Neil Patrick Harris came into our homes and hearts early in his life when he played child prodigy surgeon, and title character on Doogie Houser M.D. Over the most recent decade, NPH has become a household name after starring in the hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother as Barney Stinson. HIMYM ran for nine seasons and earned Harris several Emmy nominations. Over the years he's received crictical acclaim hosting the Emmy's, Tony's and Academy Awards, a feat that has proven difficult for so many others! In 2008, he also received praise for playing the title character in Joss Whedon's musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog. Three times he played a druggie, eccentric and sex-addicted version of himself in the Harold & Kumar film trilogy. In 2014, NPH played a socially awkward but wealthy man in the thriller Gone Girl with Ben Affleck.
(The scene where Harris is murdered still haunts me.) This year Neil was on Broadway in Hedwing and the Angry Inch where he played the lead, a former male musician after a botched sex operation that allowed her to escape East Germany in marrying an American man.
As you can see, Neil Patrick Harris has an amazing range as both an actor and entertainer so why not have him join the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Here's my list of roles that I think would be perfect for NPH and how they could fall into the MCU!
The Sentry made his comic debut in the 2000s, but his history is quite unique! Robert Reynolds received superpowers after drinking his Professors' secret formula as a teenager, and was given super-strength, flight, accelerated healing and extreme durability. He also has a deep history within the Marvel Universe pre-dating even the Fantastic Four where he was the world's greatest hero. Over the decades he teamed up with the Fantastic Four to defeat Dr. Doom, befriended the Hulk, was a role model to a young Spider-Man, and defended the hated mutants, the X-Men.
Eventually Sentry's foe, The Void, psychically exploited Sentry's greatest fears and caused the Hulk into a rampaging fit, and later murdered over one million people in Manhattan. It was later revealed that the Void was the darker half of Sentry himself. With Sentry's permission Reed Richards and Dr. Strange created a system that erased all memories of the Sentry across the globe, and subdued the Sentry's powers (and the Void's) inside Robert Reynolds. They succeeded and no one on the planet remembered the Sentry, not even himself. Decades later Reynolds was beginning to remember some of these repressed memories and asked S.H.I.E.L.D. to incarcerate him in a supervillain prison. During a prison riot and breakout he assisted in subduing the escaping villains and saved the lives of the heroes who would become the New Avengers. Eventually, after his memories returned, and his powers become under control Sentry became a reserve member of their team.
Sentry would be an awesome addition to the MCU in Phase 4! His history is very unique, but could that be translated to the big screen? Could we see flashbacks of the Sentry helping the Avengers in their fight in New York? Or Sentry assisting Iron Man during the events of Iron Man 3? It would be an interesting way to shoehorn him into the universe by explaining he's been there all along! It would be a hard sell that's for sure, but I think if they did it in a tactful and simplistic way it could be done!
For a great introduction to this unique superhero, I suggest reading the New Avengers comics that started in 2005. It depicts the Avengers team coming back together after they disbanded the year before, and deals heavily with not only Sentry but other personal favorites like Spiderwoman and Luke Cage
Why Neil Patrick Harris?
In many ways Sentry is similar to the Hulk as they both have the Jekyll and Hyde situation going on. However Sentry's "other side" wouldn't be CGI so we'd need to have an actor who could play that anger, fear, self doubt and strength. With Harris' range this would be no problem! We could easily see him go through these range of emotions and find it believable.
Simon Williams first appeared in the comics in the early 60s, and is one of the longest running characters, and Avengers, who has yet to appear in the MCU! Williams has even served as leader of the Western Avengers team, and of the Avengers as a whole in the absent of Iron Man and others.
His powers would be pretty awesome to see on the big screen! Wonder Man can fly, has superhuman strength, agility and speed, but his main power comes from the ionic energy that is infused into his body, that gives him a constant purple glow.
In the cartoon, Avengers: Earth's MIghtiest Heroes, Williams is the son of a rich philanthropist, but after father's death Simon doesn't handle the company very well, and the stocks fall. Tony Stark swoops in and purchases the company from underneath him, and Simon, of course, is ticked! He is found by Baron Zemo and the Enchantress who promise him revenge on Stark if he allies himself with them. Williams agrees and is infused with the experimental ionic energy and joins Zemo's Masters of Evil. Eventually Williams betrays Zemo and aids the Avengers, but dies in the process. This is very similar to how Wonder Man was introduced in the comics and this would be an awesome story to adapt to the big screen!
