21 Actors And Directors Who Quit Or Got Fired By Marvel

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Getting a chance to direct or star in a Marvel production may seem like a dream come true, but for some, that dream comes to an end when their vision doesn't match the studio's.

Disney+ / Marvel Studios / Via giphy.com

Others end up losing out on that dream because Marvel decides to go in a different direction — or because they slip up.

Disney+ / Marvel Studios / Via giphy.com

Here are 21 actors and directors who quit, were fired, or were recast by Marvel and why:

1.Andrew Garfield played Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — and he was supposed to reprise the role in The Amazing Spider-Man 3.

Andrew Garfield taking off this Spider-Man mask
Sony Pictures Entertainment / Via youtube.com

In 2014, he was scheduled to announce the upcoming movie alongside then-Sony CEO Kaz Harai at a post-World Cup gala in Rio de Janeiro. However, after already arriving late, Garfield wasn't feeling very well, so he had to drop out of the event last minute.

close up of Andrew as Peter Parker
Sony Pictures Entertainment / Via youtube.com

Unfortunately, Harai cut the announcement from his presentation, and the Sony executives were so upset with Garfield that they fired him and canceled the movie altogether.

close up of Spider-Man without his mask on
Sony Pictures Entertainment / Via youtube.com

Afterwards, Sony negotiated with Marvel to introduce a new version of Peter Parker into the MCU. Garfield finally got a chance to reprise his role in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Garfield as Spider-Man crying
Sony / Marvel / Via youtube.com

2.Before Garfield, Tobey Maguire played Peter Parker in Spider-Man. However, reportedly, a salary dispute nearly cost him the sequel.

close up of Maguire at the cemetery
Sony Pictures Releasing / Via youtube.com

He reportedly made $4 million for the first movie, whereas producer Laura Ziskin was paid more than $30 million. Maguire allegedly felt that his original offer for the sequel was unfair compared to Ziskin's previous paycheck.

Maguire behind the scenes going over script with Ziskin
Columbia Pictures / Getty Images

Then, he began reporting back problems. Even though he'd been known to have back problems before, the studio heads allegedly thought he was using the issue as a threat, so they offered his role to Jake Gyllenhaal.

the two actors posing at an event

At the time, Gyllenhaal was dating Maguire's Spider-Man costar and ex-girlfriend Kirsten Dunst.

David Livingston / WireImage / Via Getty

Ron Meyer — the then-president of Vivendi Universal and Maguire's future father-in-law — stepped into the negotiations. Maguire reportedly had to agree to medical tests to prove his back was in good enough condition, then recieved $17 million for the sequel.

Maguire and Ron Meyer at an event
Theo Wargo / WireImage / Via Getty

3.Scott Derrickson directed Doctor Strange, and he was initially slated to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as well.

close up of Scott Derrickson
Matthias Nareyek / WireImage / Via Getty

However, in a mutual agreement, he left the project over — as Marvel put it in a statement to Variety — "creative differences."

close up of Scott Derrickson

Two years down the road, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said that there had been no "creative differences."

He told Empire, "There's been some thought that that was the creative difference with Scott and Marvel, and it was not. Because we love that idea. The intention was that Strange would guide us into a much creepier side of the world."

Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

Cowriter Steve Cargill — who left the sequel at the same time — told CinemaBlend that Derickson "wanted to do one movie, and Marvel wanted to do another movie," so the two of them decided to make The Black Phone instead.

title opener for the black phone with the large text to the right of an old black phone
Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

So Sam Raimi agreed to direct his first superhero movie since the widely panned Spider-Man 3.

close up of Sam on the red carpet

He told Collider, "I thought, 'I wonder if I could still do it.' They're really demanding, those types of pictures. And I felt, 'Well, that's reason enough.'"

Michael Kovac / Getty Images for Disney

4.Donald Glover and his brother Stephen were going to be writers, producers, and showrunners for an animated adult Deadpool series on FX.

Donald and Stephen with their back against each other on the red carpet
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

However, both the Glovers and FX withdrew from the project over "creative differences."

the brothers smiling on the red carpet
Dan Macmedan / Getty Images

In retaliation, Donald shared a spoof version of his "Finale" episode script on Twitter, which featured Deadpool taking shots at Marvel and theorizing the series was canceled because "it just feels like everyone wants something different, but no one wants to do anything different to get it."

Donald Glover on the red carpet
Lionel Hahn / Getty Images

Stephen also theorized that the "hilarious" Taylor Swift episode they wrote "definitely was the last straw."

close up of Stephen Glover

On Twitter, he said, "We definitely wanted to give Rick and Morty a run for their money and I think we would have. Proud of the gang."

Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

5.Patty Jenkins was the original director for Thor: The Dark World.

close up of Patty Jenkins
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for ELLE

However, only three months after signing on, she left the production because she "did not believe that [she] could make a good movie out of the script that they were planning on doing."

close up of Patty sitting on a panel
Gabe Ginsberg / Getty Images

She told Vanity Fair, "I think it would have been a huge deal —it would have looked like it was my fault. It would’ve looked like, 'Oh my God, this woman directed it and she missed all these things.' That was the one time in my career where I really felt like, Do this with [another director] and it’s not going to be a big deal. And maybe they’ll understand it and love it more than I do."

close up of Patty smiling

She continued, "You can’t do movies you don’t believe in. The only reason to do it would be to prove to people that I could. But it wouldn’t have proved anything if I didn’t succeed. I don’t think that I would have gotten another chance. And so, I’m super grateful."

Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images for WarnerMedia

Alan Taylor replaced her, but he wasn't satisfied with the direction Marvel took, either. His version of the movie was dramatically reworked during post-production.

close up of Alan Taylor
Jason Laveris / FilmMagic / Via Getty

6.Robin Williams was initially cast as the voice of the titular character in 1986's Howard the Duck.

close up of Williams smiling
Vera Anderson / WireImage / Via Getty

However, the movie was filmed before the voice role was filmed, so the puppeteers read Howard's lines — and the flapping of his bill matched their delivery. Williams' signature style of improvisation was confined to pre-filmed movements.

close up of the duck
Universal / ©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

After three days, he quit because he felt he was "being handcuffed in order to match the flapping duck’s bill."

close up of Williams
Vera Anderson / WireImage / Via Getty

So Chip Zien's agent called him and told him that there was a ticket waiting for him at the airport counter and he needed to get there ASAP.

close up of Chip
Bruce Glikas / Bruce Glikas / Getty Images

7.Zachary Levi was initially cast as Fandral in Thor.

close up of Zachary Levi
Gabe Ginsberg / WireImage / Via Getty

However, he had to drop out because of a scheduling conflict with Chuck.

Zachary Levi in Chuck
NBC / Via youtube.com

Marvel replaced him with Stuart Townsend.

close up of Stuart
Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

8.However, Townsend didn't last long in the role of Fandral.

close up of Stuart
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Right before production was set to begin, he was replaced over "creative differences."

Stuart walking outside

The same thing happened to him with Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, when Viggo Mortensen replaced him as Aragorn last-minute.

Gotpap / GC Images / Via Getty

Josh Dallas took over the role.

close up of Josh Dallas
Nbc / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

9.However, Dallas only played Fandral in Thor.

Josh as Fandral
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

"The timing wasn’t right," and he had to give up the role because of his commitment to Once Upon a Time.

Josh in Once Upon a Time
ABC / Via youtube.com

"I’m bummed about it because I had such a great experience and great time making the first film and was really excited about coming back. Marvel and Disney tried to make it work," he told Entertainment Weekly.

  Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

Finally, Zachary Levi returned to the role, and he stayed in it until the character's death in Thor: Ragnarok.

close up of Zachary Levi in the role
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

10.Damion Poitier already had a small role (Man #1) in The Avengers when the director decided to film an extra scene featuring Thanos. Since the role hadn't been cast yet, Poitier stepped in.

side by side of the character and Damion Poitier
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images / Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

His appearance as Thanos was uncredited, and the role was recast to Josh Brolin in Guardians of the Galaxy.

side by side of Thanos and Josh Brolin
Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images for Amazon Studios / Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

Poitier may have been replaced as Thanos, but he moved on to a new role in the MCU. He made an appearance as one of Crossbones' mercenaries in Captain America: Civil War. He also did stunt work in that film as well as for Thor: The Dark World.

close up of Poitier
Marvel Studios / Via Disney+

11.Edgar Wright originally signed on to write and direct Ant-Man. He was attached to the project as early as 2003, when he cowrote a treatment for Artisan Entertainment.

Edgar Wright
David M. Benett / Dave Benett / Getty Images

During the early days of Marvel Studios, he showed the treatment to founder Avi Arad and president Kevin Feige, who agreed to use it as a basis for their MCU script.

close up of Edgar Wright

Wright's Ant-Man was announced as part of Marvel Studios' initial lineup in 2006, and he completed his first draft of the script in 2008.

