The most powerful superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one you've never seen on screen: Sarah Finn. Her super power? Casting the juggernaut franchise's stacked lineup of talent.
In the nearly 13 years since Iron Man's release, MCU has proven time and time again that they know how to pick the perfect actor to portray Marvel's vast lineup of heroes, beginning with Robert Downey Jr. and continuing with stars like Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland and Brie Larson.
In fact, Larson's debut as Carol Danvers in 2019's Captain Marvel marked the MCU's first official female-led film, a long time coming for the franchise that delivered 21 films in its first three phases. And today, all eyes on are Olsen—and co-star Paul Bettany— in Wandavision, which leaves fans enlightened, confused and shocked week after week. "Wanda and Vision are in suburbia trying to fit in and not be found out that they're superheroes," Olsen explained E! News. "This show is a constant tug of war between American sitcoms throughout the decades and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it."
Sure, or something like that.
And before Wanda and Vision—and Bucky and Falcon, also headed to Disney+—got their TV spinoff, there were plenty of actors who suited up for Marvel. Some were already big effin' deals before they landed their respective role while others were fighting tooth and nail just to get in the door for an audition.
Every hero has their own story and each story is worth telling.
In honor of Tom Hiddleston's birthday Feb. 9, we're revealing each of Marvel's biggest stars' origin story, including how they were cast and who else was up for the role with quotes from the heroes themselves, as well as Marvel President Kevin Feige, the man who really assembled the Avengers.
This story originally published on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 3 a.m. PT.