The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand with the release of every new Marvel-based superhero movie, and that means the roster of actors continues to grow, as well. The MCU has thrived on some notably off-kilter casting decisions over the course of the last decade, and now a bizarre outsider has officially thrown his hat into the ring to sign on for an Avengers blockbuster. Specifically, former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal wants in on a Marvel movie, and he wants to best Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark in combat. While discussing this possibility, Shaq said:
I would love to be in one of the Avengers movies. I would like to kick Robert Downey Jr.'s ass.
So there you have it. Shaquille O'Neal not only wants to appear in an Avengers movie, but he also wants to use that opportunity to "kick Robert Downey Jr.'s ass." This would seem to suggest that he doesn't just want to cameo like Elon Musk in Iron Man 2 or Bill Maher in Iron Man 3. He wants a role that will directly offer him the chance to fight one of Marvel's most beloved icons.
That said, appearing in a Marvel Cinematic Universe outing isn't the only opportunity that Shaq seems eager to jump into in the near future. Elsewhere in his discussion with EW about the possibility of kicking some Iron ass, the basketball icon similarly explained that he would be willing to dive back into the worlds of Steel and Kazaam, as well.
In fact, Steel arguably seems like a particularly exciting role for Shaq to return to, given the similarities he shares with Iron Man, despite the former's status as a DC character.
To some, it may seem like a bizarre request for Shaq to want to play a part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having said that, it's also worth remembering how some of the most unlikely decisions have turned into some of the most intriguing and exciting roles in the greater MCU. Before the release of Iron Man back in 2008, Robert Downey Jr. hadn't been a big-ticket item in a hot minute, and Chris Pratt was the soft and lovable Andy Dwyer before transforming himself into Star-Lord for Guardians of the Galaxy. Comic book movies can fundamentally change how we view performers, so (if given the right role to work with), Shaq could make a comic book character work.
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Only time will tell if Kevin Feige and the folks over at Marvel Studios will ever reach out to Shaq to play a part in the MCU, or if that role will involve him engaging in some fisticuffs with Tony Stark. Until we learn more about this possibility, you can catch Iron Man later this year when Avengers: Infinity War premieres in theaters on May 4.