Matthew McConaughey has been rumored to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe a number of times. However, the actor has never taken the bait and joined the biggest superhero franchise in cinema history. Fans have wondered why he has never decided to jump on board the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it turns out it might be because there was a Marvel character he wanted to play but was told, “No.”
In an interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast with Josh Horowitz, Matthew McConaughey was asked about his involvement with Marvel Studios, and the subject of Bruce Banner a.k.a. the Incredible Hulk came up. McConaughey has gone on record in the past about how much The Incredible Hulk television show from 1978 was a formative part of his childhood. During the interview, the actor revealed that he actually actively pursued the role.
“Did you throw your hat in the ring? Did you say, ‘I’m game if you guys are?'” asked Horowitz. Matthew McConaughey confirmed that he did exactly that, but that Marvel Studios told the actor, “No, thank you.” The interview is fairly short when it comes to this particular subject, but that might be because McConaughey sounds like losing out on the role is still a sore spot for him. It is rare to hear a high-profile actor feels so personally attached to a comic book character. Maybe that’s why McConaughey didn’t want to dwell on losing out on the role.
What makes this bit of news interesting is that Matthew McConaughey does not specify exactly when he attempted to obtain the role of Bruce Banner. Was it for the 2003 Ang Lee film? Most likely, this would have been when casting was taking place for the 2008 film. The role eventually went to Edward Norton, but he would later be recast by Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers. Now, Ruffalo’s version of the character has become a definitive take for a generation.
If Matthew McConaughey had managed to get the role of Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk, would he also have been recast? That seems like it would have been even more devastating for McConaughey. However, if he had taken over the role in The Avengers, it’s possible that the Marvel Cinematic Universe could look very different today. It is hard to imagine anyone but Mark Ruffalo as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Hulk, but it would be great to see what McConaughey could have brought to the role.
And who knows? Maybe Matthew McConaughey could get the chance to play the character one day. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to focus on the infinite possibilities of the multiverse. There is no reason McConaughey couldn’t show up in at least a cameo as another universe’s version of Bruce Banner/Hulk. In fact, if it was a take that directly echoed the 1978 television show – heck, make it set in 1978! – that might be enough to get McConaughey on board.
Though we may never see Matthew McConaughey turn green with rage, it is still endearing to hear that he cares so much about the character of Hulk. We now are left wondering what his thoughts have been on the character’s cinematic appearances over the last two decades. If he saw Ang Lee’s Hulk, we need to know if he agrees with our take on it.