|Who could discover the Pym Particle?|
I've done this before. A couple times. More then a few, actually (and once for the other guys). I like making wanton speculative statements. And the wonderful thing is, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe gets bigger and broader, the laws of statistics suggest eventually I'll get one of these right. And I'm willing to take that bet.
I came close, as I originally named Rebecca Hall as a valid choice for Scarlet Witch. She was soon after cast in Iron Man 3 as not Scarlet Witch. I was also right on the money on them using Falcon in the Cap sequel, I was just wrong about who they picked. And while I suggested Jason Momoa for Hawkman over in the Justice League, Marvel looked pretty closely at him for Guardians of the Galaxy. Looking back on my previous suggestions, I stand by all of them. Despite recent rumours that Marvel is looking elsewhere, I hold that David Duchovny would make a great choice for Doctor Strange, a film that Kevin Feige wants to make a part of Phase 3. And I maintain that either Joelle Carter or Charlize Theron would be equally good choices for Carol Danvers, though my heart belongs to Carter.
With the casting of Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel has shown us they are more then willing to cast unexpected actors in their films. Feige is already looking into the next decade in terms of productions, so I feel like fans are well within their right to start taking wild guesses as to whom Marvel will latch onto for their next project.
Hit the jump to see the list.
Dillahunt is one of those guys that makes stuff better. He was great in the Sarah Conner Chronicles, he cuts it up on Raising Hope, he made Looper better in his scant few moments, and was a right fit on Deadwood. As soon as he appears on screen, it doesn't matter what he's doing, he makes it more enjoyable, and exudes talent. I have no role specifically in mind for Dillahunt, as he could well play anything. A SHIELD agent on the TV series, sure. Representative from an evil over-reaching corporation, easy. Multi-dimensional demon lord, why not? Plus he looks just slightly weird, which is muchly to his benefit. So go ahead Marvel, cast him in anything. Just don't waste him.
Amidst rumours that Natalie Portman was forced to appear in Thor 2 (contractual obligations most likely), it wouldn't surprise or disappoint me if her character failed to appear in the presumptive third film, thus allowing for the world of Thor to expand even more. The logical choice to replace Portman's Jane Foster as a love interest would be Valkyrie, a character so prominent in the Thor mythos I was surprised when they went with Sif in the first film (I'm not complaining, as I think Sif and the Warriors Three could sustain their own spin-off).
Strahovski more then proved her ability to kick ass on Chuck, and in the process endeared herself to geeks everywhere, so it wouldn't be a hard sell. She has yet to make her mark on the big screen, though a role in the upcoming I, Frankenstein hopes to change that. Her time on Dexter proves she can play the baddie too, which would help considering Valkyrie has a dark connection to the character I think would be the logical villain in Thor 3...
Amora the Enchantress/Ruth Wilson
I'm sorry, have you not seen Luther? Wilson brings the crazy. She brings it like a bottle of cheap wine to a fancy dress party thrown by someone she only barely gets on with, but understands there is an etiquette to this sort of thing. And she makes crazy enchanting. You can't peel you're eyes off her when she's on screen. So much so that Neil Cross and the BBC are considering a spin-off for her, just because she is so damned good. Everything Tom Hiddleston brought to Loki (who ideally should be nowhere near Thor 3), Wilson could bring to the exiled Asgardian sorceress. At least one of her origins has her being an apprentice of Loki's, which might provide some motivation if Loki goes bye-bye.
The Executioner/Vin Diesel
Any use of Amora would also require the use of her ever (to a fault) loyal Asgardian strong man. And such a role would require a very dominant physical presence, as well as an actor who could be able to play the emotional aspects as well. That is a short list. And I'll admit, I almost sided with Dwayne Johnson. Diesel wins out as he a better actor then the Rock (by whatever margins you wish to apply). Having carved out a career of playing anti-heroes, it is rare for Diesel to play an out and out villain. Plus he's a massive nerd, which does help sometimes with these sorts of roles. He would look well over Wilson's head, though not quite as much as her Luther co-star, and that dragged-over-gravel-at-the-bottom-of-a-deep-well voice clinches it for me. The most important thing would be that the Executioner should look like he could kick Thor's ass. And I think Diesel could pull that off (even though he's a couple inches shorter then Hemsworth).
