While other studios play catch up with the trend, Marvel’s cinematic universe has grown into a massive, expansive money-making machine. With each new film in the MCU, more classic characters are added to the roster. Given the popularity of the franchise, we are seeing so many great actors joining in on the fun.
However, even as the MCU grows, it's getting smaller in many ways with more characters meeting up on screen. Of course, this is all building to the massive team-up event, Avengers: Infinity War, in which just about every living MCU character will be sharing the screen, leading to some truly exciting potential pairings.
With all these characters coming together and all these great actors sharing the screen, it’s not hard to imagine your dream scenarios. Which two characters would be the coolest to see together? It could be actors we want to see go head-to-head, characters he want to see battle each other, or characters we want to see team-up.
With all the existing MCU characters and the new characters who will soon be making their appearance, it’s hard to narrow it down, but here are the 16 Pairings We Want To See In The MCU!
15 Ego And Stallone’s Character
The popularity of the MCU has grown to a point that where they can recruit legitimate screen icons to join the fun. One such example is Kurt Russell who joins the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Ego the Living Planet-- probably the weirdest character the MCU has used to date.
As if that wasn’t enough, it was then announced that another icon, Sylvester Stallone, would be joining the much-anticipated sequel. It was some pretty exciting casting on its own, but then came the slow realization of what it meant that both these actors were in the same movie; Tango and Cash have joined the MCU!
Russell and Stallone previously starred together in the incredibly '80s and certainly unforgettable buddy cop movie, Tango and Cash. Now, almost 30 years later, they are both in a movie with a talking raccoon. It’s still unclear who Stallone is playing, but it’s been rumored he’ll have a significant role in the MCU going forward.
To see these two actors reunite, even for just a scene would be such a fun move. How could James Gunn could resist such a moment?
14 Luis And T’Challa
While fans are obviously excited to see some of their favorite heroes meeting up for the first time, there are also plenty of memorable characters in the MCU who don’t save the world. One of the most memorable supporting characters from all those films has to be Luis from Ant-Man.
A character who could have been a boring cliché was given so much personality and fun thanks largely to Michael Pena’s scene-stealing performance. He was a blunt, face-talking, and surprisingly cultured thief. He’s also way too optimistic and it would be great to see him bouncing off of a more stoic, silent hero like Black Panther.
T’Challa, aka Black Panther, also stole much of the show in Captain America: Civil War, but for much different reasons than Luis. You didn’t hear him cracking too many jokes as he was often too busy chasing down speeding motorcycles and kicking people in the face.
T’Challa is definitely one of the most serious of the heroes we’ve met and looks like he has no time to put up with anyone’s nonsense. Seeing Luis go on one of his overly-detailed tangents only to be met with an annoyed deadpan from T’Challa would be hilarious.
13 Bucky And Gamora
One thing we hope the MCU tackles in these massive team-up events is small moments of connecting between heroes who would seemingly have very little in common. A great opportunity for that would be between Bucky and Gamora.
Though they are currently galaxies apart, when the Avengers and the Guardians finally come together, these two brainwashed and abused former assassins could find a sympathetic kindred spirit in one another. The MCU’s heroes will meet to take on Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, so perhaps Bucky could help Gamora come to terms with escaping the grasp Thanos has over her. Or maybe Gamora could give Bucky some reassuring words about how you can leave behind the things you were forced to do in the past and become a hero.
There are so many ways this connection could be made and, while it doesn’t have to be a big part of the movie, it would be a good character moment in the midst of all the action. As fun it is to see heroes saving the world, seeing them share quiet moments together can be pretty cool too.
12 Vision And Drax
Part of the fun of seeing all these characters come together is to see interesting pairings that seem out of this world.
It’s hard to say what would make it so entertaining to watch these two interact, but we could watch a whole movie about it. Maybe it’s because Vision and Drax are both such unique personalities that they seem both compatible and yet combative at the same time. We could easily see them being completely annoyed with one another. Drax would hate Vision’s rational, even-tempered persona while Vision would likely find Drax to be loud and crass. On the other hand, they both have a sort of naïve, straight-forward manner about them that could just click.
