17 Actors Who Would And Wouldn’t Return To Iconic Roles

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Don’t get your hopes up about seeing Steve Rogers ever again.

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When actors play a role for years and years, they can get a little tired of it. So much so that some of them have straight-up gone, “Yeah, I’m done with that forever.”

But other actors miss their character like an old friend, and have said publicly that they’d like to reprise them.

So in case you’re wondering which actors would — and would NOT — be down to reprise their roles, here are nine actors who have said, “Never say never,” and eight who have said, “Never again”!

1.

NEVER SAY NEVER: Recently, Christian Bale told ScreenRant that he would consider playing Batman again, despite the fact that two other actors have already played the role in multiple reboots in the years since The Dark Knight trilogy ended.


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

There’s just one caveat: Christopher Nolan also has to return to direct. “I had a pact with Chris Nolan,” Bale said. “We said, ‘Hey, look. Let’s make three films, if we’re lucky enough to get to do that. And then let’s walk away. Let’s not linger too long.’ In my mind, it would be something if Chris Nolan ever said to himself, You know what, I’ve got another story to tell. And if he wished to tell that story with me, I’d be in.”


Axelle / FilmMagic via Getty Images

However, Bale says he’s never been approached about doing a fourth film.

2.

(Probably) NEVER AGAIN: Chris Evans played Captain America for over a decade, with his character essentially living happily ever after and growing old in Avengers: Endgame. He told Comicbook.com he has no plans to return: “I don’t want to disappoint anybody, but It was such a good run and I’m so happy with it. It’s so precious to me. It would have to be perfect.”


Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

3.

NEVER SAY NEVER: Evans, however, is interested in returning as the Human Torch, telling MTV it’s an “easier sell” than returning as Cap. “Johnny Storm, I feel like he didn’t really get his day,” he said. “I loved that role and, you know, who knows?”


20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved / Courtesy Everett Collection

Evans did, however, acknowledge that Marvel is already developing a Fantastic Four reboot, so it seems that they have other plans.

4.

NEVER AGAIN: After declining to participate in a third Sex and the City, film based on the proposed storylines for her character, Samantha, Kim Cattrall later revealed she had no plans to ever reprise the character, saying she wasn’t even asked to participate in reboot series And Just Like That…

“It’s a great wisdom to know when enough is enough,” she told Variety. “I also didn’t want to compromise what the show was to me. The way forward seemed clear.” She also said that everything in her went, “I’m done” after the second film, and that she didn’t want to return to a job she did 25 years ago, especially if the characters hadn’t changed.


Araya Doheny / FilmMagic via Getty Images

“This is exactly what I wished for: to be in different places playing different characters, because I’m a character actress. … [H]ow are you going to progress with these characters? Everything has to grow or it dies. I felt that when the series ended, I thought, That’s smart. We’re not repeating ourselves. And then the movie to end all the loose ends. And then there’s another movie. And then there’s another movie?”

5.

NEVER SAY NEVER: Andrew Garfield was one of three (even more, if you count animated films) actors to portray Spider-Man on film in the last two decades. Despite vehemently denying that he would appear as the character in Spider-Man: No Way Home…he did.

6.

NEVER AGAIN: Hugh Jackman dispelled rumors he might pop up as his character Wolverine in the film Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (as Disney once again owns the rights to the X-Men), telling YouTuber Jake Hamilton that Marvel boss Kevin Feige hadn’t called him and it was “probably … not on the table” for him to join the MCU.


Joe Pugliese / TV Guide / 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

Starring in 2017’s Logan was very much Jackman’s swan song for the character. “I thought, This is it,” he said. “And that really helped me. It really helped knowing I was going into my last season, that it was my last season, that I made the most of it. And it’s still a character I hold close to my heart. But I know it’s done.”


Ben Rothstein / 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

He suggested that another actor might play the character next, which seems likely now that the MCU has the rights to the X-Men and has introduced the multiverse — AND had Professor X in the Dr. Strange sequel.

