The Marvel Villain Mark Ruffalo Auditioned to Play Before He Was Cast As The Hulk

Mark Ruffalo is now known to movie fans far and wide as The Incredible Hulk. However, it was very nearly the second comic book role he played, though he lost out in his bid to play the first. Previously, he auditioned to play Doctor Doom in The Fantastic Four. No, not in the 2005 version starring his Avengers co-star Chris Evans, but rather the infamous 1994 version which was directed by B-movie legend Roger Corman.

Fantastic Four

When Fox scored the right to The Fantastic Four, the deal with Marvel required the studio to make a movie within a particular time period, or else the rights would revert back to Marvel. By the mid-1990s the studio wasn't really ready to make a Fantastic Four movie yet, but they didn't want to lose the rights, so they hired Roger Corman to direct a Fantastic Four movie on a shoestring budget. The point wasn't to make money, or even release it, it was all a business decision in order to hold onto the film rights.

A documentary has been released which tells the story of the infamous film and Yahoo reports that it details that a young Mark Ruffalo actually auditioned to play the part of Doctor Doom. Ruffalo would have been in his mid-20s around the time The Fantastic Four was filming. Needless to say, he was not the name then that he is now. He only had a handful of credits to his name, and none of them were anything you're likely to have heard of.

The role of Doctor Doom eventually went to Joseph Culp, an actor probably best known for playing Don Draper's father on Mad Men. Nobody involved in Roger Corman's film really went on to stardom, it's probably a blessing that Mark Ruffalo wasn't cast.

To date, few people have actually seen Roger Corman's version of The Fantastic Four and it is generally agreed by those who have that it's pretty terrible. The only reason to actually watch it would be to see just how bad it is. Although, considering the quality of the actual theatrical releases that the property has seen, there's an argument to be made that Corman actually made the best Fantastic Four movie so far. It had to have been better that the most recent endeavor.

If you've actually seen Roger Corman's Fantastic Four we'd love to hear your thoughts below in the comments. Could Mark Ruffalo have added anything special to the production?

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.