BY MATT TUCK
“Zack Snyder to direct Ghost Rider reboot.” “Wolverine will appear in Deadpool 3.” “Norman Osborn is back for Spider-Man 3.” Sometimes the rumors are as much fun as watching the movies.
When you are as popular as the MCU, the rumors and gossip abound. With each new movie and series announced and every Easter egg hidden in plain sight, Marvel Studios has the rumor mills churning day and night. Here are 10 of the best superhero rumors fit for discussion.
Does that mean they are all true? Hardly, but they do make for good conversations and spur the imagination.
1. MARVEL WANTS ZACK SNYDER FOR GHOST RIDER REBOOT
Out of all the current MCU rumors floating about the internet, this is my personal favorite: Zack Snyder being wooed by Marvel Studios to helm a Ghost Rider reboot. The idea behind this is tantalizing, and it would be a far departure from those hokey Nicolas Cage films. Still, this feels more like fan fiction than anything else.
VERDICT: Not bloody likely
Snyder has previously stated that he was done making superhero movies unless he was in the director’s chair for his proposed Justice League sequels. It would be a coup for Marvel Studios to woo Snyder to the MCU, and he could do great things with Ghost Rider, so I can imagine he and Feige having conversations on the subject, but, alas, I do not see this happening.
2. HUGH JACKMAN TO PLAY WOLVERINE IN DEADPOOL 3
Ever since The Falcon and the Winter Soldier incorporated the fictional island nation of Madripoor into the series, the Wolverine gossip has been churning one rumor after another. First, there was the talk of Logan starring in his own Disney+ series. Then came the whispers that Hugh Jackman had been offered the role of Wolverine in the MCU, and he was reviewing an X-Men script before deciding whether or not to dust off his claws.
The newest addition to the rumor mill is that Ryan Reynolds has offered Jackman a chance to play Wolverine one more time for Deadpool 3, which would be the first franchise entry under the Disney/Marvel Studios banner.
VERDICT: Plausible but unlikely
Hugh Jackman has repeatedly said that Logan was a fitting sendoff for his portrayal of Wolverine. However, he and Reynolds have trolled one another on Twitter for years, and the Deadpool actor has made it no secret that he has wanted Jackman for the first two movies. Reportedly, Wolverine was going to be in Deadpool 3 prior to Fox selling out to Disney. Could it be that Jackman will accept the offer even if it is for a cameo played for laughs? It is not out of the question, though I expect nothing to come from this.
3. NORMAN OSBORN IN SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME
This is one of the more complicated bits of gossip. It starts with those numerous Captain Marvel 2 villain rumors and the old speculation that Norman Osborn would be Carol Danvers’ antagonist. Flashforward to the multiverse and the casting of the Sony-verse’s Doctor Octopus and Elektro in Spider-Man: No Way Home. That leads to theories that Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn will be pulled from the multiverse for No Way Home as well. There have been unconfirmed reports that Dafoe has been spotted on the set.
Having Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx reprise their roles from Sony’s Spider-Man franchises lends to plenty of theories and speculation, and adding Dafoe’s Green Goblin to the mix is not too far of a stretch. The multiverse becomes a handy plot device to make anything possible.
4. EMILIA CLARKE AS VERANKE IN SECRET INVASION
It has been confirmed that Game of Thrones star and the “Mother of Dragons” Emilia Clarke has joined the MCU. What role she will play is still a mystery, though reports have her playing a part in the upcoming Disney+ series, Secret Invasion. While it is unclear whether or not Marvel Studios will follow Brian Michael Bendis’ source material, there is a chance that Marvel will introduce a more warlike version of the Skrulls led by their queen, Veranke, played by Clarke. There is also speculation that she will play SWORD’s Abigail Brand.
VERDICT: Very likely
There is a strong possibility that this could play out on Disney+. Even if Marvel sticks with its friendly, benevolent Skrulls, the odds are strong that Veranke will be part of the series, and Clarke would be a crowd-pleasing choice for the role.
This a fun one to think about: Netherrealm producing a Marvel vs. DC fighting game in the style of the highly entertaining Injustice series. After the success of Injustice and its sequel, fans have wanted a Marvel version on the next-gen consoles. Even though the Marvel vs. Capcom games are fun, many fans want a more mature, less cartoony fighting game on par with Injustice. Even better would be to incorporate the DC Universe into the mix to let gamers decide which brand reigns supreme.
VERDICT: Hardly a chance a snowball’s chance
I cannot imagine Disney partnering with Warner Media to add its Marvel properties to a fighting game. Besides that, the MCU is very much family friendly, and Injustice is darker than anything we have seen from Marvel’s movies or series. While I can see a Marvel fighting game becoming a reality, you’d have better chances of winning the lottery than seeing a Marvel vs. DC game coming to life.
