The Last Remaining Major Actors Left to Give Into Superhero Stardom
Once an actor or actress achieves a certain level of fame, most do what they can to maintain it. When those indie roles just aren’t bringing home truckloads of bread, the easiest way to juice up a career is to put a suit on it. It’s time for protein, push-ups, and a high-profile comic book character role. They wiggle into those tights, strap on the red cape, and prepare to fly (or at least pretend to in front of a green screen). A lot of stars have played this card, and enjoyed an abundance of success because of it: Robert Downey Jr. made a comeback with Iron Man, Christian Bale turned it up a notch with Batman Begins, and Brie Larson kept it going with Captain Marvel. There are still a lot of stars whose careers are either on the rise or wading in uncertainty, perfectly primed for superhero stardom. The following list comprises those stars as they sit in the dark awaiting that fateful phone call from Marvel or DC.
Cover Photo: Paramount Pictures
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He's already played a superhuman in the form of Stephen Hawking, a wizard in the J.K Rowling penned franchise Fantastic Beasts, and some sort of villainous alien in Jupiter Ascending (a movie no one saw). It's only a matter of time before Redmayne finds himself reading a heroic origin story.
Zac Efron seems like an obvious choice for some sort of self-righteous cape-wearer (given the Baywatch level obsession with physical fitness). It's so obvious, in fact, it'll probably never happen.
The self proclaimed “rock star” comedian's film career has continued to grow over the years with blockbusters like Get Hard, Central Intelligence, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Being no stranger to the gym and having a close (and very entertaining) friendship with the Rock (who is set to star as DC's Black Adam), it wouldn't be surprising to see Kevin Hart take his filmography to the next level. Perhaps he could nab a comedic role in the DCU?
Millie Bobby Brown
This young starlet's popularity will continue to marinate on Netflix until Stranger Things' untimely end. It won't be a surprise when Millie Bobby Brown makes an epic transition from small to big screen; it'll be even less surprising if she decides to save the day courtesy of experimentation-induced superpowers. Eleven's backstory shares some obvious tropes with that of a superhero.
Everyone knows the story of how Leonardo DiCaprio turned down the role of Anakin in George Lucas' Star Wars prequels. DiCaprio decided to focus on more substantial projects and his career continued to grow without the help of a big-budget franchise. It's unlikely that he will ever give in.
Forest Gump was a superhero, right? He ran. Oh, did he run. Anyone with that kind of cardio ability has to be superhuman. In addition to this, Tom Hanks has always embodied characters with an admirable amount of moral integrity (he's starring as Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood for Pete's sake).
If one were to assign this kid the task of fighting crime in Gotham (which was a rumor for a while), leaping tall building in a single bound, or flying around the Earth fast enough to manipulate time, he would demolish expectations. This would move him from indie appreciation into the realm of overwhelming celebrity. He has the acting chops and he's young enough. He just needs to beef up to literally carry a studio for the next 30 years.
At some point, The Walking Dead will end...we think. When it does, Norman Reedus will need a job. He might take a page out of his costar Danai Gurira's book and join the MCU (if he's not 60 years old by then).
Quite possibly the greatest actress of our time, Meryl Streep's proclivity for transformation is unparalleled. Twenty-one Oscar nominations and counting. We owe it to ourselves -- nigh, the world -- to appoint such an icon as the face of some sort of superhero franchise. Who or what would she play? Anyone and anything.
Saoirse Ronan has been a dominating presence on screen since she was 12 years old. Fierce and threatening in Hanna, eccentric and grounded in Lady Bird. Her range is eclectic; she's essentially just a younger, Irish version of Meryl Streep. Or maybe Meryl Streep is playing Saoirse Ronan?
Anna Kendrick has joked about wanting to play Squirrel Girl in the past and it's genuinely surprising Kevin Feige hasn't taken her up on it. Kendrick is everything a contemporary superhero should be: funny, charming, smart, and bankable.
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski
There have been rumors about Hollywood's "it" power couple taking up the mantel of Fantastic Four's Reed Richards and Susan Storm. With the MCU's current popularity coinciding with the height of the duo's careers, it seems all but certain.
Shia LaBeouf has had an interesting, and controversial, career; he went from mainstream actor to indie creative (who gets arrested at Cabaret). Labeled a misunderstood genius by some, LaBeouf's popularity is ripe and ready to be plucked. He merely has to put his paper bags in storage, face fame head on, and save the world.
Yeah. Ryan Gosling. Duh. He won't do it. Gosling is clearly above all that with his high profile rom-coms, off-beat indies, and Oscar-nominated performances. In the past, there have been rumors of him taking up the mantel of Green Lantern or Doctor Strange, roles that went to other actors and probably for good reason.
Three of her Game of Thrones costars have already joined the MCU (five if you count mutants), so it seems like only a matter of time before Emilia Clarke channels all of that Mother of Dragons' heroism (Daenerys' character before all of the nonsensical carnage) once again. This move would catapult her, and us, into an era of well-earned Emilia worship. Long may she reign.
Our lord and savior, Keanu Reeves. Marvel executives have already said they plan on implementing Reeves into the MCU; now it's just a matter of how and when. Maybe he could just play himself? Maybe he could just play John Wick? Or maybe, Marvel could do the unexpected, and cast Reeves as a supervillain, subverting all of our expectations.
Let's be honest: it's been hard for Aaron Paul to follow up his role as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad. If he really wanted to take the next big step, the only thing better than a morally just meth dealer is a...well, you get where we're going with this.
Cruise was in the running to play Iron Man way back when. Thank God that didn't happen. The role went to Robert Downey Jr. (and rightfully so). Besides, Cruise "is uniquely trained and highly motivated -- a specialist without equal -- immune to any countermeasures. There is no secret he cannot extract, no security he cannot breach, no person he cannot become. He has most likely anticipated this very [caption] and is waiting to strike in whatever direction we move. Hunt is the living manifestation of destiny - and he has made [us] his mission."