Casting The Future Of The MCU: The Avengers Edition
Few film franchises have ever been as consistently reliable as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In 2018, with Black Panther and The Avengers: Infinity War brought it all to the next level. In 2019, with Captain Marvel and The Avengers: End Game, the MCU is just going to reach bigger and loftier heights. To keep this ride going, Disney and Marvel are really going to have to dig deep into their stable for more and more heroes and villains. Robert Downy Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth…they all can’t play their characters forever. And even if they could, we may run out of stories to tell about them. We know Marvel has the ability to make even the oddest, most esoteric characters work. Guardians of the Galaxy is the prime example. Disney/Marvel can essentially pull off nearly anything, and now that the studio has acquired 20th Century Fox…they can add X-Men and the Fantastic Four into the mix. This is part one of a three-part article about additions and dream casting in the MCU. First, we focus on new members of the Avengers.
We know that this character is imminent. After the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ayesha sought to destroy the Guardians and we witnessed a birthing pod of a creature she called “Adam”. All signs point to Adam Warlock entering the MCU, and this makes sense because he is crucial to the mythology behind the Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet. He is essentially a cosmic superman, often portrayed as a blond-haired, blue-eyed Adonis. Basically the perfect being. Thus, the only actor I see as fitting this impossible description is Alexander Skarsgard. His look, his stature, his intensity. One can hardly think of anyone more appropriate.
If Adam Warlock does come into the MCU fold, let’s hope he comes with his Infinity Watch. The Watch is a group of heroes that Adam Warlock entrusts the individual Infinity stones to for safe keeping. Two of these members are Drax and Gamora, and we all know how that might or might not work out. Another member is Moondragon. She is a woman from Earth — characteristically drawn with a shaved head — who is a combination of Bruce Lee and Professor X. She has also been historically written as bisexual so that would inject a bit of LGBTQIA+ diversity into the films. One more thing, her parentage has some interesting history which could provide some real poignancy into the MCU. Think Charlize Theron is up to it?
Pip the Troll
One of the strangest Marvel heroes due to the fact that he is essentially an alien who was morphed into a troll-like being after drinking hallucinogenic ale. You read that right. But he did befriend Adam Warlock in his travels and was welcomed to the watch. A rather obvious choice for a role like a cigar-smoking troll would be Peter Dinklage, but he was brilliantly cast as the giant Eitri who helped Thor forge his new axe. How about Andy Serkis in performance capture? I know already showed up in the MCU as Ulysses Klaue, but he can pull double duty just as Benedict Cumberbatch did as Doctor Strange and Dormammu.
Outside of the Infinity Watch, we are going to need some more women at the Avengers Headquarters. We never want the Avengers to be a boys club. My suggestion? She-Hulk. She is the cousin of Bruce Banner and becomes afflicted by Bruce’s condition, though not as seriously, after she receives an accidental blood transfusion from him. Also, she is a brilliant lawyer and able to keep control of her faculties much more than her cousin, so her presence would bring incredible strength to the team, but also intelligence and control. We already have a bunch of brightly colored women in the Guardians films, but we could use one on Earth. I like Lauren Cohan, Maggie from The Walking Dead, for this one. She is as strong a female presence as there can be on that show and she could definitely pull off this green goddess.
While the MCU can be a boys’ club, it can also be an American Club. They helped that issue a bit with the introduction of Wakanda, but Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Clint Barton, Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange, Peter Quill, Sam Wilson, and Bucky Barnes are all red-blooded Americans. That isn’t a bad thing, but the MCU should try to get a bit more global. Well…England has its own Captain America character, called, well, Captain Britain. Brian Braddock is an aristocratic Brit who lost his parents and had the typical laboratory accident to gain superpowers, only to become a sort of Green Lantern figure who is tasked with protecting Mother England. He has worked with Captain America in the past, and even roomed with Peter Parker in college. So he isn’t unknown to these more famous heroes. With Game of Thrones going away next year…I bet Kit Harrington could use some work.
Infinity War upped the ante in such a way that the cosmic Marvel universe really has to now kick into high gear. Adding that to the enormous success of Tom Holland as Spider-Man, some more young blood is needed on the team. In the early parts of Infinity War, we learn that Thanos decimated Xandar to obtain the Power Stone, and with it, the Nova Corps. The mythology surrounding Nova is that the last surviving member of the Nova Corps picked a New York High Schooler, Richard Rider, to take up all the powers of a Nova Centurian, without any instruction. So it is another young hero with powers he has yet to completely understand or control, but with the power to fly across the galaxy. Why not even make him one of Peter Parker’s classmates? That would be a hoot. He needs to be another fun, charismatic, young man. I think using Gaten Matarazzo would be a great choice. The innocent, snarky charm that he brings to Stranger Things would fit right in.
Time for a villain, because the biggest problem the MCU is with a lot of its villains. Once the Avengers move on from Thanos, arguably the biggest, most iconic villain Marvel has to offer, where does the MCU go then? Why not just have some absurdist fun with Arcade, a supervillain hitman that kidnaps superheroes and throws them into Murderworld where they fight to the death. He is a kind of MCU Jigsaw and what a riot it would be to see a handful of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes stuck in a scenario where they have to fight it out, or even as a way to introduce previously unseen heroes that our familiar ones have no emotional connection to. For such an oily, evil sort of man, what about someone like Domnhall Gleeson? He is so good as General Hux.
Jack of Hearts
This is more of a challenge than a wish because Jack of Hearts is one of the most profoundly stupid heroes to even walk the Avengers Mansion halls. He is an alien hybrid combined with naked Jack Hart, who was doused in “Zero Fluid” (whatever that is) which gave him incredible powers but is dangerously unstable. So he built a containment suit to make him look like the Jack of Hearts playing card. It really is ridiculous, but the character was significant in the comics, even leading to a few important deaths (including one of the current Avengers). If they were going to pull off a flying playing car-man through space…they have to get one hell of a goofball actor. I actually picture Dave Franco as him. He usually brings a decent snarky attitude that could certainly work.
With the recent arrivals of weird characters like Thanos, his Black Order, and Korg, it is obvious that the MCU is up for trying nearly anything. Well, it would be spectacular to see one of their strangest villains on the big screen. M.O.D.O.K. stands for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. His name is George Tarleton who was mutated into MODOK while studying the Tesseract. It caused his head to become freakishly large and causes the need for a floating chair for movement. MODOK is one of the most grotesque villains in all of Marvel comics and has been a longtime foe of Captain America. Not to speak ill of one of our best actor’s visage, but MODOK would be a great way to get Steve Buscemi into the MCU.
You know one this the entirety of the MCU is lacking? Kids. Think about it. The world or universe has been under duress for over twenty movies and there is hardly a kid to be found. Sure, Hawkeye and Ant-Man have their respective kids, but only Ty Simpkins’ Harley Keener in Iron Man 3 has any sort of depth of character. You know what else? We are due for a new Incredible Hulk focused film. The introduction of Amadeus Cho would solve both of those issues. Considered the eighth smartest being alive, Cho is a young Korean American who is saved from Pythagoras Dupree by Bruce Banner’s Hulk. They become fast friends and he eventually takes up the Hulk mantle from Banner. Would be a nice way to transition Mark Ruffalo out of the MCU when he is done. This is one character that would benefit from casting an unknown. Also, following Crazy Rich Asian’s lead, it would provide a heck of a high profile role for an Asian-American actor.