If there’s one thing that can take me out of the world of Marvel, it’s seeing an actor in two different movies as two different characters. There’s no amount of SFX makeup and backstory that can bring me back from the brink. While many of the initial roles were minor in comparison to the roles these actors now hold in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s going to be a lot of explaining required as more of the Marvel characters migrate from Sony and Fox to the MCU.
Chris Evans as Human Torch/Captain America
Alright, let’s start this off with a little bit of given grace. Chris Evans played an amazing Captain America and his performance in nearly every movie has been so convincing. It takes a lot for me to remember the embarrassing days of The Fantastic Four (2005) and Evans as the Human Torch. I won’t forget entirely, but if he needed to get his Marvel bearings back then in order to be the perfect Captain America, I’m willing to forgive.
Gemma Chan as Minerva/Sersi
My patience was really tested on this one. I love Gemma Chan and I couldn’t be more excited to see her play Sersi in the new Eternals movie. I sound like a broken record when I talk about the proximity in-between films but luckily the role of Minerva (the Kree) in Captain Marvel was small enough and the shots were quick and unfortunately pretty unmemorable.
Josh Brolin as Cable/Thanos
Now, for the unforgiveable. I’m not saying that Josh Brolin didn’t absolutely crush these two roles. No, the issue I have is the proximity in which these two characters exist. Brolin played these two Marvel characters in the same year. Check it — Deadpool 2 was released on May 18, 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War was released only three weeks earlier on April 27, 2018. The voice was nearly exactly identical and there was virtually no time in between to allow the memory of the mad titan Thanos to evaporate — even just temporarily.
Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool/Hannibal King
Speaking of Deadpool, let’s get into another minor Marvel crime. As I mentioned before, sometimes all you need is time and/or a stellar performance to forget the past roles of your current favorite Marvel actor. Time really did heal this wound. Blade: Trinity was released in 2004 and Deadpool released in 2016. Not to mention, there’s no telling when Deadpool will bring up Reynold’s former Marvel stint in future movies (let’s not forget about how Deadpool murked Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool 2 just as Reynolds was looking over The Green Lantern script).
Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger/Human Torch
I understand why the Human Torch is important and why Marvel wants to keep The Fantastic Four in the loop of relevancy — but it needs to stop (that’s another discussion for another day). At this point, the Human Torch is a stepping stone for actors to elevate to a higher calling. Michael B. Jordan’s performance as T’Challa’s cousin/nemesis in Black Panther was questionable, but I would choose the wardog Killmonger over the Human Torch every time.
Jon Favreau as Foggy Nelson/Happy Hogan
Again, a lot of time has passed since Jon Favreau has played Matt Murdock’s best friend, Foggy Nelson. Since then, Favreau has found his place as Tony Stark’s right hand man/head of security, Happy Hogan. We’ve also gotten a Daredevil series from Netflix, giving us (what is arguably) the best iteration of Daredevil, played by Charlie Cox. The only gripe I have is the audacity for these two people to exist in the same city.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver/Kraven the Hunter
This one just gutted me and I have so many feelings I need to work through. Kraven the Hunter is set to release on January 13, 2023 and although it’ll be just about eight years after Pietro’s tragic death in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, this just doesn’t feel right. At the time, we had two iterations of Quicksilver — Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Evan Peters (American Horror Story) in X-Men. It just feels like Marvel is putting salt in the wound because Peters’ Quicksilver made a cameo in WandaVision (2021) where they briefly and lowkey retconned the existence of two Quicksilvers — possibly alluding to the fact that Peters may permanently take back the role in the MCU.
For more Marvel-related news, read up on who Valentina Allegra de Fontaine and the Dark Avengers are. Also, Bill Murray confirmed he’s in the new Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania film.
Photos via Marvel Studios, Illustration via James Bareham/Polygon