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The MCU Star Who Nearly Played a Lead Character in ‘Friends’

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Can you imagine anyone else playing one of the lead characters in Friends? For a decade, the same actors portrayed our motley crew of family and friends who seemingly always had time for a cup of coffee at Central Perk. They lived in Manhattan in beautiful apartments and barely ever worked, but we believed it…because we wanted to.

Friends cast | Warner Bros. Television

There was Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel — with all her iconic hairdos and long-gestating romantic arc with Ross Geller (David Schwimmer). Then there was Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe Buffay, who boasted an odd sense of humor and an ideal degree of unpredictability (plus an amusing knack for song…despite lacking vocal ability). And of course, who could forget Courtney Cox’s perfectionist chef Monica? Or, her beau — the man famous for turning any heartfelt moment into a joke, Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry). 

All of the actors from Friends have carried the sitcom’s legacy with them through life. No matter what else they do, they will always be a part of the cultural phenomenon that was and is Friends. The show, no matter how far into the past it becomes, continues to attract new audiences. However, what if the cast wasn’t the same? One character, in particular, was almost played by a Marvel Cinematic Universe actor and renowned director. Matthew Perry was not the first in line for Chandler. 

RELATED: ‘Modern Family’: ‘Friends’ Co-Stars Were Considered for Roles in the Dunphy Family

MCU actor and ‘Iron Man’ director Jon Favreau nearly played Chandler in ‘Friends’

Jon Favreau is famous today for starring in multiple MCU movies, including Iron Man and Iron Man 2, both of which he also directed. He portrays Happy Hogan in the Infinity Saga, yet he has also served as an Executive Producer on multiple Marvel movies under the Disney umbrella. 

RELATED: Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer Earned More From ‘Friends’ Compared to Their Co-Stars

Outside the MCU, the multi-talented actor/director/producer has been busy turning Disney animated classics into live-action spectacles. He recently directed The Lion King, yet previously directed the live-action reboot of The Jungle Book. He also directs The Chef Show, and he is famous for helming Elf. Yet, way back when, before Jon Favreau came to be involved in such critically renowned movies and box office successes, he was offered the role of Chandler Bing in Friends. 

As ScreenRant notes, Jon Favreau auditioned for Friends before the show’s 1994 debut. While Favreau came to the audition, and did a solid enough job to receive the offer, he wound up denying the gig to focus his attention on other projects. 

RELATED: Jon Favreau Compared RDJ’s Casting as Iron Man to Johnny Depp’s Major Franchise Role

Favreau appeared on ‘Friends’ as Monica’s love interest, Pete Becker 

Those who remember Friends well will remember that Favreau did appear on the show as a recurring guest-star for a six-episode run. Favreau portrayed one of Monica’s love interest prior to her developing romance with Bing — he was the rich boyfriend, Pete Becker. 

While playing a Monica love interest was a cool gig — one Tom Selleck got to try on for size too — Favreau was nearly Monica’s main man! If Favreau didn’t turn down the offer, he would be one of the many actors who has become part of the show’s globally recognized image.

Everything must work out for the best. If Favreau was on Friends for a decade, he may have never received the opportunities needed to bring us Iron Man, which led to an entire franchise of successful films. 

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Dwayne Johnson Releases Video Asking ‘Where Is Our Leader?’

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Celebrities are getting involved in the national protests against the death of George Floyd. Jamie Foxx, Cole Sprouse and John Boyega have been at protests themselves. John Cusack took photos and video of Chicago protests. Other celebrities are donating to Black Lives Matter, bail funds, George Floyd’s family and other fundraisers. Dwayne Johnson spoke out in a video he released on June 3. 

Dwayne Johnson | Steve Dietl/NBC

RELATED: Cole Sprouse Got Arrested with Black Lives Matter Protestors: What He Wants You to Do Next

Johnson asked “Where are you?” and repeated it over and over. He directed this question at who he feels is an absent leader. Read what Johnson said and watch the full video below. 

