So, have we all recovered from The Day Of Dev Patel? No? You never will? Totally valid. The internet — nay, society as a whole — was given the gift of two trailers featuring Dev Patel: The Personal History of David Copperfield and more importantly The Green Knight. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the weirdest and horniest tales from Camelot, so the film immediately shot to the top of many must-see lists.
Most importantly, seeing Patel taking on roles historically played by white men was an absolute thrill. At a time when getting more representation in Hollywood feels like pulling teeth, seeing Patel finally getting the leading roles (remember when he was nominated for a Supporting Actor Oscar despite Lion being literally about his character?) feels like a lovely step forward.
And let it not be the only step. Patel as Gawain is just the beginning. Let's do a little dream casting for other genre roles, shall we?
Mr. Fantastic in the inevitable Fantastic Four reboot
Listen, I know it seems like the role is already John Krasinski's, but could they make a more boring choice? Sure, Krasinski would be suitably square-jawed to take on Reed Richards, but the man is definitely Chris-adjacent. As beloved as Evans, Pine, and Hemsworth are, we've already done this dozens of times. If you don't think that Patel’s lanky frame and easy charm wouldn't make him the best Reed Richards ever, you're just wrong. Plus, a huge part of Patel's appeal is in the power of his hair. Just imagine it with the classic Richards streak of grey. You'll lose a whole afternoon thinking about it.
I know a lot of people want the next Bond to be a woman. I understand that urge, but I would prefer original roles written for women instead of recycling masculine ones. Additionally, Barbara Broccoli, Bond producer who pretty much has the final say on the franchise, said that Bond will always be a man. Fine. But does he have to be a white man? Can we not have the utterly charming Patel slinking across the screen in a tuxedo, ordering martinis and taking out bad guys with effortless charm? The man is British, which I think is the only real non-negotiable Bond trait. There's no (non-racist) reason not to head in this direction.
Marko from Saga
This section comes with a bit of a caveat. Do I think Saga should be adapted to the screen? Probably not. There is no way that the level of brazen strangeness would ever be properly done in film or television, so I'd rather they not butcher it. That being said, Dev Patel as Marko is the dreamcast nearest and dearest to my heart. Marko's devastating arc of falling in love with natural enemy Alana, having a child with her, and doing his damnedest to keep his family safe in a galaxy at war is one of the best stories on any medium in the last decade. Should Saga ever be adapted (and it shouldn't), Patel would bring the perfect mix of tenderness and steel.
The lead Jedi in the inevitable High Republic films (you know it's going to happen)
The announcement of the new High Republic books from Star Wars caused a pretty major disturbance in the nerdverse. The Rise of Skywalker left fans with decidedly mixed feelings about the franchise, but a galaxy far, far away with not a Skywalker in sight? Well, hope springs eternal. While no films of this particular storyline have been announced yet, it's only a matter of time, right? While the Star Wars franchise really bungled the treatment of its men of color leads (John Boyega and Oscar Isaac deserve better forever), they can still right the ship. A trilogy about noble Jedi Dev Patel ridding the galaxy of space pirates and smugglers is one way to make amends.
Richard Mayhew in Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere
Adaptations of Neil Gaiman's work are mixed at best. Good Omens was an absolute delight, but has there been a messier production in recent memory than American Gods? However, I still believe that Neverwhere could make an absolute cracker of a miniseries, and Patel is the perfect guy to embody everyman Richard Mayhew. Can't you see him falling in love with Door, helping the Marquis, and running from Messrs Croup and Vandemar? Please and thank you, which demon do I sell my soul to in order to make this happen?
HEAR ME OUT. I know Indiana Jones is very American and very white. That identity is baked into his very catchphrase: "This belongs in a museum!" HOWEVER, imagine this twist: Dev Patel, with his Gujarati Indian and British backgrounds, as a new type of Indiana Jones, breaking INTO museums to steal back stolen artifacts and returning them to their nation of origin. He would be an Indy who wasn't all-in on colonialism. Dare to dream! If he gets his own Temple of Doom torn shirt on a jungle bridge moment as well, so be it.