The Marvel Cinematic Universe has long been praised for its light tone, seamlessly mixing comedy with high stakes and grand spectacles. This has been so successful, in part, due to the franchise’s expert casting.
Luckily, they’ve found the right people to play key roles across film and television, and it’s helped that some were already part of a major franchise that dominated pop culture, Game of Thrones. Peter Dinklage, Richard Madden, and Kit Harrington have already featured, and Emilia Clarke will next year in Secret Invasion. Even from the former Netflix-Marvel sphere, both Finn Jones and Jessica Henwick had prominent roles, and they could reprise sometime soon. From Game of Thrones many actors would make fantastic additions to the MCU, and here is who they could play.
10 Lena Headey – Hera
Lena Headey was actually already set to join the MCU and hopefully will again in the future. She was cast in a mystery role for Thor: Love and Thunder, but her scenes didn’t make the final cut (per Variety). There are several possibilities as to who Headey could’ve played if it was a one-time role, including Gorr’s late wife or Valkyrie’s lost love. However, she’s perfect for a character like Hera who could have a lasting future in the MCU.
The film’s post-credits scene introduced Hercules, played by Ted Lasso’s Brett Goldstein, which sets up the arrival of other Olympians, along with Zeus’ war with mortals. Hera would surely play a significant role in that – whether incorporated in Thor 5 or a Hercules solo project. Headey would be a great choice to play off Russell Crowe as Zeus, and she has already shown how she can make an incredible, vindictive ruler as Cersei Lannister.
9 Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – Doctor Doom
Like Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau would make for a phenomenal antagonist in the MCU – specifically, one of the most important Marvel villains missing from the MCU, Victor Von Doom aka Doctor Doom. Jaime’s journey in Game of Thrones was something superb overall, regardless of sentiments about its ending. That’s because Coster-Waldau was really able to make the audience root for him and that’s something Doctor Doom will need.
There’s a reason why Doctor Doom is one of the most important characters in Marvel Comics – he’s not solely evil for evil’s sake. He has distinct motivations, many of which heroes like the Fantastic Four could agree with, but it’s his methods that make him a villain, or at least an anti-hero at times. There are rumors that he might already show up in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and whether that’s true or not, Coster-Waldau would great in the role.
8 Sophie Turner – Jean Grey
Of course, Sophie Turner is no stranger to playing a superhero, though her last experience wasn’t particularly well-received. Unfortunately, the Fox X-Men franchise was riddled with chaos and continuity issues, so there wasn’t any saving Dark Phoenix. Nevertheless, Turner deserves a second chance at playing Jean Grey and with the stable foundation in the MCU, this could turn out far better than before.
Though fans have been eagerly waiting for the X-Men ever since Kevin Feige first teased them years ago, after the latest news from Comic-Con, it is more widely thought that they will finally arrive later in Phase Six. Most likely, Avengers: Secret Wars will unite multiple universes which could incorporate aspects of the Fox X-Men franchise including Turner as Jean Grey.
7 Maisie Williams – Captain Britain (Betsy Braddock)
Maisie Williams was also part of the ill-fated X-Men universe, playing Rahne Sinclair aka Wolfsbane in The New Mutants. Of course, like Sophie Turner, Williams could reprise this role in the MCU, but she might actually be a better fit for a different mutant, Betsy Braddock aka Captain Britain. She is quite a complex and confusing character, but like her brother, Brian, she is connected to the expanding Multiverse, which could make her a prominent figure in the MCU.
Betsy is strangely connected with the mutant, Kwannon, as they had swapped bodies for several decades in the comics. While Betsy’s mind was in Kwannon’s body, she operated as Psylocke, who is best recognized as the ninja with a blade of psychic energy. This connection might be difficult to translate to the MCU, but it’s not entirely out of the question. Although, they could forgo that and simply introduce both Betsy as Captain Britain – for which Williams would make a candidate – and Kwannon as Psylocke.
6 Gwendoline Christie – Moondragon
As with other actors from Game of Throne, Gwendoline Christie’s role as Brienne of Tarth was a breakthrough. She’d then appeared as the secondary antagonist Phasma in the Star Wars sequel trilogy and most recently as Lucifer in The Sandman. She’d still make for a great addition to the MCU, and there are several roles she could take on. Particularly, Christie would make for a great Moondragon.
