She has been a Disney Princess on Elena of Avalor, a teen given freedom to have whatever she wants in the Netflix comedy Yes Day, and would already establish herself as one of Hollywood’s most talented scream queens before filming the upcoming fifth installment of the Scream franchise. Therefore, it only seems natural that Jenna Ortega will take on the world of Marvel movies, or perhaps even DC movies, next.
I should mention that this would not actually be the 18-year-old Latina actress' first foray into superhero movies, however. In fact, she is technically part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe already, having made her feature film debut in Iron Man 3 as the daughter of the Vice President. Of course, her character was not even given a proper name, but it would not be the first time an actor played multiple comic book movie characters, even in the same universe.
That being said, I see no harm in giving her a more prominent MCU role which would put her in a real costume, and I have a few heroines from the pages of Marvel Comics in mind. To be safe, though, I also thought I would pick some additional DC characters whom Jenna Ortega would be an ideal candidate to breathe life into on the big (or small) screen as well. The following are the six characters Ortega could play in Marvel and DC movies, starting with one who shares a similar cultural identity with the actress.
Albuquerque native Bonita Juarez is known to Marvel Comics by a few different names, in a few different alternate timelines, but her most famous moniker is Firebird. The superhero alias is chosen in reference to her ability to summon a large mass of energy shaped like a bird (in addition to flying at superhuman speeds, various levels of intense energy projection, and supposed immortality to name a few), which she acquired when she was struck by a literal ball of fire that suddenly came out of the sky as she was walking in the desert. Firebird is one of the most popular and important female Marvel superheroes of Latin origin and, as a proud Latina, accepting that role is an honor that Jenna Ortega would not take lightly.
One of the most popular, important, and especially powerful female superheroes in the DC universe is this top-level sorceress who uses her natural born powers for a couple of different purposes. When she is not saving the world, Zatanna Zatara earns a living as a stage magician, creating "illusions" that outdo the likes of David Copperfield or Criss Angel by a landslide. The founding member of Justice League Dark will soon be making her live action debut in an HBO Max TV series based on the supernatural subdivision of the Justice League and, knowing a thing or two about black magic from her role in Netflix's The Babysitter: Killer Queen, Jenna Ortega would be a great fit as a younger version of the dark arts expert.
Of course, Marvel also has its fair share of crimefighters with mystical backgrounds (even without counting Doctor Strange), including one who is also a Latina by the name of Ava Ayala - who fights evil under the White Tiger moniker. Now, before you go on assuming that this feline-esque, female superhero is just Marvel copying DC's Catwoman or even Marvel copying their own Black Cat, the White Tiger legacy hero, the first being Ava's Puerto-Rican older brother Hector, is imbued with supernatural abilities by a mystical amulet passed down to each new holder of the name. Ava's story, in which she dons the wild costume to avenge her murdered family, is the kind of engaging tragic tale that the MCU does well and the kind of role that Jenna Ortega is ready to play after her many years of experience.
Speaking of legacy heroes, one of the most prestigious superhero aliases passed down from person to person for generations in the DC Universe is Black Orchid, whom some readers may recognize best as a Poison Ivy-like seductress created by Sandman writer Neil Gaiman in 1988. The most recent character to adopt the moniker is Alba Garcia, an agent for A.R.G.U.S. who underwent an experimental procedure to repair her limbs, which made her uniquely connected to plant life and microorganisms, and a perfect candidate to join Justice League Dark. So, if someone else ends playing Zatanna Zatara on the upcoming HBO Max Justice League Dark TV show, perhaps this fellow Latina would be a more fitting role for Jenna Ortega anyway.
Outside of her heritage, Jenna Ortega is someone defined by her bubbly personality and adventurous approach to how she chooses her versatile acting roles, and bubbly and adventurous are two of the definitive characteristics of Gwendolyn Poole. Once a normal, everyday, comic book-loving teenager, Gwen would receive the chance to use her vast insight on the inner workings of the Marvel Universe after being magically transported into its world in order adopt the life of a superhero. Better yet, her Marvel fandom allows her the benefit of self-aware meta humor like Deadpool, whom Gwenpool has also teamed up with before in the comics. Seeing Ortega and Ryan Reynolds portray that partnership on the big screen could be an infectious, wonderful game-changer for the MCU.
On the other hand, having starred on the hit Netflix's series You, wrapped filming on the aforementioned Scream 5 (officially titled Scream, actually), and currently working on a film called X with The House of the Devil director Ti West, it seems that Jenna Ortega is more attracted to darker stories. So, why not play a close associate of the Dark Knight himself, namely, Batgirl? A solo film putting Barbara Gordon's original crimefighting alter ego in the spotlight has been in development hell for years now, but perhaps someone with Ortega's talent can help put a fresh spin on the material and finally revive the project.
Would you agree that Jenna Ortega is ready for the life of a superhero movie star, or do you think her previous MCU role disqualifies her? If you were in charge of either the MCU or DCEU, what comic book character would you cast her as?
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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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