With credits on her resume like Game of Thrones, Terminator Genisys and Solo: A Star Wars Story, Emilia Clarke has become a well-known actress in the Hollywood sphere, but one thing she has yet to do is appear in a superhero movie. That said, apparently she almost had the chance to do so with 2013’s Iron Man 3.
Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce recently shared a picture of a name card showing that during an early table read for the movie in 2012, he was reading for JARVIS, the role that belonged to Paul Bettany before he became The Vision. However, the bigger reveal in this Instagram post was that Emilia Clarke was present for this table read alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle.
As for why Emilia Clarke didn’t end up appearing in Iron Man 3, Drew Pearce simply said:
long story, the script changed
Drew Pearce didn’t specify exactly when in 2012 this Iron Man 3 table read occurred, but filming began in May 23, so we can assume that these actors gathered together at least several weeks beforehand. At that point in time, Game of Thrones Season 1 had already been long out and Season 2 was either about to premiere or was a few episodes deep, so Emilia Clarke had taken her first steps to stardom, and Iron Man 3 surely would have propelled her further.
Alas, sometimes a story is altered even after folks have been cast, and while Drew Pearce didn’t provide any additional information on Emilia Clarke’s involvement in Iron Man 3, ultimately she had to depart the project. While it is interesting to imagine what Iron Man 3 would have been like had Clarke appeared, clearly her career didn’t suffer or stall as a result of not taking part in it.
Obviously the big question is who Emilia Clarke would have played in Iron Man 3, but there’s another thing to consider. Drew Pearce said Clarke had to depart because the script changed, so was she playing a character cut from the movie or was she playing someone that still showed up in the finalized story and she was simply recast.
Looking at the version of Iron Man 3 released to the public, there were only two primary characters, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts and Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen, plus Stephanie Szostak getting some screen time as Extremis-powered henchwoman Ellen Brandt. Maybe Clarke was the original actress to play Maya Hansen, back when the character had a bigger role in the movie? It’s also possible that Clarke was the original actress tapped to play Ellen Brandt, although even though she wasn’t nearly as famous back then, that seems like it would have been too small a role for her.
I’m more inclined to think that Emilia Clarke was tapped to appear in Iron Man 3 as a character who was removed from the story, meaning that there’s no shortage of possibilities about who this individual was. One fan noted how on Drew Pearce’s post that Emilia Clarke had auditioned to play Sharon Carter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and wondered if the character was supposed to show up in Iron Man 3 first, to which Pearce responded, “Good guess but no.”
In any case, Emilia Clarke missed out on appearing in Iron Man 3, but that doesn’t mean she won’t get another opportunity to appear in another superhero movie down the line. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has plenty of movies coming up that Clarke could score a leading role in. Or, maybe she could follow in the footsteps of Game of Thrones costar Jason Momoa and hop to the DC Extended Universe instead. We’ll just have to wait and see.