6 Marvel Characters Javier Bardem Would Be Perfect To Play
From a Fremen tribe leader in Dune to an evil tyrant in the Marvel movies?
My initial reaction to seeing Javier Bardem share the screen with his friend, Thanos actor Josh Brolin, in Dune was, “How cool is it to see these guys together again for the first time since No Country for Old Men?” However, the sight of many more Dune cast members who are also well known for superhero movies (including Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Stellan Skarsgård, David Dastmalchian, and future Moon Knight star Oscar Isaac) made me wonder when the Spanish-born Academy Award-winner will get the chance to jump on that bandwagon.
To help potentially speed up the process, I have a few ideas below for what classic comic characters Bardem would be the ideal choice to play in the Marvel movies, starting with (unsurprisingly) a villain.
From his Oscar win for playing Anton Chigurh in 2007’s No Country for Old Men, to his chilling cameo in Michael Mann’s Collateral in 2004, and, the menacing stand-off with James Bond in 2012’s Skyfall, it is clear that Javier Bardem is a master of portraying evil. So, I say we cast him as a Marvel villain so sinister that he is literally synonymous with the word.
This would be Mister Sinister, who was born in 19th Century London, where he was originally given the name Nathaniel Essex before he chose to use his Alpha-Level mutant abilities (which include everything from shape-shifting to telepathy for nefarious purposes. Professor X and company will need a good adversary when Marvel Studios puts out their X-Men movies reboot and Bardem would make this sought-after fan-favorite worth the wait.
Speaking of comic book villains who are synonymous with foreboding words, an even more famous and notoriously adversarial character in the Marvel Universe (or Marvel Multiverse, even) is Victor von Doom. Of course, to comic book fans, the arch enemy of the Fantastic Four (and an enemy to most other superheroes you could think of) is more commonly known as Doctor Doom - a name that refers both to his Ph.D as well as his penchant for threatening the world with an assortment of brilliantly conceived, but horrifying schemes, and his impressive skills in sorcery.
As one of the most important villains in comic book history, the character's induction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most highly anticipated events in pop culture so, to do it right, casting an actor as skilled at portraying doom as Javier Bardem is essential.
Speaking of highly anticipated MCU inductions, even the most casual comic book fans are familiar with Mephisto for how often die-hards have been clamoring for him in the franchise (with theories about his involvement in WandaVision being one of the more recent and infamous examples).
Well, once again, it will take an actor of amazing talent, and a nearly unparalleled sense of menace, to pull off the first appearance of the Marvel Universe’s own version of Satan on the big (or even small) screen since Peter Fonda played him in Ghost Rider in 2007. Not only would Javier Bardem likely nail the portrayal or even manage to reinvent the character into something even more thrilling, but playing a Marvel villain of such intense prowess might be a fun opportunity to make his buddy Josh Brolin jealous.
Actually, instead of casting Javier Bardem as an inter-dimensional demon, an even better way to make the former Thanos actor green (instead of purple) with envy would be to cast his friend as an omnipotent god. After surviving a deadly amount of cosmic energy, human space traveler Galan transformed into Galactus - a literally larger than life being of immense, nearly incomparable power, who enjoys snacking on full planets in his spare time.
Many fans have theorized that the villain could be the next “Big Bad” for Phase 4 of the MCU and, if so, I think now is the time to get Bardem on the phone. His aforementioned mastery of abominable character traits and commanding voice are just what is needed to pull off the character's cinematic debut (if you don’t count his “cloudy” portrayal in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and I don’t).
We may have enough villains on this list by now, and I do not want to completely distract from Javier Bardem's non-evil portrayals, either, such as real-life poet Reinaldo Arenas in Before Night Falls (which earned him his first Oscar nomination), or as real-life euthanasia activist Ramon Sampedro in The Sea Inside, from 2004.
In fact, I may have the perfect heroic role for him to utilize both his gruff, more intimidating persona and his gentler emotional depth simultaneously: Dr. Henry “Hank” McCoy. Previously played by Nicolas Hoult in the X-Men movie prequels, the blue, burly, and brilliant mutant nicknamed Beast is bound to come back to the big screen and, if not reprised by Kelsey Grammer, I think Bardem would be the perfect fit.
If Javier Bardem does join the MCU, it would technically not be the first shared cinematic universe he ever joined. Before the critical and commercial failure of The Mummy scrapped plans for the “Dark Universe” in 2017, Bardem was set to play Frankenstein’s Monster in a remake of Bride of Frankenstein, which is a performance I actually would have been very interested to see, to be honest.
I think a great way to give the actor a second chance at the role is to cast him as Marvel’s interpretation of Mary Shelley’s seminal creation, who would eventually join a more recent imagining of The Howling Commandos, which employs a few different famous horror characters for heroic purposes.
Bringing the Howling Commandos to the big screen would be an amazing way to unite fans of horror movies with fans of the MCU, which has been embracing more macabre concepts lately anyway, from rebooting Blade with Mahershala Ali to hiring Evil Dead movies creator Sam Raimi to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Come to think of it, all this talk of making darkness a key component to Javier Bardem’s comic book movie debut has me wondering if the DC movies are a better fit for the actor.
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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.
By Mike Reyes