Why Neil Patrick Harris?
Harris already has a history playing a rich playboy on How I Met Your Mother, but that's not the only reason he would make a great Wonder Man! Simon is a complicated character that starts out as a villain, turns hero and is eventually killed and later resurrected. Harris could play this perfectly! He already has experience playing a misunderstood villain (Dr. Horrible) and could bring some amazing humor to the role of this unique hero! Even if Wonder Man was never resurrected in the MCU but just played a role in the Masters of Evil (that I hope are a part of Marvel's Phase 4) he could become one of the most iconic characters in the the MCU! A villain turned hero who sacrifices himself for our Avengers, but single handedly takes out the Masters of Evil?! That would be epic to see on the big screen!
Green Goblin/Iron Patriot
We all know that Green Goblin is Spider-Man's arch nemesis, but unless you're a comic book nerd you may not know that he was also the Iron Patriot in the comics, not War-Machine!
Originally Osborn ran a financial empire, Oscorp, that rivaled Stark Industries! His secret identity as Green Goblin was kept just as quiet as Spider-Man's secret identity until it was revealed by Jessica Jones! He was imprisoned, but later released with medication to keep the Green Goblin part of him subdued. During the Skrull Secret War, Osborn gains huge public approval as he's the one who kills the Skrull Queen on live television. He immediately becomes the new head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and uses his public image to create a team of "Dark Avengers" with villains posing as other superheroes, (Moonstone as Ms. Marvel, Venom as Spider-Man, Daken as his father Wolverine and Bullseye as Hawkeye) while Osborn himself uses the Iron Patriot armor in place of both Avengers Iron Man and Captain America. It's later revealed that under the armor, and under Osborn's healthy facade, Green Goblin was conscious and calling the shots all along!
Wouldn't this make for an amazing arc in Marvel's future? We know that Avengers Infinity Wars Parts I & II will end Phase 3, but Phase 4 and beyond have yet to be lined up! With Spider-Man planned for 2017 it's very likely they'll introduce a new Norman Osborn and lay the groundwork for this character to become this iconic villain throughout the MCU. Could Osborn be the one who ultimately destroys Thanos in Infinity War, and this is what turns him into a global Savior? It would be incredible to have Phase 4 be all about our former heroes attempting to take down Osborn and his Dark Avengers!
Why Neil Patrick Harris?
Obviously Neil is amazing, but Osborn is a complicated character with so much backstory and emotion! Harris has proven that he has this range and it would be incredible to see him interact with Parker on a loving and personal level in one scene, but turn around in the next, totally evil, and attempt to take down the Avengers! Osborn is the very definition of bipolar, so any actor playing him would essentially be playing two roles, and NPH would be amazing at that!
Captain Mar-Vell is a member of the Kree Empire's miliatary. While we've already seen the Kree in Guardians of the Galaxy we've only seen the evil side of their Empire in the form of Ronan the Accuser. Mar-Vell, on the other hand, is considered a hero by the Avengers but guilty of treason by his own people because he aided the humans. He would be the complete opposite of Ronan.
There's two possibilities for Mar-Vell to join the MCU in the near future; the first is Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 , and the second is Captain Marvel where he'll most likely be responsible for Carol Danvers receiving her cosmic abilities. In the comics and cartoons his character is often both romantically linked to Danvers, as well as her "sidekick".
Why Neil Patrick Harris?
The MCU really needs a character that ties its universe together, and with Mar-Vell's ties to both the Guardians and the Avengers it would make sense if he popped up in a few different movies throughout the shared universe. If such a role existed, it would make even more sense if it went to an actor that the general public would be excited to see. This supporting role would also be perfect for NPH because of his busy schedule, he isn't someone who wants to be tied down to continuous major projects without flexibility to do other things also.
Plus Mar-Vell is just a bad ass and I think it would be a role similar to his exaggerated bad ass self that he played in the Harold and Kumar trilogy! I want to see more of THAT Neil!
