Before Hulk Mark Ruffalo Was Almost This Marvel Villain
Next fall, Mark Ruffalo's beloved Hulk character will finally return in Thor: Ragnarok, after skipping this summer's Captain America: Civil War. The actor made his Marvel debut as Hulk in 2012's The Avengers, but nearly 20 years prior, the actor almost portrayed another iconic Marvel character, long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was even formed. A new documentary reveals that the Oscar-nominated actor almost played the nefarious Doctor Doom, although not in the movie you may think.
Yahoo! Movies reports that in the new documentary Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four, Mark Ruffalo auditioned for the Doctor Doom role, which he ultimately lost to Joseph Culp. The documentary also reveals that other well-known actors who were turned down for the movie includes Xena's Rene O'Connor Lost star Titus Welliver and Seinfeld's Patrick Warburton. It probably worked out better for those who didn't land roles in this movie, since it was never actually released.
The Fantastic Four documentary is currently available on digital platforms, chronicling how this doomed Fantastic Four film was filmed, but never released. The cast and most of the producers were unaware that the film was only made so that producer Bernd Eichinger's option on the Fantastic Four rights he purchased would not expire, and there were no plans to release the movie. Low-budget mastermind Roger Corman was brought on to produce, with Oley Sassone directing from a script by Craig J. Nevius and Kevin Rock. While the film was never officially released, pirated copies started circulating.
If Mark Ruffalo had landed the Doctor Doom role, it would have been the biggest of his career at that point. He had small roles in feature films such as A Song For You, Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance and There Goes My Baby, which came out in 1994, when the Fantastic Four movie was originally slated for release. The actor had his breakthrough role a few years later in Kenneth Longeran's 2000 drama You Can Count On Me.
The doomed 1994 Fantastic Four movie also starred Alex Hyde-White as Reed Richards, Jay Underwood as Johnny Storm, Rebecca Staab as Susan Storm and Michael Bailey Smith as The Thing. The supporting cast of The Fantastic Four also included George Gaynes of Police Academy fame. Thankfully, Mark Ruffalo found his rightful place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe all these years later.