For fans of the Arrowverse, Grant Gustin is and forever will be Barry Allen. His portrayal of the speedy forensic scientist on The CW series The Flash is so beloved that many would have rather seen him play the role in Justice League and the upcoming spin-off film (prior to Ezra Miller’s Crisis on Infinite Earths cameo, that is). However, while DC movies are not likely in Gustin’s future, he still has a chance to shine in the Marvel movies.
This is not to say that the 30-year-old Norfolk, Virginia, native is in any dire need of a big screen hit as his work on the small screen has clearly earned him a wonderful mainstream following. However, someone as talented as Grant Gustin, especially for how he captures the complexities of a modern superhero, at least deserves the chance to breathe life into a new cinematic portrayal of a comic book character, much like his Arrowverse buddy Stephen Amell did as Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
Furthermore, among the many characters who still have yet to make their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, Grant Gustin would be an ideal candidate to play a good chunk of them. Six particular characters come to mind, one of which the Flash actor already has something in common with.
I will admit that casting The Flash as one of the fastest individuals in the Marvel universe sounds a bit too on the money, so to speak, but playing Speed Demon would actually be a bigger departure from Barry Allen than one may realize. After creating a serum, with assistance from the Grandmaster, that gives him superhuman speed, durability, enhanced healing, and deadly martial arts skills, pharmaceutical chemist James Sanders decides to use his powers for his own benefit, initially going by the less threatening alias “Whizzer,” and makes enemies with Spider-Man. Not only would this give Grant Gustin the irresistible chance to play a villain, but would be wish-fulfilling to anyone who ever wanted to see him and Tom Holland share the screen.
It became clear from the musical episode of The Flash, featuring Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl, in 2017 that Grant Gustin, who grew up with aspirations of Broadway stardom, is a very musical person at heart. The same can undeniably be said about young Xavier Institute trainee Mark Sheppard, otherwise known as “DJ,” whose powers literally run on music and vary by whatever genre he listens to (i.e., healing people with blues, flying with gospel, conjuring concussive blasts with rock ’n roll, etc). Even if the part did not end up going to Gustin, I believe this incredibly inventive character deserves some screen time, especially as a reimbursement for losing his powers at the end of Marvel’s House of M event not long after his comic book debut.
Speaking of comic book characters who deserve a second chance, Louisiana-born mutant Remy LeBeau (who also goes by Gambit) has been waiting for his second round at big screen glory since his live action debut in the universally disliked X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as portrayed by Taylor Kitsch. Since it appears that the solo movie, announced in 2014 to be led by Channing Tatum-led solo movie (first announced in 2014) is probably not going to happen, the part is wide open for whenever the X-Men are finally introduced into the MCU. Not only does Grant Gustin share a closer resemblance this this bio-kinetic card shark’s comic book iteration than either actor previously associated with him, but Gambit’s reputation as a charming flirt (which his hypnotic abilities come in handy for) does call to mind one of the actor’s earlier TV characters.
Understandably so, even when putting the musical Flash special into perspective, the deepest admirers of Grant Gustin on the Arrowverse may not remember his recurring stint on Glee, which Supergirl’s Melissa Benoist also had her breakout role on. His other otherwise endearing portrayal of the snobbish, troublesome, openly gay Sebastian Smythe on the high school dramedy makes me believe that he would be a good choice to play a more likable character whose true sexuality has not yet been depicted on the big screen: Iceman. Following early rumors of the LGBTQ+ X-Men member’s casting and considering the MCU’s commitment to diverse cultural representation in future films, it is only a matter of time before the icy mutant gets his real moment and, if not fellow Arrow star Colton Haynes, Gustin would be another good choice.
Like the previous two characters, Grant Gustin shares a resemblance with young adventurer Kevin Masterson, who fights evil with an enchanted mace called Thunderstrike, which is also what inspires his superhero alias. The tricky part about adding him to the MCU is that he is the son of the currently dead Eric Masterson who, at one point, bonded with the God of Thunder to become the new Thor - a plot point that looks especially unlikely for future Marvel movies as Jane Foster will be succeeding that moniker soon. However, if we can infer from its title that Thor: Love and Thunder will rekindle Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman’s on-screen romance, maybe they could go on to have a son named, say, Kevin?
On second thought, there might be a better a chance of seeing a Skrull and a Kree fall in love, leading to the birth of the half-Skrull, half-Kree Theodore Altman who becomes Hulkling when he joins the Young Avengers for his ability to shapeshift into a super strong, green behemoth. So, no, contrary to the casual Marvel movie fan’s likely assumption, Hulkling has no relation to Bruce Banner or Jennifer Walters, so if Grant Gustin were to play him, I would not anticipate an appearance on Tatiana Maslany’s upcoming She-Hulk series. However, in the comics, “Teddy” is married to Wiccan, Scarlet Witch’s reincarnated son, so at least a tease on WandaVision might not be totally out of the question.
What do you think? Is Grant Gustin ready to switch up comic book universes with any of the above characters, or should a Marvel character be reserved for someone whose DC stint was not so successful to begin with? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on the star of The Flash, as well as even more hypothetical comic book movie casting sessions, here on CinemaBlend.