Movie Reviews

8 Characters Nope's Brandon Perea Could Play In The MCU

After the hit successes of Get Out and Us, modern horror superstar Jordan Peele is back with his third stellar film, Nope. The film has been in theaters for a few weeks now and has received rave reviews for its intricate viewpoint, cinematography, and dynamic performances. Peele is reunited with Academy Award Winner Daniel Kaluuya and joined by Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, Michael Wincott, and Brandon Perea.

Importantly, Nope is Brandon Perea’s first feature film, and clearly his breakthrough role. Already audiences are eager to see what he’ll do next, with some seeing a great opportunity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for him. In fact, Perea’s also expressed interest in joining the MCU and posted some videos on Twitter showcasing his impressive athleticism and acrobatics. Frankly, he does fit the mold for an MCU hero, so here are some options for who he could play.

One of the characters Perea himself has said he’d love to be considered for is Nova. Specifically, he did say Sam Alexander, the second person to take up the moniker. Sam was first introduced in 2011 and unlike his precursor Richard Rider, his Nova helmet came from his father, Jesse Alexander. He was a part of the Nova Corp, leading their black-ops team, the Supernovas. Thus, Sam’s design is different than Richard Rider’s.

Sam quickly skyrocketed in popularity, even so much so to join the Avengers. However, he and fellow teammates, Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) left to form the Champions, uniting other young heroes. Sam can be particularly egotistical and naïve, but endlessly brave, and Perea could definitely help make him a fun, likable character. If Sam were to join the MCU, he’d probably be worked into whatever Young Avengers team they develop – so Perea might already be deemed too old.

Unironically, since the opportunity to play Sam Alexander might be waning, Perea would also be a good fit for the original Nova, Richard Rider. He also started out as a high schooler turned superhero when he was randomly selected to succeed Rhomann Dey, the last surviving Centurion for the Nova Corps. Nova is an iconic and powerful hero, and fans have been waiting for his arrival in the MCU. There have been all sorts of hints at him – such as John C Reilly playing Rhamann Dey in Guardians of the Galaxy and the decimation of Xander before Avenger: Infinity War – but still nothing.

In March 2022, however, a Nova project was revealed to be finally in the works. Nevertheless, no further information has been revealed, including whether the project would feature Richard Rider, Sam Alexander, or both as the protagonist(s). Perhaps more information will be provided at the D23 Expo in September. Nabbing Perea for the role would be a smart decision as he’d still be able to bring a sense of inexperience necessary for a new hero, as well as the inherent opportunity to develop and mature across future films.

After hearing of Perea’s interest in the MCU, many fans have pointed out that he just looks the part of Johnny Storm, another role that would allow Perea to feature prominently in the future of the MCU.

Ever since 2019’s Comic-Con when Kevin Feige revealed that the Fantastic Four are coming, fans have been eagerly theorizing how and when they could be introduced. Now after 2022’s Comic-Con, audiences now know the timetable with Fantastic Four set to premiere on November 8th, 2024 and it will launch Phase Six. The casting for Marvel’s First Family will supposedly be revealed at the upcoming D23 Expo, and perhaps buzz around Nope and Perea can help him be considered.

As shown in his videos, Brandon Perea is incredibly dexterous, and while he could be a good fit for characters like Nova and Human Torch, those roles wouldn’t actually utilize his talents in the best way. Honestly, much of the filming would mostly consist of him connected to different wires and cranes to simulate them flying. He’d be better utilized by casting him as someone like Hector Ayala AKA White Tiger. With the right training and direction, Perea’s stunts and flexibility could trasnlate into some fun martial artistry as White Tiger.

Hector Ayala gains his enhanced awareness, agility, and strength from his amulet of power – also called the Jade Amulet. He’d operated similar to Spider-Man and Daredevil as a street-level hero. Interestingly, there have been multiple White Tigers, including Hector’s family members, Ava and Angela. However, there’s also Kasper Cole, one of Black Panther’s protégés, and an actual white tiger transformed into a human by the High Evolutionary. Therefore, there are many different inroads for White Tiger to join the MCU, but Shang-Chi 2 seems like a logical point of entry.

Because of what Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and then Ms. Marvel set up for the MCU, Perea’s chances to play a great character in the MCU have expanded exponentially. Kamala Khan has been established as the MCU’s first mutant, but she’ll hopefully be joined by the legends that are the X-Men. Honestly, Perea could fit into that group in a lot of different ways, but one of the more exciting options would be for him to play Bobby Drake.

After being underutilized throughout the X-Men movies and animated shows, hopefully he’ll get the treatment he deserves in the MCU. He’s not only one of the original X-Men, an omega-level mutant, and prominent gay superhero, but also someone with deep connections with other A-List heroes like Spider-Man and Human Torch.

Another mutant and X-Men, Brandon Perea could pull off would be Roberto Da Costa AKA Sunspot. Recently, he’s probably best recognized for being in 2020’s The New Mutants, played by Henry Zaga, which officially closed out the X-Men film series. That film wasn’t particularly well-received by fans and critics alike, but the MCU shouldn’t hesitate to utilize him because of that. He’s a prominent X-Men character and even joined the Avengers, so there are plenty of ways to incorporate him.

Roberto is able to harness and convert solar energy, granting him the ability to fly and create powerful blasts of energy and fire. This might be quite similar to Human Torch, but not so much so that it should affect his inclusion in the MCU. There’s a distinct aesthetic, ferocity, and method in how Sunspot operates and works as part of a team that greatly differentiates him from Human Torch. He’d likely be a later arrival compared to X-Men like Cyclops or Wolverine, so that time could work in Perea’s favor.

Noh-Varr is a Kree hero who comes to Earth and ends up joining the Avengers as Marvel Boy – that is until he realizes its actually villains posing as heroes led by Norman Osborn. Noh-Varr does then join the Young Avengers for a while and he is part of the Guardians of the Galaxy, teaming up with his new boyfriend, Hercules, who finally joined the MCU in Thor: Love and Thunder.

Since the Young Avengers have been popping up steadily throughout Phase Four – and Noh-Varr is one of the few members missing. That would be too quick of a turnaround for Perea, but if he isn’t introduced there, then maybe Perea could take on the role.

Brandon Perea could be a good fit for many different X-Men characters, but his unique talents could really lend themselves well to playing Kurt Wagner. Though he’s not an original team member like Iceman, Nightcrawler is definitely one of the most popular X-Men, and thus someone fans would love to see in the MCU. He has a charming and kind disposition and as a teleporter with enhanced awareness and dexterity, he’d be an integral member of the MCU’s X-Men team.

Hopefully, the MCU’s Nightcrawler can have a bit of his prankster edge like he did during his early runs in the comics – something lacking from his characterization in Fox’s X-Men. As long as his accent is authentic and performed well, Perea would really shine in a role like this, being able to use his acrobatic talents and acting skills to bring Nightcrawler to life.

NEXT: The 20 Best MCU Quotes

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