5 Origin Stories Behind The Marvelous Movie Marathon

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There’s something about a new year—maybe it’s returning to work after an unusually sustained period of festivities—that leaves some people feeling like they need superpowers just to get back in the game. Fortunately, that’s exactly what Space has to offer, ringing in 2019 with a slate of 17 superhero movies known as the Marvelous Movie Marathon. As you consider the beginning of a new year, we suggest you also consider the beginning of these superhero franchises—and the vastly different paths they could have taken.

 

Spider-Man

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Now that we’re a few Spider-Men down the road, the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy feels like ancient history, but it was instrumental in establishing the rules of the modern superhero movie. Before settling on Tobey Maguire—a Raimi casting idea that was initially met with studio resistance—Sony considered everyone from Wes Bentley, Topher Grace, Jude Law, and Heath Ledger to Maguire’s real life right-hand man Leonardo DiCaprio.

 

Iron Man

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Now that Hugh Jackman has decided to walk away from Wolverine, there’s a good chance he’ll miss his chance to finally join the MCU. If you believe the rumours, he already had a chance over a decade ago when he was offered the role of Tony Stark in Iron Man, only to turn it down. Director Jon Favreau acknowledges that he also seriously considered Clive Owen and Sam Rockwell, but Robert Downey Jr. ultimately emerged as the only viable candidate because his personal struggles fit the character—and Favreau had faith he could be “a likable a**hole.”

 

Captain America: The First Avenger

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If the rumours surrounding Captain America: The First Avenger are true, it’s a miracle Chris Evans ended up playing the title character. For one, the list of actors seriously considered for the role includes marquee names like John Krasinski, Will Smith, and Channing Tatum. Competition alone wouldn’t make Evans’ casting a shock, but this next fact changes everything: he turned down the role three times. Marvel and director Joe Johnston were so sure of their choice that they just kept asking, eventually enlisting Robert Downey Jr. to deliver the pep talk that closed the deal.

 

Thor

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It seems Marvel and director Kenneth Branagh had a pretty broad set of criteria when casting the role of Thor. They somehow managed to consider Brad Pitt, a group of actors nearly two decades his junior (Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Channing Tatum), and WWE wrestler Triple H. When the smoke cleared, the two actors still standing had a lot in common, including the same home country (Australia) and the same parents. Chris Hemsworth ultimately emerged victorious, leaving his brother Liam free to find his place in the Hunger Games franchise.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy

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When it came time to cast Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Marvel rounded up a mix of fresh faces and the usual suspects, including Wes Bentley, Joel Edgerton, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Aaron Paul, and Eddie Redmayne. Struggling to find a serious contender, director James Gunn knew there was no need to waste any time watching Chris Pratt audition—until he did. Within 30 seconds, the role was his.

The Marvelous Movie Marathon runs from January 2 to January 6. Check out the show times below.

Wednesday, January 2

7 a.m. – Spider-Man (encores at 5:45 p.m.)

9:30 a.m. – Spider-Man 2 (encores at 8:15 p.m.)

12:05 p.m. – Spider-Man 3 (encores at 10:50 p.m.)

2:55 p.m. – The Amazing Spider-Man (encores at 1:40 a.m.)

Thursday, January 3

4:30 a.m. – Iron Man (encores at 12:45 p.m. and 9:25 p.m.)

7:15 a.m. – Iron Man 2 (encores at 3:30 p.m. and 12 a.m.)

10 a.m. – Iron Man 3 (encores at 6:15 p.m. and 2:35 a.m.)

Friday, January 4

5:30 a.m. – Captain America: The First Avenger (encores at 1:55 p.m. and 10:20 p.m.)

8 a.m. – Captain America: The Winter Solider (encores at 4:25 p.m. and 12:50 a.m.)

10:50 a.m. – Captain America: Civil War (encores at 7:15 p.m. and 3:40 a.m.)

Saturday, January 5

6:45 a.m. – Ant-Man (encores at 2:45 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.)

9:05 a.m. – The Avengers (encores at 5:05 p.m. and 1:05 a.m.)

11:55 a.m. – Avengers: Age of Ultron (encores at 7:55 p.m. and 3:55 a.m.)

Sunday, January 6

6:45 a.m. – Thor (encores at 4:30 p.m.)

9:05 a.m. – Thor: The Dark World (encores at 7 p.m.)

11:30 a.m. – Guardians of the Galaxy (encores at 9:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.)

2 p.m. – Doctor Strange (encores at 12 a.m.)