Eve was nearly cast as Emma Frost in X-Men First Class, a role she lost to January Jones, who proceeded to "act" her way out of Days of Future's Past (no matter the low quality of the role, Eve would have at least been relied upon to emote like a human being rather then a sofa cushion). Eve is making her way up the Hollywood totem, and will next appear in J.J. Abram's Star Trek Into Darkness, undoubtedly her biggest role to date. Thing is, she's British, and she's funny, and talented, and then also mind swimmingly gorgeous. I would cast her in everything.
Cloak and Dagger are perhaps the most reliable secondary characters the Marvel universe has, appearing across all titles with regularity since their first appearance thirty years ago, but never sustaining their own title. More importantly, they were one of the properties (along with Black Panther and Iron Fist) which had treatments written for possible films after Disney's purchase of Marvel. Meaning, Feige might already be thinking about a way to use the pair later on down the line. Of course one does little good without the other, so...
In my mind, I'm envisioning Cloak being a completely digital character. Bryan Singer has teased that he's considering using a motion capture character in Days of Future's Past, and for some of Marvel's more extreme creations, it would be an easier path to take then trying to create costumes or make-up. So mo-cap Cloak, and use David to fill out the sort of deep, echoing voice that I've always imagined, to reflect the endless empty void that makes up Cloak's intangible self. And David is a master of that sort of voice.
Because their origin in the comics is a little wonky, and because their powers are a little more out there then what the MCU has dealt with thus far, it seems to me tying them to Doctor Strange in some way would be the easiest explanation. And since Feige wants to move forward on Strange...
The plot description for Thor: The Dark World states that the Nine Realms will be threatened by "a mysterious enemy older than the universe itself." In the comics, Dormammu is often referred as one of the oldest, most powerful entities in the Universe, out pacing Galactus, Thanos, and all of the Asgardian mysticals. Thor already Easter-Egged Doctor Strange, and the Doctor is rumoured to be the post-credits focus of the Dark World, so the coming of Dormammu might not be as far off as you'd think (with Christopher Eccleston's Malekith the Accursed acting as his agent). Certainly, he's the logical choice for the primary adversary in a Strange film. His shape shifting and less then corporeal self might be an oppurtunity of Marvel to stretch more of it's motion capture muscles. And Jones is at the top of that particular field, having already visited a Marvel universe as the Silver Surfer. Plus, the lack of a physically defined antagonist adds to the irregular nature of the Strange lore.
During (or shortly after) her time on LOST, Grace was a fan favourite for the role of Kitty Pryde in X3, and I think everyone concerned is glad that didn't pan out. All these years later though, Grace deserves to have a role that does not consist solely of her screaming and being kidnapped (Taken, The Following). There was a brief flirtation in Taken 2 of showing her potential as a straight up action star (a position she also touched on in Lockout), and Marvel could make that happen. If Feige is serious about introducing the Lovecraftian world of Doctor Strange in Phase 3, Grace would be a fine choice for the Doctor's apprentice/love interest/demon spawn. And, she's already got proven chemistry with my favoured choice, Duchovny, having worked with him this past season on Californication.
Bonita Juarez, The Firebird/Genesis Rodriguez
If there is one group less well represented in the MCU then the female heroes, it is minorities in general. Outside of James "War Machine" Rhodes, Anthony Mackie's Falcon will be the highest profile non-white hero to appear, once The Winter Soldier arrives (Idris Elba as the race-lifted Heimdall appeared in Thor, of course, as did the Warrior Hogun, both in smaller roles, thus making Thor the most racial diverse of the MCU films yet). Marvel Comics Editor Axel Alonso agrees this is a problem, and has decreed that more Latino characters will be introduced into the comics, a move Kevin Feige would be smart to follow in the film.
Rodriguez, having made small appearances in Man on a Ledge and Identity Thief, seems to be one of those actress we'll be seeing increasingly in the near future, and Marvel would be smart to get in on the early days of that (as they did with Chris Hemsworth). Firebird, a Human Torch-style character with alien guff mixed into her origin, would also give them a chance to explore the larger influence of the Avengers on the world, as Firebird is most often found, when not part of the Avengers, leading the America south-west based Rangers. Which is also where Thor was set, so there could already be an established connection.
