With the success of The Avengers this year it’s no surprise that Marvel has already announced a sequel slated for 2015-2016. There’s a lot of ground to cover between now and then to set up the cast for that big future and Marvel’s made lots of promises, including new Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, and Thor films to keep us all Marveled up for the next team-up. But who will that team-up include? News indicates that there’s some certain additions to the horizon, including Ant-Man which will be directed by Edgar Wright, and Joss Whedon did joke around about adding some more ladies to the roster.
Considering the size of the Avengers roster over the years, Marvel and Whedon have tons to choose from in terms of super heroes. So who should round out the team next time around? And more importantly, who should play the newest Avengers? Let’s take a look at some possibilities.
With a confirmed director in Edgar Wright, Ant-Man seems to be the next logical male Avenger to be added to the roster. Early discussion when the film first came out seemed to peg Castle himself, Firefly alum Nathan Fillion to play the size-altering Hank Pym. This choice makes sense since Fillion can play not only intelligent and wise-cracking but intense. Pym’s storyline includes a very tumultuous relationship with girlfriend Janet Van Dyne aka The Wasp and Fillion could handle a character with such ups and downs (no shrinking pun intended). As an alternative, though, I’d love to mention Bradley Cooper, whose name has also been associated with the project.
And speaking of Janet, The Wasp is one of the most well-known female characters on the Avengers roster. If Whedon wants more women, and especially those with powers, the Ant-Man movie is the perfect tie-in for this winged super woman. When the original rumors brought up Fillion for Hank Pym, Eva Longorio was tossed around as The Wasp. With Whedon’s habit of reusing old friends and favorites, I could see Angel and Cabin in the Woods alum Amy Acker playing a perky and powerful Wasp. On the outside, an interesting choice could be Mila Kunis. The Black Swan star has proven a great actress who can go from funny to intense, something that Janet Van Dyne has in spades.
Ms. Marvel / Warbird
Very few female characters on the Avengers roster are as perfect for the movie Avengers as Carol Danvers. A military woman turned super hero, Danvers is a heavy hitter who has had a rocky road throughout comic book history. After she had her original powers drained away by the X-Men’s Rogue (yup, that’s how Rogue got so strong in the comics!) she went through years of transformation before becoming a staple of the Assembled heroes once more. This realistic military background makes her a very grounded realistic choice for the film while her powers make her another heavy hitter the team needs. To portray someone as strong as Carol, I could see Diane Kruger doing a phenomenal job. Alternately, consider Star Trek’s Alice Eve.
Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver
A staple Avenger, Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch has been one of the longest-running female characters on the Avengers roster. Alternately, she’s also been one of their biggest problems in the comics as the character’s reality warping powers and emotional problems have caused world-changing disasters that have killed teammates and destroyed most of Marvel’s mutant kind.
The issues with Scarlet Witch seem to cross sadly into real life legality issues. Marvel has admitted they share the rights to Scarlet Witch with Fox, since the Witch is a mutant and the daughter of Magneto, putting her and her brother Quicksilver solidly in X-Men territory. Still, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver’s story of jumping ship from Magneto’s Brotherhood to become good guys was always a wonderful addition to the Avengers.
Should they be able to join the cast, I think the Jessica Chastain would be a fantastic choice. She recently turned down being included in Iron Man 3 but talked about appearing in future Marvel projects so this could already be a possibility. Alternately, we could go right to one of Hollywood’s best known redheads these days, Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks.
As for the cocky, arrogant and over-protective Quicksilver, I could see Guy Pierce pulling off the silver-haired speedster pretty well. Quicksilver is a very intense, brash and loud character who would need to be able to stand up in a scene to Cap and Iron Man, which Pierce could do.
He’s a king, he’s a super hero, and he controls one of the most technologically prosperous countries on the Marvel Earth. He’s the Black Panther and Marvel has been tossing around the idea of a movie for King T’Challa for years. Yet one of the big parts of T’Challa’s story is when he stepped away from ruling his kingdom to team up with Captain America and eventually became an Avenger. Black Panther brings a powerful tactical mind, stealthy physical power and the confidence born of a king to the team that would make him a fun addition to the mix. As for who to play him, I think Luthor’s Idris Elba was born to play the roll. His intensity is perfect for T’Challa while his voice is just made for commanding a room full of heroes to sit up and take notice. He currently plays Heimdell the Asgardian however, so that could cause a problem! So consider instead former Spawn Michael Jai White. He’s got the body, the martial arts talent, and can pull off intense with no problem.
The team might have it’s own Iron Man, but the Avengers has a human-like cyborg on the books in the person of The Vision. Along with a vast artificial intelligence, The Vision comes with the capability to alter his density to pass through objects, fly, and generally be the emotionally-even Pinocchio every good robot in a comic seems to be. Hell, he even married the Scarlet Witch in the comics! So who could pull off the Vision’s implacable calm? Sure, we could go into the obvious and say our new Spock, former Sylar Zachary Quinto. But I’d be more inclined to go with Paul Bettany. The man has suffered his way through some awful films like Priest, but his talent cannot be denied. If anyone can convey unemotional emoting through serious red face make-up, my money’s on Bettany.
For a female option that’s a little more off the beat and track, consider Jessica Drew aka Spider Woman. With the possible future introduction of HYDRA into Iron Man 3 already rumored, Jessica’s background as a HYDRA agent who turns over a new leaf would be a perfect inclusion. Sure, her name sounds exactly like a Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man whose new movie is coming out shortly from a rival studio, but Jessica Drew is her own creature in no way associated with Peter Parker. Her powers are completely different and her secret agent background gives her that realistic grounding I mentioned before when discussing Carol Danvers. Jessica is an intense character and would require a tall, darkly beautiful and powerful actress to deal out the goods on screen. For her, I’d suggest former Bionic Woman Michelle Ryan. Alternately, Adrianne Palicki got a raw deal with the horrifying Wonder Woman TV pilot, but she could pull of a statuesque Jessica Drew with no problem.
Some honorable mentions that I wouldn’t mind seeing also include Justice, a young convicted criminal turned Avenger, the Falcon, or the bald telepath Moonstone. What do you think, folks? Got any other ideas?
Shoshana Kessock is a comics fan, photographer, game developer, LARPer and all around geek girl. She’s the creator of Phoenix Outlaw Productions and ReImaginedReality.com