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Dream Casting: The Classic Defenders

Contributed by
Sep 20, 2018

Dream Casting is an imaginative look at the casting process of potential Hollywood projects based on comics and other media. This isn't just about what is being made; this is about what should be made, and who we think should be the stars.

Marvel's Defenders series on Netflix appears to be over, without particularly setting the world on fire. Now Marvel Comics is bringing back the original team that held that name. Since several members of that version of the Defenders have already appeared in the MCU, it seems like a perfect time to imagine a full-on Defenders adaptation based on the classic comics team who first appeared in 1971's Marvel Feature #1 and had their own comic for 14 years.

Assuming Doctor Strange is back after the next Avengers movie (which seems likely), it would make sense to bring him, the Hulk, and Valkyrie together before having them recruit the rest of the team. This could work as a movie or as another new series for the Disney streaming service.

Defenders

Four Returning Stars

Ideally, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, and Rachael Taylor would appear as Doctor Strange, the Hulk, Valkyrie, and Hellcat. Taylor's Trish Walker would take the most doing to get her to full superhero status, but I think it's a great move for that character.

Ian Anthony Dale as Namor

Ian Anthony Dale as Namor

Ian Anthony Dale (Salvation) is extremely handsome and has a great body, which frankly are the two most important things for playing Namor. He's a good actor too, which is icing on the cake.

Ashley Walters as the Silver Surfer

Ashley Walters as the Silver Surfer

Ashley Walters (Bullet Proof) also has the requisite physique (it's kind of weird how naked the founding Defenders are), and his smooth British charm will bring some humanity to this particular alien.

Margarita Levieva as Clea

Margarita Levieva as Clea

Clea is likely to show up in a Doctor Strange sequel too, but she was an important part of the early Defenders comic as well, so i'm including her here. Margarita Levieva (The Deuce) seems like she could play a charming interdimensional alien, and she'll look super-glam with platinum hair and weird clothes.

Gbenga Akinnagbe as Nighthawk

Gbenga Akinnagbe as Nighthawk

Obviously this isn't quite the Nighthawk from the 1970s Defenders comic, but the modern version makes a lot more sense for a movie. Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire, The Deuce) will stand out as this Batman homage. In fact, he could easily carry a spin-off movie.

Ed Asner as Gargoyle

Ed Asner as Gargoyle

Ed Asner (Mary Tyler Moore, Elf) is as old as the hills, but he's still working regularly. The Gargoyle is supposed to be a very old man who gained an immortal demon body, so Asner's voice coming from a CGI monster will be just the right mix.

Eddie Redmayne as Son of Satan

Eddie Redmayne as Son of Satan

Not just anybody can play the superhero son of the actual devil, but I think Eddie Redmayne (Jupiter AscendingFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) can play just the right combination of charming and creepy.

Cara Delevingne as Moondragon

Cara Delevingne as Moondragon

Moondragon was an Avenger, a Defender, and a Guardian of the Galaxy, yet she's somehow never made it to a movie. Maybe it's because she's gay? Just a theory. Cara Delevingne (Suicide SquadValerian and the City of a Thousand Planets) has absolutely the perfect look for the part, and Moondragon's aloof demeanor will gloss over any deficiencies Delevingne might have as an actor.

Daniel Craig as Nebulon

Daniel Craig as Nebulon

I chose Nebulon because he's one of the first Defenders villains to be created for that specific book. A creepy alien who assumes a beautiful humanoid form, he's a perfect villain for Daniel Craig (Skyfall) to sink his teeth into.

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