It is pretty cool to see Hilary Duff in the How I Met Your Father cast and, specifically, to see her play the lead role of a sitcom again - especially since her Lizzie McGuire revival remains unreleased to Disney+. However, some day soon, I would also like to see her make a grand return to the big screen, too, and is there a better (and more fun) way to make such an impression these days than starring in superhero movies?
To date, the only other comic book character that the former Younger cast member has played is the witchy title role of Casper Meets Wendy in 1998. While that is not a bad way to debut your career, I think that Hilary Duff has earned the chance to expand her repertoire with a role in the Marvel movies and I have a few characters in mind, such as one with whom she already shares one special ability with.
As is the case with just about every other Disney Channel icon, Hilary Duff also took up a pretty successful singing career that poured over into her acting career from time to time. She performed a duet with herself in The Lizzie McGuire Movie in 2003, did a rendition of “Leader of the Pack” on NBC’s American Dreams the same year, played a performing arts student in 2004’s Raise Your Voice, and was a Middle Eastern pop star in the dark 2008 satire War Inc. Her next opportunity to combine both talents could occur in the upcoming X-Men movies reboot from Marvel Studios.
In the late 1970s, Marvel partnered with Casablanca Records to create a character who would have her own real-life record deal (featuring songs sung by an actress, of course), which is how Dazzler came to be. While that pop star gimmick never took off in reality, when the mutant wasn’t assisting the X-Men with her power of converting light into sonic energy, she was on stage. Fans are hoping that she will have a bigger role in a future movie than she did in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and casting Hilary Duff would automatically make her unmissable.
Another one of Hilary Duff’s most notable movie roles was as, essentially, the “Bond Girl” to Frankie Muniz’s “James Bond” in 2003’s Agent Cody Banks. However, she did not show up in the London-set sequel, which I suppose was to reflect the tradition of not repeating female leads in James Bond movies, but I would have liked to have seen her at least given the opportunity to be more like Bond than the Bond Girl. That opportunity could, once again, lie in the X-Men movies.
Of the countless number of spies in the Marvel Comics Universe, several have already been cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of the many who has not is Mystique, who is especially good at that job due to her ability to assume the appearance of any person she chooses. With Hilary Duff in the role, she would not only receive the ultimate experience playing a spy, but would also be able to say she played one of Marvel’s most beloved and complex characters.
In retrospect, because Jennifer Lawrence was always vocal about how Mystique’s makeup process kind of sucked, I could easily understand if Hilary Duff would rather not undergo such a dramatic and tumultuous transformation for the sake of becoming an action movie star. She would, however, require less maintenance to play another character I had in mind, who more casual Marvel fans might not recognize, but has potential to show up with all of the MCU’s tinkering with their wide-reaching Multiverse lately.
In an alternate reality known in the comics as Earth-415 (Marvel’s main continuity takes place in Earth-616, if you did not know already), Steve Rogers never got trapped under ice but, instead, got to marry Peggy Carter - similar to how he changed his fate at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Together they had a daughter named Sharon, who would one day grow up to succeed her father as the new Captain America. After Marvel Studios teased the idea of a female Cap on Disney+’s What If…?, bringing the concept to live action sounds like a fun idea, and casting Hilary Duff as the badass warrior would be a dazzling sight that could lead to a major turning point in her career.
A credit on Hilary Duff’s resume you may not have know about was an episode of Dora the Explorer, in which she voiced a character named the Ice Witch. While she sounds like Nickelodeon’s answer to Ilsa from Frozen, she is really just a spoiled rich girl who steals every pair of ice skates in the Snowy Forest so she can skate by herself and not have to share with anyone. Well, if it were me signing up to play someone with “Ice” in their name, I would have hoped the character had some ice-based superpowers.
To make up for the disappointment I assume Hilary Duff might have had over the animated character’s lack of freezing ability, how about a Marvel character whose many extraordinary abilities include controlling ice? Crystalia Amaquelin is an Inhuman who can manipulate all four of the main elements: earth, wind, fire, and air. Now, I am aware that Crystal was already a character on ABC’s critically panned Inhumans TV show, but the likelihood of that remaining canon is slim.
Another one of Hilary Duff’s less-recognizable roles comes from the otherwise infamous, direct-to-DVD movie Foodfight!, which could be considered a crudely animated, comparatively more family-friendly 2012 prototype to Sausage Party. However, inexplicably, she does not play a grocery item, but some strange half-cat, half-human hybrid named Sunshine Goodness, who is the love interest of Charlie Sheen’s canine hero, Dex Dogtective (I swear I am not making this up).
Anyway, I think a fun way to reference (and/or make up for) this obscure moment from Hilary Duff’s career would be to cast her as a strange half-cat, half-human hybrid in a Marvel movie. The feline-esque hero I have in mind is Greer Nelson - otherwise known as Tigra. The former fashion model turned lab assistant turned Avenger was saved from death and reborn with characteristics of the eponymous jungle cat by a race of cat-like people.
Ya know, I would not be surprised to learn about an alternate reality in which Hilary Duff becomes a DC movies star as the best live-action iteration of Supergirl the world had ever seen. However, in this reality, I think the Marvel characters above might suit her even more fittingly.
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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