10 Characters Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Could Still Play In The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Dwayne Johnson may be prepping to play Black Adam in the DC Extended Universe, but what if he were to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe instead? Here are the ten characters he would be perfect for...
For years, there's been talk of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson playing a superhero. Rumours about characters like Luke Cage and Black Adam persisted for years, but it was ultimately the DC Extended Universe which grabbed the actor's attention when they cast him as the lead in 2021's Black Adam.
Johnson has previously expressed interest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and there's nothing to say that shared world is off-limits to him as actors have been known to cross between both.
With that in mind, we're now taking a look at ten characters in the MCU we think Johnson would be perfect for. Some of these heroes and villains are coming to this shared world potentially during Phase 4, while others are likely still a long way off, but the wrestler turned actor could easily balance playing Shazam's greatest foe and any one of these great Marvel Studios characters.
Click on the "Next" button below to see who we think Johnson could one day play in the MCU!
10. Namor The Submariner
Convincingly portraying Namor’s Kingly arrogance would prove to be a real challenge for Johnson, but we could be in store for the actor's best performance yet with the right script and direction.
Namor is a character who has fought on both the side of good – with Captain America during World War II – and bad – against the Fantastic Four – over the years, making him all the more complex and interesting of a character. That team's franchise could be the perfect home for the character moving forward, and making Johnson part of it would bring a lot of eyes to the reboot.
It's also a role he looks particularly well-suited for, and his time in the WWE certainly showed that he has the right sort of swagger to breathe life into the MCU's version of the King of Atlantis.
We've seen a version of Ares in the DC Extended Universe thanks to Wonder Woman, but Marvel's take on the character is completely different, and more akin to an even more brutal Thor.
Immensely powerful, he's served as both an Avenger and Dark Avenger, and while it's hard to say which franchise he could appear in, Johnson would help put this anti-hero on the map in a big way. We'd love to see him square off with the God of Thunder, though Marvel Studios could also go in an unorthadox direction by having him battle Black Panther, for example.
Johnson is at his best when he's playing badass characters, and there's no bigger badass than Ares.
He's not the biggest name on this list, but Frank Simpson was a test subject of the Weapon Plus programme (an offshoot of the super soldier programme which created Captain America), and that process didn’t quite work out all that well, leaving him superpowered and deranged.
Taking on the moniker of Nuke, this Vietnam War veteran was a twisted parallel of Steve Rogers. Nuke is more powerful than Cap, and it would make sense for him to be introduced in a future Captain America adventure after The Falcon and The Winter Soldier streams on Disney+.
The thought of Johnson facing off against Anthony Mackie is this role is undeniably appealing, and he certainly has the right look and stature to convincingly bring the villain to life.
7. Wonder Man
Wonder Man is one of the most unique members of The Avengers, because as well as having a bizarre origin story, he also happens to be a superhero celebrity. A well-known actor, Simon Williams loves the spotlight, and he would make for a fun, weird addition to any Marvel team.
This isn't a character who could be played by just anyone, though, and the fact Johnson is oozing with charisma guarantees that he would truly do Wonder Man justice which making him his own.
He has the right look and build for Williams, and someone different enough to Black Adam that we're confident Johnson would be able to put his own unique stamp on this fan-favourite superhero.
6. The Thing
Michael Chiklis did a decent enough job of playing Ben Grimm in Tim Story’s two critically panned Fantastic Four movies, but just like in Josh Trank's film, fans are hoping that the next big screen iteration will ditch the unconvincing rubber costume and opt for ILM level effects similar to those which have so perfectly brought The Hulk to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
We don't know when this reboot is coming, but that just means there's still time for Johnson to deliver the definitive take on the ever lovin’ blue eyed Thing. The voice and eyes are essential for this character, and the former wrestler undeniably has the right level of charisma for this part.
The fact he would be hidden in CGI would make it easier for him to continue playing Black Adam as well.
5. Kraven The Hunter
There are countless directions Marvel Studios can take Kraven the Hunter in if he is indeed Spider-Man 3's lead villain, but if they choose to make him a normal man who is also a truly formidable hunter, why not hire Johnson? After all, would you want him attempting to track you down?
He could be an absolute beast as Kraven, and the actor's sheer level of charisma would ensure that his personality more than makes up for the fact he doesn't have any fancy superpowers.
Unfortunately, it's likely that production on Black Adam would clash with Spider-Man 3, but if Marvel Studios is willing to hold off, then there's a way to make this work. We're pretty sure that Sony Pictures would be happy having him appear in that planned solo outing in the SPUMC too.
Yes, it's true that Johnson has already played Hercules, but why can't he take on that role in the MCU?
Rumour has it that this is a character who Marvel Studios has plans for (originally it was in Eternals, but it no longer appears as if that's the plan), and Johnson could really do this different version of the Greek Legend justice. He was, after all, the best part of Brett Ratner's otherwise terrible movie, and are you seriously telling us you wouldn't want to see him team up with Thor?
Hercules is a fun character, and someone who has history with everyone from the God of Thunder to The Avengers. Exploring that in the MCU is a must, but it will be throwing Johnson into the mix which could ultimately make this fan-favourite a true must-see on the silver screen.
3. The Kingpin
Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk was excellent, but chances are we won't see any of the actors from the Netflix TV shows brought to the big screen if and when these characters are rebooted.
Regardless of where Fisk first appears in the near future, choosing Johnson to play the physically imposing Kingpin of Crime would give Johnson the chance to really stretch his chops as an actor, while also serving a suitably terrifying threat to either Spidey or the Man Without Fear.
He may not resemble the comic book version all that closely, but neither did the late Michael Clarke Duncan, and fans have never had anything but good things to say about his take on the villain.
2. Black Bolt
Black Bolt is literally a man of few words. Even a whisper from the leader of the Inhumans can reduce a city to rubble, and it’s not in the least bit difficult to imagine Johnson – who has shown himself to be an actor capable of a great emotional range in a number of movies now – delivering the kind of powerful and mostly silent performance needed to deliver the necessary gravitas.
The Inhumans were wasted in that awful ABC TV series, but there are hints that the characters will be rebooted for the Ms. Marvel TV series coming to Disney+. Whether they'll then make an appearance in a franchise like The Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy or are given their own solo outing is unclear, but casting Johnson as the team's leader would be a smart move.
Ultimately, it may depend on what direction Marvel Studios chooses to take these characters in.
1. Luke Cage
Johnson has expressed interest in playing Luke Cage numerous times in the past, but with Mike Colter's time as Power Man likely at an end, why not turn to this A-List actor to offer a new take?
He's expressed interest in playing the character in the past, and Luke actually appeared to be his top choice for a superhero movie role up there with Black Adam. In the comics, we've seen Power Man lead The Avengers, and with a big name like Johnson, that could happen again.
In many ways, we would like to see Colter back, but if that's not possible, it would certainly be fun to see Johnson portraying a version similar to the one written by Brian Michael Bendis in New Avengers.