Marvel Wasted Huge Stars In These Disappointing Roles

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

MCU casting can be hit or miss sometimes. For every Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, there’s a Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, a traditionally Asian character in the comics. And then there are the big-name actors that Marvel wastes in minuscule, nothing roles. We aren’t talking about fun little cameos like Matt Damon and Sam Neill playing Thor and Oden in an Asgardian play but rather missed opportunities like wasting a talented actor in a role that makes poor use of their skills. Roles like…

Glenn Close As Nova Prime (Guardians Of The Galaxy)

A quick perusal of Glenn Close’s IMDb page is all you need to realize the woman is a legend in Hollywood. Her roles in Fatal Attraction, Hamlet, and even 101 Dalmations, where she played a cartoonishly evil Cruella Deville, are all testaments to her ability to take any role and make it her own. And then there’s her role in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy…

Giving Glenn Close a Marvel role is a great idea, but making that role the boring head of the Nova Corps, eh, not so much. As Nova Prime, Glenn Close was given little to do, and as a result, fans missed out on the chance to see the actress kill it in a Marvel role with some meat on it.

Annette Bening As The Supreme Intelligence (Captain Marvel)

Look, don’t get us wrong, giving women roles as the leaders of powerful organizations is never a bad thing. It’s just that when you give these roles to action powerhouses like Glenn Close and Annette Bening and then don’t really have them do all that much, it comes off as a waste of talent. Much like Close, Annette Bening is a legend in Hollywood, and giving her a Marvel role where all she does is tell Brie Larson what to do, well, it’s not exactly a fitting challenge for someone of Bening’s caliber.

Technically, Bening played multiple roles in Captain Marvel, but even having her secretly be Mar-Vell wasn’t enough to justify her in such a small role.

Frank Grillo As Brock Rumlow (Captain America: Winter Solider And Civil War)

One of Captain America’s most famous recurring foes is the mercenary known as Crossbones. It only made sense for the character to appear in the Captain America series of Marvel films, and he did, kind of. The Marvel role of Brock Rumlowm, AKA Crossbones, was given to actor Frank Grillo, who debuted his version of the character in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Rumlow is never actually called crossbones in the films—although he does wear a version of the character’s signature skull mask in Civil War—and what’s worse, he dies in his second appearance.

In another time and place, Frank Grillo’s Brock Lumlow could have had a rich, ongoing rivalry with Captain America spread out across several films. Instead, he gets relegated to a minor foe, and Grillo misses out on a chance to demonstrate his formidable acting chops.

Miley Cyrus As Mainframe (Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2)

James Gunn loves his fun little cameos, and it would be easy to dismiss Miley Cyrus’s one-line as the former Ravager Mainframe in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 as just that, a fun little cameo if it weren’t for the missed opportunity it represents. Cyrus would be the perfect choice to play the Marvel role of Dazzler when Disney gets around to finally introducing the X-Men into the MCU.

Wasting Cyrus’s amazing voice on a single line from a robot head is criminal, and apparently, Cyrus herself thought so, too, as she declined to come back for Guardians 3. While the singer could still be cast as Dazzler at some point, it’s highly likely that that ship has sailed, and Miley’s sole contribution to the MCU will forever be the single line “I miss you guys so much.”

Michelle Yeoh As Aleta Ogord (Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2)

In all honesty, this whole article could have just been about the weird mid-credits scene in Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2. A 10-second scene featuring Sylvester Stallone, Michael Rosenbaum, Miley Cyrus, and Michelle Yeoh playing deep-cut characters from the comics, the scene is bizarre for the level of star power it packs and the amount of nothing that it accomplishes. Much like with Miley, the real tragedy of wasting Michelle Yeoh in such a nothing-Marvel role is that she could have been so much more.

The range displayed by Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once proves that she would have been perfect in any number of high-profile Marvel roles. Instead, she was wasted in a throwaway mid-credits scene where she got to say “Hell yeah” and nothing else. Thankfully, she’d go on to have a prominent part in Shang-Chi as his mystical aunt Ying Nan, making her the only one on this list to be redeemed.

John Krasinski As Mister Fantastic Of Earth-838 (Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness)

sci-fi trope

Sometimes Marvel casts the perfect person for the perfect role, case in point John Krasinski as Reed Richards in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Krasinski’s role in Doctor Strange 2 was small, but what was there was golden. For a few moments, worried fans could breathe a sigh of relief that the Fantastic Four might finally get the movie they deserved, with John Krasinski leading the way. And then the Scarlett Witch killed him.

Technically, since the role was an alternate universe variant of Richards, Krasinski could have very well played the role again in the prime MCU universe. Unfortunately, Marvel has made it very clear that they want to go in another direction when it comes to the upcoming Fantastic Four movie, depriving fans of an entire movie starring John Krasinski as the stretchy leader of the group.

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