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Well, it seems that we can officially call Rege-Jean Page the breakout star of the Netflix original series Bridgerton, which is based on the novels by author Julia Quinn. As per tradition whenever a steadily rising talent hits it big on a sexy, new TV drama, we cannot help but ask how he might fare against mechanically inventive terrorists or tyrannical extra-terrestrial visitors in the Marvel movies, or even in a DC Comics adaptation, for that matter.
Before landing the role of Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, on the Shondaland-produced Victorian drama, Regé-Jean Page (“Regé as in reggae, Jean as in Wyclef, Page as in [book],” as the actor clarified in a tweet) was raised in Zimbabwe, but was born in and received an education in acting in the United Kingdom. His success on the stage would later earn the now 31-year-old the role of Chicken George on The History Channel’s 2016 Roots remake, Captain Khora in producer Peter Jackson’s dystopian epic Mortal Engines, and, more recently, a supporting part in the romantic period film Sylvie’s Love for Amazon Prime.
Given his British roots, the actor’s recent success has led some to imagine him as a potential successor to Daniel Craig for 007. However, before we consider Regé-Jean Page’s chances to be the next Bond, for now we are even more curious about his chances to be the next Batman. At the moment, those odds do not look very good, quite frankly, but I do have five other comic book roles for him in mind, such as this one with a somewhat similar name.
Now that the X-Men property is in the hands of Marvel Studios following the Disney/Fox merger, fans are looking forward to the long-awaited, cinematic return of Gambit - a Cajun card shark with bio-kinetic powers and a knack for stealing. Of course, while this mutant (whose real name is Remy LeBeau) was given abilities of molecular acceleration at birth, he had to learn how to be a master thief from someone.
That someone would turn out to be Jean-Luc LeBeau, former leader of the New Orleans-based Thieves Guild who adopted Remy after the abandoned child successfully picked his pocket. By channeling his magnetic charm on Bridgerton and daring heroism in Mortal Engines, Regé-Jean Page could nail this role for a Gambit origin story, which fans have been waiting to see the MCU pull out of development hell to finally redeem the character from X-Men Origins: Wolverine… with all due respect to Taylor Kitsch.
Another underrated comic book character who could really use a second chance on the big screen (with all due respect to NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal and his ill-fated attempt) is John Henry Irons. After the death of Superman shocked the world, the ballistics expert was inspired to follow in his footsteps and protect Metropolis with a decked-out suit of armor and indestructible sledgehammer as the new Man of Steel. That was, until Superman was resurrected, however, and Irons shortened his alias a bit.
Now, it could be argued that the DCEU already missed the boat (or, perhaps, leapt right off it) on a perfect opportunity to introduce Steel after killing off and quickly bringing back Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent without even a subtle tease to his existence. However (and, again, not trying to throw shade at Shaq here), this self-made hero deserves so much better than that colossal critical and commercial failure from 1997, and an actor of Regé-Jean Page’s classically trained experience to lead it.
Steel is not the only comic book favorite who was not given the strongest depiction on the big screen he could have had. I mean, who even remembers the late Bill Nunn’s performance in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy as The Daily Bugle’s Joseph “Robbie” Robertson? I only do out of frustration for how little screen time this, usually helpful, mentor to Peter Parker received in those films.
As I see it, if Kevin Feige and company can figure out a way to bring J. Jonah Jameson into the MCU (and with a killer J.K. Simmons cameo, mind you), than they should have no problem inventing some way to give Robbie Robertson a bigger role opposite Tom Holland as the web-slinger. If that means casting, perhaps, Regé-Jean Page as a younger iteration of the reporter who takes Peter Parker under his wing as he starts to get into photography, I think that would be a winning way to do the character justice.
On the other hand, there are a few Marvel characters whom many fans (myself included) would love to see given a first chance on the big screen someday. Not to mention, aside from their extraordinary talents, all of the characters I have mentioned previously are still relatively grounded by their earthly origins, and I imagine Regé-Jean Page is the kind of performer who would enjoy entering a new dimension of acting.
To achieve that goal, I recommend he plays a hero who boasts entering new dimensions as one of his specialties, in addition to literally being the Sorcerer Supreme in the world of Voodoo, earning him the name Doctor Voodoo. In fact, rumors have suggested that the alter-ego of Haitian-born Jericho Drumm may be featured in Sam Raimi’s upcoming Doctor Strange sequel, but he appears to be MIA on the current cast list. I will take that as a sign that Regé-Jean Page just needs to campaign harder.
If, for some reason, Regé-Jean Page misses out on the opportunity to play a Marvel character as otherworldly as Doctor Voodoo, there is one DC character he may be an ideal candidate for who most definitely fits that description. On his planet, this staple of the minority-conscious Milestone Media imprint is known as Arnus - an alien who crash lands on Earth and finds it does not possess the resources necessary to repair his ship.
Thus, as a being evolved far past the current limits of human capacity, Arnus decides to become a protector of his new home, under the name Icon, as he waits for technology to catch up with what he is used to. However, it is not until a woman named Raquel Ervin witnesses his powers and convinces him to become a superhero when he accepts the responsibility and takes her on as his sidekick, Rocket. I can already envision how great a collaborator Regé-Jean Page would be with Zoe Saldana, whom I previously recommended to play Rocket.
What do you think? Could Regé-Jean Page be the one who brings these characters out of comic book obscurity and into cinematic legend, or should he just take the James Bond money when it is offered and run? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on the talented Bridgerton star, as well as even more hypothetical comic book movie casting sessions, here on CinemaBlend.