When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's no shortage of acclaimed actors, from Robert Downey, Jr. to Benedict Cumberbatch to Samuel L. Jackson to Scarlett Johansson and beyond. The latest big name to join the #MarvelCinematicUniverse is Danai Gurira, who'll make her first appearance as Okoye in next year's Black Panther. If her name doesn't sound familiar, you may recognize her as Michonne from #TheWalkingDead.
It's a natural fit, considering how many fans love both TWD and the MCU. Could Gurira's casting open the door to her walker-slaying costars to join Marvel Studios? At least one of them (Norman Reedus) has expressed interest. Here's which Marvel characters we'd love to see Rick's group play.
1. Norman Reedus As Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider
Thanks to his badass, take-no-sh*t attitude and his skill with a crossbow, everyone loves Daryl Dixon. It's no coincidence that fans have been begging him to play Johnny Blaze in the MCU. Uproxx asked Reedus in an interview if he'd be willing to play the Spirit of Vengeance, and Reedus showed his enthusiasm:
"Hell yeah. It would be a blast. Do I get a skull face that’s on fire and all that stuff? F*ck yeah. I’m down.”
The MCU already has a Ghost Rider in Gabriel Luna's Robbie Reyes on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but even Luna wants Reedus to portray Johnny Blaze. It also doesn't hurt that Reedus likes riding motorcycles in real life. (Fun fact: Reedus appears in Blade 2 as Blade's traitorous sidekick, Scud.)
2. Melissa McBride As Adria The Witch
Melissa McBride has proven time and again with her performance as Carol on The Walking Dead that she can do both kindness and fierceness. McBride knows how to convey malevolence while holding a smile on her face, making her the perfect candidate to play the witch Adria in Doctor Strange 2.
The name Adria may not sound all that familiar, but she's well known to fans of Doctor Strange comic books. She was first introduced as a disciple of Baron Mordo, assisting him in his revenge plot against Stephen Strange. She failed numerous times but still gave Strange a run for his money.
3. Steven Yeun As Eric O'Grady/Irredeemable Ant-Man
The MCU already possesses a capable Ant Man in Paul Rudd's Scott Lang, but in the Ant-Man comics, the suit is passed down several times — just as Henry Pym (Michael Douglas) gave it to Lang.
In Marvel Comics, corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Eric O'Grady is the third incarnation of Ant-Man. He came into possession of the suit after his criminal partner stole it from Henry Pym and then died in it. O'Grady took the suit and became the next Ant-Man, expanding his role within S.H.I.E.L.D.
Yeun has proven that he can act in fast-paced scenes and remain likable while wrestling with moral decisions such as whether to kill Negan's henchmen in their sleep. Although the character of O'Grady is Irish in the comics, the MCU isn't beholden to the source material on that front. If Paul Rudd ever decides to take a leave from the MCU, Steven Yeun would be a great replacement.
4. Lauren Cohan As Janet Van Dyne
It's not just that we want to see Glenn and Maggie back together again! Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie on The Walking Dead, could be perfect in the role of Janet Van Dyne, the original Wasp. Cohan shares a striking similarity to Evangeline Lilly, who portrays Janet's daughter Hope Van Dyne.
We learned in Ant-Man that Janet was shrunk down to nothing in the Microverse, but we can't say with certainty that Janet Van Dyne is dead — and besides, she could appear in flashbacks along with a de-aged Michael Douglas. There's no face paired with the Janet Van Dyne character yet, so Lauren Cohan could very well fill that role.
Plus, Cohan is no stranger to the superhero genre. Most recently she played Martha Wayne in Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
5. Andrew Lincoln As Norman Osborn
On The Walking Dead Andre Lincoln portrays the brash leader Rick Grimes. He's our central hero, but he's not always in the right — and that's a side of Lincoln worth exploring. With Spider-Man now a part of the MCU, we can't wait to see the next baddie after Michael Keaton's Vulture. Why not Lincoln as Norman Osborn? Just maybe give him a better costume than the one Willem Dafoe wore in 2002.
The Walking Dead returns for Season 8 in October. Which TWD actor would you most want to see in the MCU?