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8 Non-MCU Marvel Heroes We Want To Make A Comeback After Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man runs from Doc Ock in Spider-Man: No Way Home
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

One of the best Marvel movies yet, Spider-Man: No Way Home once again sees the Marvel Cinematic Universe pull off something that fans long thought was simply impossible. Not only does the blockbuster feature a selection of villains from past Spider-Man movies outside of the canon, but it also sees the return of both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as their respective versions of the web-slinger. It’s terrifically exciting to see the heroes fight together with Tom Holland’s version, and it’s something that audiences will never forget – and it also makes us wonder what else might be possible thanks to the magic of the multiverse.

Many different Marvel movies were produced and released in the decades before the existence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while we don’t know what the future has in store for the franchise, it would certainly be amazing if the stories continued to explore the vastness of infinity and bring back gone-but-not-forgotten incarnations of special Marvel characters. There are eight heroes in particular who stand out in my mind, and I’ve provided reasoning to include all of them below.

Wesley Snipes as Blade in Blade

(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

Wesley Snipes As Blade

To be honest, this present time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may not be the best time to bring back the Wesley Snipes incarnation of Blade. The franchise is right on the verge of debuting a brand new version of the Daywalker played by two-time Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali, and Marvel is going to want audiences to be identifying him as the character instead of thinking about the version from the Blade trilogy. That being said, one cannot quickly dismiss the fact that the original Blade movie was a huge moment in the history of comic book movies, and having Snipes appear as the vampire slayer from an alternate universe would be a great way to honor that legacy.

Ben Affleck as Daredevil in Daredevil

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Ben Affleck As Daredevil

If I’m being perfectly honest, the idea of Ben Affleck returning to the role of Daredevil is interesting now more than ever given the actor/director’s decision to walk away from the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The Daredevil movie from 2003 definitely wasn’t a career highlight for him (though he does admittedly have some positive takeaways), but one of the great things about the whole insanity of the multiverse is the potential for repaired legacies. If Affleck were to make a quick cameo as Matt Murdock in an upcoming film and just act like a total badass for five minutes, audiences would forget the mediocre past and become infatuated with the awesome present.

Nicolas Cage as Ghost Rider in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Nicolas Cage As Ghost Rider

It’s not exactly a secret that Nicolas Cage loves comic books (and still thinks he'd be perfect for some comic book villains). Unfortunately, his history when it comes to making Marvel movies is not spectacular. In 2007 and 2011 he got two opportunities to play Johnny Blaze a.k.a. Ghost Rider, but sadly neither Ghost Rider nor Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance are what one would call “watchable.” Of course, neither of those films were developed by Marvel Studios, and their track record suggests that they could provide the character with some redemption. We’ve yet to see the motorcycle-riding hell-raiser in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it would be an exciting surprise to see Cage get a third shot at getting it right.

David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury in Nick Fury: Agent of Shield

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox Television)

David Hasselhoff As Nick Fury

When the Marvel Cinematic Universe was first casting Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson made all the sense in the world. The iteration of the character from Marvel’s Ultimate line of comics was specifically based on him, so it was a way of both being faithful to the comics and enlisting a talented performer. As originally drawn, however, Fury was a curly-haired white guy, and said version was portrayed by David Hasselhoff in the 1998 TV movie Nick Fury: Agent Of Shield. Hasselhoff already has MCU connections, having cameoed in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and it would be great to see him strap on an eyepatch and do at least one scene with Jackson in an upcoming blockbuster.

Patrick Stewart as Professor X in X-Men: Days of Future Past

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Patrick Stewart As Professor X

In the making of this list, I made a conscious decision to limit the presence of the X-Men franchise. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to be introducing mutants in their own way in the coming years, and while we already know that Ryan Reynolds is eventually going to be back as Deadpool, the franchise should have freedom to bring together a fresh ensemble without being restricted by the past. If there is any single character from the X-Men movies who should appear, though, my vote goes to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X. The actor may have said that he wants Logan to be his final turn as the brilliant telepath, but the reality is that he was born to play the leader of the X-Men, and it would be amazing to have that fact be recognized as canon in the MCU.

Lea Thompson as Beverly Switzler in Howard The Duck

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Lea Thompson As Beverly Switzler

With very little effort, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done a nice job helping to repair the big screen reputation of Howard The Duck. The character’s solo film from 1986 remains more notorious than beloved, but the iteration played by Seth Green has provided audiences with some chuckles while watching the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and Avengers: Endgame. So, why not provide Beverly Switzler some redemption as well – specifically the version played by Lea Thompson?  Traveling from across the multiverse, she could share scenes with the MCU’s Howard, and perhaps inform audiences about what happened with her band, Cherry Bomb.

Reb Brown as Captain America in Captain America 1979

(Image credit: Universal Television)

Reb Brown As Captain America

Admittedly, the last thing that Sam Wilson needs at this present moment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is another Captain America to enter the picture, but the idea of having an appearance from Reb Brown as Steve Rogers from across the multiverse is just too great an idea to ignore. In 1979, Brown starred as the legendary star-spangled hero in both Captain America and Captain America II: Death Too Soon, and it would be amazing to see him pick up the shield again. It would be a brilliant way to honor the long legacy of live-action Marvel Comics adaptations, the same being true for…

Peter Hooten as Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange 1978

(Image credit: Universal Television)

Peter Hooten As Dr. Stephen Strange

If we’re talking about actors from the earliest Marvel movies, we have to include Peter Hooten – if not especially because his character is more naturally linked to the multiverse than any other mentioned above. In 1978, Hooten became the first actor to ever portray Dr. Stephen Strange, playing the Master of the Mystic Arts in the CBS TV movie Doctor Strange. That was nearly 50 years ago now, and it would be remarkable to see him return to the role.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed that at least one of these comebacks happens in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the coming years. To keep track of everything heading our way from the massive franchise, be sure to check out our upcoming Marvel Movies and upcoming Marvel TV guides. And, before you plan your next big MCU rewatch, you should consult our Marvel movies in order feature. 

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.