Who is Peter Dinklage playing in Avengers: Infinity War? It's a massive debate among Marvel fans now. But what if we've already seen his character?
While Dinklage might be new to the MCU, he is hardly a newcomer to the Marvel Universe. The actor, best known for his role as Tyrion Lannister on #GameOfThrones, played the villainous Boliver Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
It’s a longshot. A Hail-Mary-with-your-eyes-closed longshot. But it’s not impossible. Here’s why.
The Marvel-Fox TV Deal Paves the Way
Legion, the TV series based on the #XMen character, is coming to FX — only because Marvel Television and Fox built a creative bridge to one another and crossed it. While Fox owns the cinematic franchise rights to our merry mutants, Marvel has complete control over how — and when — Marvel characters appear on television.
Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel Television, is executive producing Legion, and he had some interesting things to say at New York Comic-Con last year about a greater X-Men/MCU crossover: “X-Men characters live in the Fox world, and we live in a different world. The fact that I’m sitting here is an indication of bridges that are being made, and people like Lauren [Shuler Donner] who are facilitating that and making that happen."
Then there’s the amiable swap of licensed characters between #Marvel and Fox that allowed Negasonic Teenage Warhead to appear in #Deadpool and Ego, the Living Planet to appear in #GuardiansoftheGalaxy, Vol. 2.
This continued cooperation between the two companies only helps to loosen old ways of thinking.
Is This A Stealth Repeat Of The Spider-Man Deal?
X-Men: Apocalypse was not the success Fox likely hoped for — and its other Marvel property, Fantastic Four, is a disaster. Sony was in a similar spot with its Spider-Man franchise. Slogging along a bit. Not as popular as it used to be. Tired.
Sending Spidey to the Marvel Cinematic Universe breathed new life into the webhead (though Spider-Man: Homecoming's box office will be the true barometer). His appearance in Captain America: Civil War surely put bottoms in seats and built momentum for the stand-alone film.
Hence, the Sony-Marvel deal would certainly be attractive to Fox. There’s no reason Fox wouldn’t want to share in some similar success.
How Could These Cinematic Universes Merge?
Let’s consider the likely Infinity War plot: intergalactic tyrant lands on Earth and battles science heroes (#IronMan, Spider-Man), science-fiction heroes (#StarLord, Rocket Raccoon) and magic heroes (#DrStrange, Wong). Thanos uses Infinity Stones — Space, Mind, Reality, Power, Time, Soul — to wage this war.
With an inter-dimensional traveler (Doctor Strange) and the limitless power of the stones, there’s plenty of room to include parallel universes. You know, part of that "tapping into other dimensions...as we move forward in the cinematic universe" Kevin Feige talked about?
Why Would Bolivar Trask Of All X-Characters Be In Infinity War?
So we see it’s easy to get him into the MCU. But why Bolivar Trask? Why not a more familiar hero like Xavier, Magneto or Wolverine (more on that in a moment)?
The simple answer: low risk, big reward.
Including Trask would link the two cinematic universes (without outright combining them), add a popular actor to the overflowing, star-studded cast, and not overshadow the other characters or the plot. Like Spider-Man’s appearance in Civil War, we’re provided with a teaser to a bigger film to come.
You know, like that Untitled Avengers 4 movie. Can you say Avengers vs X-Men?
Which Brings Us to Wolverine
Look, you’re not going to get any argument from me that this is all highly improbable —if only because the legal tug of war alone likely means we won’t see any mutants in the MCU until the second half of the century.
But consider a bit coincidence and a growing pile of evidence. Just for a second.
Within days of one another, rumors circulate that Peter Dinklage may join Avengers: Infinity War and Hugh Jackman opens up the door to play Wolverine again.
Granted, our Wolverine news was sparked by Ryan Reynolds’ campaign to get Jackman to star in a Deadpool film. An idea Jackman is keen on.
But Jackman has also shared his desire to work in the MCU as well:
"I've always loved the very basic idea of the comic book world where on a Friday night you can have a couple beers with a mate and go, ‘Wouldn't it be great to see Wolverine against Iron Man?' It is a very complicated world of rights, who buys what, at what price, and when. I'm sure by the time that is all resolved it'll be past my day, but you never know.”
Avengers vs. X-Men a Real Possibility?
And guess what? Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War and the aforementioned Untitled Avengers 4, want Wolverine, too. They've said that, after Spidey joining the MCU, Wolvie is their No. 2 pick.
Could this be the reason Infinity War became one movie? Did the success of Spidey joining the MCU in Civil War kick off a chain of events that will see Wolverine and fellow mutants in Avengers 4? Heck, could this be why Inhumans is basically off the cinematic table and slotted as an ABC TV show?
You start adding it all up and it gets really, really compelling.