5 Marvel Casting Predictions That Came True
Now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is firmly established as the de facto leader in franchise filmmaking, it’s only a matter of time before a character is introduced into the same world as Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and Chris Evans’s Steve Rogers. Regardless of how closely the MCU films adhere to the source material, the series has managed to delight viewers with its interpretations of fan-favorite heroes and villains.
Along the way, there have been a number of surprising casting moves. For example, no one could have imagined the then-risky choice of Downey to lead a blockbuster franchise like Iron Man, but the gamble paid off and served as the foundation for everything to follow. However, though Marvel films still demonstrate sly casting pretty regularly, they can sometimes opt for a star that is less than shocking. Take the fact that Donald Glover — who has long been connected to the role of Miles Morales — has recently joined the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Here are a few more Marvel casting moves we should’ve seen coming.
1. Patrick Stewart as Professor X
Sure, there’s only so many actors with this much gravitas and charisma that just so happen to have a bald head perfect for the role of Professor Charles Xavier. Still, fans’ hopes that Patrick Stewart would trade in his Star Trek role as Jean-Luc Picard for the leader of the X-Men were rewarded when Stewart signed on to Bryan Singer’s 2000 film. He has subsequently reprised the role several more times, despite essentially passing the character off to James McAvoy in the 2011 prequel and reboot, X-Men: First Class.
2. Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Since his creation, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. was so Caucasian that David Hasselhoff once played him in a film. However, when the character was reintroduced in Marvel Comics in 2002, he was redesigned to resemble ubiquitous actor Samuel L. Jackson. When the time came to bring Fury into the films during that game-changing post-credits scene in Iron Man, Marvel reached out to Jackson to play the role. At the time, there’s no way comic book writer Mark Millar and artist Bryan Hitch knew that a film would one day come to pass, but essentially, they affected Fury’s depiction on film and predicted Jackson’s ultimate (pun intended) involvement.
3. Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool
Just as Nick Fury’s big-screen future seemingly derived from the page, that of mercenary Wade Wilson aka Deadpool also followed suit. In the comics, the character even refers to himself as Ryan Reynolds long before the actor first wielded his signature swords in that dreaded X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Though Reynolds was unfamiliar with the character when he appeared in Blade: Trinity in 2004, he would later go on to play a proper version of Deadpool in the self-titled blockbuster that became the highest-grossing X-Men film ever.
4. Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange
For years, a Doctor Strange film appeared to be in the cards over at Marvel. The release of an animated feature in 2007 supported the notion that the company was anxious to make use of the Sorcerer Supreme down the line. Fans ultimately honed in on the idea of Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the role. However, since the actor has become a hot commodity in various sectors of the geek community — thanks in large part to roles in Star Trek Into Darkness and The Hobbit trilogy — this idea appeared to be nothing more than the desperate wish of Marvel fans. The studio eventually went ahead and secured Cumberbatch for Scott Derrickson’s upcoming feature film.
5. Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger
When filmmaker Ryan Coogler was announced as the director of Marvel’s Black Panther film, many fans assumed this meant that Coogler’s frequent star Michael B. Jordan would make an appearance in the film. After all, the director and actor had successfully collaborated on both Fruitvale Station and Creed. Thanks to both films, Jordan’s draw as an actor was firmly on the rise (despite the ill-received 2015 Fantastic Four reboot). With Chadwick Boseman already cast as Black Panther, this meant that Jordan would have to take another role. Sure enough, Jordan has since been confirmed to play villain Erik Killmonger in the film.
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