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5 Marvel Characters Lily James Would Be Perfect To Play

Lily James in Baby Driver
(Image credit: Sony)

With her stunning, transformative performance as Pamela Anderson in Pam & Tommy, Lily James has proven that she is the kind of actress who is, pretty much, capable of doing anything. Actually, in retrospect, she has been doing a bang-up job proving this to the world already for years, from her breakout role on Downton Abbey to her pivotal scene in Edgar Wright’s 2017 action thriller Baby Driver, but Hulu’s biographical miniseries has rendered it indisputable, if you ask me.

So, from my perspective, it looks like superhero movies are the next natural step in the actress’ evolution. Now, to be clear, I am not just saying that because her onscreen husband from Pam & Tommy is played by a Marvel movies’ star - namely Bucky Barnes actor Sebastian Stan. However, the Falcon and the Winter Soldier cast member’s iconic role did give me an idea for one of the Marvel characters below whom I believe Lily James should be considered to play.

Gail Richards from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Gail Richards 

As we have established, Lily James and Sebastian Stan lead the Pam & Tommy cast as the titular power couple and display some dynamite chemistry in the roles. It almost makes you want to see them share a romance onscreen again. There is a character from Marvel Universe (or Marvel Multiverse, I should say) who would actually make such a reunion between the actors possible in the MCU.

In the alternate reality of Earth-1610, Steve Rogers became engaged to a woman named Gail Richards, but their relationship was cut short when a mission ended with Captain America being presumed dead. Richards would accept a marriage proposal from Rogers’ lifelong friend and fellow soldier, James “Bucky” Buchanan Barnes, with whom she had four children. We could have Lily James’ Gail and Bucky meet in any upcoming Marvel movies through an inter-dimensional crossover, but I would actually opt for reinventing her for modern times in the MCU for the sake of giving Sebastian Stan’s badass version of the Winter Soldier a love interest.

Clea from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Clea

Speaking of love interests, while Benedict Cumberbatch’s cinematic version of Dr. Stephen Strange has a soft spot for Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), in the comics he forms a professional and romantic relationship with a fellow sorcerer named Clea. The former ruler of the Dark Dimension has also been a part of Valkyrior’s all-female iteration of the Defenders with Valkyrie, who is portrayed in the MCU by Tessa Thompson, and whose “white voice” in Sorry to Bother You was played by Lily James.

So, we have an opportunity for James to actually share the screen with her co-star from Boots Riley’s surreal 2018 satire and another for the actress to share the screen with Cumberbatch for what would be the first time, which I think I would like to see even more. The closest she and the fellow Brit have come to crossing paths is the time her character in the 2019 Beatles-inspired fantasy dramedy, Yesterday, mentioned that it was a miracle he became known as a sex symbol.

Rachel Van Helsing from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Rachel Van Helsing 

A more prominent leading role from Lily James’ resume saw her both continuing her growing reputation for acting in period pieces and proving her worth with horror movies and action, too. The character was Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but reimagined as a 19th Century warrior against the undead in the 2016 adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Romero-style reinterpretation, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. If the actress was ever interested in fighting other legendary creatures like vampires and werewolves, there is a Marvel character who would grant the perfect opportunity.

Legendary monster hunter Mortdecai Van Helsing exists in the Marvel Universe and has a descendant who would follow in his footsteps named Rachel. She is actually especially equipped for this job, having been given vampiric abilities by a scratch on the forehead from her parents’ murderer: Dracula himself. Another predator of the undead with abilities similar to his bloodsucking prey is Blade, who is being rebooted for the MCU with a Mahershala Ali-led movie that sounds like the perfect way to introduce this underrated character.

Lifeguard from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Lifeguard

Not only does Lily James play Pamela Anderson on Pam & Tommy, but she gets to play the model and actress as her iconic Baywatch character, C.J. Parker. She even embodies the role within a role so well that it almost makes you wish you could see more of her playing one of the protective watchers of the Los Angeles beach. Once again, there is a Marvel character who could make that a reality.

The golden-haired (and golden-skinned) mutant, Heather Cameron, is a real, certified lifeguard, but her nickname among the X-Men is also inspired by her special ability to sense any dangerous threats nearby. In such an event, she can also automatically shapeshift into whatever might help her adapt to the situation the best. Not to mention, Lifeguard is also an Australian native, meaning that James would not have to divert too far from her natural accent if cast in the role when the X-Men movies are rebooted for the MCU.  

Silver Sable from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Silver Sable

On Pam & Tommy, Lily James also impressively embodies Pamela Anderson’s first big leading movie role from the 1996 sci-fi movie Barb Wire, which also stars The Book of Boba Fett’s Temeura Morrison. The title character of the film, which was adapted from a Dark Horse comic book series of the same name, is a bounty hunter in a dystopian society overrun with evil cybernetic organisms. I searched far and wide for a character who could be considered Barb Wire’s Marvel Comics equivalent and the closest that I could find is Silver Sable.

Instead of an alternate dystopian reality, Silvija Sablinova operates on good, ‘ol Earth-616, and instead of hunting cyborgs, her prey are typically human. Yet, she is an undisputed badass, nonetheless, who has come to the much-appreciated aid of other heroes like Spider-Man or Daredevil. Maybe James could join Tom Holland if he returns to play Peter Parker in a fourth Spider-Man movie or Charlie Cox if and when his Daredevil movie becomes a reality.

For someone as talented as Lily James, the potential characters she could play in upcoming Marvel movies are practically in endless supply. However, these are my top choices, for now. 

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.