When ‘Doctor Who’ Wanted Tom Hanks to Appear as the Doctor

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks / Christopher Polk/GettyImages

From Big to Forrest Gump to Cast Away and beyond, there are few actors more recognizable than Tom Hanks. And he almost played other iconic roles. While Hanks was speaking to Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, it came out that Peter Capaldi, who played the Twelfth Doctor on Doctor Who, lobbied the producers for Hanks to appear as an incarnation of the Doctor.

That didn’t happen, obviously, and Hanks sounds like he thinks it may have been for the best. “That would’ve been a blast, but that’s all ... scheduling I guess. Can’t do every job,” Hanks said.

“And honestly, me [on] Doctor Who," Hanks continued. "Can you imagine? Can you imagine the outrage? I’m an American, and I’m gonna go over and I’m gonna jump in that... telephone box and either wear a scarf and whatever it is … I would’ve played one of the Daleks, maybe. I would’ve been inside one of those big salt and pepper shakers talking in that automated voice—with an English accent, by the way.”

The Doctor does seem like a quintessentially British character. Then again, Daniel Day-Lewis is English and he played Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln. Welshman Anthony Hopkins played American president John Quincy Adams in Amistad and Richard Nixon in Nixon.

Could Tom Hanks join the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

There are, of course, plenty of other iconic roles Hanks could play. How about something within the Marvel Cinematic Universe? They’re always hiring.

Hanks has a long past with Disney—he’s starring in their live-action remake of Pinocchio now—so it may surprise some to learn that they’ve never called the actor to board the MCU. But Hanks is down for whatever. “Look, I haven’t seen them all, I’ll give you that right now. But the ones I’ve seen, I’ve never come away from it without thinking ‘There’s a couple of great performances in there, man, those people really gave it their all."

At this rate, there will soon be more Marvel TV series and movies than there are actors on Earth, so Hanks could easily be called on to become an Avenger sooner or later.

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