7.

NEVER SAY NEVER: Speaking of the X-Men — now that Disney/Marvel owns the property, Sophie Turner, who played Jean Grey in a few of the films, would love to reprise the character in the MCU.


20th Century Fox / Marvel / courtesy Everett Collection

“I don’t even know what the deal is, whether Disney wants to continue on the X-Men journey. I would always be down to go back to that character and that cast and that experience. We had the best time on those movies. I would kill to go back,” Turner told Variety.


Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

8.

NEVER AGAIN: Dave Bautista has played Drax in numerous Marvel films and is set to appear in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. However, after the third Guardians film, Bautista says, he’s done playing Drax.


Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

“[B]y the time G3 comes out I’ll be 54 yrs old for gods sake! im expecting everything to start sagging any second now,” Bautista tweeted, adding that the character would continue — just not played by him. However, James Gunn, the director of all the Guardians films, said there was no Drax without Bautista.


Rocco Spaziani / Archivio Spaziani / Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

9.

NEVER SAY NEVER: Tom Hanks has memorably voiced Woody in all four Toy Story films, the last of which was released in 2019. No one has confirmed that another film will be happening, and the film seemed pretty final in its ending. However, Hanks has said that he would return to the iconic character.


Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

“No one is planning on it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere, two and a half years from now, someone has this kernel of an idea that could become it,” he told LADbible. ‘None of the Toy Story movies are in a schedule; they’re not in a pipeline. They don’t say, ‘On this date, we’ll start work on the next Toy Story movie.’ They wait until someone comes up with a Toy Story idea that is worthwhile pursuing.”


Don Arnold / WireImage via Getty Images

“But I think it’s better that no one is anticipating that; I think there is a strength in saying, ‘This is as far as we’ve been able to go and we don’t see anything else coming after that,’ because otherwise, it ends up being some inorganic approach to something that has been very, very organic,” he continued.

10.

NEVER AGAIN: When a Teen Wolf movie was announced this year, almost all the cast members from the original series were announced to return, with one notable exception: Dylan O’Brien, who played Stiles in the original series.

O’Brien called the decision “difficult” in an interview with Variety, saying that “a lot went into it” and that “ultimately, I just decided it was left in a really good place for me, and I still want to leave it there. I wish them well, and I’m going to watch it the first night it comes out. I hope it fucking kicks ass, but I’m not going to be in it.”


Alberto Rodriguez/Peacock / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

11.

NEVER SAY NEVER: In the wake of the Gossip Girl reboot just nine years after the original had wrapped, many of the stars of the original were asked if they’d be making an appearance. Pretty much all of them have answered to various outlets, “Never say never.”


Andrew Eccles / The CW / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Even Taylor Momsen, who exited the series by Season 5 to pursue a music career, told the Daily Beast, “Never say never,” though she said she didn’t have any plans to return.

Reboot creator Joshua Safran told Cosmopolitan the reason he didn’t bring back any of the main cast was that “the audience would never accept these [new] characters if they were in the shadow of the original characters.” He said that if Nate or Blair were onscreen for a cameo, you’d just want to see more of them and have trouble connecting with the new characters. However, he did say that if they got to a second season, he might bring back some original cast members.


Dia Dipasupil / WireImage via Getty Images

Now that Season 2 is happening, though, it seems the only main(-ish) cast member who will be in the season is Georgina.

12.

NEVER AGAIN: One of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s most famous roles is as Hobbs in the Fast & Furious films. He’s been in five of the movies but has expressed to CNN that there is “no chance” he will appear in the final installment, Fast 10.


Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

“My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible Fast & Furious franchise with gratitude and grace. It’s unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters,” Johnson said after costar Vin Diesel publicly asked him to return to the franchise after Johnson had already, he says, made it clear it wasn’t an option.


Gabe Ginsberg / WireImage via Getty Images

13.