There might be other characters who may be more explosive on screen together, but having such a short-tempered maniac paired with a calculating machine could make for some hilarious moments. If only Vision could convince Drax to wear one of those fancy sweaters.
11 Grandmaster And Sam Neill’s Character
As exciting as it is that a Tango and Cash reunion might be happening within the MCU, that’s nothing compared to what Thor: Ragnarok might be offering. While the online world was blown away by the recent trailer for the movie, many forgot that the third Thor film could feature the cinematic reunion of Dr. Allan Grant and Dr. Ian Malcolm!
That’s right, Thor: Ragnarok has been able to achieve what no Jurassic Park sequel has, getting Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum in the same movie. While both actors have gone on to have great careers, they are iconic in their Jurassic Park roles.
As seen in the trailer, Goldblum plays The Grandmaster, overseer of the gladiatorial games Thor and Hulk are forced into. Director Taika Waititi also confirmed that he has brought his Hunt for the Wilderpeople star, Neill, to join in the madness. While both roles probably won’t be huge, and Neill’s will likely only be a cameo, it’s hard to imagine the film would pass up the opportunity to reunite these guys-- and maybe even make a quick dino reference. Though that might be asking too much.
10 Vulture And Iron Man
It’s a real testament to the talent the MCU brings to their movies that in a movie about Spider-Man one of the most anticipated pairings doesn’t involve Spider-Man at all.
Fans were pretty excited when it was announced that Robert Downey Jr. would return as Tony Stark in Spider-Man’s first solo film in the MCU, Spider-Man: Homecoming. Perhaps even more exciting was the news that Michael Keaton would be playing the villainous Vulture, aka Adrian Toomes, in the film. Having an iconic Batman actor joining the MCU is so cool, but the real treat comes at the possibility of seeing Keaton and Downey Jr. face off in the film.
Sure, an aerial battle between Iron Man and Vulture would be cool, but even better would be a scene in which the two great actors get to have some fun with the costumes off. These two are such great actors and they’ve never shared the screen together-- plus the movie seems to be setting some personal conflict between their characters. Watching them coming face-to-face, trying to one-up the other would be enough action by itself.
9 The Collector And Thanos
Part of the fun of seeing these two characters meeting up is the actors under all the craziness of those characters, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro. These are two stellar actors with such impressive bodies of work behind them and who have shared the screen several times before. Chances are they never imagined they be sharing the screen like this. While they’ve given some great dramatic performances over the years, sometimes it’s fun to watch serious actors have a ball with really out-there roles.
We’ve yet to see much of what Brolin will be bringing to the role of Thanos, but Del Toro seemed to relish his over-the-top role in Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s hard to say if these two would team-up or if Thanos would just wipe out The Collector and take the stone, but whichever way it goes, it’s bound to be fun.
8 Doctor Strange And Scarlet Witch
While Doctor Strange is often credited with introducing magic into the MCU, you could argue that Scarlet Witch deserves a a hat tip. Yes, she’s technically an enhanced person (MCU talk for "mutant") but her powers certainly share a connection with mysticism.
Without having any confirmation, it’s a pretty safe bet that these two will eventually share the screen somehow. Given that they are the only heroes with their types of powers, you’d have to assume they would have a lot to talk about. Captain America: Civil War set up the idea that Scarlet Witch is still learning to control her powers so maybe Doctor Strange could serve as a mentor of sorts to her, helping her realize her true potential. We might even see Scarlet Witch join Doctor Strange in his own solo films.
Really, the most exciting part of these two meeting up would be seeing them fighting side-by-side. You can almost picture it like a “splash page” from the comic, the two sorcerers casting spells together and fighting back against Thanos’ goons. That would make quite a few fans cheer.
