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If all we’re meant to get from post- 30 RockBlue Jasmine and appearances on Hulu-interrupting Capitol One ads, then I guess we should just be happy that his acting renaissance lasted as long as it did and accept these things as reality. But Baldwin recently appeared on an episode of Howard Stern and admitted that he’d recently turned down a chance to play a bad guy in an upcoming Marvel movie. This news, via Comic Book Movie, is deflating, since Baldwin has the aptitude for cunning villainy, especially among the arguably bland villains in the Marvel universe. (Not you, Loki. You’re still cool.)
Baldwin’s imposing form and authoritative demeanor would fit perfectly into a comic book movie – his underrated work in 1994’s The Shadow stands as proof – but what character would he have played? We have no idea. When asked why he’d never been contacted him about being a comic baddie, Baldwin answered, “I have, but I won’t mention which one. I don’t want to undo somebody because they hired someone else to do it. But they asked me to play a villain in one of these Marvel Comics movies.” The way in which he refers to it makes him sound pretty dated – “These kids and their newfangled movies based on drawings.” – but he doesn’t seem to be against the idea altogether, and his excuse opens up the possibility of a future role.
“I wasn’t available,” he said, “they wanted me to work at a certain time. And because of my wife’s pregnancy, I had to turn down two films this summer that I wanted to do.” And since there’s nothing to speculate about as far as that other film is concerned, let’s ponder for a second who Baldwin could have played in Marvel’s grand scheme. (He reportedly said he’d divulge the info to Stern off-camera.)
Baldwin’s wife is currently around six months pregnant, which makes him eligible for just about every project Marvel has that hasn’t been released yet. I’m not sure where he would have fit into the character-filled world of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Really, I don’t know who he would have replaced as a villain in either Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Thor: The Dark World. And while I’d love to picture him with the glowing skull that Jamie Foxx dons as Electro for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I can only easily picture him living in the surreal world that James Gunn is crafting with Guardians of the Galaxy, where his cross-genre skills would probably come in handy.
And for those unfamiliar with Baldwin’s rocking turn as quasi-bad guy Leonardo Leonardo in the Clerks cartoon series, here’s a peek.