Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o Were Once up for Major GOTG Roles

In an alternate timeline, Marvel fans are watching a Guardians of the Galaxy movie that stars Black Panther actors Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o.

An excerpt from the upcoming book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios (via Vanity Fair) has revealed that Marvel casting director Sarah Halley Finn looked at Boseman for the role of Drax and Nyong’o for Gamora. While Boseman and Nyong’o auditioning for Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t new information, it was previously believed that Nyong’o was up for the role of Nebula, not Gamora.

While neither landed a part in the 2014 superhero movie, their auditions left an impression on Finn, who ultimately cast them as T’Challa/Black Panther and Nakia years later for Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Black Panther (2018), respectively.

Who ended up playing Drax and Gamora in the MCU?

Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldaña ended up respectively portraying Drax and Gamora in the MCU, beginning with Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and ending with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023). Rounding out the Guardians of the Galaxy was Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, and Vin Diesel as Groot, with Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff’s Mantis, and Maria Bakalova’s Cosmo joining the cosmic team in later installments. (Interestingly enough, Gillan herself was actually up for the role of the MCU’s Sharon Carter at one point.)

James Gunn wrote and directed all three Guardians of the Galaxy movies, which collectively grossed $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office. The entire trilogy, as well as The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and the I Am Groot shorts, are available to stream on Disney+.

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