6. HENRY CAVILL TO PLAY THE MCU’S HERCULES
One way or another, fans want to see Henry Cavill in superhero movies. On the DC side of things, Cavill’s time as Superman is in doubt, and that lends MCU fans to greet him with open arms. The first time his name came up was last year when the rumors of John Walker being cast for FATWS first cropped up. As ludicrous as it sounded, there were sites that claimed Marvel wanted Cavill to suit up as U.S. Agent for the series.
Skip to the recent Russell Crowe casting for Thor: Love and Thunder. Crowe recently told an Australian radio station that he would be portraying Zeus in the action-comedy, and that opens the door for his favorite demi-god son, Hercules. With Cavill’s DC future uncertain, the latest speculation is that Marvel Studios is courting him for the Prince of Power.
VERDICT: Wishful thinking
Cavill has made statements that he wants to continue playing Superman, and I think eventually he and WB will come to terms. However, I think Cavill certainly has the acting chops and bodybuilder physique to bring the MCU’s Herc to life, and he would be a perfect fit for the role. In the end, I just don’t see this happening.
7. CHARLIE COX WILL PLAY MATT MURDOCK IN SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME
Here is another No Way Home rumor for you. Ever since Marvel ended its partnership with Netflix, fans have wanted to see the characters from those series return to the MCU. Kevin Feige has never said whether or not the cast would reprise their roles, but he has mentioned that those particular properties are on the board. Hopeful fans have connected their own dots, and the persistent rumor has been that Charlie Cox has been cast not necessarily as Daredevil, but as Matt Murdock, who will defend Peter Parker in No Way Home.
VERDICT: Possible but doubtful.
This is such an old rumor that started immediately after Far From Home. In fact, you could say it started before then as fans claimed that Marvel would resurrect all the Netflix series on Disney+. As much as I loved Daredevil (the rest of the Netflix lineup, not so much) and want a fourth season, I think these rumors have run their course. It would make sense for DD to represent Peter in court, but that would occupy too much time for a two-hour movie that already has characters from the multiverse. Plus, the Homecoming trilogy’s target demographic is mainly teenagers, and I don’t know many teens who want a courtroom drama mixed into their superhero adventure.
8. TITANIA WILL BE CAST FOR SHE-HULK
As She-Hulk’s full cast is slowly revealed, the most recent news is that she will go toe-to-toe with another powerhouse, Titania. In the comics, the two have squared off multiple times, and it would give She-Hulk an opponent that can help showcase her strength.
VERDICT: This works.
Titania versus She-Hulk makes total sense. They are basically opposites of one another, and the MCU does enjoy having its heroes face antagonists with the same power sets. We already know that Tim Roth will reprise his role from Incredible Hulk and bring the Abomination back to the screen, and pairing him with Titania to battle She-Hulk adds up. What I want to see is Titania’s relationship with Absorbing Man played out on She-Hulk.
9. RYAN REYNOLDS TO PLAY JOHNNY CAGE IN MK2
This is not a comic book rumor, per se, but Johnny Cage is more or less a wisecracking superhero. Mortal Kombat has proven to be a winner for WB and HBO Max, and there is no doubt a sequel will get the green light. After Johnny Cage was alluded to in the film, he will clearly be added to the MK2. WWE wrestler Mike “The Miz” Mizanin has reportedly thrown his name in the ring, and he would be a great choice for the part. However, the more intriguing rumor is that WB is courting Ryan Reynolds for the role.
VERDICT: Stick with the Miz.
Reynolds is a solid A-lister among the Hollywood elite. He stars in action-comedy franchises, and it would seem like a step down for him to appear in a sequel. Would he be the perfect Johnny Cage? Certainly, but it is highly unlikely that he would sign on for it. The more likely scenario is the Miz will bring Johnny Cage to life, and I think that casting would be nearly as good as Reynolds. If you have followed Mizanin’s recent WWE career, the Miz character basically is Johnny Cage.
10. THE MARVELS WILL BE A CAPTAIN MARVEL/MS. MARVEL/PHOTON TEAMUP MOVIE
Marvel’s latest trailer was more or less a teaser of all their Phase Four projects from Black Panther 2 and The Eternals to Fantastic Four and everything in between. Curiously, the Captain Marvel sequel was not Captain Marvel 2 but instead is titled The Marvels. As the name implies, the speculation is that there will be more than one Captain Marvel featured in the movie. We already have Carol Danvers, and the original film introduced Mar-Vell, while WandaVision gave Monica Rambeau her new powers. That leaves Kamala Khan, who has been spotted on the set of Ms. Marvel in her full costume.
VERDICT: Pretty much confirmed.
WandaVision teased friction between Monica and Carol, and we know that Monica takes up the Captain Marvel mantle in her comic origin before transcending to Photon. That only leaves Kamal Khan, who will star in her own series likely before The Marvels hits theaters. Putting them all together would help clear up any confusion among mainstream fans with all these intertwined characters turning up in the MCU.