Top Gun: Maverick Actor Reportedly Rejects Major MCU Role

By Pierre Chanliau Updated:
Manny Jacinto, Avengers Endgame poster

As Daredevil: Born Again preps for its production schedule in 2023, a rumor hinted that one Top Gun: Maverick actor said no to a big role in the MCU series. 

It was reported in October that Daredevil: Born Again would begin filming in February and continue throughout 2023. With its unexpected 18-episode count, that production timeframe seems only fitting to make sure Marvel Studios has enough time to complete everything necessary for production.

As filming approaches, casting for the show has begun outside of Charlie Cox's Daredevil and Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin with Michael Gandolfini joining the cast in an undisclosed but "major" role. Another casting rumor for the Daredevil revival has teased Jon Bernthal's potential return from the Netflix series as the Punisher.

However, not all casting hopes have come to fruition, as it appears that Marvel Studios attempted and failed to snag one Top Gun: Maverick star.

Top Gun: Maverick Star Rejects "Major" Role

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According to scooper Daniel Richtman, Manny Jacinto, best known for his role as Jason Mendoza in The Good Place and "Fritz" in Top Gun: Maverick, turned down a "major" role in Daredevil: Born Again.

"Not as big but still interesting info I think - Manny Jacinto has passed on playing a major role in Daredevil: Born Again."

Richtman did not allude to what this role would have been.

Which Role did Jacinto Pass On?

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Many fans have already begun speculating on which role Jacinto passed on, with the most popular theory being Samuel "Sam" Chung, aka Blindspot. However, that role for the actor doesn't quite fit due to Jacinto's age and perhaps his ethnicity.

In the comics, Chung is portrayed as someone in his late 20s, which helped exemplify his youth and inexperience compared to the veteran superhero Daredevil. However, Jacinto is only four years younger than Cox, which would be pushing it.

Another concern would be casting Jacinto in a strictly Chinese role. Especially when Sam Chung was previously played by Chinese actor James Chen on Netflix's Iron Fist. However, while Jacinto was born in the Philippines, he is of Chinese Filipino descent, which wouldn't make his casting completely inappropriate.

Another, more plausible, theory is that Jacinto was offered the role of Danny Rand. Despite Finn Jones' desire for redemption as the character, many fans were still soured by his performance as the martial arts superhero in Netflix's Iron Fist.

As for exactly why Jacinto would have turned down this "major" role, it likely had to do with his casting in The Acolyte, another upcoming Disney+ show. Perhaps he didn't want to over-commit to one studio or two enormous franchises.

So, fans might have to wait to see what role Jacinto passed on until Daredevil: Born Again is released on Disney+ in Spring 2024.

Correction: Manny Jacinto was mistakenly identified as Filipino and not Filipino-Chinese in the article.

- In This Article: Daredevil: Born Again
- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.