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Now that Marvel and Netflix have announced their intention to make four TV series based on their more street-level superhero properties, the next question is who will play the leads in each show? Netflix even tweeted the idea of casting out there in their official announcement. So with that in mind, MTV News put on our casting hats and chose our ideals for each of the lead roles.
Plus, with all four series leading up to an “Avengers” style “The Defenders” mini-series event, we speculate that there may be more than just the announced heroes showing up:
J. August Richards: Yes, the “Angel” star has appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe already as the first bad guy in the pilot episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” But the talented Richards deserves a bigger part in the MCU, is friendly with head honcho Joss Whedon, and with his shaved head even looks the part of Luke Cage. Heck, before it was revealed what he would really be playing on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” fans all speculated he would be playing Cage, so why not fulfill that particular prophecy?
Runners-up: Terry Crews, Isiah Mustafa, Mechad Brooks, Michael Jai White
Domhnall Gleeson: With the bad taste from Ben Affleck’s big screen iteration of the blind, super-powered lawyer still fresh in fans’ mouths, Marvel will want to go in a vastly different direction. Enter Gleeson, who recently starred in the rom-com “About Time.” However, he has more than enough familiarity with special effects from his time as Bill Weasley in the “Harry Potter” movies. And just like Matt Murdock, he’s Irish! There you go.
Runners up: Eddie Redmayne, Michael C. Hall, Neil Patrick Harris
Tatiana Maslany: The insanely talented Maslany has been appearing on TV screens playing no fewer than six cloned versions of the same character on BBC America’s “Orphan Black.” Maslany is able to play tough, knows how to play a detective through one of her clone roles on “Orphan Black,” and is completely familiar with special effects. Plus, she’s very funny, as she showed off in her brief appearance on “Parks and Recreation.” That’s a must for sarcastic former superhero turned PI Jessica Jones.
Runners-up: Jewel Staite, Anna Torv
Iron Fist/Danny Rand
Ryan Kwanten: Kwanten is probably best known for playing dim bulb Jason Stackhouse on “True Blood.” But the actor is just as able at playing Danny Rand’s cocky arrogance, as well as his showing off his ability with kung-fu action when in the guise of Iron Fist, something he demonstarted while portraying Marvel Comics’ character Eddie Brock (a.k.a., Venom) in the short fan film “Truth In Journalism.” Plus, Kwanten just looks exactly like Danny Rand; and given “True Blood” is ending next season, will be completely available.
Runners-up: Aaron Paul, Topher Grace, Justin Chatwin
Norman Reedus: Now we’re getting into the realm of fantasy, but just as “Avengers” introduced new heroes to the world, chances are that “The Defenders” will also mix in more Marvel characters, potentially leading to a “Phase 2” for Marvel TV way down the road. So with the rights to both Ghost Rider (and our next character) having reverted to Marvel around the same time as Daredevil, why wouldn’t we see the motorcycle riding spirit of vengeance on the team comic book readers most identify him with?
And who better to play him than “The Walking Dead’s” Norman Reedus? Sure the actor has plenty of other obligations, but appearing in a mini-series several years from now is way more manageable than appearing in a regular series. And no one can deny that Reedus wouldn’t look perfect fighting the undead while riding a sweet hog.
Thomas Jane: Why not, right? The Punisher hasn’t worked over three failed movie attempts — including one starring our pick, Thomas Jane. But fans have always thought TV was the place Frank Castle’s vengeful ex-soldier belonged; and that the best iteration of The Punisher ever was a fan film starring Jane titled “Dirty Laundry.” Plus, doesn’t bringing Jane back to a failed franchise, and this time making it work, feel like the perfect stunt casting? Between him, and Reedus as Ghost Rider, “The Defenders” would become a “can’t miss” event.