Movie Reviews

MCU: 10 Legacy Characters That Could Appear In Secret Wars

As Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to focus on the multiverse, all signs point to a large-scale crossover for the fifth Avengers film.

In the Loki finale, the Kang variant “He Who Remains” warns Loki and Sylvie of a multiversal war and the Russo brothers have also hinted that the 2015 run of Secret Wars will serve as the basis for the fifth Avengers film, via Nerdist. The multiverse has the opportunity to visit different incarnations of characters as seen in No Way Home and Multiverse of Madness.

While Edward Norton’s Hulk got a lot of things right and fans have expressed interest in him returning, it wouldn’t make much sense considering the MCU version is now just Mark Ruffalo. On the other hand, it would be awesome for Eric Bana’s incarnation of Banner to return.

Related: Every Live-Action Bruce Banner/Hulk Appearance In The MCU Ranked By Letterboxd

While the film had a mixed reception, it played with the psychological aspects of the character really well. Unfortunately, when asked if he’d be interested in returning, Bana said, per TheDirect, “I guess the short answer is no, I never felt like it was something I was going to reprise or do again. And I still feel, after all this time I most definitely, yeah, I can’t see that happening.”

Last year, Deadline reported that Chris Evans was to reprise his role as Captain America in a future MCU project. So far, he has yet to appear in any film or TV series in Phase Four. But what if he’s actually going to be playing Johnny Storm in a future MCU film?

It would be a super fun way to subvert people’s expectations by having other characters think he is Steve Rogers, only to reveal himself as the Human Torch. With the multiverse, anything is possible.

Although fans on Reddit have tossed names around for Mystique, there is only one person who can play her in the MCU and that’s Jennifer Lawrence. While Rebecca Romijn debuted in the role and did a great job, Lawrence’s version was given so much more nuance thanks to X-Men: First Class.

With many actors in the X-Men franchise still relatively young, it would be foolish not to include them at some point in a multiverse crossover. Lawrence previously mentioned that she would love to cross paths with Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord as Mystique, after working together in Passengers.

With the recent releases of Pig and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Nicolas Cage is experiencing a bit of a renaissance. While his Ghost Rider films have aged somewhat poorly, his portrayal of the character was still great.

Related: 10 Nicolas Cage Movies That Should Get Sequels

The second film, Spirit of Vengeance, really allowed Cage to go super over the top with his performance. His eventual return to the MCU will no doubt be a standout for audiences who would love it if he could team up with the Robbie Reyes version of the MCU, played by Gabriel Luna.

Originally panned by critics at the time of its release, the 2004 adaptation of The Punisher gained traction over time. While the story is a bit clunky, some fans and critics have lauded Thomas Jane’s portrayal of the character.

After being disappointed with studio interference, Jane vacated the role and was recast with Ray Stevenson for the sequel, Punisher: War Zone. Jane then wrote and financed a short film in 2012 called Punisher: Dirty Laundry and called it the definitive version of his incarnation of the character. When asked if he would return to the role, he said he’d be open to it, via Unilad.

No Way Home was an exciting crossover featuring three live-action Spideys in one film. However, there was one major exclusion and that was Nicholas Hammond. Long before Tobey Maguire brought the character to life, Hammond played Peter Parker in 1977’s The Amazing Spider-Man TV show, as well as three theatrically released films, Spider-Man (1977), Spider-Man Strikes Back (1978), and Spider-Man: The Dragon’s Challenge (1981).

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hammond expressed his disappointment about not being approached for No Way Home but still professed his love for the character and appreciation for the direction of the MCU incarnation. Hopefully, Marvel reaches out to him for Secret Wars because fans loved to see him back on the screen in 2019’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

While most fans have been clamoring for Hugh Jackman to return as Wolverine, people seem to forget about James Marsden’s fantastic portrayal of Cyclops. While the character was pretty one-note in the first two films, the third film went in a different direction that allowed Marsden to really show off his acting chops. Sadly, he is killed in that movie just when the audience is starting to get to know him.

Related: Every Fox’s X-Men Duplicate Character In The Franchise

Time after time, Marsden has said he’s enthusiastic about returning to the role of Scott Summers. Most recently in the press tour of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Marsden again expressed his openness to it.

Although Gwen met a pretty grim fate in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, there had been plans for her character to return in the third film, per CinemaBlend. Peter was to use his blood to resurrect her. Most fans feel that the whole idea is pretty silly and probably for the best it was scrapped.

Given that Emma Stone is such a big name and that Gwen is arguably Spidey’s best love interest, it would be disappointing to not have her return in some capacity. Having her play a variant Spider-Gwen would be a great way to reintroduce her. It would also be a great way to have a standalone story featuring Gwen. It would be brilliant if she came from a universe where her Peter died so she shared that same emptiness with Andrew Garfield’s version.

Andrew Garfield had a lot to do and really redeemed the character in No Way Home. But Maguire’s version also had some cool moments but for the most part, didn’t really have much time to shine. The actor has stated that he’s open to anything.

Reliable insider MyTimeToShineHello has stated that both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire are set to return for Secret Wars. As the 2015 Secret Wars event had every comic universe’s characters colliding with one another, the film version has so many different portrayals and versions of characters to pull from past Marvel films.

This top entry is definitely a no-brainer. Hugh Jackman maintains that Logan would be his last time playing the role, but Patrick Stewart said the same yet returned for Multiverse of Madness. Jackman also said in the past that he would have loved to interact with other Marvel characters in the MCU, per MovieFone.

With Deadpool 3 in development at Marvel Studios, director and also friend of Jackman, Shawn Levy, expressed his determination to get Jackman in the film somehow, via MovieWeb. It would be such a shame to never see Jackman play the role again as it’s impossible for fans to see anybody else in the role.

Next: 10 Phase Four Heroes Who Could Join The Avengers Roster

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