During an interview for Josh Horowitz's Happy Sad Confused podcast, McConaughey revealed he was a huge fan of the original Hulk TV show and he wanted to get all green and mad in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at one point. Norton dropped out of the MCU following 2008's somewhat disappointing The Incredible Hulk, which was only the second ever MCU film.
"Wanted it," McConaughey said when he was asked if he would've liked to portray the character after Norton's departure. McConaughey added that he threw his hat in the ring but was told by Marvel Studios, "No thank you."
Ultimately, he lost out on the role to Mark Ruffalo, who has portrayed the character since 2012's The Avengers. While he didn't delve too much further into why Marvel wasn't game for him to take on the role, it's worth pointing out this was just before the great McConaissance of 2012-14 when he received acclaim for his performances in Mud, Dallas Buyers Club, True Detective, and more. He has yet to show up in any superhero movies, but it's unclear if he's looking to change that with his favorite Marvel character already occupied.
Listen to the full episode of the podcast here, which focuses on the release of McConaughey's new memoir Greenlights: Raucous Stories and Outlaw Wisdom.