Her tenure with the Parks and Recreation cast and roles in movies like Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates or Happiest Season might cause someone to assume that Aubrey Plaza is primarily a comedic actress when, in reality, she has done it all. To name a few examples, the 37-year-old is also a Scream Queen (with Life After Beth in 2014 and the 2019 Child’s Play remake), played a villain on Criminal Minds, lent her voice to The Legend of Korra, and starred in a few comic book adaptations - namely 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and one fo the most unique Marvel TV shows, FX’s Legion. However, Plaza has not yet broken into the Marvel movies, but if and when she does, we have a few characters in mind for her to play, including one who has a similar cultural background.
Aubrey Plaza is half-Puerto Rican and one of the most popular and acclaimed Latinx actresses of her generation. Speaking of that, there are many Marvel movie actors of Latin descent, but rarely as characters who were originally written as Latinx in the comics. I think it would be cool to see Plaza make her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as a character who reflects her lineage a bit and I have a perfect one in mind.
Bonita Juarez became the first Mexican-American woman to join the Avengers after exposure to a radioactive meteorite gave her the ability to shoot flames of varying temperatures and fly at abundant speeds. Her alias, Firebird, is inspired by a giant mass of energy shaped like a bird that commonly shows up whenever she springs into action, but may or may not be her own creation. She was also first introduced in a 1981 issue of The Incredible Hulk, which, to me, sounds like a great reason to introduce her on the upcoming She-Hulk TV show on Disney+.
I mentioned earlier in the introductory paragraph how Aubrey Plaza has dabbled in horror movies, and to much acclaim, too, as the undead title role of the aforementioned Life After Beth, as Karen Barclay in the new Child’s Play, and more recently in Fede Alvarez’s new Apple TV+ anthology series, Calls, and the horror-comedy King Knight. Her life of Scream Queen royalty is far from over, too, with another animated horror-comedy movie called Little Demon in the works, and I hope to see it continue for as long as possible. It is actually possible that it could continue with a part in the Marvel movies.
It looks like Marvel Studios is beginning to embrace more spooky stories with the recent zombie episode of What If…? and the upcoming Blade reboot now in development with two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali as the titular vampire hunter. Speaking of which, that highly anticipated update sounds like a great opportunity for Lilith Drake - the daughter of Dracula himself - to finally make her debut in a comic book adaptation that is not a video game. I also think playing the anti-heroic bloodsucker would give Aubrey Plaza a great opportunity to show mainstream audiences just how badass she can be.
No matter how strong her reign as a Scream Queen may grow, for many audiences, Aubrey Plaza will always be April Ludgate, whom she played on the hit mockumentary style sitcom Parks and Recreation for seven seasons. In fact, some might agree that the heart and soul of the show was April’s unlikely, but undeniably adorable, romance with Andy Dwyer, played by Chris Pratt, who would go on to become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars after James Gunn cast him in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy as Peter “Star-Lord” Quill. I have an idea that would allow these two to reunite onscreen in the MCU.
Believe it or not, one of Peter Quill’s most prevalent romances in the comics, outside of Gamora, is Kitty Pryde - a mutant who also goes by Shadowcat for her ability to phase through solid objects (among other really cool things). Now, I am not suggesting that Marvel should cast Aubrey Plaza as Kitty Pryde in their forthcoming X-Men movies reboot so she can eventually become a homewrecker for Quill and Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, but it would be fun to get these two in a room together for the dual amount of pop culture references it would create. Regardless, Plaza’s sense of humor would be a wonderful match for a new take on Shadowcat.
Another Marvel character I had in mind for Aubrey Plaza is Amelia Weatherly, who became the third person to don the alias Nemesis when she first appeared as a new recruit for the all-female crimefighting team Alpha Flight in 2004. The character also calls to mind Plaza’s character from Life After Beth, as she is technically dead, but still conscious and animated thanks to her physical connection to the Scell - a mystical sword that also gives her the ability to fly, run fast, teleport, and continuous “live” off of her victims’ life-forces. However, the one ability of hers that made me think of Plaza was time travel.
Aubrey Plaza’s very first lead role in a movie was in director Colin Trevorrow’s 2012 feature-length debut, Safety Not Guaranteed, as a magazine intern who meets a man (Mark Duplass) claiming to have built a time machine who puts out a classified ad asking for a travel companion. I should clarify, however, that the film is really a quirky romantic comedy and not an overt sci-fi thriller. Thus, I would love to see Plaza revisit the world of time travel movies in a more overtly sci-fi way, and bringing Nemesis to life on screen would be a great way of making that happen, especially because of how much of a badass she is.
On the other hand, is there a more badass female character in Marvel Comics history than Elektra Natchios? The assassin and off-and-on again lover of Matt Murdock (whose Daredevil moniker was passed down to her in 2020) has certainly made a good case for herself with the many death-defying feats she has performed while in combat and wielding dual blades since the legendary Frank Miller created her in 1981. Not to mention, Aubrey Plaza practically looks like she was born to play the part by appearance alone, and I have no doubt she could match the cold, calculated personality Elektra is famous for.
Of course, some people may be reading this thinking, Wait, doesn’t the MCU already have their own iteration of Elektra? While you are technically right, and Elodie Yung’s take on the character on Netflix’s Daredevil series is fantastic, you and I both know that that short-lived, but much-loved adaptation likely is no longer canon and barely was in the first place. Not to mention, we need another big screen take on the character, anyway, to make up for Jennifer Garner’s Elektra movie from 2005.
Another interesting idea I had to get Aubrey Plaza in the MCU would be to see her make a cross-dimensional cameo as her Legion character Lenny Busker, which is totally possible with all the experiments the franchise has been trying with the Marvel Multiverse lately. However, her real dream-come-true would be to join the DC Multiverse as new iteration of Catwoman. With an actress like this, anything is possible.
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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