There may not be a more prolific actor in the history of comic book movies (save for the late, great Stan Lee, of course,) than Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Having said that, it is astonishing that he has yet to play a role in any Marvel movies.
The 54-year-old actor was Zack Snyder’s The Comedian in Watchmen, made a memorably brief turn as Batman’s dad, brought The Walking Dead’s most ruthless human antagonist, Negan, to glorious life in 2016, and even has an uncredited appearance in Jonah Hex. Not to mention, three of Jeffrey Dean Morgan's co-stars from the overlooked 2010 DC comic adaptation The Losers (Chris Evans, Zoe Saldana and Idris Elba) went on to make history in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but for some reason, he did not follow in their footsteps.
Despite all the pleas from fans (and the man himself) to see him reprise his Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice role as a still-alive Thomas Wayne who masquerades as Batman in an alternate reality, or even play intergalactic assassin Lobo, there should be at least a few who agree he has already done enough for DC, and that another comic book movie universe could benefit from his talent. To make this easier to visualize, these are six Marvel characters who Jeffrey Dean Morgan could totally kick butt as.
Raise your hand if the first thought in your mind amid Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s leather jacket-clad debut as Negan was, "Whoa, this guy could be The Punisher!" While he would be forced to usurp the role from a fellow veteran cast member of The Walking Dead (Jon Bernthal), Morgan has the look, attitude and (as he proved on his buddy Norman Reedus’ AMC reality show Ride) skills behind a chopper that could make him an ideal Frank Castle. Finding a way to fit the vengeful former U.S. Marine into a movie on the MCU lineup could be tricky, but if they can do it with Deadpool (as they have claimed is their intention), anything is possible.
Kraven The Hunter
Using that same logic, the chances of seeing Tom Holland’s Spider-Man take on someone as ruthless as The Punisher (but far more villainous, that is) may not be out of the question. That is certainly wishful thinking, considering Jeffrey Dean Morgan also has the look and attitude to play Sergei Kravinoff, better known as Kraven the Hunter. The Russian-born, internationally renowned predator is of incomparable skill and has an indiscriminate selection of prey whom the young Web-Slinger has survived capture from a frighteningly numerous amount of times. As rare a sight it would be to see Morgan play a character who is not a red-blooded American, I would say that just gives this casting choice even more purpose to exist.
He is one of the strongest, most powerful superheroes in the Marvel lexicon (possessing a versatile arsenal of abilities that range from shapeshifting to teleportation), but for some reason, Wonder Man has yet to be given the cinematic treatment. The reason could be that his moniker is synonymous with a certain female DC character, how the MCU usually favors superheroes with some semblance of vulnerability, his extreme pacifism, or maybe [the familiarity of his origin story](https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/SimonWilliams(Earth-616) (morally questionable rich dude gains powers after a near-death experience). Regardless, if this muscle-bound, ageless, red-eyed part-time actor were to get his own movie (or maybe a supporting spot or just a cameo in a future team-up flick), it would be quite a treat to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan ham it up with this role.
Given the likelihood that Marvel Studios would rather someone a bit younger play Wonder Man, perhaps Jeffrey Dean Morgan might be better suited for a character whose older age is a more definitive characteristic. Not to mention, the actor has proven time and time again, especially in the aforementioned Watchmen and The Walking Dead, that he can play one hell of a bad guy. That being said, imagine what he could do if put in the shoes of one of Spider-Man's most persistently menacing foes: mad scientist Otto Octavius who, when equipped with a set of four mechanical arms he designed himself, becomes Doctor Octopus.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe now finally has the golden opportunity, yet seemingly daunting task, of giving Marvel's first superhero family its first proper cinematic depiction. The first step in making a good Fantastic Four movie will be casting the right people, with special attention given to choose whoever will hide under CGI performance capture (or heavy makeup and prosthetics, if they choose the Michael Chiklis method) as Ben Grimm, whose transformation into a being of orange, stone-like skin earned him the less flatter nickname The Thing. If you want an actor who play the Fantastic Four's big, indestructible teddy bear with the inner vulnerability and gritty exterior he requires, I think Jeffrey Dean Morgan certainly has that in him.
With the Marvel Cinematic Universe having wrapped up the arc revolving around one of its most iconic villains, Thanos, there has been some talk that the next big bad the franchise has in store might be the genuinely big Galactus. Someone as smart as Kevin Feige realizes that a character with a sweet tooth for entire planets requires the casting of someone with a personality as grand in size as he is. Thus, an actor as personable and versatile as Jeffrey Dean Morgan has to be the right choice.
What do you think? Are any of these characters just what Jeffrey Dean Morgan needs to get himself into the MCU, or do you just want to see more DC action from him? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for updates on the The Walking Dead actor, as well as more hypothetical superhero movie casting sessions, here on CInemaBlend.
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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