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Jessica Chastain wants to be in a comic book movie. She's come close in the past, as she was offered the role of Maya Hansen in Iron Man 3, but she unfortunately had to pass on that opportunity, letting the part go to Rebecca Hall instead. The reported reasoning behind the decision was that she had a scheduling conflict, but judging some recent remarks from the actress, a case could be made that she turned down the role for other reasons.
The Oscar nominee recently sat down for an interview with The Guardian and revealed that she is fighting for the chance to be in a superhero movie, but that she doesn’t want to get stuck in just some minor supporting role. Said Chastain,
"A couple of times I’ve gotten really close. The problem is, if I do a superhero movie, I don’t want to be the girlfriend. I don’t want to be the daughter. I want to wear a fucking cool costume with a scar on my face, with fight scenes. That’s what I’d love."
Thinking back on the Iron Man 3 role Chastain passed on, it's hard to blame her. Fortunately, however, there are a host of powerful comic book characters who would be incredibly well served with the actress ushering them to the big screen. In fact, here are 5 that would be perfect for her...
Poison IvyNow while Jessica Chastain said she wants to be in a superhero movie, she never said that she had to play the hero in the film. Thinking back through some of the biggest female villains in comic history, the prospect of Poison Ivy naturally has to be considered. With the Batman franchise being rebooted yet again, and Ben Affleck now playing the Caped Crusader, Chastain would make an excellent addition to the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery as Poison Ivy. Between her acting abilities and the awesome possibilities for a radical redesign of the costume and even the makeup, this is a solid initial prospect.
Given Chastain’s preferences, it’s possible the writers would play more towards the character’s evil tendencies as opposed to her seductive nature, which could be reflected in some drastic scarring throughout the character's body (matching more of her qualifications). After all, Ivy likes to play around with dangerous plants, and those can definitely cut and scar. With Jessica Chastain embodying the character, Poison Ivy can stop being a joke or a one-note sexpot and start being what she should have always been: a deadly threat. Everyone's been paying attention to DC's heroic roster, it's about time the villains score some massive firepower.
LookerLooker is a very obscure pick when you consider her limited history in Batman comics and the one-shot resurrection that she was given in 2011. Admittedly, there isn’t a lot of material to base her character around. Still, a one shot film featuring the character could be a great vehicle for Jessica Chastain, with the possibility of extending the character through cameos and recurring appearances possibly stemming from the film's success. For the sake of the character (and the audience), the New 52 variation would perhaps be the best material to adapt, featuring Emily Briggs (aka Looker) protecting models under the cover of running her own agency.
Her special powers stem from being made into a vampire against her will, which would (again) pair her well with Batman - albeit she'd be on the right side of the batterang with this project. Beyond DC Cinematic Universe connections, Looker could also be the perfect project for Chastain to kick a lot of anti-hero ass and not have to worry about the consequences on the DC world at large. This would be a great opportunity to build a secondary brand up into an A-list property, similar to what Marvel Studios first started to do in their "Phase I."
Painkiller JaneLet's take a break from major comic labels and go for something a little more obscure, but a lot more kick ass. Painkiller Jane is in a similar situation as that of Looker, in that it's a property that is limited in brand recognition, but ripe for interpretation/re-invigoration through a proper film adaptation. What's especially interesting about this character is that even though Painkiller Jane is an indie title, it's an indie title that's crossed over with both Marvel and Dark Horse properties before.
Character wise, Jane Vasko (the titular Painkiller Jane) only has the power of indestructibility, but she's an excellent fighter on top of it. Being an ex-cop/vigilante in more of the vein of The Punisher than Batman, Jane could be an easy get for Jessica Chastain, as it's kind of like her character from Zero Dark Thirty - only if she were indestructible, had a knack for kicking ass, and decided to take on Osama Bin Laden single handedly. Painkiller Jane would give Jessica Chastain the flexibility to make the character her own and perhaps help create yet another party in the comic movie wars.
Angela/Aldrif OdinsdottirNow it's time to pull out the big guns with a character that's been featured in the comic runs of both Spawn and Guardians Of The Galaxy. Angela (known as Aldrif Odinsdottir in Marvel Comics) kind of breaks one of Jessica Chastain's aforementioned requirements, as she the character is indeed the daughter of an important character. That said, we’ll just presume that she doesn't want to be a stock character that ends up pulling emotional weight for another protagonist and doesn't get to fight. Aldrif Odinsdottir, while being a daughter of Odin/sister to Thor and Loki, is far from a casual bystander. In fact, she could be a key ally in the war against Thanos.
With her comic book backstory involving a hidden tenth realm, a run in with the Guardians Of The Galaxy, and a brand new Thor/Loki adventure to said tenth realm, Angela holds a lot of big screen potential. Within the already established Marvel Cinematic Universe she could pop up in Guardians Of The Galaxy 2, be the catalyst for Thor 3, and/or ultimately join the epic superhero team crossover in the inevitable The Avengers 3. Independent of the pre-established characters, she could go on to even spawn her own series, or scratch any potential lady Thor itch that producers may have, potentially eventually inheriting Mjolnir from her brother.
A New Superhero Created Just For HerAll of this comic book talk is fine and dandy, but the sad truth is that world of female superhero characters still needs to do a lot of evolving before a character that fits all of Jessica Chastain's criteria actually exists. Being an actress of Chastain's caliber means that you can pretty much pick any role you want, so she could dismiss any of these prospects with a flick of her wrist. Just because she's interested, doesn't mean she'll just take any comic role that crosses her desk. So why should Chastain be limited to the mere pickings that the established superhero world has to offer right now?
Surely the creative minds at Marvel, DC, or any other comic company have given some thought to creating a super character that is created directly for the big screen, only to cross over to the page. Everyone's so focused on adaptations that they seem to forget that if there's an actor that wants to be in a comic movie, but doesn't feel anyone on the page measures up to their stature, then creating someone out of thin air is the best way to go. A Jessica Chastain influenced character (both in appearance and demeanor) could emulate the same type of project Rosario Dawson created when she's started the Occult Crimes Taskforce comic.