As 'Phase Two' of Marvel's movie universe stands poised to go all-out with its next round of superhero films, Captain America: The Winter Soldier looks to bring the most new characters and actors into the fold. With shortlists getting longer by the day, two recognizable actors may be cutting in line.
Besides mentioning a familiar face to fans of genre television, the news proves that the race to play S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter is still wide open, and Marvel may be seeking to fill several roles in the clandestine military organization.
The latest update comes from a Latino-Review exclusive, claiming that Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim, A Good Day to Die Hard) is reportedly being considered for the role of Sharon Carter (Agent 13), while Lost alum Josh Holloway (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) is also being discussed for an unidentified role.
While it may seem that every young actress in Hollywood has had a shot at screen-testing for Carter, the list of potential candidates has apparently been whittled down to five. A few of those actresses have fairly impressive resumes, but it seems that Winstead has more "traction" with Marvel at the moment. It probably doesn't hurt that she's known in the comic book community for having played Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim - directed by the man writing and directing Marvel's Ant-Man, Edgar Wright - nor that she's set to reprise her role as John McClane's daughter in Bruce Willis' next Die Hard adventure.
It's still just a rumor, but Winstead does seem to have all the traits necessary to convincingly play the niece of Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), not the least of which is a believable resemblance.
That still leaves two male roles for Winter Soldier in need of casting, alongside Chris Evans' Cap and Anthony Mackie's Falcon. Given the amount of time Mackie is putting into bulking up, it's a safe bet that he's expecting to play a substantial role. But with S.H.I.E.L.D. likely central to the Captain America franchise from here on out, that also means the demand for additional agents. The void left by Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) - S.H.I.E.L.D. field agent and liaison - will be a hard one to fill, but the name being thrown around is one fans can no doubt get behind.
The actor in question is none other than Josh Holloway, who has long been rumored to be on Marvel's radar and has a history with Captain America 2's directors, the Russo Brothers (he appeared on "The Fistful of Paintballs" episode of Community directed by Joe Russo).
There aren't any details available on what either of the two male roles entail, aside from their description as "very physical," and that Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is also rumored to be considered. Since Bucky Barnes surely won't be the only antagonist of the film, Waldau's performance as the easy-to-hate yet strangely captivating Jamie Lannister in Thrones means a better henchman will be hard to find. Then again, given their physical similarities, there's even a chance they're up for the same role.
We've been vocal on the need to see more of Josh Holloway on film or television for years, and his latest performance in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (while sadly brief) proved that he can play an incredibly convincing secret agent. Casting him as the successor to Agent Coulson, tasked with accompanying Captain America, Sharon Carter, and Falcon on their missions, could be a wise move on Marvel's part. Not only does he possess the size and build to convincingly take on an attacker if the need arose, his personality and sense of humor are notably different from that of Clark Gregg's S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison.
It may be wishful thinking to see Holloway once again tasked with keeping egos in check with biting remarks and a bit of arrogance himself, but adding more likable actors to the cast is hardly a bad idea. Whoever Marvel goes with is likely to be featured in several movies going forward, so expect them to take their time in making the decision. If all else fails, perhaps Holloway could return to ABC and have a role on Joss Whedon's upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series.
What do you think of Winstead, Holloway and Coster-Waldau? Do they fit the Marvel universe, or should lesser-known actors and actresses be the direction Marvel takes?
Captain America: The Winter Soldier releases on April 4th, 2014.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
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