Dwayne Johnson is looking for a leader

In his movies, Johnson is the star. He usually leads his costars on an adventure, and he leads his crew on the job behind the scenes. He was a leader in the WWE. He’s a leader as host of The Titan Games. So he wants to know…

Dwayne Johnson | Art Streiber/NBC

RELATED: John Cusack Spent the Day Covering Chicago’s George Floyd Protests and Police Attacked Him

“Where are you?” Johnson asked. “Where is our leader, where are you, where is our leader at this time? At this time when our country is down on its knees begging, pleading, hurt, angry, frustrated, in pain, begging and pleading with its arms out just wanting to be heard. Begging and pleading and praying for change. Where are you?”

Dwayne Johnson says the world needs compassion

Johnson continued asking for a leader, but not just any leader. The right leader right now would have to have compassion.

Where is our compassionate leader who’s going to step up to our country who’s down on its knees and extend a hand and say, ‘You stand up. Stand up with me. Stand up with me because I got you. I got you. I got you, I hear you, I’m listening to you and you have my word that I’m going to do everything in my power until my dying day, my last breath to do everything I can to create the change that is needed, to normalize equality because Black Lives Matter.’ Where are you? It’s that same compassionate leader who has to come back and readdress the country.

Dwayne Johnson video, 6/3/2020

Anyone can be a leader

Johnson is calling on someone with authority to lead the country. In other comments he specified the President, though never named Donald Trump. However, in the absence of what he considers a leader, Johnson says we can fill the void.

“Like the majority of Americans, I’m not a politician and I’ve never clearly been elected to office and I’m not the President of the United States,” Johnson said. “But I am a man and I am a father who cares so deeply about my family, about my children and the world that they will live in. I care so deeply about our country and every single person in it. That’s who I am.”

Dwayne Johnson | Steve Dietl/NBC

RELATED: How Harry Styles, Colin Kaepernick, John Legend, John Cusack and Other Celebs Are Supporting George Floyd Protests

Johnson encourages other Americans to do the same. If The Rock doesn’t motivate you to be a leader, what else will?

“As we continue to wait for that leader to emerge I would recommend to all of you that we must become the leaders we’re looking for,” Johnson said. “We become our own leaders, because we’re doing it now. We must become the leaders we are looking for.” 

Until then, Dwayne Johnson is still looking

Johnson spoke for eight minutes. Just in case you forgot where he started, he reiterated one last time. 

RELATED: How ‘Hamilton’ and Lin-Manuel Miranda Are Supporting the George Floyd Protests, and How You Can Help

“I’ll ask it one more time, where are you?” Johnson asked. “Where is that compassionate leader who steps up and takes accountability for his country and all of the people in our country? Where are you because I’ll tell you what, we’re here. We are all here. We’re all here and the process to change has already begun. You can feel it. You can feel it across our country. Change is happening. It’s going to take time. We’re going to get beat up. We’re going to take our lumps. There’s going to be blood. But the process of change has already begun. You guys stay strong. We got this.”

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‘Aquaman’: Jason Momoa Actually Played a Citizen of Atlantis Many Years Earlier

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Superhero movies are everywhere in pop culture. So much so that it seems like everyone has some kind of connection to the genre. And Jason Momoa is no exception to that. These days, the actor is best known as Aquaman in the DC Extended Universe. But believe it or not, DC Comics’ Arthur Curry isn’t the first time Momoa has played a citizen of Atlantis.

Jason Momoa at an ‘Aquaman’ fan event | Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Jason Momoa led ‘Aquaman,’ the DCEU’s first billion-dollar hit

Against all odds, Aquaman became a monster hit in 2018. For the longest time, the character — who famously communicates with sea creatures — seemed like a punch line. There was no way a movie adaptation could be successful, right?

Then director James Wan brought his horror experience and stylistic sensibility to the project. With Momoa in the lead, the pair delivered an old-school action-adventure that truly connected with audiences. In fact, Aquaman remains the biggest hit throughout the entire DCEU.

Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman — DC’s three biggest heroes — had all headlined movies in the DCEU. But Aquaman surpassed them all. The movie earned $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office. Perhaps it worked so well because Momoa knows a thing or two about Atlantis.

RELATED: Aquaman: How Jason Momoa Will Make This DC Hero Cool Again

But the actor has played a citizen of Atlantis before

Most fans probably first discovered Momoa on Game of Thrones. Truly, his performance as Khal Drogo made an impression on viewers. But several years before that, Momoa connected with sci-fi/fantasy audiences as Ronon Dex on Stargate Atlantis.

