After reports of his return to the role of Matt Murdock/Daredevil in Spider-Man: No Way Home began to circulate, Charlie Cox was peppered with questions for nearly a year. Steadfast in his denial at first (“My answer is no comment; I don’t know what’s going to happen. I genuinely don’t know.“), Cox softened over time. Cox made a brief but memorable cameo in No Way Home and is expected to show up again in She-Hulk.
Back in 2014, Benedict Cumberbatch spoke to MTV about the possibilities of him portraying Doctor Strange and he mentioned that at the time, it couldn’t work out because he was doing a little play called ‘Hamlet’ in London. “So I don’t think I could even if that was in the cards. It sounds like a fantastic project. It’s a shame if I miss out, but who knows?” Of course, Cumberbatch has already portrayed the character 6 times and just completed reshoots on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, where he’ll be playing multiple versions of the character in his 7th MCU appearance.
After more substantial rumors about his return as Spider-Man in Spider-Man: No Way Home began to show up online, Garfied began to feel the heat. When asked about his potential reprisal in the Spring, Garfield said, “They might be doing something, but ain’t like I ain’t got a call.” To his credit, he kept up the lie up until the film’s release, telling Wired, “No, I’m not. I’m not! Crying out loud. But I’m really excited to see what they’re gonna do with the next movie because I just love them,” just a week before the film’s release.
Unfortunately for Holland, nobody was forced to lie more about the returns of previous Spider-Man Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire. The denials are too numerous to list here, but the poor guy has to be feeling relieved now.
Larson was revealed as Captain Marvel at SDCC ’16 but rumors of her involvement pre-dated that by quite a bit. In a 2015 interview with MTV, Larson did less denying and more playing dumb when asked about the character:
So would I be playing a man? This is interesting, I’m kind of into it… I thought I was always forever going to be stuck playing female roles but I’m down to play Chris Evans. Oh wait no, Chris Evans is Captain America. Who’s Captain Marvel? I have no idea what I’m talking about. But people want me to play this? OK good to know. I guess I gotta start reading the comic book.
Larson finally appeared as Carol Danvers in 2019’s Captain Marvel and recently completed filming on The Marvels after making a cameo in Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings and is expected to be a Marvel Studios mainstay over the next decade.
Taking the lead from her Ant-Man co-star, Evangeline Lilly denied the rumors of her being the female lead in Ant-Man back in 2014. She stated back then that “No, I can’t. I don’t know anything about those rumors.” Lilly’s character became the first female MCU title character and joins Rudd in returning for the third Ant-Man film.
After Jonathan Majors was cast as Kang the Conqueror, rumors surfaced that the character would first appear in Loki. Given the timing of his casting, the rumors made a lot of sense, but Majors went on record denying the rumors saying, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” To be fair, the rumors weren’t entirely accurate as he portrayed He Who Remains, technically a Variant of Kang, so Majors might have some wiggle room.
Just a month after a trade reported that Maslany had signed on for the role of Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk, the actress went into full denial mode, saying:
That actually isn’t a real thing and it’s like a press release that’s gotten out of hand. I’ve been connected to these things in the past and press has gotten onto it, but it’s not actually a thing, unfortunately. I don’t know how these things get – I don’t know, I don’t know. You know better; I have no idea.
Trade reports are about as good as it gets in terms of accuracy and this one hit the mark as well. Maslany will be seen in She-Hulk sometime in 2022.
Even an original core member of the Avengers had denied he was cast. Back in 2010, Jeremy Renner stated that the Hawkeye rumor was “just one of those things that got blown way out of proportion. It was an idea…So there’s truth that we talked about it, but there’s no truth to me doing it. “ The actor first popped up for a cameo in Thor and now Renner has been an MCU mainstay, finally leading his own project and potentially moving into a second decade of work as the Avenging Archer.
Let’s all go back to a simpler time, 2013. Paul Rudd is fresh off production from Anchorman 2. By that time, Variety had released a report saying that Rudd and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were the frontrunners to portray Ant-Man in the MCU. When asked about the subject, Rudd stated said “It’s all rumor, man!”. Rumor indeed, Paul! Rudd just completed principal photography on Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, which will be the 7th time he has portrayed the character he was only rumored to portray, including voicing him in What If…?.
At this point, it’s modus operandi for Marvel Studios but it truly serves no purpose other than to create a sense of mistrust in the actors. However, it is unlikely to change, so we’ll just keep updating this list.