Can Armie Hammer take over Captain America's shield? 5 actors we think are fit to replace the Avengers in MCU
Avengers Infinity Wars news: If past developments are any indication, Marvel seems to have been toying with the idea of a fresh casting for some time now.
Regardless of how sentimental we are about the current batch of actors who bring to life our favorite superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there will come a time; post the completion of Phase Three in the shared, inter-connected MCU, when we might have to bid adieu to some of these familiar faces, we have so grown accustomed to.
To be specific, we are talking about the likes of Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk) and so on. These are the Marvel megastars, who have not only set a strong footing in the franchise in the skin of their respective characters but also have won a special place as far as loyal fandoms are concerned.
In fact, if past developments in the comic book-based movie department are any indication, Marvel seems to have been toying with the idea of a fresh casting for some time now. Especially in the light of Phase III closing towards a wrap following the release of the fourth Avengers movie, the multi-million dollar franchise will most likely opt for a fresh line-up of actors to replace the Earth-bound Avengers.
A quick guide to the Phase III - Keeping in tune with Marvel's tradition of breaking down the events of it's movie universe into various periods, Phase III in particular reflects a time of discord. The period is set in the aftermath of Ultron's attack, whereby the Earth-bound Avengers found themselves at loggerheads over difference in ideologies, and changing public opinions towards them. Shortly following this internal turmoil, though, a new opponent re-emerges, Thanos. Threatened by the mad titan's ceaseless quest for the infinity stones, now, the Avengers are left with little choice than joining forces to take down the villainy."
Between the fragmented state of the Avengers and Thanos' growing threats, however, the fans of this cinematic universe were introduced to a slew of new characters over the course of the past few years. Namely, Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange, Chadwick Boseman-played Black Panther, a young Spider-Man (Tom Holland, whose appearance also brought Spidey back home, in the MCU), the upcoming Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), and Valkyrie (played by Tessa Thompson).
Now, with hype building over these up and coming superheroes, who have been gradually spreading their wings through crossover movies, it only makes sense that Marvel prepare itself for the future, the fourth and the fifth phase.
And going by the studio's pattern, fans shouldn't be surprised if a completely new breed of stars were to replace the current crop. We took our best shot at a prospective replacement, and here's our lowdown on who we think might do justice to these fan-favorite roles.
1. Captain America aka Steve Rogers - starring Chris Evans
The role of Captain America, a war veteran/savior of the world, has almost become synonymous with Marvel star Chris Evans, who for the longest time, has been carrying the mantle with panache. However, considering that Evans' contract with the studios is nearing an end and his latest interview where he sounded ominous about reprising the role; we would be damned if we don't look for other figures to fill in his shoes.
“I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t be hard for me,” Evans told USA Today dishing about passing the Captain's shield. “But the passing of time and the passing of torches is part of the experience. Nothing lasts forever. There’s a beauty in that departure, even if it can be sad at times. It’s also joyful.” Pretty ominous, right?
Given the circumstances and the repertoire, our pick is Armie Hammer. Firstly, he is as fresh as a fresh face for a superhero can get, secondly, the actor has some experience with the action and thriller genre (The Lone Ranger, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), and finally, the actor has already built up a fan-base, who are rooting for him to be cast as Captain America (an online petition exists for the cause).
Asides Hammer, we are pretty psyched about seeing a non-white person in the Captain's role as well. Considering Marvel's penchant for ruffling up feathers every now and then, Will Smith seems to be an interesting choice - he has proven his worth as a soldier in 'Bright' and looks insanely good giving out commands.
On second thoughts, should the studio look internally for the replacements, then perhaps Cap’s best friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) or his right-hand man Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) be considered to take charge.
2. Iron Man aka Tony Stark - Robert Downey Jr.
The year 2018 marks 10 years for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a long time since the overlapping franchise held together by shared characters and plotlines was conceptualized. While this calls for celebrations, it also casts a shadow of doubt over the older and more established characters, specifically Tony Stark, who has almost laid the foundation of this franchise.
In fact, many a subtle clue was dropped during last year's 'Spider-Man: Homecoming', especially with Stark's loyal confidante saying, "I've been carrying this since 2008!" while bringing out the engagement ring. After all, the Iron Man actor is 53-year-old IRL, meaning it's time to look for a new face, preferably younger and possessing the same grit and wit as the current filler of the shoes.