Jo Hale / Redferns / Via Getty

He shot a test reel, delivered several more drafts, and championed Paul Rudd for the lead role. However, right before filming was set to begin, Marvel decided he needed to rewrite the script again and pushed back production.

close up of Edgar Wright leaning on a wall
Sylvain Lefevre / Getty Images

When the studio still wasn't satisfied with his version of the script, they outsourced a draft to their in-house writers. However, this new version reportedly lacked Wright's signature voice, so he decided to leave Ant-Man two months before filming finally began.

He told Variety,

He told Variety, "I wanted to make a Marvel movie, but I don’t think they really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie...Suddenly becoming a director-for-hire on it, you’re sort of less emotionally invested and you start to wonder why you’re there, really."

Feige told Empire, "It was amicable and we sat in a room together and said this isn’t working. I just wish I or he had figured that out somewhere in the eight years leading up to it."

Tristan Fewings / Getty Images

Peyton Reed replaced Wright as director.

Peyton Reed at a Marvel premiere
Jesse Grant / Getty Images for Disney

12.Emma Fuhrmann played Cassie Lang after the five-year time jump in Avengers: Endgame.

Emma Fuhrmann
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

During its Investor Day the following year, Disney announced that the character would return in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — but she would be played by Kathryn Newton.

Kathryn Newton looking back on the red carpet
Arturo Holmes / FilmMagic / Via Getty

Sadly, Fuhrmann didn't know her role had been recast until the public announcement was made.

close up of Fuhrmann

On Twitter, she said, " I was as sad as you all were to hear the news Thursday. I can only hope that this means there is something else for me in the future of the MCU."

Gregg Deguire / WireImage / Via Getty

13.Ed Norton played Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk, and he planned a sequel as well.

"I laid out a two-film thing: The origin and then the idea of Hulk as the conscious dreamer, the guy who can handle the trip," he told the New York Times.

close up of Ed Norton in the film
Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

Initially, Marvel was onboard with his The Dark Knight-esque duology, but "as it turned out, that wasn’t what they wanted."

close up of the Hulk

"We had positive discussions about going on with the films, and we looked at the amount of time that would’ve taken, and I wasn’t going to do that. I honestly would’ve wanted more money than they’d have wanted to pay me," he said.

Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

In a statement, Marvel said, "We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. 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."

close up of Ed Norton
Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

Then, Norton's agent released a statement, which said, "This offensive statement from Kevin Feige at Marvel is a purposefully misleading, inappropriate attempt to paint our client in a negative light. Here are the facts: two months ago, Kevin called me and said he wanted Edward to reprise the role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers...This past Wednesday, after several weeks of civil, uncontentious discussions, but before we had come to terms on a deal, a representative from Marvel called to say they had decided to go in another direction with the part."

It continued,

It continued, "Counter to what Kevin implies here, Edward was looking forward to the opportunity to work with Joss and the other actors in the Avengers cast, many of whom are personal friends of his. Feige’s statement is unprofessional, disingenuous, and clearly defamatory. Mr. Norton's talent, tireless work ethic, and professional integrity deserve more respect, and so do Marvel’s fans."

Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

Regardless, Marvel continued in its new direction with Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner.

close up of Mark in the film
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

14.Rodri Martín was invited to reprise his role as the Spanish voiceover actor for Pietro Maximoff in WandaVision. Previously, he recorded the Spanish dub for Evan Peters' character in the X-Men franchise.

Rodri Martín in the middle of conversation
Hermoti / Via youtube.com

Martín shared his good news on Twitter, but he quickly deleted the post and locked his account.

Rodri Martín shrugging
Hermoti / Via youtube.com

However, the damage had already been done. The rumor that Peters would reprise his X-Men role spread, spoiling his return in Episode Five.

Evan Peters
Marvel Studios / Disney+ / Via youtube.com

Marvel fired Martín, and they hired Manuel Gimeno — who did the Spanish dub for Matt Murdock in Daredevil — to record the voiceover for Pietro instead.

15.After directing the MCU's three Spider-Man movies, Jon Watts was slated to direct the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot next.

close up of Jon Watts
Steve Granitz / FilmMagic / Via Getty

However, after spending seven years working on the Spider-Man trilogy, he decided that he needed to take a break from superhero movies.

Jon Watts smiling
Jeff Spicer / Getty Images for Sony

In a statement, Marvel Studios said, "We were looking forward to continuing our work with him to bring the Fantastic Four into the MCU but understand and are supportive of his reasons for stepping away."

Jon Watts on the red carpet with a huge blow up of Spider-Man behind him
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Watts and Marvel Studios both hope to work together in the future. He did not drop out of the Spider-Man franchise, and Sony expects him to return for future installments.

