Actors who hate being part of the Marvel franchise

When Chris Evans announced that he wasn't retiring from acting after all because he just loves working for Marvel, most fans probably thought: duh. It's gotta be awesome dressing up as superheroes and kicking butt on-screen, right? Hard as it is to believe, though, there are actually several actors who hate being part of the Marvel cinematic universe. Here's a look at these crazy people.

Idris Elba

When Elba first appeared as Heimdall in Thor, he was a respected actor, but not exactly a household name. Now, he's a big enough deal that fans are pushing to make him the next James Bond. And with great fame comes great irritation at being contractually obligated to make cameos in Marvel films like Avengers: Age of Ultron. Describing the experience as "torture," he told The Telegraph that it "ripped my heart out."

After the inevitable outcry, Elba chalked the whole thing up to "sloppy journalism" or "bad misquoting," insisting he was only talking about the jarring experience of shuttling between a Nelson Mandela biopic and playing Heimdall. "People are really running with this thing like, 'Oh my God, he doesn't want to be with Marvel anymore,'" sighed Elba. "People thinking that comparing those roles means I don't want to be with Marvel, well, that's crazy."

Natalie Portman

Elba isn't the only Thor alum who may have soured on the whole Marvel thing. According to rumors, Portman just about hit the ceiling when her hand-picked director, Patty Jenkins, was fired from Thor: The Dark World. In fact, it was widely reported that Portman wanted to quit the series entirely in protest, but was contractually bound to finish the film.

Whatever went on behind the scenes during Dark World, Portman's feelings seemed to have mellowed by 2016, when she told the Wall Street Journal that while she didn't expect to make any further MCU appearances, she might not rule it out entirely. "As far as I know, I'm done," shrugged Portman. "I mean, I don't know if maybe one day they'll ask for an Avengers 7 or whatever, I have no idea. But as far as I know, I'm done, but it was a great thing to be a part of."

Edward Norton

The first and biggest star to "nope" out of his Marvel marriage was Norton, who played the lead role of Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk. Unlike Elba and Portman, though, Norton's creative differences with Marvel proved so severe that the studio itself decided to dump Norton. Luckily for us, they replaced him with fan favorite Mark Ruffalo, while Norton went on to star instead in indie hits like Moonrise Kingdom. This is one breakup that worked out best for everyone—although according to director Louis Leterrier, the whole thing spun out of a disagreement over editing that could have been settled to everyone's liking. "I regret that [Marvel and Norton] didn't come to an agreement where we could've all worked together," he told Entertainment Weekly. "The press is what kept Edward and Marvel from talking to each other. [The argument] was nothing, but then it became something big."

"My feeling was that I experimented and experienced what I wanted to. I really, really enjoyed it. And yet, I looked at the balance of time in life that one spends not only making those sorts of films but then especially putting them out, and the obligations that rightly come with that," Norton later told NPR"I think you can sort of do anything once, but if you do it too many times, it can become a suit that's hard to take off, in other peoples' eyes."

Mickey Rourke

Rourke also felt the sting of those infamous creative differences. And he sure wasn't happy about it. After much of his reportedly loopy improvisation for the role of Whiplash in Iron Man 2 ended up on the cutting room floor, Rourke ranted to Crave Online about his anger at having "some nerd" executive at Marvel churn out "mindless comic book movies" instead of deferring to his genius. Even years later,he still rants uses interviews to bag on Marvel when he has a chance. Get over it already, comrade.

Terrence Howard

Howard was in on the ground floor of the Marvel empire, helping turn Iron Man into a massive worldwide smash hit. Yet, he was nowhere to be seen when the sequel came out, replaced instead by Don Cheadle. Why? According to Howard, it's because Marvel jacked him out of $7 million so they could funnel the cash to Robert Downey Jr. instead. Howard, who has taken partial credit for getting Downey the Iron Man gig in the first place, told them to shove it and walked—and he hasn't been shy about bashing both Marvel and Downey since.

Jason Statham

This one is particularly crazy because, you know, Statham isn't even in any Marvel movies! But after his name was linked to the villain Bullseye in the upcoming second season of Daredevil, Statham lashed out at Marvel anyway. "I could take my grandma and put her in a cape and then put her in a green screen, and they'll have stunt doubles come in and do all the action," he told the Italian website I 400 Calci. We're not sure when Marvel's latest international blockbuster, Grandma in a Cape, is going to hit theaters, but frankly, we can't wait to see it.

Paul Bettany, who's been part of the MCU for years—first as the voice of Tony Stark's AI assistant, and now as the Vision—took polite British umbrage with Statham's remarks during an appearance on Conan. "I would never talk s— about somebody else's work, but I'm just saying, you know, I read the contract, they [Marvel] employed me as an actor," he pointed out. "There's obviously stuntmen in the world—you've met them, you've seen them. They are very good at what they do, so let them do it. But if there's a really, really tricky scene with some very tricky dialogue, one might consider bringing in an acting double for Jason Statham."