Heather Douglas aka Moondragon is a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy who is strangely connected to Drax the Destroyer. Essentially, upon Heather’s father’s death, his spirit found a new body: Drax’s. She is a highly capable martial artist, exceptionally intelligent, and potentially one of the mystery roles in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. If not Moondragon, Christie could also make for other cosmic characters like Angela – Thor’s half-sister – or Supergiant.
5 Natalie Dormer – Emma Frost
Many viewers might not remember that Natalie Dormer has actually already featured in the MCU as Private Lorraine, who flirted with Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger. That needn’t limit a future involvement since Gemma Chen has played multiple roles in the MCU already. Dormer has plenty of options available to her, but the best bet might be Emma Frost – other options could be Sue Storm or Moonstone.
Emma is a unique telepathic mutant, also characterized by her ability to transform into a diamond form. She has a storied history in the comics as both a villain and hero – being part of both the Hellfire Club and even leading the X-Men for a time. Whenever the X-Men finally arrive in the MCU, Emma Frost should definitely be a significant player in their stories and Dormer exemplified the perfect level of charisma and cunning as Margery Tyrell for the role.
4 Nathalie Emmanuel – Storm
Nathalie Emmanuel has been part of several other popular franchises besides Game of Thrones – most predominately in the recent Fast & Furious films. This has allowed her to showcase a different set of skills than she had to use as Missandei in Game of Thrones. Introducing her into the MCU would then allow her to utilize all her talents, especially if she’s cast as Storm.
Ororo Munroe aka Storm is one of the most significant and powerful characters still missing from the MCU, and many were hoping she’d finally come into play in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever being played by Michaela Coel. While that’s been disproved, Storm’s arrival is still brewing over the horizon. Emmanuel would make for a great Storm as she’s demonstrated showcased the necessary emotional range and wit for the character.
3 Iwan Rheon – Nightmare
Following Ramsay Bolton’s iconic death in season six of Game of Thrones, Iwan Rheon was part of the unfortunate and much-maligned Inhumans series playing Maximus. For a long while, there was confusion about whether the show was actually part of the MCU or not. The current consensus is that like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Runaways, Inhumans is MCU adjacent – existing in another universe from the main continuity. That could open up the possibility for Rheon to take on a different role in the MCU.
Rheon would still make for a great antagonist and could bring the necessary chaos for a relatively underrated villain like Nightmare. He is the ruler of the Dream Dimension – which is referenced in Loki – and a common enemy for the supernatural heroes. That could mean he’d come into play opposing Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, and/or Ghost Rider to name a few.
2 Joe Dempsie – Captain Britain (Brian Braddock)
While Maisie Williams could make for a good Betsy Braddock, her romantic counterpart in Game of Thrones, Joe Dempsie would actually be a good fit for her brother, Brian Braddock. He is the first Captain Britain, debuting in 1976, though he is not an analog for Captain America as his name might imply. Captain Britain actually has some connections to ancient magic as he gained his powers from Merlin.
He could come into play as part of a Black Knight solo project starring Kit Harrington, before eventually getting his own. Importantly, with his Sister, Brian is part of the Captain Britain Corps, a team of Captain Britain variants who together protect the stability of the Omniverse – the Multiverse which not only encompasses Marvel Comics but even DC. Thus, if Captain Britain is introduced, it could eventually lead to a crossover with the DCEU.
1 Pedro Pascal – White Tiger
Though he was only in Game of Thrones for a single season as Oberyn Martell, Pedro Pascal is still one of the most remember cast members. Of course, he’s since found a new home helming the current Star Wars franchise as Din Djarin in The Mandalorian. Nevertheless, fans would still love to see him play a role in the MCU, and there are some good options still available to him. Namely, Pascal could make for a great Hector Ayala aka White Tiger.
He is one of the most talented hand-to-hand fighters in the comics, as well as a prominent street-level hero. As such, White Tiger could be introduced as a supporting character to Daredevil, Shang-Chi, and/or Spider-Man. However, his costume might be too similar to Moon Knights, so they might rather go with Hector’s successors, Angela and/or Ava.
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