Fans will see Angelina Jolie make her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Eternals is released next month, but we all came pretty close to seeing her in a superhero movie role many years ago already. In a recent interview with Empire, Jolie spoke about her Eternals casting and reportedly made the comment that she once turned down a famous superhero role. The actress declined to say which movie or role this would have been “out of respect” for the person who was ultimately cast.
As Angelina Jolie also explains in the interview, she wasn’t really interested as superhero and sci-fi movies aren’t her preferred genres. What she appreciated about Eternals was that it featured a character-driven story. Jolie also was intrigued by the challenge of bringing to life these little-known Marvel characters that mainstream audiences aren’t yet familiar with. Better yet, she would be going through the experience with an ensemble of other talented actors all facing the same task.
“I don’t usually lean towards superhero or sci-fi films. It’s not usually what I’m looking to do. It felt like something else was happening in this film, though. It was very character-driven. These guys aren’t Spider-Man or Captain America or the Hulk. A lot of hardcore fans won’t know who the Eternals are. Introducing them all at once, that isn’t easy. It’s not one of us in front and other characters behind. It’s this really equal family. And I wanted to be a part of this family.”
While Angelina Jolie didn’t name the superhero role she turned down, others have some ideas. News scooper Daniel Richtman tweeted the story and simply wrote “Wonder Woman” in the caption. Something that might lend credence to this possibility is that Joss Whedon was once on board to write and direct a Wonder Woman movie for DC and Warner Bros. before his version was axed, leading to the incarnation we got in 2017 from Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot. Concerning his canned script, Whedon has openly said he wrote the role for his script with Jolie in mind.
“For me, Wonder Woman was basically Angelina Jolie,” Whedon said in 2010, per Entertainment Weekly. “She spends a lot of time flying around. She works in a lot of different countries. She’s very global. And she’s appalled by the way people treat each other.”
Perhaps Joss Whedon was thinking of Angelina Jolie when writing that script, but Kate Beckinsale has since revealed that she was attached to that unmade version of Wonder Woman at one point. Could it be that Jolie was first offered the role before it floated its way over to Beckinsale? It’s hard to say for sure, given Jolie’s silence on the matter, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
As it stands, we’ll see Angelina Jolie in a superhero movie soon enough. Eternals is scheduled to be released in theaters on Nov. 5, and it will be exclusively showing in movie theaters. Directed by Chloe Zhao, the movie features an all-star ensemble cast. Along with Jolie, it stars Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Kit Harington, Harish Patel, and Salma Hayek. Quotes from Angelina Jolie’s Empire interview come to us from The Direct.