ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

If the box office returns of The Avengers: Age of Ultron has proven one thing, it's that a lot of people like Marvel. In fact, they like it so much, millions of them are willing to part with their hard-earned cash just to spend two hours in the company of a Marvel movie.

However, the love for Marvel isn't unanimous, and not every actor and director in Hollywood is eager to sign up with the comicbook giant again. Here are four actors and one director who ended up developing some mild to serious beef with Marvel.

1. Idris Elba

Who Did He Play?: Heimdall in Thor, Thor: The Dark World and The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

What's His Beef?: Annoyed at green-screen acting and his 'fucking' helmet.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Elba explained:

"I’m actually falling down from a spaceship, so they had to put me in a harness in this green-screen studio. And in between takes I was stuck there, fake hair stuck on to my head with glue, this fucking helmet, while they reset. And I’m thinking: ‘24 hours ago, I was Mandela’. When I walked into the set the extras called me Madiba. I was literally walking in this man’s boots. [Within] six months, the crew, we were all so in love with this film we had made. I was him. I was Mandela, practically... I was like, ‘This is torture, man. I don’t want to do this.’ My agent said: ‘You have to, it’s part of the deal.’... Then there I was, in this stupid harness, with this wig and this sword and these contact lenses. It ripped my heart out."

Check him out in action (with the helmet) in the clip below:

2. Mickey Rourke

Who Did He Play?: Ivan Vanko, a.k.a Whiplash in Iron Man 2

What's His Beef?: Marvel cut out scenes which developed this character in Iron Man 2.

Mickey Rourke claimed he worked extremely hard to make Vadko a three-dimensional and layered character. However, he later complained Marvel intervened in the final cut, and turned him into a generic Russian bad guy. He told ScreenRant:

"[W]hen I did Ivan Vanko in Iron Man, I fought… You know, I explained to Justin Theroux, to the writer, and to [Jon] Favreau, that I wanted to bring some other layers and colors [to the character], not just make this Russian a complete murderous revenging bad guy. And they allowed me to do that. Unfortunately, the [people] at Marvel just wanted a one-dimensional bad guy, so most of the performance ended up the floor...
[It’s] ****ing too bad, but it’s their loss. If they want to make mindless comic book movies, then I don’t want to be a part of that. I don’t want to have to care so much and work so hard, and then fight them for intelligent reasoning, and just because they’re calling the shots they… You know, I didn’t work for three months on the accent and all the adjustments and go to Russia just so I could end up on the floor. Because that can make somebody say at the end of the day, oh **** ‘em, I’m just going to mail it in. But I’m not that kind of guy. I’m never going to mail it in."

See Rourke in action as Whiplash below:

3. Edgar Wright

What Was His Role?: Initial director and writer for Ant-Man.

What's His Beef?: Creative differences regarding the direction of Ant-Man.

Fan favorite British auteur Edgar Wright had been working on Ant-Man since 2006, which made his departure from the film in early 2014 even more surprising. Wright has not officially commented on why he walked out of the production, and has only cited "differences in their visions of the film."

However, sources claim Kevin Feige interfered with the script late in production, and made revisions without consulting Wright. Faced with this destruction of his original vision, Wright preferred to leave the Marvel community. It's a shame, since according to Whedon, his script was one of the best he'd ever seen. Whedon stated:

"I don’t get it. I thought the script was not only the best script that Marvel had ever had, but the most Marvel script I’d read. I had no interest in Ant-Man. [Then] I read the script, and was like, Of course! This is so good! It reminded me of the books when I read them. Irreverent and funny and could make what was small large, and vice versa."

Wright isn't the only director to have suffered interference. Kenneth Branagh, Joe Johnston and Patty Jenkins also left Marvel franchises due to the seemingly overbearing power of Marvel top brass.

You can take a look at the Wright-less Ant-Man trailer below:

4. Terrence Howard

Who Did He Play?: James Rhodes in Iron Man.

What's His Beef?: Claims Marvel refused to pay him the agreed amount and that Robert Downey Jr. stole his money.

After the success of Iron Man in 2008, it seemed like nobody would want to abandon that cash-cow of a franchise. Unfortunately for Terrence Howard, it seems like Marvel and Robert Downey Jr. weren't willing to share their slice of money pie with him. He told Watch What Happens Live:

"It turns out that the person I helped become Iron Man … when it was time to re-up for the second one, (he) took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out.
We did a three-picture deal, so that means that you did the deal ahead of time. It was going to be a certain amount for the first one, a certain amount for the second one, a certain amount for the third. They came to me with the second and said, ‘Look, we will pay you one-eighth of what we contractually had for you, because we think the second one will be successful with or without you.’ And I called my friend – that I helped get the first job – and he didn’t call me back for three months."

It's heavily implied the unnamed 'he' in this story is Robert Downey Jr.

Take a look at the two sharing a scene in Iron Man below:

5. Jeremy Renner

Who Did He Play?: Hawkeye in The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

What's His Beef?: How Hawkeye was portrayed in The Avengers.

It seems Jeremy Renner caused a bit of a stir after the release of The Avengers, namely by making a statement which apparently irked some of Marvel's top brass. It seems the Hawkeye actor was not totally happy with how his character was represented in 2012's The Avengers. He told Hero Complex:

"At the end of the day, 90% of the movie, I’m not the character I signed on to play. I’m literally in there for two minutes, and then all of a sudden… All I could really work on was the physical part of it all, because that didn’t change. That was just the biggest challenge to overcome in playing the guy. Also, we’re pretty much introducing a new superhero character to everyone in a movie where there’s a thousand superheroes. So there’s not a lot of back story or understanding we can really tell about who Clint Barton is, or Hawkeye, and is he working for SHIELD or not. There’s a lot of unanswered questions, even for me. And I was OK with that. At least I was still in the movie. And I was glad for that.
...To really kind of take away who that character is and just have him be this sort of robot, essentially, and have him be this minion for evil that Loki uses. Again, I could just focus on the task. I was limited, you know what I mean? I was a terminator in a way. So yeah, fun stunts. But is there any sort of emotional content or thought process? No. That doesn’t exist in that time [that he’s hypnotized]. It happens to be for most of the movie.."

Luckily, it seems Renner was able to smooth things about with Marvel, although at the time there were seemingly unfounded rumors of a potential recasting. Of course, Hawkeye would finally get his time in the limelight in the recently released sequel, The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Check out Hawkeye being all evil in a clip from The Avengers below:


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