The producers of superhero movies have been very aggressive about casting Oscar winners and nominees to lend some prestige and class to their silly comic book fantasy epics. Among others, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, and now Lupita Nyong’o have traded their Oscar cred for big Marvel or DC paydays. Let’s make a prediction: Which of this year’s new Oscar nominees will turn up in a superhero flick next?
In fact, some of this year’s acting nominees have already been in superhero movies. Gary Oldman appeared as Jim Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy, Margot Robbie played Harley Quinn in ‘Suicide Squad’, and Daniel Kaluuya has a role in ‘Black Panther’ this week. Nonetheless, that still leaves a bunch of acclaimed actors who haven’t done a superhero movie yet. What the hell are they waiting for?
While I think we as a society are at a loss without seeing Daniel Day-Lewis tackle the role of Multiple Man, I’d bet that Woody Harrelson is a shoe-in for a Marvel role at some point soon. While it could be something in ‘Guardians’ or ‘Ant-Man’, it would be more interesting to see Harrelson step into the guise of Mr. Sinister.
M. Enois Duarte
Although he had a rough start in the 1940s, I think it’s high-time that comic book fans finally see Spectre make his feature film debut, and I nominate Denzel Washington as the perfect actor to carry that torch. Marvel failed at bringing supernatural horror comics to the big screen in two ‘Ghost Rider’ features, but I think in the hands of an accomplished, talented director working with Washington, this awesome series would be pretty spectacular.
For those unfamiliar with the ghostly superhero, he’s a police detective who worked in both Metropolis and Gotham until he was brutally murdered. Rather than being granted entry into the afterlife, he gets turned into the Spirit of Vengeance, punishing evildoers for a variety of wrongdoings, and taking the moniker of Spectre. In his human form, Crispus Allen has already made appearances in ‘Gotham’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and the recent ‘Justice League’, so it should be easy enough to bring him into the DC universe and eventually join the superhero team, if not have him be a great way to reintroduce the Green Lantern Corps to audiences. With Washington as the gruesome, morally-ambiguous and vengeful spirit with near-omnipotent powers, an R-rated film could explore various philosophical and moral dilemmas about justice, punishment and the questionable advantages of death as a form penalty.
Saoirse Ronan seems to be on the same trajectory as Brie Larson, so I can easily see her getting cast as the next major comic book character to come to the big screen. Assuming that a bunch of our leading MCU heroes are about to eat it in the upcoming ‘Avengers’ movie, it might be fun to see Ronan play the next iteration of an existing character. A woman has donned Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit in comics, so maybe she’ll replace him should he and his quips go to the grave in ‘Infinity War’.
Ronan played a proper badass in ‘Hanna’. A role in the darker and grittier ‘X-Men’ universe could also be an enjoyable landing place. As a fan of the actress for over a decade, I’d love to see her join a non-Singer ‘X-Men’ cast.
I’m a little bit surprised that Meryl Streep hasn’t already turned up as a villain in any of the Marvel MCU movies yet. Don’t tell me the woman is too respectable an actress to appear in a comic book flick. She’s done two ‘Mamma Mia!’ movies, so she can spare us the pretense of still having any dignity after that.
I’m not versed enough in comic book lore to have a specific role picked out for her, but I see Streep playing a character similar to Robert Redford’s in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. She can be a politician or high-ranking authority figure who appears to be on the heroes’ side at first, but is later revealed to be a double agent, if not the diabolical mastermind behind whatever the plot of the movie is.
If Streep’s not available or just won’t do it, I suppose France McDormand would fit just as well. She was in a ‘Transformers’ sequel, so there’s nothing holding her back from doing something with superheroes.
Feel free to expand this topic to cover any other actor (Oscar nominated or not) that you’d like to see in a superhero movie.
This blog is taking Monday off for the Presidents’ Day holiday. We’ll see you back here on Tuesday.