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 line-up of talent.

In the 10 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 line-up of heroes, beginning with Robert Downey Jr. and continuing most recently with stars like Chadwick Boseman, Tom Holland, and, of course, Brie Larson.

Larson's debut as Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel is the MCU's first official female-led film, a long time coming for the franchise that's delivered 21 films in its first three phases, and it's just their latest stroke of perfect casting, as the Oscar winner has become a real-life hero to many thanks to her push for female representation in Hollywood in front of and behind the camera while promoting the blockbuster. 

"I know my limitations—I know that I'm just one white girl—and I'm just trying to do as much as I can within the framework of my body. As I've grown, I've noticed these movies the Marvel movies in particular have so much meaning in them. They mean so much!" Larson once explained to E! News on the set of Captain Marvel. "You can have a great time and just enjoy it for having a great time, but you can also be left with really deep philosophical questions. That combo is really powerful. So, the idea we could really make something that was thought-provoking and entertaining, that was going to be seen all over the world? It's a crazy one...The opportunity came and I felt like, 'I gotta take the call the same way [Carol] had to take the call."

Captain Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe Cast

Marvel; Melissa Herwitt/E! Illustration

In between Downey as Tony Stark and Larson though, there's been so many actors who have suited up for Marvel over the last decade. Some were already big effin' deals before they landed their respective role. Some were fighting tooth and nail just to get in the door to audition before being cast in the part that would make them one of the most famous stars in the world.

Every hero has their own story and each story is worth telling. 

As we head into Captain Marvel's big release and The Avengers: Endgame set bring 10 years worth of storytelling to an end and kick off the franchise's next phase on April 26, 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. 

Robert Downey Jr, Iron Man, Tony Stark

Marvel / Walt Disney Studios

Chris Evans, Captain America

Marvel / Walt Disney Studios

Jack Ryan, John Krasinski


Brie Larson, Captain Marvel

Marvel / Walt Disney Studios

Emily Blunt, Cannes Film Festival

Courtesy Lionsgate

Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman

Marvel Studios

Chris Hemsworth, Thor, Avengers

Marvel / Walt Disney Studios

Alexander Skarsgård

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI

Tom Hiddleston, Loki, Thor, Royal Spares

Paramount Pictures

Thor: Ragnarok, Tessa Thompson


Spider-Man, Tom Holland

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Avengers: Infinity War, Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Benedict Wong

Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow, Avengers: Infinity War

Marvel Studios

The Avengers, Jeremy Renner

Zade Rosenthal/Marvel

Samuel L. Jackson, Nick Fury, Avengers

Marvel Studios

Sebastian Stan, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Marvel/Walt Disney Studios

Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy


Zoe Saldana, Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel Studio

Rocket Raccoon, Guardians Of The Galaxy

Marvel Studios

Groot, Guardians of the Galaxy


Dave Bautista, Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel Studios

Karen Gillan, Nebula, Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel Studios

Pom Klementieff, Mantis, Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel Studios

Paul Rudd, Ant-Man

Marvel / Walt Disney Studios

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Marvel Studios

Doctor Strange

Jay Maidment/Marvel

Captain America: Civil War, Paul Bettany


Avengers: Infinity War, Elizabeth Olsen

Marvel Studios

Quicksilver, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Avengers


Gwyneth Paltrow, The Avengers

Marvel Studios

Anthony Mackie, Falcon, Sam Wilson, Avengers: Infinity War, Poster

Marvel / Walt Disney Studios

Hayley Atwell, Agent Carter, Avengers

Marvel/Katrin Marchinowski

Don Cheadle, War Machine, James Rhodes, Avengers

Marvel / Walt Disney Studios

 Josh Brolin, Avengers: Infinity War

Marvel Studios

Captain Marvel hits theaters on March 8, 2019. 

Don't miss E! News every Tuesday to Saturday at 6pm.

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