While natural progression would mean looking for someone outside of the franchise, but we couldn't help but consider Michael Fassbender for the role. The actor is not entirely new to the superhero movie genre, previously appearing in X-Men: First Class as Marvel Comics antihero Magneto, and boy! does he look good controlling all the metal, telekinetically.
Asides Fassbender, actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan from The Walking Dead) could also make a fine choice. Agreed, he is close to Downey's age (Morgan is 51), but that seems too harsh a reason to ignore this versatile actor from the arc.
3. Black Widow aka Natasha Romanoff - Scarlett Johansson
It's no secret that the first choice for the feisty Natasha Romanoff was English actress Emily Blunt, whose work profile comprises an interesting mix of projects including 2015's 'Sicario', 'Into The Woods', 'Edge of Tomorrow' and so on. Initially, Blunt was rumored to be in talks with the studio for the roles of Black Widow (currently portrayed by Johansson) and Captain Marvel. Given the fact, that Larson is taking over the reins from Cap aka Carol Danvers, it won't hurt to bring Blunt back into the mix, sit her down and convince her to free her schedule and finally give MCU a shot.
Another name that must and should be mentioned in this post is that of actress Zoe Kravitz. Over the past decade or so, the actress has made a name for herself with supporting roles in movies like The Divergent series and Mad Max: Fury Road, and most recently in HBO's Big Little Lies.
Interestingly, in the past, she has complained about missing out on superhero films as casting directors weren't ready to go ‘urban’. Speaking of which, it's high time, the 29-year-old is given her due.
4. Thor Odinson, the God of Thunder - Chris Hemsworth
Like Cap, our very own Asgardian, the handsome Norse God played by Hemsworth, has also left us hanging when it comes to the future of his character. Having hinted that he “won’t be playing the character again,” the actor went on to fuel some hopes, adding, that the “possibility” of never putting on Thor’s armor again and stepping into that world was terrifying.
Keeping in mind the possibilities of re-casting Thor in the future, we turn towards Charlie Hunnam. Not only is the English actor insanely gifted, physical attributes-wise (read rugged, buff looks), but also has proven his mettle in a variety of epic action dramas.
Whether it's his appearance in 2013's 'Pacific Rim', or his time on 'Sons of Anarchy', and most recently in Guy Ritchie's 'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword' (2017), there are no doubts about his acting chops, especially if it comes to wearing an eye-patch and slinging the stormbreaker.
Against all odds, we also wish to see Tom Hardy giving the Asgardian character a shot... so what if he is already cast as antihero Eddie Brock in upcoming film Venom.
5. The Hulk aka Dr. Bruce Banner - Mark Ruffalo
This, by far, is the most difficult role to recast - after Nick Fury. Over the years, fans have not only fallen in love with Ruffalo's portrayal of The Hulk but also have grown accustomed to seeing his lesser-angry version, as Dr. Banner.
In this situation, only an actor as established and respected as Ruffalo can be trusted with playing The Hulk in the future MCU movies; which brings us to Hugh Laurie. Although the 'House' star hasn't really experimented much with the action/superhero genre, there's this eccentric sense about him, which when fueled with the character's (Hulk) wrath could present Laurie in a completely different light.
Another way, Marvel could take forward and at the same time explore the possibilities for The Hulk, is by introducing She-Hulk. The character already has an established background in the comics and if she takes over the movie universe as well, our vote goes to actress Nathalie Emmanuel (of Game of Thrones fame). She is fierce, has gorgeous hair, and has experience playing a tech geek (Ramsay in Fast 8).
Besides these five most prominent Avengers, who have appeared in almost every big ensemble movie, fandoms have been buzzing with suggestions for other supporting characters as well. For instance, Tom Hiddleston's Loki being taken over by Hunger Game's Jennifer Lawrence; or Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau taking over the Hawkeye's bow and arrow from Jeremy Renner.
The one person, however, who is irreplaceable in the franchise, according to most loyalists, is Samuel L. Jackson. And if at all someone has to take over Nick Fury's mantle, it should be none other than Denzel Washington, himself.