Because playing 007 in the last five James Bond movies is what ultimately turned Daniel Craig into a household name, the iconic MI-6 agent will forever be the role that he is best remembered for (if not Benoit Blanc in 2019’s Knives Out and its upcoming sequel on Netflix). However, recent rumors have claimed that the British actor was originally slated to appear in the newest of the Marvel movies, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as — SPOILER WARNING — Illuminati leader Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. While audiences were still happy to see former The Office cast member John Krasinski stretching his legs as the physicist-turned-superhero in the finished film, this new alleged information does beg the question, is Craig still destined for a part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Having closed the book on his tenure as 007 with 2021’s No Time to Die, the actor has room in his schedule for yet another franchise, so why not the most popular shared universe in Hollywood right now? While this would not actually be his first comic book adaptation, having appeared in an episode of HBO’s Tales from the Crypt and later appearing in director Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin in 2011, it would be his very first time starring in any new superhero movies (or TV shows, even). I already have a few Marvel characters in mind for Craig to play, staring with another hero he was allegedly considered for.
Balder The Brave
After Deadline’s Justin Kroll tweeted allegations that Daniel Craig was Marvel Studios’ original choice for Mister Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (which artist BossLogic created a cool visual representation of), a new rumor surfaced. A different Twitter account called heavyspoilers claimed he was actually cast in the sequel to play a different character: Balder the Brave.
The Asgardian warrior, and paternal half-brother of Thor who also almost made it into the God of Thunder’s first solo movie, was supposedly going to be a member of the Illuminati whom Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) would drive to a self-inflicted death before Craig became unable to shoot the scenes, leading John Krasinski to step in as Reed Richards. Well, as far as I am concerned, just because Craig, allegedly, missed out on the chance to play Balder in this movie does not mean the ship has sailed completely.
Actually, believe it or not, Balder the Brave and Mister Fantastic are not the only Marvel characters whom Daniel Craig has been rumored to appear as on the big screen. According to Trailer Addict, back when the Craig’s Logan Lucky co-star, Channing Tatum, was still slated to lead his own X-Men spin-off movie as Gambit, he was also in negotiations to star in the movie as Mister Sinister.
Originally born in 19th Century London as Nathaniel Essex, the evil, Alpha-level mutant is capable of everything from shape-shifting to telepathy. Considering how an X-Men reboot in the MCU is very likely upon us, and Craig is already naturally gifted with a British accent, I do not see why this rumor cannot turn into a reality at some point, even if not opposite Tatum as Gambit.
Daniel Craig’s accent (and his nationality, of course) would actually make him an even more fitting candidate to play another superhero whose eventual MCU debut has been highly anticipated, named Captain Britain. The costumed alter ego of physicist Brian Braddock - after he gained superhuman abilities like enhanced strength, enhanced senses, and even flight - may sound like the U.K.’s answer to Captain America.
However, the fact that his powers come from a mystical amulet given to him by the legendary wizard, Merlin, certainly helps him stand out among the likes of Steve Rogers or even Peggy Carter’s enhanced alternate self, known as Captain Carter. The vigilante is actually a somewhat coveted character, with fellow British actors like Simon Pegg and Orlando Bloom expressing interest, so I would recommend Craig start campaigning for the role sooner rather than later, in case either Balder the Brave or Mister Sinister do not end up working out, after all.
Actually, if none of the three characters above do end up working out, there is another currently unclaimed character from the Marvel Universe whom Daniel Craig would really be an even better fit to play. While the name “Shortpack” does not sound particularly threatening, believe me when I say not to let that mislead, because you do not want to mess with this mysterious, expert spy-for-hire with an otherwise unfortunate mutant ability to shrink his body, but not grow back.
In fact, he actually would have been microscopic by now without Professor Charles Xavier teaching him how to telepathically keep himself at his current height of 7 inches. After years of playing James Bond, the most famous master of espionage in the history of fiction, Craig would undoubtedly stand tall as a badass version of Shortpack, in what would also be the character’s big screen debut.
On second thought, maybe after playing James Bond for so long, Daniel Craig is ready to retire from espionage completely and move on to something entirely different, such as playing a villain, perhaps. If that is the case, maybe we were still already on the right track by suggesting he play a mutant, but instead of a more heroic one (or, at least, one who agrees with Professor Charles Xavier’s more harmonious philosophies), what about placing him on the opposite side of the debate, or even as the face of the debate?
Because I would not be surprised if Marvel Studios intends to employ a fully new cast when it finally releases its aforementioned, long-awaited reboot of the X-Men movies, I have since been contemplating who I would like to see take over the role of Erik Lehnsherr - better known as Magneto for his ability to manipulate metallic substances. As an actor commended for his experience in various action films and also delivering more sophisticated and captivating performances (both of which he has achieved in the Bond films), I think Craig would be the perfect successor to the role after Sir Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender.
Who knows? Maybe John Krasinski’s Reed Richards was only meant to be a cross-dimensional one-off and Daniel Craig really could be the one who ends up playing him in the MCU’s upcoming Fantastic Four movie reboot. Either way, if and when the actor does join the MCU, I am sure he will leave fans shaken and stirred.
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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 almost any article about Batman.