For legions of Game of Thrones fans, Emilia Clarke will always be the Mother of Dragons, no matter where her acting career takes her. Spending eight seasons in one of TV’s most successful series tends to have a way of linking you forever — no matter how versatile you are — with the high fantasy lore of George R.R. Martin’s iconic world.
But even as Clarke gets set to launch her own superhero comic (while already laying claim to an incredibly diverse acting résumé), she’s perfectly happy with the possibility of becoming a long-term household name all over again…this time in the Marvel universe. Marvel is staying super-secretive about her character in its upcoming Secret Invasion, but the MCU Phase 5 series is on track for a 2022 debut at Disney+. And though we’ll have to wait for the show to tell its story, it could mark the beginning of a long stint for Clarke in the MCU. “I mean, I should be so lucky, is what I’ll say to that,” she recently told The Hollywood Reporter.
As multi-year stars like Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man) and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) have proven, the MCU is the rare media franchise capable of bonding its characters to the A-list actors who play them — all without too much fret or worry over their Marvel-based celebrity pigeonholing them for other roles. After seeing Downey, Jr. and other huge names stay with their characters for the better part of ten years, a whole new batch of established stars — from Angelina Jolie to Salma Hayek to Clarke’s own GoT costar Kit Harington — have all made the headfirst leap into the MCU’s next chapter.
Clarke says that’s probably because Marvel has a great reputation for making stories that actors want to tell. “Everyone I know and everyone I’ve spoken to who is a part of the Marvel universe — and actors talk! Everyone has only the highest praise to offer,” she said. “There’s a reason why actors stay in it. They’re so loved because they’re having loads of fun. So I’m down for that. Sure!”
Being a genre fan probably helps, too, and Clarke is a self-confessed fan of all the sci-fi and fantasy fare she’s touched, whether it’s playing Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones or in Qi’ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story. She’s even getting in on the comics game, readying for the launch next month of M.O.M.: Mother of Madness, her very own superhero mini-series in partnership with Image Comics.
M.O.M. (whose “Mother of Madness” link to Clarke’s fame as GoT’s Mother of Dragons is no coincidence, she said) follows a mom who gains superpowers that change with her menstrual cycle. It’s meant to be funny, but also very much heroic: Think of it as “Deadpool meets Fleabag,” Clarke joked.
Beyond a vague 2022 target, Marvel hasn’t revealed when Secret Invasion will invade Disney+. But Clarke’s first official turn as a comic book author officially begins on July 21, when the first issue of M.O.M.: Mother of Madness charges into comics shops.