BY MATT TUCK
Superman has become the talk of the MCU. With Henry Cavill’s DC and Warner Brothers future in serious doubt, he is rumored to play everyone from Captain Britain to Hercules and even Wolverine, but he would be perfect for one particular role in the X-Men (and, no, it’s not Logan).
CAVILL AND DC
Who knows what WB/DC are up to with the Justice League anymore? The executives have made it clear that they have no intention to continue the Snyder-verse, which means no JL parts two and three. But what does that mean for the actors in those iconic roles?
Clearly, WB is not ready to completely recast all the JL cast. After all, Ezra Miller will play the Flash in the upcoming movie, and both Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa are pop culture staples as Wonder Woman and Aquaman, respectively, so they’re not going anywhere. Even Ben Affleck is reprising his role as Batman for The Flash. That just leaves a Superman-sized question mark.
It has been made public that J.J. Abrams and Ta-Nehisi Coates are putting together a new take on Superman/Clark Kent as an African-American. DC has stated that the movie will be more The Joker than Man of Steel in that it will not be part of the DCEU continuity. That leaves the door cracked open for Cavill to return as Superman, though both the Cavill camp and WB/DC are mum on the topic at the moment.
That leads to speculation that Marvel Studios will court Superman himself to join the MCU. In fact, the rumors started when Cavill and WB could not come to terms on the actor making a cameo appearance as Superman for 2019’s Shazam!. Soon thereafter, there was unsubstantiated gossip that Marvel wanted him to play John Walker/U.S. Agent.
After Cavill made the foreboding gesture of publicly unfollowing both WB and DC’s Instagram pages, the rumor mill was put back into motion. Here is some of the better gossip floating on the internet.
Before I get to that tantalizing speculation, let me offer my own Cavill casting pitch.
HENRY CAVILL AS...COLOSSUS
To the best of my knowledge, there has been no talk of Cavill suiting up for the X-Men in any capacity, but there should be. Cavill would be the perfect choice to play the MCU’s Piotr Rasputin, better known as Colossus.
We have seen Colossus twice in live-action in both Deadpool movies as well as X2, X-Men: Last Stand, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. While he had a larger (and more entertaining) role in the Deadpool films, he was more or less a background character in the three X-Men films. At this point, it appears the Deadpool movies will not be added to the MCU canon, which leaves Marvel Studios license to recast the gentle giant.
During Chris Claremont’s X-Men era, Colossus was a major fan favorite. Since then, he has mostly taken a backseat for the past 10-20 years. That is a shame considering the rich history of the character, particularly his love affair with Kate “Kitty” Pryde, aka Shadowcat.
There are plenty of theories that Marvel will have Shadowcat front and center when the X-Men arrive, and her relationship with Colossus would make for a touching subplot that Marvel Studios has embraced in other films. Plus, Cavill has both the look and the acting chops to turn Colossus from a minor character to a major star in Marvel’s X-Men franchise. This could turn out to be a role Cavill was born to play (besides Superman).
With his DCEU future in question, fans are casting Cavill in any MCU role that requires a bodybuilder physique and a British accent. It is only natural that path would lead to Captain Britain.
Let’s be honest - Batman started this speculation.
This is not the first Captain Britain fan casting that just seems too perfect not to happen. Before Christian Bale was announced as playing Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder, Marvel fans latched onto the idea that the Batman actor would wear the Union Jack and bring Brian Braddock to life. Since Bale is out of the running, it only makes sense that Superman would follow in the Caped Crusader’s footsteps.
For the past four years, there has been rampant guessing about Captain Britain’s MCU future. It stemmed from Kevin Feige’s 2017 comments in which he explained that he has had discussions about bringing Braddock to the screen simply out of actors’ demands. In an interview with SyFy Wire, he explained, “There are a lot of actors that come in and ask about that part, so we’ll have to see.”
THE VERDICT: Possible
No question, Cavill looks the part of Brian Braddock/Captain Britain. After suiting up as Superman, he has proven that he can pull off the costumed look (and without the need for the ever-popular foam muscle suit). His native British accent doesn’t hurt things, either. While it is possible that Marvel would want Cavill for the role, it almost feels too obvious, and Marvel does enjoy flipping the script on classic characters these days. Don’t forget that in the current X-Men comics, Brain Braddock’s sister, Betsy/Psylocke, has taken up the Captain Britain mantle, so there’s that possibility.
This rumor has been gaining traction lately, and for good reason.
Before Cavill’s apparent fallout with WB, there was speculation that Hercules was poised to enter the MCU. Around the time Marvel was piecing together its cast for The Eternals, word spread that the studio was looking to bring a gay or bisexual superhero into the MCU. That led to theories that it would be Hercules, whose sexuality is portrayed as fluid in the comics.
Fast forward to this year and Russell Crowe’s casting in Thor: Love and Thunder. Although Marvel has yet to confirm the news, Crowe told an Australian radio station that he will play Zeus, and that opens things up for the entire pantheon of Greek gods and heroes, including Hercules.
THE VERDICT: A nearly perfect fit
Not only does Cavill have the bodybuilder physique to pull off the role, but he already played a character from Ancient Greek mythology. In 2011, he was cast as Theseus (the hero famous for killing the Minotaur in the Labyrinth) in Immortals. Put the two ideas together, and it is easy to see why fans would draw the conclusion that Cavill will join the MCU as the Prince of Power.
The internet has been buzzing about Ares since his face was seen in the Grandmaster’s tower of champions in Thor: Ragnarok. Sooner or later, we will see Ares as well as his fellow champions Man-Thing, Beta Ray Bill, and Bi-Beast.
The other part of the Ares speculation is Dark Avengers. At the closing of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Marvel left clues that a game-changing team is in the works. Whether it’s the Dark Avengers or the Thunderbolts, Ares has been part of the speculation.
VERDICT: This could work
Next to Colossus, this is my favorite fan casting for the British actor. After seeing Cavill’s turn as the villain of 2018’s Mission Impossible: Fallout (where he grew out the infamous Super-stache that plagued Joss Wheddon’s Justice League) and the anti-hero Geralt in The Witcher, Marvel may do well to cast him as the brutish, hero/villain, Ares. True, Cavill’s claim to fame has been portraying the straight-laced Superman/Clark Kent, but he has the acting range to effectively pull off what could be a devilishly fun character in the MCU.
We may as well talk about one of the earlier Cavill rumors to hit the internet.
Out of all the Cavill casting gossip, Marvel casting him as Wolverine for the Captain Marvel sequel has probably been the most outlandish next to John Walker.
This is simply too fun not to mention just because it’s probably the least likely candidate on today’s list. Aside from Cavill being too big to play the vertically challenged Wolverine (and I understand that Hugh Jackman was over six-feet tall and was great in the role, but I am more of a purist on that matter), debuting Logan in The Marvels doesn’t make much sense. Aside from the two being Avengers, Wolverine and Carol Danvers don’t have much of a connection unless Marvel plans to follow the Rogue/Captain Marvel storyline. Even then, it would be an awkward pairing and not fitting to Logan’s character in the slightest.