“No man, I would have loved it, they didn’t want me. I met with them and stuff, I was way into it but no it didn’t happen,” Ryan Phillippe said in 2013, speaking of Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” and the role now made famous by Chris Evans. Yep, in an alternate universe, perhaps the same one where Zayn is still in One Direction (thanks Stephen Hawking), Ryan Phillippe could have been a Marvel Avenger. He didn’t get the role and alas, he’s moved on.
But could there be another Marvel role in the cards for him on TV? In a recent Howard Stern interview, the actor, coming off the ABC series “Secrets and Lies,” revealed that he’s been discussing a potential role with Marvel and their Netflix TV arm. “Marvel is interested in talking about Netflix, a series possibly. ‘The Daredevil’ series is great, right?” he said.
Stern and Phillippe didn’t get into it much deeper than that, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation snowball from rolling downward. That said, it seems pretty obvious: Marvel/Netflix have cast the leads for all their TV shows thus far— “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage,” and “AKA Jessica Jones”— aside from “Iron Fist,” the martial arts/mystical power wielder that is partners with Luke Cage in some versions of the comics.
So it’s a pretty safe bet — unless Phillippe is going to start taking villain or supporting roles — that if he’s having conversations with Marvel about some character, it’s probably Iron Fist. Now whether he gets the role is another thing. Phillippe doesn’t really have the star power to lead super hero films any more — though back in the day, yes, he was considered for Anakin Skywalker and Captain America — but for television, he’d be perfect (and Evans wasn’t exactly a super huge star when he was first cast as Cap either).
Later in the conversation, Phillippe confirms that he was up for the Hayden Christensen role in “Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones” and Harvey Dent in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight,” but obviously he had no luck with either. Marvel dorks will also note, there’s a numinous element to “Iron Fist” that could connect to the supernatural universe that Marvel’s hoping to open up with “Doctor Strange” in 2016. Of course, whether Netflix Marvel heroes crossover into movies remains to be seen, but Marvel has wisely put the option into contracts for that if/when moment. Listen to the Stern conversation below.