Brian Braddock aka Captain Britain/Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
With Joss Whedon's recent announcement that the Avengers 2 will contain a brother-sister team, I swept aside the suggestion of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and announced my favour for the equally possible, and far more interesting (in my mind anyway) duo of Brian and Betsy Braddock, the former of which is the Captain America counterpart, Captain Britain. As Marvel continues to grow in success and popularity, I'd like to see them start making smaller films, geared towards specific markets. The Marvel universe contains many characters and teams that originate from places that aren't New York, and with Alpha Squad in Canada, and MI:13 in the UK, there is enough material for them to stretch their international film making muscles a touch.
While Captain Britain has a more mystical origin in the 616 universe, in the Ultimate comics he was a product of the EU creating their own super soldier team via exo-suits and super soldier serum conditioning. The team eventually included Captains France, Italy and Spain, and all of whom would later die. I see the film version of Captain Britain being more about other countries fortifying themselves in the wake of the Battle of New York, and the return of the super soldier serum that created Rogers, and the Hulk. It creates a personal connection for those characters, and widens the rather American focused gaze the MCU has had thus far.
Coster-Waldau, who is fantastic as Jamie on Game of Thrones, and was sorely missed after sitting out most of last year, is becoming the cast member with the greatest potential for a blockbuster film career along side (and after) the series. He wasn't exactly hurting for roles before hand, having been working in English films since the turn of the millennium, and writing and producing in his native Denmark. He can do the accent, he looks the part, and wouldn't it be great to see Captain America, whose war time activities saw him working beside the British, standing shoulder to shoulder with Captain Britain against Thanos?
Betsy Braddock aka Psylocke/Alison Brie
Internet favourite Alison Brie was one of several actresses to try out for the role of Agent 13 in the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Solider, sadly loosing out to Emily VanCamp. However, as the recent casting of Lee Pace in Guardians proves, Marvel isn't beyond recognising talent when it appears in front of them, and finding a role for them elsewhere. And hopefully, this image will have been noticed by the right people, and convince them that there is a place in the MCU for Ms. Brie.
Some of you might be thinking, "but isn't Psylocke Asian?" which is sort of true. There is a whole telepathic body switch story that would have to be ignored anyway, as Braddock's 616 mutantness would have to be ignored altogether. Betsy began life as a Caucasian Brit, sister to Captain Britain Brian Braddock, accomplished pilot, model and eventual member of STRIKE, the British equivalent to SHIELD. In the Ultimate universe, her role was more assertive and less exploitative, introducing her as a Colonel in the British Secret Service. No matter what version she is, she's a master of sword and knife play, which would fit nicely into the niche left open between fist-and-gun master Black Widow, and Hawkeye's arrows.
And now some of you might be thinking, "isn't Brie American?" which is also true. And while there are many, many talented English actresses who would be good in the role, if you saw The Five Year Engagement, then you know that Alison Brie and her Emily Blunt impression were the best things about that movie. And Brie, whose current TV jobs will likely be gone within a year or so, should aim for movie star as her next career accomplishment. Marvel is as good a place to start as anywhere, just ask Chris Hemsworth.
Hank Pym aka the Original Ant-man/Steve Martin
This is my so-out-of-left-field-it-might-just-be-brilliant pick. Martin, many times over his career, has proven he can do drama, and so long as he isn't expected to act like a complete scene-chewing ham (cough.. Pink Panther...cough) he still one of the better comedic actors working. Like his contemporary Bill Murray, nowadays he is taking fewer projects, and choosing those projects with greater care, helping to elevate his career to yet another level even after all these years. And the man can play the banjo, so points for that.
Edgar Wright has made it clear that his Ant-man film, officially the first movie of Phase 3 of Marvel (and rumoured to be set up by Iron Man 3) will be multi-generational, taking place in the 1960's and in the modern day, following both the original Hank Pym and the current Stephen Lang. I can think of few off-the-wall but better choices to played the modern day Pym, the elder scientist whose adventuring days are behind him. Pair him with someone snarky like Nathan Fillion in the role of Lang, and Wright's obvious and abundant sense of humour, and you could have the makings of potentially the most accessible film in the MCU.
So there you go. 12 possible casting choices, each as likely to happen as my left foot falling off, sprouting lips and going on to have a successful career as a Broadway light-rigger.