Skip to main content

Marvel Characters Natasha Lyonne Would Be Perfect To Play

Natasha Lyonne in Russian Doll.
(Image credit: Netflix)

After making a name for herself in the 1990s as one of the strongest talents of her generation with movies like But I’m a Cheerleader or her role in the American Pie cast as Jessica, Natasha Lyonne seemed to fall into obscurity around the early 2000s. However, she would later reclaim her spot in Hollywood in a big way with her Emmy-nominated role in Netflix’s Orange is the New Black cast as Nicky Nichols, and as the star and co-creator of another acclaimed Netflix series, Russian Doll. It is a comeback I would consider to be on par with someone like Robert Downey Jr., which begs the question: when is she going to land a role in any new Marvel movies?

Now, to be perfectly honest, the New York City native is actually no stranger to the comic book movie genre and of Marvel Comics adaptations in particular (more on that later). However, I think that Kevin Feige and co. would be proud if a unique and widely celebrated actor such as herself was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon, especially when you consider the fact that Chris Evans was already a veteran of both Marvel and DC movies before he was cast as Steve Rogers. That being said, if Natasha Lyonne’s next big Marvel moment is upon us, I have a few Marvel characters in mind for her to play, starting with one whom her most famous characters would likely be envious of.

Quickfire from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Quickfire

On Russian Doll, which debuted its second season on Netflix in April 2022, Natasha Lyonne plays Nadia Vulvokuv - a woman who, on the night of her 36th birthday, finds herself trapped in a time loop that she becomes increasingly desperate to escape. It sounds like what she needs is the power of a chronokinetic - someone who has the ability to slow down the flow of time, speed things up, or bring everything to a complete stop - much like Barbara McDevitt. 

Better known as Quickfire, this one-time secret agent (who was later transformed into a strange, infectious monster by her employers at the Beyond Corporation) is also an Inhuman, which is also a property that could use a second chance in the MCU after the indecent response to Marvel Studios’ series adaptation in 2017.

Dead Girl from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Dead Girl

What makes Russian Doll such an intriguingly and humorously dark treat is how Nadia Vulvokuv’s time loop is reset each time she experiences a grisly death, almost as if it was a superpower of hers that became unlocked at the end of her life. Someone who can certainly relate to this is Moonbeam, who discovered her previously dormant mutant abilities - such as communicating with spirits, regrowing lost body parts, and phasing through solid objects - after she was murdered, hence the name Dead Girl. 

Outside of the pretty slight similarities to the character on her Netflix series, a more crucial reason I would love to see Natasha Lyonne in the role is because she is also a member of the X-Force, which would lead to a wonderful opportunity for her to reunite with Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool to share the screen and engage in what I imagine would be some epic and hilarious word sparring.

Shocket Raccoon from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Shocket Raccoon

On that note, another Marvel character whose signature spunk and devilish sense of humor is on-par with that of Natasha Lyonne and the roles she tends to play is Rocket Raccoon, who was first brought to life in the MCU with Sean Gunn’s motion capture performance and Bradley Cooper’s hilarious, mock Brooklynite accent in 2014’ Guardians of the Galaxy

Because of her comedic sensibilities and being a native New Yorker, I think that Lyonne would be a perfect choice to provide the voice of Shocket Raccoon - originally depicted in the comics as a female clone of Rocket created by The Collector, whom Benicio del Toro played in Guardians. I think that, instead of a clone, I would cast her as a love interest for the furry, gun-toting outlaw in their own spin-off, following the release of the recently wrapped Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2023.

Jean DeWolff from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel)

Jean DeWolff

Natasha Lyonne’s New York origins might even make her a better candidate to be the first actor to give a live-action, cinematic portrayal of Jean DeWolff. Essentially the James Gordon to Peter Parker’s Bruce Wayne, she was a tough, devoted Manhattan detective who became a close, trusted confidante to Spider-Man, until her tragic death at the hands of the evil Sin Eater. Given what happens at the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, it looks like Tom Holland’s webslinger could use someone to call an ally in any upcoming Spider-Man movies and I think he and DeWolff would make for the MCU’s next great duo.

Salia Petrie from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Salia Petrie

Another relatively lesser-known character from the Marvel Comics Universe whom I think could make for an interesting addition to the MCU is Salia Petrie - an ace pilot and astronaut from NASA who trained under Carol Danvers, with whom she became friends. The woman who eventually came to be known as Captain Marvel (but was still referred to as Ms. Marvel at the time) would later have to fight her friend after she became brainwashed by a cosmic creature called the Faceless One. 

It might take a few creative liberties, but I would like to see Natasha Lyonne be the one who would bring Petrie to the big (or small) screen opposite Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, mainly to make up for her very brief amount of screentime in the 2019 space travel epic, Ad Astra.

Natasha Lyonne in Blade: Trinity

(Image credit: Marvel / Fox)

Sommerfield

However, out of all the great characters she would be perfect to play, I think it might be the most interesting and especially fun to see Natasha Lyonne reprise her role from 2003’s Blade: Trinity. In the third installment of the action-horror franchise led by Wesley Snipes, she played Sommerfield - a cell researcher on Hannibal King’s (Ryan Reynolds) vampire hunting team, the Nightsalkers, who develops a virus capable of killing bloodsuckers. While the character did not end up surviving the film, that does not mean she cannot come back when Marvel reboots the half-man, half-vampire for their own interpretation, as played by Mahershala Ali.

This would not be the first time an actor has revived their Marvel movie character in the MCU, such as Evan Peters on WandaVision as Quicksilver (sort of) or, Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness more recently. I am curious to see what other pre-MCU cinematic roles we could bring back and I think Natasha Lyonne’s Sommerfield is one that would be cool to try. If not, the possibilities for her are still pretty endless.

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.