NEVER SAY NEVER: Viggo Mortensen memorably played Aragorn in the three Lord of the Rings films from the early 2000s. And when the prequel book The Hobbit was adapted into three films for the screen, there were some rumbles of Aragorn returning — since costar Orlando Bloom had returned as Legolas.


New Line / Courtesy Everett Collection

Apparently, Mortensen was even approached to be in the series while it was in its early stages. “I told [a producer], ‘He’s not in the book; it’s 60 years before, and he would have been an infant,” Mortensen told the Independent. “He says, ‘Yeah, we can take certain liberties,’ and I said I’d look forward to reading it and that if he’s going to reappear, I would love to revisit him.” He said he later heard they approached other actors about playing Aragorn and ultimately decided against it.


Taylor Hill / FilmMagic via Getty Images

They still seemed to take some liberties with age, as Thranduil does ask his son to go see Strider (a name Aragorn went by) in the third film, and I doubt he’s talking about baby Aragorn.

14.

NEVER AGAIN: Conversely, John Rhys-Davies was not down to return as as Gimli — the character he’d portrayed in the Lord of the Rings trilogy — in The Hobbit films.


New Line / Courtesy Everett Collection

“I’ve already been asked, and to be honest with you, I wouldn’t. I have already completely ruled it out,” Rhys-Davies told Empire, though he admitted, “There’s a sentimental part of me that would love to be involved again,” and said he would play another character.


Michael Bezjian / WireImage via Getty Images

15.

NEVER SAY NEVER: Han Solo has long been a fan favorite in the Star Wars saga, and a new actor got the opportunity to play the character made famous by Harrison Ford in Solo. In the character’s origin film, Han was played by the relatively unknown actor Alden Ehrenreich.


Jonathan Olley / Lucasfilm / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

While there are no current plans for a sequel, Ehrenreich has said he would be willing to reprise the character in some way. “It depends on what it is,” he told Esquire. “It depends on how it’s done. It depends if it feels innate to the story.”


Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

It’s been rumored in the past that he may return in a Disney+ series.

16.

NEVER AGAIN: Chris Pine played Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman, acting as a love interest for Diana. It seemed that he would only appear in the one film, considering that his character died near the end of the film, but then he ended up returning in Wonder Woman 1984.


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

However, Pine has confirmed that Steve won’t be returning for Wonder Woman 3 or any other films. “I think poor Steve is dead, but I wish them all the best on the third one,” he told USA Today.


Randy Holmes / ABC via Getty Images

17.

And finally, NEVER SAY NEVER: Basically, all the main cast of Harry Potter. Tom Felton, for example, has stated in no uncertain terms that he’d like to return.


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

“If you’re asking me will I dye my hair blonde again to be Draco, abso-bloody-lutely. Either [him or Lucius]. I’ll play Draco’s kid if you really want!” Felton told People magazine in 2021. “Any chance to be a Malfoy again would be greatly accepted.”


Mike Marsland / Getty Images for Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

He also said that he felt some ownership over the character and that it would be weird to see anyone else play him. Aaron Bartz currently plays the role onstage in the Broadway version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and James Howard plays the role on the West End.

Rupert Grint had a *slightly* less enthusiastic but still positive reply, telling Good Morning Britain, “​​I can’t really think of a reason not to,” and that he loves Ron and the HP universe. “It’s a huge part of my life,” he said. However, he also said that he’d only come back if the other cast members did too.


2010 Warner Bros. / J.K.R. / Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Daniel Radcliffe told the New York Times that playing Harry again is “not something I’m really interested in doing right now.” However, he also said, “I’m never going to say never,” pointing out that the main Star Wars actors (Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford) had three or four decades before they reprised their similarly iconic roles, and he could still change his mind.


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

And Emma Watson had a similar reply to EW Radio, saying, “Ask me in another 10 years.”


Jaap Buitendijk / J.K.R. / Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Did any of these surprise you? Would you like these actors to return to their roles, or would you prefer they didn’t? Let us know in the comments below!

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