Why Succession’s Jeremy Strong Rejected MCU Role

By Klein Felt Updated:
Jeremy Strong Captain America Marvel Role

Succession actor Jeremy Strong recently highlighted the MCU role he rejected before his big Hollywood break. 

Strong - who has garnered near-universal praise for his work on HBO drama Succession - revealed that he was, in fact, in the running for Marvel's first Captain America movie before he turned the role down to focus on other things. 

The HBO star joins a long list of MCU what-if actors who were in the running for some part within the superhero franchise, before ultimately bowing out or not getting the role. 

However, in Strong's case, he was in consideration for something a little bit different than the likes of Tom Cruise as Iron Man or John Krasinski as Captain America. 

Jeremy Strong Turns Down Captain America

Speaking with The Times, Succession star Jeremy Strong revealed that he rejected a role in Marvel Studios' Captain America: The First Avenger

The actor said that after auditioning for what he called an "impish cowboy" in Jon Favreau's Cowboys vs Aliens, he was asked if he wanted to go out for a part in "a top-secret film about Captain America."

He was not in the running against Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, but instead "they needed someone to play Captain America’s young body." Strong said he was told Marvel needed "a transformational actor and would use CGI to put the actual actor’s face and voice over my own:"

"They needed someone to play Captain America’s young body, before he turns into a superhero. They said they needed a transformational actor and would use CGI to put the actual actor’s face and voice over my own.”

Skinny Steve Rogers Captain America
Marvel Studios

The actor noted that "[he] was broke,” so "[he] considered it," but turned it down as "it didn’t feel like what [he] had to offer was valued." So, "the next day [he] went back to New York and did a play about a veteran from Afghanistan."

After Strong turned down the First Avenger role, Leander Deeny was brought in to take on the body double role, becoming known as the "skinny" Steve Rogers.

Captain America actor Chris Evans actually knew Jeremy Strong from his childhood, having both grown up in Sudbury, Massachusetts. When finding out Strong was up for the body double role, Evans reacted with a simple “Oh no!,” before going on to say that he is "so happy things worked out" for Strong:

“It just goes to show the industry is so unpredictable, but I’m so happy things worked out, because I don’t think there was ever plan B for Jeremy.”

Could Jeremy Strong be Back in the MCU?

It is always amazing to read stories like this from actors across the industry. Marvel Studios and the MCU have been around for long enough that there is now a whole generation of actors who have gone out for at least one Marvel part, be it big or - in this case - small. 

Looking at Jeremy Strong's career now, one would have expected the actor to be in the running for one of the headliner parts of the super-powered franchise, maybe having his name thrown around for any number of Marvel heroes or villains. 

But this one turned-down part may not be the end for Stong. Succession has become one of the biggest and most beloved TV shows in the world, so surely the Marvel Studios' brain trust has its eyes on the cast for any part that may come up. 

Playing Kendall Roy in the HBO series, Strong has proven he has the chops to take on drama, comedy, or any other genre one may throw at him. Perhaps, he could be a good pick for the Fantastic Four villain Doctor Doom, as he possesses the perfect ticking time bomb/smartest guy in the room demeanor to play the fan-favorite comics character. 

It might not be the conventional pick, but if Strong wanted a big MCU role, Doom could be the perfect fit.

- In This Article: Succession (Season 4)
Release Date
March 26, 2023
Brian Cox
Jeremy Strong
Kieran Culkin
Matthew Macfadyen
Sarah Snook
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.