Jon Watts hugging the Spider-Man cast on the red carpet
Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Currently, no replacement director has been confirmed for Fantastic Four.

  20th Century Fox Film Corp/Courtesy Everett Collection
20th Century Fox Film Corp/Courtesy Everett Collection

16.Terrence Howard had a three-picture deal with Marvel, but he only played Rhodey/War Machine in Iron Man.

close up of Terrence Howard
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

During salary negotiations for the sequel, he was only offered 12.5% of the pay his initial contract promised.

  Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

On Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, he said, "It turns out that the person I helped become Iron Man...took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out."

Terrence Howard and Tony Stark in a fight scene
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

He was replaced by Don Cheadle.

close up of Don Cheadle in a military uniform
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

17.Dillon Casey played Will Daniels/Hive on two episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Dillon Casey
ABC / Via youtube.com

At the time, he had an opioid addiction, which contributed to poor onset behavior. He told the Toronto Star, "I was a 31-year-old man crying and yelling at work. This was bottom and there was no coming back."

Dillon Casey
ABC / Via youtube.com

Later, he got a call that he was being let go the next episode. Apologizing, he explained he was going through a difficult time and said, "I don’t blame you for killing [my character]. I’d do the same thing."

Dillon Casey in military uniform sitting down
Eric Mccandless / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Soon after, however, he began his journey to recovery. In 2018, he entered a rehabilitation facility, and he's now sober.

Dillon Casey with a sword in hand

He said, "I’m proud of myself. But I’m angry and shocked at what I was capable of doing...I’m physically healed but still have some emotional work to do. It’s hard to put the pieces together. What I do know is that I passed through the eye of a needle. And not everyone gets to do that."

Tyler Golden / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

18.Joe Johnston directed Captain America: The First Avenger.

Joe Johnston directing
Columbia Pictures / ©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

He discussed "the idea of doing a sequel back in the '40s," but also, "told the Marvel guys that there is a character that [he's] really interested in called 'The Winter Soldier' and that if, 'you guys decide to make that picture [he] would definitely be interested.'"

Joe Johnston with Chris Evans
Paramount / ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

However, following The Avengers, Marvel decided to focus on keeping Steve Rogers in the present, and they hired Joe and Anthony Russo to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Joe and Anthony Russo
Michael Kovac / Getty Images for IMDb

19.Hugo Weaving signed a three-picture deal with Marvel, but he only played Johann Schmidt/Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger.

Hugo Weaving in character
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

He was asked to reprise the role in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but they wanted to pay him less than his Captain America salary for both movies combined.

Hugo Weaving with his red mask face
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

He told Time Out, " I actually found negotiating with them through my agent impossible. And I didn’t really wanna do it that much."

  Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

So Red Skull returned through a mixture of stand-ins and CGI. Ross Marquand provided his voice.

close up of Red Skull
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

20.David Hayter reportedly made a deal to write and direct Lionsgate's Black Widow movie in 2004.

David Hayter
Tara Ziemba / Getty Images

He spent the next two years working on the script, becoming so invested that he even named his newborn daughter Natasha.

Describing his screenplay in Peter Hanson’s Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories, Hayter said,

Describing his screenplay in Peter Hanson’s Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories, Hayter said, "She’s a freelance mercenary, and she’s called back to where she was brought up to face her past. What I tried to do was use the backdrop of the splintered Soviet Empire..."

Tara Ziemba / Getty Images

However, after a few female-led action movies including Aeon Flux and Ultraviolet failed at the box office, Lionsgate pulled out. Hayter and Marvel shopped it around, but he "never felt comfortable that [they] had found a place that was willing to take the movie, and the character, seriously."

  Tara Ziemba / Getty Images
Tara Ziemba / Getty Images

In 2010, Natasha Romanoff made her onscreen debut in Iron Man 2, and her solo film, Black Widow, finally came out in 2021. Hayter wasn't involved with either project.

Natasha crouching down ready to fight
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

21.And finally, Emily Blunt was originally cast to play Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2.

Emily Blunt on the red carpet
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

However, she had to drop out because she was already contractually obligated to do another movie she didn't actually want to do — Gulliver's Travels.

Emily pointing up in a scene with the rest of the cast

"It was a bit of a heartbreaker for me. I take such pride in the decisions that I make, and they mean so much to me, the films that I do," she told The Howard Stern Show.

20thcentfox / ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

So, the role went to Scarlett Johansson instead.

close up of Johannson in the role
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com