Did you know that actress Lily Collins is the daughter of British rock star Phil Collins? It’s OK if you didn’t know. In fact, it just proves how well she has managed to build a successful career without relying on own her father’s fame (even if she did make her acting debut in Disney’s Tarzan, for which the former Genesis frontman wrote the Oscar-winning song “You’ll Be In My Heart”).
I am actually surprised that the lead of the Emily in Paris cast (who also has an executive producer’s credit on the Netflix hit) has not starred in any superhero movies yet, considering how she has covered nearly every other genre you could think of. Actually, reviewing some of her biggest roles helped inspire a few ideas of whom I think she would be the ideal choice to play in any new Marvel movies if and when that opportunity arises. One Marvel character I have in mind has a pretty unique, tangential connection to Lily Collins’ first-ever comic book movie role.
Early on in her acting career, Lily Collins starred in 2011's Priest, based on Min-Woo Hyung’s comic about a disgraced man of the clergy trying to rescue his niece from bloodthirsty vampires in a war-torn dystopia. Collins played the niece, Lucy Pace, and the titular priest was played by Paul Bettany, who would be promoted from Tony Stark’s digital assistant, JARVIS, to the Avengers' Vision four years later. In the comics, the heroic synthezoid technically does have a niece named Luna Maximoff, but I think Collins would be a better fit to pay his “sister.”
Jocasta was originally created by Ultron to be his bride by downloading Janet Van Dyne’s digital consciousness into a mechanical vessel before she gained control, was rescued by the Avengers, and the residual traces of her mind became the reborn android’s “soul.” Clearly, if Kevin Feige and co. ever planned on bringing the robotic hero into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it would take a great deal of reinventing, similarly to how Ulton’s origin was rewritten in Avengers: Age of Ultron as Stark and Bruce Banner’s creation instead of Hank Pym's. However, I think it would be worth it, especially for the chance to see Collins reunite with Bettany… whenever “White Vision” returns, that is.
Another one of Lily Collins’ earliest acting credits was Abduction - an action thriller from 2011 starring Taylor Lautner as a teenager embroiled in a government conspiracy while trying to uncover his true identity. Collins plays, Karen - the girl next door whom Lautner’s character, Nathan, has a crush on and ends up joining him on his dangerous adventure. I also have an idea for how these two could reunite in the MCU which is also based on a previous hypothetical casting idea I once had.
Not long ago, I imagined what Marvel characters the Twilight cast could play and assigned Lautner to play Namor the Sub-Mariner, partially due to his iconic performance as another aquatic, young superhero in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Well, I believe that if and when the character finally makes his long-awaited cinematic debut, so should his equally powerful cousin, Namora, whom Collins has the perfect qualities to make for a wonderful, strong, leading portrayal. All she needs is some blonde hair dye.
Lily Collins has also been linked to the Twilight movies cast the time she played Snow White in Mirror Mirror in the same year that Kristen Stewart also played the fairy tale character in Snow White and the Huntsman. Actually, believe it or not, that was only the first time she played a princess, followed by Dawn in the English-language cut of the Spanish-language animated film A Wizard’s Tale in 2018. Well, I would hope that her next royal portrayal could be a character who is just a little more badass than those two, and I think Marvel Comics has the perfect fit.
So, it is no secret Marvel has many of their own doppelgängers of DC characters (and vice versa) and one who bears a few striking similarities to Diana “Wonder Woman” Prince is Zarda Shelton. She fights crime under the moniker Power Princess, in reference to her being a member of the royal family in the perfect land of Utopia Island from Earth-712 in the Marvel Multiverse. Collins has had her fair share of fairy tale wonderment and a few action films, so why not combine them into one game-changing performance in the Marvel movies?
On second thought, I have another idea for a potentially even more badass Marvel character whom Lily Collins could draw from a previous experience to play. In 2013, she was cast in the feature-length adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s young adult fantasy novel The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in the lead role of Clary Fray, who discovers that she is a descendent of a long line of people chosen to protect humanity from demons. Outside of the prophesied destiny bit, Elsa Bloodstone can certainly relate.
The young, British woman (something Collins also can relate to as Surrey, England, native) is a descendent of one of the most notorious monster hunters in the Marvel Universe - her father, Ulysses Bloodstone, would pass down the family business to her and her brother, Cullen. Elsa has also teamed up with the Merc with a Mouth before, so perhaps we could see Collins join the cast of the upcoming third Deadpool movie, or even debut in her own, old fashioned monster movie. Either way, I hope the folks at Marvel Studios keep her in mind for this role.
You know what? I actually have another Marvel character in mind who has a few things in common with Lily Collins’ role in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. In addition to demon hunting, Clary Fray is also an Nephilim (a human with angel-like qualities), much like her love interest, Jace Herondale. Outside of also sharing angelic characteristics with her significant other, Paige Guthrie is similar.
Also known as Husk for her mutant ability to shed her skin for various reasons and with various outcomes, this X-Men member has been romantically linked with Warren Worthington III, who is otherwise known as Angel (or Archangel) for his heavenly set of wings. Yet, aside from that, this is very complex and unique Marvel character whom I believe Collins could really achieve something profound with if cast.
Of course, having also starred in projects as dark as Netflix’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile and Inheritance with Simon Pegg in 2020, maybe Lily Collins is ready for something in the DC movies to be her debut superhero role.
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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.