If you ask me, I think that Ray Fisher gives one of the greatest ever performances in the DC movies so far as Victor Stone, a.k.a. Cyborg, in Justice League (specifically in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, if there was any clarification needed there). The 33-year-old, theater-trained actor brings so much heart and so much humanity to a character who is mostly made of metal, and wins over the audience so easily that I now wish we could see more from him in upcoming superhero movies. However, following certain reveals from the set of the 2017 box office disappointment which have come to light, I have a feeling that Ray Fisher has a better shot at a part in the Marvel movies, and I have plenty of great character ideas in mind, staring with one who is also part machine.
In 1990, a Spider-Man comic introduced a character named Dr. Elias Withram, who technically already exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (if we can still count the Netflix Marvel TV shows, that is) having been briefly mentioned in the multi-character crossover series, The Defenders, but has never had his own story told in a screen adaptation. That is a shame, because he has quite an interesting story: following the death of his brother, the doctor developed an artificial skin made of Vibranium which he uses to defend himself when fighting crime, along with his artificial heart that conjures devastating blasts of energy - hence the name Cardiac. Not only does Ray Fisher know a thing or two about playing heroes who are part-human, part-machine and suffering a tragic loss, but he certainly has the heart (no pun intended) required to bring this role to life.
Of course, I would not be surprised if, for his next comic book movie, Ray Fisher would rather play a role that has the same amount of heart, but does not require him to be covered in CGI alterations for most of it. In that case, I also have in mind a character named Dwayne Michael Taylor - a rich, successful businessman whose parents were murdered when he was younger, inspiring him to pursue and perfect skills in martial arts, adopt a technical mastery which allows him to create effective non-lethal weaponry of his own design, and other abilities, to fight crime under the alias Night Thrasher. In other words, this could be the closest that Fisher would get to, essentially, playing Batman, making me hopeful that plans for a New Warriors series, which was originally developed as project for Freeform before it was cancelled, could re-materialize.
On second thought, Ray Fisher does not need a Netflix or Freeform show to play a Marvel character when he could get the same (if not better) opportunities from MCU movies, which are expanding their catalog with characters previously owned by Fox, such as the X-Men. There are several characters from the Marvel comic book series whom I could see the actor being a great fit for, but one of the most undeniably badass is named Lucas Bishop (originally played by French actor Omar Sy in X-Men: Days of Future Past), who originates from a timeline ruled by robotic Sentinels who have forced all mutants to live in hiding. The role might require less heart than Fisher used for Cyborg, but even more of the same grit, and rumors of the Marvel Multiverse becoming a major plot point in the movies make this role all the more possible.
Another Marvel property previously owned by Fox, before the merger with Disney, is the Fantastic Four, who have inspired four movies: two of which were successful but critically reviled, one of which was neither commercially nor critically successful, and one that never even saw the light of day. In other words, there is a lot of pressure on Kevin Feige and co. to give Marvel’s first superhero family (including the flexible Mister Fantastic; the transparent Invisible Woman, and the rock-skinned The Thing) a proper cinematic adaptation fans can be proud of with the MCU’s Fantastic Four reboot. The secret to making that work might be in casting the crew’s fourth, pyrokinetic, member, Johnny “Human Torch” Storm, with Ray Fisher. It could be a great opportunity for the actor to show off a sense of humor, having already proved his knack for playing a rebellious, heroic youth as Cyborg.
I would not be surprised, nor hold it against him, if all of what happened while making Justice League influenced Ray Fisher to never to play a superhero character again, but I’d still really like to see him in a Marvel movie. Thus, I would offer him the part of Joseph "Robbie" Robertson - Peter Parker’s friend, mentor, and co-worker who did not get the acknowledgement he deserved in director Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies, if you ask me, despite a heartfelt portrayal by the late Bill Nunn. I think casting Fisher as a younger incarnation of the Daily Bugle reporter, whom Tom Holland’s Peter could not only learn from but relate to better, would be the best way to give this under appreciated character another shot at a proper big screen presence, especially after Spider-Man: Far From Home gave J.K. Simmons J. Jonah Jameson such a treatment already.
The fate of the DC Extended Universe and the overarching story that Zack Snyder had intended to tell in subsequent superhero movies remains up in the air for now, much like Ray Fisher’s future as Cyborg in any of those very sequels. If we do not see him return to the DC movies, I believe that if he were to make a debut in the Marvel movies, it could be, not just the next best thing, but maybe even a better thing. To make this change of pace for the actor even better, is there a specific character you would suggest he play over any others?
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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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