It may still be a bit hard to believe, but in today's film industry the most sure-fire way for a young, good-looking actor to find blockbuster success is to dress up in spandex and pretend to be a superhero. Nobody knows this better than Marvel, and with The Avengers in the bag and 'Phase Two' of the Marvel film universe set to take comic book fans into outer space, the casting short-lists and auditions are sure to begin any day now.
Rather than waiting to be called upon, Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights, Hart of Dixie) is voicing his wish to play Nova in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. The interstellar cop may not be one of the confirmed members of the James Gunn-helmed film, but Porter believes he has the knowledge of the character that's needed to do the role justice.
There's a good chance that Scott Porter's name will be familiar to those who followed the pre-Avengers days of Marvel movie production, since he was on the short-list of actors vying for the role of Captain America back in 2010, as well as the titular role in the stalled production of DC's Flash film. Chris Evans eventually swooped in, and the rest is history, but that hasn't lessened Porter's willingness to bring a beloved hero to life on film.
Speaking with MTV, Porter touched upon his work within the Marvel universe so far, despite missing the opportunity to wield Captain America's shield on celluloid. He's since voiced the iconic X-Men leader Cyclops in two TV series (Wolverine, X-Men), and a character in last year's X-Men: Destiny video game. The pursuit of superheroes in any form isn't accidental, according to Porter, but the sign of a life spent steeped in comic books:
"As far as superheroes go, I'm the voice of Cyclops in a couple different projects, which was very cool. But I still would love to play a superhero in live action. Marvel just announced that they're going to do 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' which is another property that I love and that I read growing up, and I'd love to play Nova. I think any kid who gets into the acting business, I think they have a couple of things that they always want to do. For me it was: play a war hero, play an athlete, which I got to do, die a horrible death in a horror movie, which I've gotten to do, and then be a superhero. So I've marked two things off the list, and am working at the others.
"Gunn is a unique choice. But I think that he could be a really great shepherd for that property. I think 'Guardians' is going to be a lot of fun I think it's going to be really cool. I thought the next thing that I would try and go after would probably be 'Heroes For Hire,' but it looks like 'Guardians' is around, so..."
If those comments sound like they're coming from someone who knows their comic books, that's no coincidence. When his fanboy knowledge was challenged online, Porter took to Twitter to reply to his critics via CBM's Josh Wilding, confirming to the world that his knowledge of Guardians went farther back than most:
"@Josh_Wilding Also Tell them I read GoTG in the days of Yondu. I became a fan of Nova's in #NewWarriors/#KingsofPain. I loved #Annihilation.
"@Josh_Wilding Oh. And last thing. I know that Nova isn't a current Guardian. Who cares. Galactic Marvel movie with no Nova? He makes sense."
The specific story arcs mentioned by Porter stretch all the way back to the earliest days of the cross-species team, as well as the 1990 series which introduced teenage Richard Rider as a human member of the interstellar Nova Corps (inspired by Stan Lee's student-turned-hero Peter Parker). That kind of familiarity may come as a surprise to those who still see Porter as Friday Night Lights' wheelchair-bound former quarterback, Jason Street, but having had the opportunity to talk comics with Porter in person at E3 2011 while promoting X-Men: Destiny, his credentials are not in question. The guy knows his stuff.
While Nova has yet to be confirmed for Guardians, we're just as certain that there is a role for the space cop, since Nova is one character we've expected Marvel to introduce with Phase Two since before Guardians was announced. The human inductee into a galactic police force may not have the name recognition for his own film - and Star-Lord's role within Guardians already bears a strong enough resemblance to Green Lantern to raise eyebrows - so introducing the character within a larger team would be a wise move. Considering Porter has also done some of his best work as part of an ensemble cast, it could be the opportunity he'd need to prove his ability to helm a Nova film himself. If nothing else, entrusting a well-liked hero to an actor familiar with over two decades of backstory is a move fans could get behind.
Strong, human characters for audiences to relate to might also be a smart addition for Guardians, considering word of the "twisted" take James Gunn is planning for the film. That's on top of the main villain Thanos, who is sure to bring some seriously cosmic and less-grounded story along with him.
Do you think Nova is worthy of his own film, or is an introduction with Guardians the wise move? Has Porter's argument convinced you he should be considered for the role? If not, who should be? Share your thoughts in the comments.
The full Marvel 'Phase Two' release schedule is as follows: Iron Man 3 hits theaters on May 3rd, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8th, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st, 2014, and The Avengers 2 on May 1st, 2015.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.