With the recent success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is usually considered that working with Marvel Studios would be a dream job for most people. After all, who wouldn't be interested in being associated with the most popular filmmakers of the past decade? We even have celebrities vocalizing how much they'd love to be involved in a Marvel project – from Ronda Rousey campaigning to be Captain Marvel to Bryan Cranston wanting to play a villain.
And yet, there are some who don't sound interested, and even worse, dislike being associated with the studio. Here are seven celebrities who felt that way.
7. Mickey Rourke - 'Iron Man 2'
Despite vigorous preparations for the role of Ivan Vanko/Whiplash, Mickey Rourke was disappointed with the final version of the character. He lashed out at Marvel not so long ago:
“When 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 charater], 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."
He went on to claim that he was "working for the wrong studio," and that most Marvel movies are "mindless," causing an uproar amongst fans.
"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."
6. Alan Taylor - 'Thor: The Dark World'
After the Game of Thrones director took the helm for the second installment of Thor, fans had high hopes for the movie... though it didn't turn out quite as well as expected. He revealed that though he was given a bit of creative freedom with the filming, it was not the case when the special effects editing was going on. He also went on to say that he “didn’t wish [it] upon anybody else,” as the experience was far too “wrenching.”
When expressing his disdain for Marvel, Taylor didn't exactly keep it Loki (low-key, get it?)
5. Natalie Portman – 'Thor: The Dark World'
It appears that Taylor wasn't the only one who was dissatisfied with The Dark World. According to reports, Portman had been losing interest in acting during that time and was not interested in a sequel. However, she signed up because of the fact that director Patty Jenkins was fired due to "creative differences" with Marvel. I guess she didn't manage to tailor a good working relationship with Alan Taylor.
It probably explains her less than enthusiastic acting in Thor: The Dark World, and her lack of appearance in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035).
4. Idris Elba – 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
This was probably one of the most shocking ones for me on the list. One of the most talented actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Elba has excelled in his role as Heimdall. However, it seems like his enthusiasm has dropped a little, especially when he was called on to cameo in Age of Ultron. He described his experience as torture.
“I’m actually falling down from a spaceship, so they had to put me in harness in this green-screen studio. And in between takes I was stuck there, fake hair stuck on to my head with glue, this 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.
Then there I was, in this stupid harness, with this wig and this sword and these contact lenses. It ripped my heart out.”
He went on ahead to say that he only made an appearance because he was bound by his contract. Ouch. I didn't see that coming.
3. Joss Whedon – 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
Another director joins the list. While the first Avengers film was an enormous success, both in its earnings and ratings/opinions of fans and critics, the second one, which came out in May 2015, wasn't very well regarded. Part of the reason could be the fact that Joss Whedon was not given enough creative freedom within the movie, as seen through several comments by the director himself, as well as various deleted scenes from the movie. Describing the filming experience as “really, really unpleasant,” Whedon has left the franchise, and will most likely will not be returning for another Marvel film.
2. Edward Norton – 'The Incredible Hulk'
Edward Norton has had a controversial career, and was not a stranger to controversy during his time with Marvel. Originally cast as Hulk/Bruce Banner, he had a slight dispute with the studio on the length of the film. Marvel won, and what we got was a two-hour Hulk movie (which, to be honest, wasn't too good) for better or for worse. According to reports, the feud was so bad that Norton refused to promote the movie! He was then Hulk-smashed out of the cinematic universe.
1. Terrence Howard - 'Iron Man'
Probably the most known to everyone, Terrence Howard was originally playing Col. James Rhodes in the first movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Describing what happened to him after Iron Man, he commented:
“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 essential to remember that Marvel isn't the only studio to have differences with its personnel. This is quite a prominent issue in the film industry these days, as studios have a different perspective on how their movies should turn out than a lot of the actors' and directors'. It is quite hard to blame any one person for it, so the best we can hope for is that conflicts are kept to a minimum and are resolved without too much controversy, because honestly, no one loves to see movies ruined due to small disputes.