Nova's history in the comic is a depressing one. He's the last of the Nova Corps on Xandar (the planet the Guardians saved from Ronan). In the comics Xandar is destroyed and the final Nova Corps member, Rhomann Dey, goes to Earth and dubs his successor, a teenage boy, with his armor and superpowers and this boy becomes Nova. For the MCU I think it would be interesting if Nova was actually the last member of the Nova Corps, and he'd survived the attack on Xandar after watching all his family, friends and colleagues die. He could later show up on Earth to pass the torch....but for now I think it would be cool to see more of Rhomann Dey!
We know and love Xandar from Guardians of the Galaxy, and we know that one of the Infinity Stones is being held there. Thanos is after these stones, and he knows where this one is! It would make so much sense if in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 he heads to Xandar and destroys it to get the Orb. As viewers we're already emotionally invested in this planet, and it would be a great way to show us how evil and powerful Thanos really is! Eventually he has to get all of the stones to make the Infinity Gauntlet, and without him killing a few innocent people why would we actually believe our heroes are in danger? Xandar was destroyed in the comics, it would make sense it be destroyed in the MCU as well, this leaves Nova as the lone survivor and (hopefully) future member of the Guardians of the Galaxy!
Why Neil Patrick Harris?
Nova will be a character that has seen so much destruction and death, and yet someone with humor that can fit in with the Guardians! Neil would be able to play this perfectly! We already know he has great talent when it comes to humor, but I believe with his experience in Gone Girl he could also easily play the angry and vengeful man who watched his planet be destroyed!
Black Bolt's comic history is a complicated one! He's the leading King of the Inhumans on Earth, and with the Inhumans film coming in 2019 to end Marvel's Phase 3, it seems more than likely that Black Bolt will be the lead in this upcoming film!
Black Bolt is the reigning King of the Inhuman people; a superpowered race that has lived on Earth for centuries after they were genetically engineered and bred by the Kree. They were originally intended to be used as soldiers by their masters in interstellar wars, but the project was abandoned and its subjects left on Earth, and over the centuries they have stayed away from interacting with humans. When the Inhumans reach "of age" they use the Terrigen mist (or crystals) to recieve a gift of superpowers. Each Inhuman receives a different variation of that power. The Inhuman King, Black Bolt, gained flight, super-strength and a supersonic voice that disallows him to speak even a whisper without tearing down mountains.
Why Neil Patrick Harris?
Black Bolt is the King of an entire nation of alien/human hybrids so this film already has a bizarre premise, but If Guardians of the Galaxy has shown us anything its that people will still see films about lesser know comic book characters! Black Bolt himself is going to be a challenge for an actor to play because he's almost entirely mute. Any actor will have to rely solely on body language and facial expressions to play this character. Groot could have easily been a difficult character for audiences to grasp and relate to with his limited vocabulary, but with Black Bolt being completely silent it'll be even more of a challenge! I believe that Neil Patrick Harris could pull this off, that with his acting capability he could not only make this character believable and understandable but help throw Black Bolt into becoming a household name just like Groot is now! I also feel like it's time for NPH to finally have an opportunity to play a leading role!
Warlock was genetically created by scientists, called the Enclave, on Earth, attempting to create the perfect human. Adam became aware of their intentions while still inside his cocoon so he escaped and killed the scientists. Without anyone to guide him Warlock became an angry villain until he came across and fought Thor, and was proven to not be as strong as he thought. He decided to leave Earth and that's when he came in contact with the Soul Gem, one of the six infinity stones. Just like Vision in the MCU, Warlock has this gem embedded in his forehead.
Eventually it is Warlock who unites The Avengers and Guardians to fight Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet that he's brought together and it's Warlock who ultimately defeats the Mad Titan as he sacrifices himself. Later, in the comics, he's resurrected and joins the Guardians of the Galaxy. This could be another great way to tie the Guardians and Avengers together! I know it's all speculation at this point, but even if the Guardians and Avengers don't both appear together on screen it would be sweet to see a character who goes back and forth between the two teams!
Why Neil Patrick Harris?
This character is another that falls into the range of misunderstood and faltered hero. Neil could play this tortured role perfectly! Like I've said already, it would make sense for NPH to take on a role that isn't a lead but a recurring character throughout the universe so that he can continue to work on his other projects, so he isn't tied down a tight contract.
As you can tell I love this man! He's made me laugh, he's made me cry and he's made me throw up! (Seriously that death scene in Gone Girl was terrifying!) This man has amazing talent and range as an actor and the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be lucky to have him as an addition to it!