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5 Marvel Characters Outlander's Caitríona Balfe Could Play

caitriona balfe outlander starz
(Image credit: Starz)

Caitríona Balfe has been acting for more than a decade now, during which she has made some wonderful achievements. Most notably, she became the breakout star of a long-running, hit TV series - the fantasy period drama Outlander on Starz - and, more recently, led the cast of director Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical period piece, Belfast, which is up for Best Picture at the 2022 Academy Awards. Does this mean that there are upcoming Marvel movies in her future?

The Irish-born, former Victoria’s Secret model has starred in an action movie with both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger (2013’s Escape Plan), did an Oscar-winning historical drama from director James Mangold also starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon (Ford v Ferrari from 2019), and has even leant her voice to two animated Christmas specials. How is it possible that, amid all of that refreshingly impressive variety on her resume so far, there are no superhero moves in sight? Well, judging from the similar career trajectory of some of her peers, it is likely only a matter of time before she gets a call from Marvel Studios and, when that happens, I have a few Marvel characters in mind, starting with one she already has a couple of things in common with.

Siryn from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Siryn

As I mentioned before, Caitríona Balfe was born Dublin, Ireland, and her nationality has already been reflected in some of her best known roles to date, including “Ma” in Belfast, of course. Well, she would have the opportunity to continue representing her native land in the Marvel Cinematic Universe if she were cast as this mutant with a truly booming voice.

Theresa Cassidy, a member of the powerful detective agency called the X-Factor, earned the nickname Siryn from her acoustikinetic abilities - meaning she can combine her powerful vocal chords with her limited psionic powers to create devastating sonic effects of a wide variety. She inherited these powers - and, later, the Banshee moniker - from her father Sean Cassidy, who was actually on our list of Marvel characters Sam Heughan should play - and he's Balfe’s Outlander co-star. So, this could also be a unique way to see these onscreen lovers share the big screen in a comic book movie together.

Lilith Drake from Marvel

(Image credit: Marvel)

Lilith Drake

Speaking of the Outlander cast, there is a way that Caitríona Balfe could appear in a Marvel movie with another one of her former co-stars, Laura Donnelly - who starred in eight episodes of the Starz series as Jenny Fraser before joining HBO’s The Nevers cast. She is already close to becoming a Marvel star, having been cast in an upcoming Disney+ exclusive Halloween special that is reportedly focusing on the horror-centric character Jack “Werewolf By Night” Russell (who might be played by Gael García Bernal). The fellow Irish-born actress is rumored to be playing a vampire named Nina Price, which gives me an interesting idea.

Another bloodsucker who is even more notorious in the Marvel Comics Universe is the uniquely still-living Lilith Drake - whose loathing of her own legendary father, Count Dracula himself, inspired her to go rogue and use her vampiric abilities as a force for good. At one point, she would even cross paths with Nina Price as members of a special S.H.I.E.L.D. unit made of supernatural beings called the Howling Commandos, which totally needs to get its own movie (or even series) one day. When that happens, I think it would be fun to see Balfe appear as Lilith - not just to reunite with Donnelly, but because she already has enough preparation from the other gothic characters she has played.

Tempus from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Tempus

There is one other way that Caitríona Balfe’s role on Outlander inspired one of my choices of potential Marvel characters for her to play. Her character on the romantic, fantastic period drama, Claire Fraser (née Randall) was a combat nurse from World War II-era England before she was unexpectedly and inexplicably transported back to the early 1740s while on a honeymoon with her 20th century husband in Scotland. Well, as I see it, Balfe deserves to play someone who has a little more control of where she is in time, such as Eva Bell.

This Australian mutant is also known as Tempus, whom Doctor Strange once described as the most skilled person with the power of time displacement. This means that she possesses the ability to slow down, speed up, or put a complete stop to the flow of time in a specific area, all without affecting continuity anywhere else. It sounds like she is someone whom the last few X-Men movies could have used, and having this character as a way to poke fun at the previous franchise's puzzling narrative might be another reason to bring her into the MCU, and hopefully with Balfe in the role.

X-Men's Mystique from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Mystique

Actually, while we are on the subject of Marvel Studios’ upcoming X-Men movies reboot, let’s just assume, for a moment, that is where Caitríona Balfe was destined to make her superhero movie debut. If so, why don’t we give her a part that is a little more iconic, such as Mystique.

Previously played by Rebecca Romijin and Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence, the naturally blue-skinned, red-haired mutant otherwise known as Raven Darkholme is, indeed, one of the most acclaimed characters of the X-Men comics, and not just for her abilities to assume the appearance of any person she chooses. In the comics (and the movies alike), Mystique has also undergone a fascinating and complicated character arc that sees her struggle to side with the philosophies of either Professor Charles Xavier or Magneto. I would love to see how Balfe could portray the humanizing side of the role and take on the challenge of covering herself head to toe in blue makeup.

Moondragon from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Moondragon

If blue body paint does not sound very appealing to Caitríona Balfe (and understandably so), she would not be required to undergo such a dramatic transformation to play Moondragon - save a shaved head. Born Heather Douglas, this telekinetic, Earthly native was trained to be a cosmic warrior by Mentor, the father of Thanos, after the purple guy killed her father, Arthur Douglas - who would later become resurrected as Drax the Destroyer.

That being said, the MCU’s interpretation of Moondragon would likely not be a perfectly faithful adaptation of her story in the comics, but I still think she is worth bringing to the big screen as a means to see more adventures in space after James Gunn wraps up the Guardians of the Galaxy’s story. Plus, in 2011, Balfe made her acting debut in J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 in the very brief role of Joe Lamb’s late mother, and this would be a great opportunity for her to lead her own action-packed sci-fi movie.

If and when Caitríona Balfe receives the opportunity to star in the Marvel movies, no matter what character she plays, I have no doubt she’ll kill it. Or, maybe she could follow in Sam Heughan’s footsteps and join the Valiant Universe, if there still is such a thing.

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.