MCU fans went wild the other day when it was reported that Taika Waititi had been spotted taking Ryan Gosling out for lunch, because Waititi was recently confirmed to be writing and directing the fourth Thor movie and we all know that in Hollywood, lunch doesn’t just mean lunch – it means that movie stars are being pitched potential projects, contracts are being drafted up by agents and lawyers, and deals are being made.
So, fans have been speculating about which character from the Marvel Comics universe the La La Land star might be playing if he joins the MCU. There are plenty he’d be well-suited for. So, here are 10 characters Ryan Gosling could play in the MCU.
The MCU has already set the stage for Nova’s debut nicely. In Guardians of the Galaxy, the Nova Corps were introduced as the intergalactic police force protecting Xandar, and in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos destroyed Xandar off-screen, likely killing most of the Nova Corps. In the comics, Richard Rider is the last surviving member of the Nova Corps when he takes on the superhero mantle of “Nova.”
His quirk is that he’s not ready to take on this responsibility, so Ryan Gosling could play the character as the same kind of bumbling buffoon he played in the underrated The Nice Guys, which would also suit the wacky comic tone set by Taika Waititi nicely.
Since Ryan Gosling met with Taika Waititi, there’s a good chance that if he does appear in the MCU (and that lunch wasn’t unrelated to the MCU, which is far more likely), it’ll be in Thor: Love and Thunder. Marvel fans were surprised to see that although Iron Man and Captain America got fitting send-offs at the end of Avengers: Endgame, Thor’s future in the franchise is open-ended.
Since he’s handing off his mantle and his kingdom in Love and Thunder, perhaps he will also die to complete his character arc and end his journey (and give Chris Hemsworth the chance to play a different character). This would be the perfect opportunity to introduce Gorr, “the Butcher of Gods,” and make him a serious threat by actually killing Odinson.
8 The Human Torch
Ryan Gosling might be a little old to play Johnny Storm, since he’s the arrogant younger brother of Susan Storm who revels in the celebrity status that comes along with being a superhero and that’s a young man’s characterization, but he certainly has the charisma to pull it off.
Maybe the MCU will slightly change the Fantastic Four to differentiate them from past big-screen versions, like they did with Spider-Man. There’s a good chance that the Fantastic Four will be introduced in the cosmic corners of the MCU to explain why they’ve been absent for so long, so maybe they’ll make their debut in Thor: Love and Thunder.
7 Adam Warlock
Marvel fans have been waiting to see Adam Warlock show up in the MCU for a while, and his debut might not be too far away, since he was created by the Sovereign in a mid-credits scene following Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The most popular fan casting for Adam Warlock has been Zac Efron, but there’s a school of thought that Ryan Gosling would also be a strong choice for the role.
He has the charming good looks, perfect facial structure, and luscious blond locks – not to mention the devilish leading-man charisma – to do Adam justice. This is a character whose power could match Thanos and Captain Marvel, so he needs to be done right.
6 Jane Foster’s new boyfriend
Since Thor: Ragnarok confirmed Thor and Jane Foster’s off-screen breakup and Love and Thunder will revolve around her journey to becoming the new Thor, perhaps Ryan Gosling will play her new boyfriend. Chris O’Dowd played a guy she was in the earliest stages of dating in The Dark World (and then forgot he was even in the movie), but Gosling could play a guy she’s already in a long-term relationship with.
She could even have a husband played by Gosling – remember, it’s been six years since we’ve checked in on her and Love and Thunder is still another two years away, which is plenty of time to meet someone and settle down with them.
5 Moon Knight
Kevin Feige has promised that Marvel is in the early stages of figuring out how to get Moon Knight into the MCU. Moon Knight is essentially Batman, Deadpool, and Thor rolled into one: he’s a mercenary (like Deadpool), who gave up being a mercenary and invested his money to become a billionaire who also moonlights as a masked vigilante (like Batman), and he got his powers from an ancient god (like Thor – well, a little like Thor; Thor is actually the ancient god himself, whereas Moon Knight has just been embodied by one).
Anyway, Ryan Gosling would be a great choice to play Moon Knight. With multiple aliases and personalities outside of his superhero alter ego, the role of Marc Spector needs someone with serious acting chops.
4 Balder the Brave
One of the few Norse mythology-based characters from the comics not to make it into Thor’s solo outings yet, Balder the Brave would be a fascinating character to introduce into Thor: Love and Thunder. Balder is one of Odin’s sons and a half-brother of Thor.
The tradition with the Thor movies seems to be to introduce new Asgardian warriors and, especially, new members of the Odinson bloodline into the fold. Casting Ryan Gosling as Balder (who was loosely based on Baldr, a god from the real Norse mythology) would be a great way to sell the character’s significance and win over skeptical fans.
3 Ghost Rider
While Ghost Rider has made an MCU appearance in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and he’s due to get his own series on Hulu that will be unconnected from the movies, he has yet to make an appearance alongside Earth’s mightiest heroes on the big screen. Nicolas Cage’s two Ghost Rider movies sucked, and it wasn’t necessarily Cage’s fault – it was simply that the studio or the writers, or whoever was in charge, simply didn’t understand the character beyond the stuff on the surface.
Johnny Blaze is a guy fighting demons (both real and metaphorical) and with the way the MCU draws emotionally complex characters, they’d probably nail Ghost Rider – and Ryan Gosling would be well-suited to the role.
2 Norman Osborn
The MCU is in need of a new big bad to build towards to fill that Thanos-sized hole in our hearts. Some fans have suggested Norman Osborn, who is primarily known as the Spider-Man villain the Green Goblin, but has the power, wealth, and ambition to pose a formidable threat beyond your friendly neighborhood web-slinger. Like Lex Luthor, Osborn’s greatest asset (apart from his pumpkin grenades) has always been his shady business prowess.
He built an evil empire on a slick sales pitch. Ryan Gosling has the charm to play Osborn as a snake oil salesman or a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s unlikely that Norman Osborn will be introduced in Thor: Love and Thunder, but hey, we don’t even know that that’s why Gosling took a meeting with Taika Waititi.
1 Beta Ray Bill
MCU fans have been dying to see Taika Waititi’s hilarious, revitalized Thor butt heads with a big-screen version of Beta Ray Bill. He’s an immensely powerful cosmic character and he’s been a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, who Thor was last seen with, so there’s probably an easy way to fit him into the God of Thunder’s fourth solo outing.
He also wielded Thor’s hammer in the comics, so he’d fit right into the worthiness-oriented plot of Love and Thunder. Someone really special would be needed to bring the obscure and criminally underrated Beta Ray Bill to the screen, so Ryan Gosling might be just the man for the job.