So it's far from a secret that I just love the Marvel movies. I think Avengers was a glorious moment for all of us who grew up idolizing men in tights, Captain America is just what this country could do with a bit more of, and Iron Man was what made me come back to comics after I'd just about completely abandoned them for being so damned serious all the time. Now, with all the success and piles of money that the project is rolling in, we can expect to see a lot more than just the old standby heroes popping up. We've already been promised an Ant-Man movie in 2015, which certainly has me excited, but there are heroes that I'd like to see and so far no luck. So here we go, my list of the Marvel heroes that I think should be popping up in theaters before the steam runs out on this crazy train. And yes, as I said above I am aware that Ant-Man is already coming to us, but as he hasn't been officially cast yet, I'm tossing out the best name for the job, so hopefully Joss is reading and will tell Marvel to do what I say, eh?
1. Ant-Man as portrayed by Alan Tudyk
2. Black Panther as portrayed by Lennie James
Black Panther is an obvious choice for Marvel's next collection of films. In fact, it's so obvious the only reason I can think of why they aren't already making it is that they can't think of who to play the king of Wakanda. Admittedly, it's a hell of a choice. There aren't a lot of actors these days that could do justice to a character of such historical and contextual import. I went through several possibilities including Denzel Washington, Idris Elba, and LeVar Burton, before I finally settled on Lennie James. James is one of those actors that has a very different feel from his contemporaries. After seeing his work in Jericho I came to the conclusion that he was the only actor today that could bring the right stuff to T'Challa on the big screen. He isn't the king of badasses like a certain other big-name to sport an eyepatch in the franchise and he isn't so soft spoken as to simply disappear. Instead he brings a quiet confidence that works well with the royal nature of the character.
3. Doctor Strange as portrayed by Liam Neeson
Perhaps an odd choice given the proclivity of at least partially scientific rules that the current Marvel movies are tending to stick to, I feel that Strange could be an excellent addition to the franchise, particularly opposite RDJ's exceptional Iron Man. This is a character that needs to match wits with Stark and have more otherworldly presence than Thor. I can think of no other actor that could do justice to the part except the debonair Liam Neeson. His iconic voice, easy action presence, and masterful leadership ability make him the only real contender for the role of Marvel's sorcerer supreme.
4. Wasp as portrayed by Stana Katic
With the above mentioned Ant-Man film already on its way I cannot help but wonder if Marvel will provide us with an on-screen version of one of my favorite Avengers, Janet van Dyne, the Wasp. She's obviously attached to Hank Pym and would be an energetic addition to the male-heavy Avengers lineup. Her exuberance and her obvious love for being a hero means the role needs a female lead that can offer similar skills as those needed for Ant-Man. To that end, I've nominated Stana Katic of Castle fame. She is very skilled at portraying a strong female lead without feeling like we're looking at another Emma Frost. I don't have a lot to defend this one, that's really it. Looking at all the other actresses available today the only other one I think might be able to handle this would be Kate Beckinsale and as much as I am a fan, I just don't think she can do it. Janet can't be an ice-queen badass. She needs to be a woman, and Katic has what it takes.
5. Luke Cage as portrayed by Tyler Perry
This will undoubtedly be the one for which I get the most crap. Luke Cage is an obvious movie choice for Marvel and will, if we're very lucky, come pre-packaged with Iron Fist. They're fan favorites and with how much Marvel's on a roll right now, I think they'd have to really try to mess this up. That said, there are a ton of options for casting Cage and the decision isn't nearly as difficult as it was for Black Panther. Why then do I risk the farm on a character actor who already showed he can't handle action in the fantastic flame out that was Alex Cross? Because I think he could do it and make it different from what all of Hollywood would expect it to be. I'm not a Tyler Perry fan for the most part, though he has done a couple films that I've enjoyed, but I can promise you he wasn't wearing a dress in any of them. No, what makes Perry my choice is the fact that he is a huge, imposing man with a presence that can only be described as cuddly. He reminds me in some ways of Michael Clark Duncan, another truly great actor of our time and the man who I would've cast for this role if fate hadn't intervened. Still, I think that Perry could bring a quality take on a role that would otherwise go to the actor formerly known as The Rock, which just shouldn't happen. Please, Marvel, don't give Power Man to The Rock. Please. Pretty please.
And that's it. No, I'm not about to suggest Carol Danvers. Let her be well-written in the comics and maybe, but right now she would only damage the films and that's something we don't need. Agree? Disagree? Have a hero you want to suggest? Hate me forever? Why not tell me in the comments?
Until we meet again, game well.
Edit: Images were removed due to copyright claim. Ah well. I guess people do notice this little silly blog that I only post on once every few months.