Ethan Hawke was almost cast as Doctor Strange, and while the role might have made his bank balance healthier, it would have also come with a lot of salesmanship, according to the actor. “We’re living in the age of Marvel,” Hawke said on the Happy Sad Confused Podcast, adding that actors in Marvel franchises have a lot of non-acting work to do for the studio. “There’s a tremendous amount of salesmanship that’s now really important to a studio like that. It’s a tremendous amount of time in your life where you’re working, and you’re not acting.”
Commenting on Hawke’s thoughts, the Stake notes “We know actors primarily as performers in film and television, but in today’s age of bloated, extended franchise development, most of the work that comes with participation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or DC, or X-Men, etc) is not actually acting … there’s no doubt that the amount of non-acting that actors are required to do has increased precipitously in recent years.” It’s an interesting point. While Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans seem content with all the Comic-con type work that they do for the Avengers franchise, you have to wonder if the time spent doing all that shilling means they’re missing out on roles in interesting projects. Terrence Howard appeared as Col. Rhodes in the first Iron Man, but refused to come back for the sequel (Don Cheadle took over). Edward Norton played the Hulk only once, and Idris Elba is quite vocal about his reluctance to get wrapped up in the Multispandex.