The show was the second to be based on the 1994 box office hit Stargate. It aired from 2005 to 2009 on the Sci Fi Channel, now known simply as Syfy. But it wasn’t until its second season that Momoa — a former star of TV shows Baywatch: Hawaii and North Shore — joined the cast.

Momoa played the character — who hails from a highly advanced planet — and appears in more than 70 episodes. Soon after his introduction, Ronon joins the Atlantis expedition. Momoa stayed with the show from season two until the series finale.

RELATED: Jason Momoa Reveals the Hardest Part About Playing ‘Aquaman’

When will Momoa’s Aquaman return to the DCEU?

Momoa may have bid farewell to the Stargate franchise following the conclusion of Stargate Atlantis. But he isn’t leaving the DCEU anytime soon. In fact, if rumors of The Flash solo movie are true, Momoa will have a pivotal role in that project. Then, of course, there’s the Aquaman sequel.

Following the first movie’s billion-dollar box office, Warner Bros. has made Momoa a major face for the franchise. And following a string of hits, the DCEU is really picking up the pace. Beginning in 2022, the franchise will release as many as four movies per year.

The last of these will see Momoa return for Aquaman 2. Other stars remain unconfirmed, but Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has confirmed he will at least return as Black Manta. The untitled sequel — once again directed by Wan — will release on Dec. 16, 2022.

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DCEU: Henry Cavill’s Superman Finally Dons An Iconic (And Very Different) Look in New Fan Art

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The jury is still out on when or even if fans will see a Man of Steel sequel. But by all accounts, Henry Cavill is still very much Superman in the DC Extended Universe. The actor will, of course, appear in the upcoming HBO Max release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League in 2021.

And rumors are swirling that Cavill could reprise Superman in Shazam! 2 the following year. Yet, one big question some fans have is whether Cavill will finally appear in one of Superman’s most famous suits.

Henry Cavill at a ‘Batman v Superman’ photocall | Hector Vivas/LatinContent via Getty Images

‘Man of Steel’ took liberties with Superman’s suit

Arguably, no superhero outfit is as iconic as Superman’s. The blue suit, red cape, and large S — his family crest — are known the world over. And in most screen adaptations, the design doesn’t change too much. The color tones are adjusted, as is the size of the chest. But the spandex material and general look remains fairly uniform.

Yet, just as Man of Steel reboots the character’s mythos, his suit gets an upgrade as well. Rather than a spandex-style suit, Cavill’s appears more like armor. Plus, his incarnation does away with the red bottoms of traditional suits. Instead, the colors are darkened, and the only red is on the cape and chest piece. But when Cavill does return, Superman might look different.

RELATED: The Best (and Worst) of Superman: The Franchise Ranked

Fans wanted his iconic black suit from the comics in ‘Justice League’

When Cavill does come back, his Superman will probably more closely resemble his traditional portrayal, both in suit and in attitude. But the DCEU shouldn’t miss the chance to bring one of the character’s most famous looks to life. Fans have been waiting for Cavill’s Superman to wear the black suit he does in the comics.

Back in the 1990s, DC Comics killed off Superman in epic fashion. And when he returned, the Man of Steel wore a black and silver “recovery suit.” Its design absorbs solar energy to recharge his power and protect him in a weakened state. And since the DCEU borrowed elements from this storyline, some fans were disappointed it didn’t appear in Justice League.

Now a digital artist with the username “Mizuri” has posted a piece of fan art on Instagram. The image is based on a poster for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But this time, Cavill’s Superman wears the black suit, along with the long hair and beard of some comics appearances. But will fans ever see Cavill actually bring this look to the big screen?

RELATED: ‘Man of Steel 2’: 6 Villains Superman Should Fight

How Henry Cavill’s Superman could still don the black suit on screen

The answer is a definitive “maybe.” With work on the Justice League Snyder cut underway, it’s possible the black suit could be added in for that release. After all, Superman’s resurrection would be the most natural place to feature it. And the black suit was originally meant to at least pop up briefly.

Even if that doesn’t happen, it seems like fans will have several other chances to see Cavill trade Superman’s traditional red and blue for some black and silver action. With any luck, the actor will reprise the role in a few new projects, including Man of Steel 2. Fans just have to wait and see.

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