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While I would not necessarily call Aaron Burr the “villain” of Hamilton, his opposition to the title character is a major element of the plot. That being said, if I was Leslie Odom Jr., who plays the former US Vice President in the blockbuster musical history lesson, I would want to follow that role with something emphatically heroic. The Marvel movies have always come in handy for that sort of treatment.
The Tony and Grammy-winning actor, who also moonlights as a musician unsurprisingly, is otherwise known for playing a suspect in the titular of crime of Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express remake, and as an Underground Railroad conductor in Harriet. Yet, the 39-year-old still has not reached leading man status, which could easily be arranged by one phone call from Kevin Feige, who should have no trouble getting ahold of Leslie Odom Jr., especially since Hamilton has essentially become part of the Disney family.
The question is who Leslie Odom Jr. would be the right candidate to portray on the big screen, either for the first time in the MCU or just the first time, period. I have six characters from the Marvel universe in mind.
The word "bedlam" refers to a person suffering from a confused or uproarious state, which is what Jesse Aaronson mutant's evil brother Christopher, nicknamed King Bedlam, was able to do to their parents, causing their death and forcing young Jesse into foster care. He would re-emerge as a superhero under an alias similar to his sibling after his ability to disrupt machinery and electrical equipment made him a subject of cruel experiments until M.U.S.E. (Mutant Underground Support Engine) came to his rescue. You might actually recognize Bedlam from Terry Crews' portrayal in Deadpool 2, in which the character met a bitter, premature end. This gives Leslie Odom Jr. the perfect opportunity to swoop in as the character for the X-Men official reintroduction in the MCU.
Say, speaking of Marvel comic book characters who deserve another chance in the MCU, 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer proved to, unfortunately, be a less-than-stellar sequel and big screen debut for the titular, shiny space explorer in the eyes of most fans and critics. Thus, it would be fun to see a proper origin story for Zenn-La native Norrin-Radd, who cruises to other planets on a board composed of the same silvery substance he is made of, in his own movie. This time, instead of giving two actors the role (last time, Doug Jones physically played him, while Laurence Fishburne spoke the dialogue), why not allow Leslie Odom Jr. to be both the voice and the body of the Silver Surfer, a la Josh Brolin as Thanos?
Instead of being composed of a metallic substance, Dr. Elias Wirtham, who first debuted in a 1990 Spider-Man comic, was able to develop an artificial skin made from vibranium to use as armor when fighting crime in honor of his deceased brother. Not to mention, he has an artificial heart capable of emitting massive amounts of power to both send concussive blasts through his staff, as well as keep him alive, hence the alias "Cardiac." I think it would be an honor for any actor, let alone Leslie Odom Jr., to be the first to play this character in an on-screen adaptation (having only received a blink-and-you-miss-it mention in the Netflix series The Defenders) not just for his complex, tragic backstory, but also for that kickass outfit.
On the other hand, an even more effective method of protection than wearing an indestructible skin would be to actually have indestructible skin, much like The Thing. The merger of Fox with Disney gave fans hope that the Fantastic Four's exteriorly hard, but interiorly soft member would finally be given justice with an MCU (with all due respect to Michael Chiklis and Jamie Bell, who obviously were not calling the shots in their movies). I believe that Leslie Odom Jr. would be a great choice, not just for having the acting ability to nail the emotional depth needed for his tragic origin, but also because, in the World War II movie Red Tails, he played a pilot, which was Ben Grimm's occupation prior to becoming a superhero.
While I may have mentioned at the top of this article that it might be in Leslie Odom Jr.'s best interest to land a specifically heroic role following Aaron Burr in Hamilton, ask any actor, and a lot of them will tell you that playing a villain is more fun. With Rocket Racer, however, he could go either way, as the souped-up skateboard rider first appeared as an enemy to Spider-Man in 1977 before a stint in prison inspired him to become a reformed superhero who studies at the Avengers Academy. Of course, in either of those iterations, he is described as a child prodigy, which means, either way, that Odom's casting would require some major reinvention, which is practically Marvel Studios' specialty by now.
One of the more satisfying character reinterpretations in the MCU was J.K. Simmons' reprisal of J. Jonah Jameson as a podcast host in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Someone who could use a similar treatment is Joseph "Robbie" Robertson, who never really got to have the more prominent presence he deserved in director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, despite a heartfelt portrayal by Bill Nunn. It would be nice to see Tom Holland's next film as the We-Slinger give the Daily Bugle reporter, and eventual Editor-in-Chief, a bigger role, perhaps with Leslie Odom Jr. cast. Because after all, a more fitting role for the actor than a young adversary to Peter Parker would be somebody older who has always been known to have the young photographer's back
What do you think? Are these Marvel characters truly perfect for Leslie Odom Jr. to play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or would you say no to them? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on the Hamilton star, as well as even more hypothetical comic book movie casting sessions, here on CinemaBlend.