The Marvel Cinematic Universe is no stranger to great actors. Over its 13-year run (so far) we’ve seen many respected thespians make their mark on the MCU, giving us some of most memorable characters and performances over the 24 films and two series (so far). Aside from Marvel’s discoveries (Tom Hiddleston, Tom Holland, Chris Hemsworth) and its reinvention of popular actors (Robert Downey Jr, Chris Pratt) we’ve seen many Hollywood heavy-hitters over the years uplift these films to more than popcorn entertainment. Whether it was memorable supporting characters such as Tilda Swinton in Dr Strange, Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer in Ant Man, Sir Anthony Hopkins in the Thor franchise or Samuel L Jackson in, well, everything. Not to mention some of the MCU’s best villains including Daniel Bruhl in Captain America: Civil War, Robert Redford in Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok and so on. The latest episode of Falcon And The Winter Solder even saw the introduction of none other than Julia Louis Dryfus as a mysterious new figure.
And, as with all things Marvel, they’re showing no signs of slowing down. Here’s a list of all the big names and respected actors reportedly jumping on the comic book bandwagon and stepping into the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the next few years:
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) – Christian Bale
Taika Waititi is back at the helm of the Chris Hemsworth-led Thor franchise after the smash-hit success of Thor: Ragnarok. And this time around, not only will we see the return of Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, but also none other than Christian Bale who’s all set to play the big bad, officially making his MCU debut as Gorr The God Butcher. Like most, we’re excited to see what sort of bad guy the Oscar-winning performer and Waititi’s wacky imagination manage to conjure, but we have no doubt it’ll be one to remember.
Black Widow (2021) – Rachel Weisz and Florence Pugh
Better late than never. Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff is finally getting her own (long overdue) movie, and joining her are some acting heavy hitters. The film follows Natasha confronting her murky past as a spy before she joined the Avengers, and sees her team up with her old squad which includes Rachel Weisz, David Harbor and Florence Pugh.
Blade (2022) – Mahershala Ali
Kevin Feige’s surprise announcement of a Blade movie at Comic Con in 2019, followed by Mahershala Ali walking on stage was the big news of a day filled with big news. The Oscar-winning actor will be playing the iconic half-human half-vampire vigilante, who was famously portrayed by Wesley Snipes in the earlier Blade trilogy in the early 2000s (which remain among the most celebrated superhero films of its time). We can’t wait to see what Marvel and Mahershala do with the beloved character, and just how dark they’re willing to go with the violent vampire vigilante. But most of all, we just can’t wait to watch Mahershala be an absolute badass.
— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) July 21, 2019
The Eternals (2021) – Literally Everyone
What’s better than the same old origin stories launching new individual characters to the MCU? Launching 6 of them. One of the Marvel’s most eagerly anticipated projects, The Eternals will see a sea of big actors join the MCU. Joining Game of Thrones stars, Richard Madden, Kit Harington are Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and Korean cinema star Ma Dong-Seok and a now beefed-up Kunail Nanjiani (no seriously, the guy doesn’t even need a costume or fancy CGI stunts at this point, have you seen those arms??). The star-studded ensemble will play a new team of superheroes – The Eternals, a race of god-like immortal beings who are blessed with strange and monstrous powers. We are so there.
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) August 24, 2019
Loki (2021) – Owen Wilson
Loki, the third MCU spin-off series, sees the beloved trickster return for more mischief, this time targeting his trickery toward influencing key historical events. Joining him is none other than Owen Wilson who plays a member of Time Variance Authority. We don’t quite know what that means yet, but the insanely fun trailer and the chemistry the two share entirely speak for itself.
Secret Invasion (2021) – Emilia Clarke And Olivia Colman
Yup, you heard that right. The two beloved Brits Olivia Colman and Emilia Clarke (most known for The Crown and Game Of Thrones respectively) are reportedly all set to join Marvel’s upcoming series Secret Invasion. The two will join Ben Mendelsohn in the series which follows on from the events of Captain Marvel and Spiderman: Far From Home and supposedly focuses on the Skrull invasion on earth. Also in the cast – One Night in Miami star Kingsley Ben-Adir who will play a leading villain role in the show. That much acting talent in one show? Sign us up.
Moon Knight (2021) – Oscar Isaac And Ethan Hawke
We could tell you Moon Knight is one of Marvel’s many upcoming series. We could tell you it stars heavyweights Oscar Isaac as the titular character and Ethan Hawke as the unnamed villain. We could tell you it’s about ‘a complex vigilante who suffers from dissociative identity disorder’. But nothing we tell you will come even close to this video of Oscar Isaac being a badass of the first order, training for the series’ insane fight scenes, which entirely speaks for itself.
That’s as much as we know for now. But we have no doubt that other massive upcoming projects like Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 and the Hawkeye series will spit up some surprise big names. Heck, the upcoming Ms Marvel series is even rumoured to include a certain Bollywood star in its cast. But hopefully more on that later.