In comic books, heroes are either born or made, but in Hollywood, superheroes are cast. The behind-the-scenes battles to see which actor will become which superhero are legendary and the tales of those stars who fell just short are epic.
Some stars, like Rachel McAdams, auditioned to play a superhero but lost the role (in her case to Jessica Alba). Others, like Nicolas Cage and Common, were attached to big screen comic book adaptations that never took place (Cage in Tim Burton’s dark take on Superman and Common in George Miller’s doomed Justice League flick). Then there are the few, like Emily Blunt, who were straight up offered a role in a major motion picture and opted not to suit up and save the world (for personal or professional reasons).
Whatever the reason, these 20 actors came close to being superheroes, but never donned the cape.
While you’re thinking “what if” to the almost superhero castings above, watch VH1 staffers debunk crazy conspiracy theories that all revolve around the Academy Awards in the video below.