While starring in the Marvel movies is not such a rarity anymore, I find it interesting how many Marvel actors have appeared in films starring Thomasin McKenzie - such as Martin Freeman in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and…well, most of the people from the Jojo Rabbit cast (including its director). The 21-year-old, New Zealand-born actor’s latest movie, Last Night in Soho, also stars Anya Taylor-Joy (who played Magik in The New Mutants) and is written and directed by Edgar Wright (who almost helmed Ant-Man, which has to count for something, right?).
Going off of my assessment of how common it is to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe these days, it might just be a matter of time before McKenzie follows in her peers’ footsteps. If so, I have a few characters in mind for her - starting with one who calls to mind another of the more recent new horror movies starring the actress.
In the movie Old - which director M. Night Shyamalan adapted from a French horror graphic novel called Sandcastle - Thomasin McKenzie plays one of several vacationers trapped on a beach that mysteriously causes its inhabitants to age rapidly. If only McKenzie’s character from the Old cast, Maddox, had the power of the Dark Phoenix, she would have been able to manipulate time and revert herself, her family, and their fellow doomed beachgoers back to normal - among a dangerously high number of other abilities. Speaking of Dark Phoenix, I also believe that McKenzie has the talent to make Jean Grey’s return in Marvel Studios’ forthcoming X-Men movies reboot a special one if cast.
Shanna, The She-Devil
One of the first films that earned Thomasin McKenzie acclaim and attention among American audiences was the 2018 drama, Leave No Trace, in which she and her father, Will (Ben Foster), struggle to maintain their preferred existence in the woods and away from common civilization. A Marvel character with a similar backstory is Shanna O’Hara (otherwise known as Shanna, The She-Devil), who was naturally born in Zaire, Africa, and spent most of her youth in the jungle, which would become her home after she grew up to become a sworn protector of even its fiercest creatures with impeccable strength and resilience.
I think McKenzie could bring something new and refreshing to this character, whose MCU debut could come soon, because she and her husband (the Tarzan-esque Ka-Zar) are featured in the Secret Invasion comic, which is being adapted into one of the most anticipated upcoming Marvel TV shows.
You know, a fun fact about Thomasin McKenzie’s character in Leave No Trace is that she is only 13 while the actress was 17 at the time she filmed the movie, and she could still pass as a teenager now that she is in her early 20s. That is only one reason why I think she would be a great choice for the long-awaited screen (or even small screen) debut of Squirrel Girl - a teenager with a seemingly meek personality, who has physical features and abilities similar to a furry woodland creature, but is still, somehow, one of the most powerful and unbeatable superheroes in the Marvel Universe.
Outside of her youthful glow, I would love to see McKenzie play Squirrel Girl mostly to see her bring out the same kind of energy and spunk that made her performance in Jojo Rabbit so memorable.
Another one of Thomasin McKenzie’s earliest roles, that not as many audiences may remember, is in 2014’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, in which she played Astrid - the daughter of a badass warrior named Olga, who was played by her real-life mother, Miranda Harcourt. However, being just a child, McKenzie’s character in the last of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies prequel trilogy did not participate in the deadly battle, which is why I would be interested in the chance to see her participate in some real action and as a badass character like Athena Parthenos.
Marvel Comics’ interpretation of the goddess of Greek mythology is a strong, calculating leader hardened by a life of oppression and traumatic circumstances, who I believe would make for an amusing addition to the Avengers, much like she does in the comics.
While I cannot imagine why Thomasin McKenzie would ever be unamused by the idea of playing a badass female warrior, I can see why she might be more interested in portraying a character who is more modern, earthly, and, most importantly, human, in comparison to Athena. One of the most badass human female warriors in the Marvel Comics universe that I can think of (who also specializes in fighting things that are not so human) is the British Elsa Bloodstone, who inherited the business of monster hunting from her immortal father, Ulysses.
At one point, she would form an alliance with Deadpool, which I would love to see happen in the MCU, not just for the chance to see McKenzie share the screen with Ryan Reynolds, but also to see more of the actress’ comedic capabilities.
Speaking of sharing the screen, another Marvel movie actor Thomasin McKenzie has previously worked with is Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog - one of the more acclaimed 2021 Netflix movies, in which the Doctor Strange star plays a real asshole of a cowboy. While Stephen Strange is not necessarily the warmest person, he would at least be a more fun persona to collaborate with on screen, which is why I recommend McKenzie to play Emily Bright.
Despite only being introduced in the comics in 2020, this teenager’s abilities in magical manipulation are so powerful (even earning praise from Wanda Maximoff), that I can see her getting a spot in a movie after 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness one day.
On second thought, I wonder if all her exposure to Marvel movie stars has already made Thomasin McKenzie wary of superhero movies of the MCU variety. Perhaps there is a better chance at putting her in the DC movies, then.
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.
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