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Matthew McConaughey turned down the MCU to do one of his worst movies

Matthew McConaughey had the opportunity to do a Marvel movie, but he decided on something else instead that turned out to be one his least liked projects

Matthew McConaughey in The Wolf of Wall Street

Not everyone loves the idea of being an MCU character. Marvel movies and Marvel series are a bit crowded, and if you’re a big star, that mightn’t leave you with much to work with. Matthew McConaughey turned down the opportunity, only to make one of his worst movies.

He was up for Guardians of the Galaxy, and he explained his rationale to Playboy (via Comicbook). “I like Guardians of the Galaxy, but what I saw was ‘It’s successful, and now we’ve got room to make a colorful part for another big-name actor’,” he says. “I’d feel like an amendment. The Dark Tower script was well written, I like the director and his take on it, and I can be the creator, the author of the Man in Black—a.k.a. the Devil—in my version of this Stephen King novel.”

The first in a possible franchise, McConaughey was optimistic about what was coming. “It’s a fantastic thriller that takes place in another realm, an alternate universe, but it’s very much grounded,” he states. “For instance, the gunslinger’s weapon isn’t a lightsaber or something; it’s a pistol. I enjoyed approaching my character as if I were the Devil having a good time, getting turned on by exposing human hypocrisies wherever he finds them.”

Unfortunately, this is not how The Dark Tower turned out. The action movie featured Idris Elba as the protagonist, Roland, who’s trying to save the universe from McConaughey’s The Man in Black. It was the result of a long, belaboured development that didn’t capture the essence of King’s fantasy novel.

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The Dark Tower books run for nine instalments, theoretically creating plenty of opportunity for growth within the role as McConaughey desired. A lacklustre box office and poor reviews stopped franchise prospects there and then, however, and McConaughey returned to drama movies.

Now that we have the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, we think he might have some second thoughts on this one. Check out our guide on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 to see what’s coming next for the team.