As the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands and the movies continue to bring in millions of dollars, the expense of keeping the same cast rises too. Robert Downey Jr is already the highest-paid actor in the world, and his price goes up every time he puts on the Iron Man suit. Re-casting the roles of your favorite Marvel heroes is inevitable, and coming sooner than you might think. Hey, we’re already on our third Spider-man this decade, so it can and will happen. And if we’re looking for new actors to play those iconic characters, why not look to the men and women who already play larger-than-life characters on a regular basis? We’ve had some thoughts on which WWE Superstars and Divas might play some of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, should Marvel ever come calling.
10. Dean Ambrose as Iron Man
We know, he looks nothing like Robert Downey Jr, who has become the iconic Iron Man look, so much so that even his comic iterations look like him. But Tony Stark doesn’t have to look like Downey, after all, he spends most of his time inside a metal suit anyway. He can, however, look like a completely driven individual with a serious alcohol problem and issues with social interaction, which was Stark’s original incarnation before the movies came around. Dean Ambrose is making a living out of being slightly unhinged, unable to interact normally with most people, and powered by a deep desire to never stop moving. Also, we’d almost certianly believe it if someone told us that Ambrose had been out drinking right up until about five minutes before he came out from behind the curtain. He’s just got that look that screams “perpetually hungover”, doesn’t he?
9. Roman Reigns as Thor
Well, the guy already looks like a Greek god, so a Norse one shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. Just have him do Superman Punches repeatedly and CGI in a hammer. Plus, WWE has had a severe lack of guys with long, flowing hair for a while now (ever since it was decreed that no one else could have the same hairstyle as Triple H, and no, we aren’t kidding, that actually happened in the mid-2000s), so Reigns is the best of a short list in that department. He’d have to dye it blonde, but at this point, if WWE thought it might get him over with wrestling fans even a little bit, they’d probably do it tomorrow. Also, we can’t help but imagine how much fun it will be to watch Reigns, who has had issues with the modern English language at times, struggle through Shakespearean-style dialogue. The gag reel alone would make the whole thing worth doing.
8. The Miz as Hawkeye
So, we’re looking for a smart-ass normal guy who nobody really likes but still gets some good lines in? That sounds like a role for WWE’s non-Rock Hollywood star, The Miz. The thing is, if you’ve ever watched Miz in any of his movies (we’re sure somebody must, or they’d stop making them), he actually plays a decent sympathetic good guy, but because we’re all used to seeing him as a massive jerk, there’s always going to be a part of us watching him act heroically and think “Man, I kind of hope he dies or gets badly hurt”. Hawkeye doesn’t get any respect from fans, despite the fact he can shoot arrows really, really well. The Miz doesn’t get enough respect for being really, really good and being hated. They’re two criminally under-appreciated talents who could work great together!
7. Becky Lynch as Black Widow
Sure, Sasha’s got the sass factor, but our pick comes down to the fact that Black Widow should be a redhead, and Becky’s already got that qualification. Okay, Becky’s strong Irish brogue could be an issue, but that’s nothing a retcon couldn’t fix! Maybe in this reality, Widow is a former IRA agent instead of a Russian spy? Listen, we’re just spitballing here, maybe you just put Sasha in a red wig and call it good. We’re already making Roman Reigns dye his hair, what’s one more? On the other hand, we already gave Sasha the role of Princess Leia when we did this same thing with Star Wars, and we’d hate to be accused of playing favorites.
6. Kofi Kingston as Black Panther
We figured we had to pick a member of The New Day here, because we can’t not put The New Day in a superhero movie. It’d just be booty. Of the three members, we feel like Xavier is way too hyperactive for the more stoic role of Panther, and let’s face it, Big E is just too big (we’d love to see him as T’Challa’s nemesis M’baku, though). Kofi has both the lithe figure and the athletic ability to play the Panther, and after watching him order around his teammates in Ride Along, we’re pretty sure he’d be the best option for playing the more serious character.
5. Kalisto as Spider-Man
Spidey’s finally back under MCU control, and none too soon. We already used Kofi (whose antics have drawn Spider-Man comparisons in the past) for Black Panther, but the under-sized luchador is probably an even better pick. He’s got the aerial abilities and a fighting style based around the tenets of not getting hit and using as many flips as possible, and he’s already used to wearing a mask. We also think he’s got the (so far mostly untapped in WWE) personality to spew mocking quips while fighting, in true Spidey fashion. And who better to play Marvel’s biggest down-on-his luck young superhero than WWE’s current ultimate underdog?
4. Titus O’Neil as Nick Fury
If Titus O’Neil could wrestle a lick, his charisma would have carried him to the top of WWE by now. Unfortunately, he can’t, but he won’t have to do any of that as the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. We can entirely see Titus in an eyepatch and trenchcoat, smoking a cigar and doing his best Samuel L. Jackson impression. Yes, we know Jackson’s Fury is only one interpretation of the character, and we just cast Dean Ambrose by saying that Iron Man didn’t have to look like Robert Downey Jr. But at this point, Jackson’s version is the one everyone recognizes, and we’re not sure fans would even accept a different version, at least in the MCU. Then again, the James Bond franchise did survive the loss of Judy Dench’s “M”…
3. The Big Show as Thanos
We’re going to be honest here, the size did play into our choice. But it’s not like Josh Brolin is a big guy, so it actually wasn’t our chief concern. We figured that we had to put The Big Show in the MCU somehow, and it felt lazy to just give him The Blob. Plus, the X-Men aren’t part of the MCU, so we’ll probably re-visit the idea when we get around to re-casting that franchise. Oh, it’s happening. Anyway, Show’s size aside, he also has some legitimate acting chops, and the wry delivery necessary for the Mad Titan, who always seems slightly amused by the actions of everyone around him. And, of course, Thanos has his fatal flaw of always sowing the seeds of his own destruction, and if you need someone to look really impressive before ultimately losing, your first call should be for the World’s Largest Athlete.
2. Brock Lesnar as The Hulk
It’s not really a surprising choice, but not every list has to be full of shocking twists. The fact of the matter is, there is no closer real life representation of The Hulk than Brock Lesnar. You wouldn’t even really need CGI, you could just paint him green and tell him to get out there and break things. Plus, he wouldn’t really have to talk as Hulk, so you wouldn’t need to pay Paul Heyman to follow Hulk around and explain his motivations. Of course, you’d have to hire someone else to play Bruce Banner, because there’s no way you could possibly make Brock into puny Banner.
1. John Cena as Captain America
Well, obviously. Despite the fact that he already got cast as the voice of Hulk in the new Avengers Academy game, Captain America is the role that the character of John Cena was born to play. He loves America, he’s virtually invincible, and a lot of people think he’s so straight-laced that it’s physically irritating. In fact, Cena’s probably a better Captain America than the real one at this point, because we never see Captain America doing Make A Wish in the comics. The only real concern is that you’d have to limit Cena to wearing red, blue, and white, which cuts his current color palette by, like, 90%.