Academy Award-Winning Actors Who Were Underused In The MCU

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been one of the most successful franchises in the history of cinema, having released 23 movies that have grossed more than $19 billion worldwide. The success of the franchise can be largely attributed to its incredible cast, which includes some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. What’s more, many of these talented actors have won Academy Awards for their work in other films. This article will explore some of the Academy Award-winning actors who have been underutilized in the MCU.

Cate Blanchett – Winner of 2 Oscars 

Cate Blanchett is one of the most acclaimed actors of the 21st century, having won two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress for The Aviator (2004) and Blue Jasmine (2013). Many Marvel fans were thrilled when she was announced as a cast member for the MCU film Thor: Ragnarok. Blanchett plays the villainous Hela in the film, but is ultimately relegated to a plot device to bring the hero (Thor) and heroine (Valkyrie) together. Despite her incredible talent, Blanchett did not get enough screen time in the film and was easily overshadowed by almost everyone else in the cast.

Jeff Bridges – Winner of 1 Oscar 

Jeff Bridges is a legendary actor who won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Crazy Heart (2010). Marvel fans were excited to learn that Bridges was joining the MCU cast in Iron Man (2008), but his role was ultimately reduced to a few scenes of exposition. Bridges reprised his role in the sequel Iron Man 2 (2010), but still did not have enough substance in the script to really stand out. Bridges only appeared briefly in the finale and simply set up a relationship between Pepper Potts and Tony Stark.

Julianne Moore – Winner of 1 Oscar 

Julianne Moore is one of the most acclaimed actresses of modern times, having won an Academy Award for Best Actress for Still Alice (2014). Marvel fans were excited to learn that she was joining the cast of the MCU film The Hunger Games (2012), but her role was ultimately a small one. Moore plays the character of President Alma Coin in the movie, but she is portrayed as an antagonist and not given much screen time. Moore had very few meaningful scenes and was easily overshadowed by Jennifer Lawrence, who took the lead as the main character Katniss Everdeen.

Michael Douglas – Winner of 1 Oscar 

Michael Douglas is a Hollywood legend who won an Academy Award for Best Actor for Wall Street (1987). He was announced to star in the MCU film Ant-Man (2015), but unfortunately he only had a limited part in the movie. Douglas plays the role of Dr. Hank Pym in the movie, but he appears too briefly and does not have any substantial dialogue. He mainly serves to set up the story for the other characters, such as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, but does not get enough time to really make an impact.

Natalie Portman – Winner of 1 Oscar 

Natalie Portman is one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation, having won an Academy Award for Best Actress for Black Swan (2010). She has had a long relationship with the MCU, having starred in Thor and Thor: The Dark World. However, in Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Portman is conspicuously absent. Her character, Jane Foster, is discussed in a few lines of dialogue but is not seen on screen. It is rumored that Portman declined to appear due to issues with Marvel over her limited role in the film.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been incredibly successful thanks to its amazing cast of talented actors and actresses. However, some of these stars, including a few Academy Award-winners, have been dramatically underused in the franchise. Cate Blanchett, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Michael Douglas and Natalie Portman were all great additions to the MCU, but were unfortunately given limited roles in their movies. It is a shame that actors and actresses of this caliber were not featured more prominently in the franchise, as it could have elevated the film to new heights.

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