasinski in an interview with Conan jokes about why he did not get the role but I think the fans were the real winners when Chris Evans signed on officially for the role.

Why John Krasinski did not play Captain America.

Emily Blunt as Black Widow

Even the wife of John Krasinski, Emily Blunt was original cast as the femme fatale Black Widow in Iron Man 2. However due to a scheduling conflict and a contractual requirement to Fox she could not play the role at that time and had to step down for Scarlett Johansson. Surprisingly enough, she was offered another chance to play a staple MCU character, Peggy Carter, but could not again due to another scheduling conflict. in 2012 she told Vulture that she was glad she didn’t get the part despite the success of Marvel films.

Emily Blunt as seen in the film “Edge of Tomorrow”

It’s exciting to depart from the norm sometimes and think outside of the box; to wonder what could have been if another actor or actress had played one of our favorite heroes. Or what if they had a different set of powers? Or what if they had an evil mentor? It will be interesting to see what Disney+ does with this upcoming show and how true to the original “What If” comic series it may or may not be. Sound off in the comments below and let’s hear you think could have played some your favorite Marvel superstar?

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