This week avid Avengers fans will flock to the movie theatre to catch the latest installment in the franchise, Avengers: Infinity War. The action-packed superhero flick is set to be the highest-grossing movie of the year, if not of all time.
It is set to be true Marvel mayhem, with just about every character from every franchise within the Marvel Cinematic Universe coming through to help save the day – or, just make things worse.
For the first time, this superhero film doesn’t look like it’ll end with a happily ever after. Watch the trailer here…
But whilst the cast may look ready to challenge Thanos as he comes in search of the Infinity Stones, it hasn’t always been that way. If he’d have come to Earth several years ago, he’d have been able to rule it within seconds, because this bunch certainly wouldn’t have been able to stop him…
1. Chris Evans as Captain America
Chris Evans first flaunted his toned torso on the big screen back in 2005 when he brought Marvel’s Johnny Storm/The Human Torch to life in Fantastic Four and its later sequel.
Clearly not content with just two films featuring the buff Boston-native, Marvel signed Evans up for the role of a lifetime when they cast him as Captain America.
Of course, there was a drastic difference between the self-assured and vain Johnny Storm and the patriotic, genetically-modified Steve Rogers, so Evans had to hit the gym – hard.
Luckily, the 36-year-old is “a big fan of working out”, so getting stacked for the role came naturally – the paycheck can’t have hurt either!
2. Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man
When Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, he had a lot to prove. With an early career marred by drug abuse and stints in prison, Downey needed to prove his bankability for Marvel Studios given that they were trusting him to lead the first film in their cinematic universe.
Thankfully, the 53-year-old actor didn’t let them down. In fact, Iron Man was such a success that a further two films followed. He also became one of the central figures in the following Avengers films – so it’s no wonder Forbes listed him as the highest-paid actor in Hollywood for 2015.
3. Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Chris Hemsworth has never exactly been on the small side. Standing at an impressive 1.9m (6 ft 3″), the Australian-born star was the obvious choice when Marvel went hunting for a hammer-wielding God.
But whilst the 34-year-old may wear his muscles like the rest of us wear our ordinary clothes, it would seem that it hasn’t always been that way. In his youth, Hemsworth – who was a virtual unknown when he was cast as Thor for the 2011 film of the same name – was much less of a man mountain.
4. Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow
Despite often being cited as one of the hottest stars in Hollywood, Scarlett Johansson still had to hit the gym hard in order to convincingly play the super-assassin, Black Widow.
Whilst her male co-stars had the benefit of time when it came to preparing for each film, Johansson was challenged by her pregnancy in 2014. But in true superhero style, she didn’t let it get in the way of her ability to kick ass!
5. Mark Ruffalo as Hulk
Meanwhile, Mark Ruffalo was able to escape the pressure of an intense body transformation by playing the unassuming scientist, Bruce Banner – who, incidentally, goes through the biggest body transformation of all when he turns bright green and rages around cities as Hulk.
In fact, if anything it’s probably recommended for Ruffalo to stay clear of the gym for a stacked Bruce Banner wouldn’t quite have the same effect – no doubt the rest of the cast envy him for this!
6. Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther
Black Panther exceeded all expectations when it was released earlier this year, with critics calling it the best film in Marvel’s cinematic universe to date. Raking in $1.3 billion at the box office, it became the 10th-highest-grossing-film of all time.
Of course, this success can be attributed to many different elements of the production, but one thing that truly made it work was the performance of Chadwick Boseman.
Whilst he may have played the King of Wakanda with effortless style, it was actually more difficult than Boseman made it look. For one, he had to get that superhero body!
7. Tom Holland as Spider-Man
When Tom Holland was cast as Spider-Man, there were many who doubted the trained dancer’s capabilities. But then he bulked up and silenced his critics when he debuted as the web-slinging superhero in the hugely successful Captain America: Civil War.
The 21-year-old British star is set to really make the character his own in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War as well as the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming – but the question is, can he keep up with Iron Man and Captain America?
8. Chris Pratt as Star-Lord
Chris Pratt had to go through a dramatic transformation in order to play Peter Quill in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. The 38-year-old, known for his comedic timing rather than his ripped body, was bearly recognizable by the time GotG was released in 2014.
Pratt hasn’t been shy about his body, previously admitting: “I’ve always been a little soft. I like to eat.” Don’t we all, Chris! Now, tell us your diet secret!
9. Anthony Mackie as Falcon
As Captain America’s ‘sidekick’, Falcon had to be bulky. So it was only natural that Marvel Studios cast Anthony Mackie, an actor with a track record for kick-ass performances where size really matters.
Besides, Falcon couldn’t be too big because then how would he fly?
10. Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier
In order to compellingly compete with Captain America, Bucky Barnes needed to be substantially sized. So for many fans, it was slightly confusing when Sebastian Stan was chosen to bring the character to life. With appearances in teen flicks such as Gossip Girl, some doubted if he could do The Winter Soldier justice.
But, he did. In fact, there were many moments where it was questionable if Captain America could even compete with his ominous character!
They may get paid the big bucks, but there is no doubting that these actors deserve it!