7 Black Widow And Valkyrie
For all the success the MCU has had, they are not above criticism. One issue that has yet to be addressed in any meaningful way is the lack of female heroes. It really doesn’t make much sense that Black Widow, one of the most popular members of The Avengers, still doesn’t have a solo film, especially given that Scarlett Johansson is a bonafide box office star (Ghost in the Shell notwithstanding).
While we hope for a Black Widow film and wait for the upcoming Captain Marvel film, hopefully the series will take opportunities to represent their female characters better. One promising new addition to the universe is Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie. We've been promised she'll be depicted as an equal to Thor, and it's even been rumored she could have a very big role in the MCU going forward.
Despite having several other prominent female characters, the MCU hasn't allowed any of them to share a scene in any meaningful way. Being able to see two heroes who hold their own in the male-dominated world together, be it simply sharing a conversation or kicking butt together would be a big step in the right direction.
6 Ant-Man And Star Lord
One of the things that separates MCU movies from the competition is their humor. While the films manage to pack in fun, exciting action sequences, they also have great moments of comedy. Part of what makes them so funny is the actors they use. Two of the funniest actors in the MCU are deifnitely Chris Pratt and Paul Rudd.
Audiences have known these two to be hilarious in other projects (they even appeared on the same sitcom, Parks and Recreation), and Marvel was wise enough to let them bring some of their own brand of comedy to their respective superhero roles. Both men can pull off being cool, tough guys, but they also aren’t afraid to make fools of themselves. Tony Stark’s humor comes from his cocky one-liners but Pratt and Rudd are more lovable goofs.
It’s hard to say if the two actors will get a chance to come together, but Marvel should certainly take advantage of having two such gifted comedy actors on the roster. You just know they would have fantastic chemistry together and could produce some of the funniest moments in the movie.
5 Hank Pym And Tony Stark
Though they fight on the same side, sometimes it’s interesting to see the uneasy, even tense relationships between heroes on the same team. The first Avengers film very much dealt with the dysfunctional team dynamic, and Captain America: Civil War emphasized the different ideals within the team. Seeing the good guys butt heads can be fun and we’re sure to see some tension if Hank Pym and Tony Stark ever meet.
In Ant-Man, it is established that Pym’s working relationship with Howard Stark didn’t end amicably and he even went so far as to tell Scott Lang he doesn’t trust the Starks. We could see the two forced into a working relationship together, which would surely result in some great moments. They could remain antagonistic towards each other, or perhaps they would bond over a shared passion for science, like Stark and Banner did.
Michael Douglas hasn’t had much to do as Pym except spout exposition, so sharing a scene with a great scene partner like Robert Downey Jr. would give them both a chance to have some fun.
4 Groot And Hulk
Part of the fun of The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy finally coming together is the unpredictability of their relationship. We can safely assume that before the credits roll, the two groups of heroes will be joining forces, but it’s not crazy to think they’ll come to blows at some point.
If that does happen, one battle fans would be drooling over is surely Groot vs. Hulk. Vin Diesel has hinted that this could possibly happen somewhere down the line and you have to think Marvel would jump at the chance to pit these two destructive giants against each other. We can just picture them roaring as they trade blows and throw each other around. And once they settle their differences, how amazing would it be to see them taking on an army of baddies together?
Of course, by the time they meet-up, Groot still might not have grown to full size. It would almost be even more entertaining to see Hulk and Baby Groot wreaking havoc together.
3 Rocket And Iron Man
Although The Avengers have faced some weird stuff in their days, it’s safe to say even they will be a little thrown off when they finally meet the Guardians of the Galaxy. And we could finally get the answer to the question that has plagued fans for years now; what will Tony Stark make of Rocket Raccoon?
Obviously, Rocket is a pretty unique character and it will take many other characters a while to wrap their heads around the concept of a gun-wielding talking raccoon. Stark is a pretty big personality in his own right, so not only is his reaction to this creature sure to be priceless, they’ll no doubt have some great interactions with each other.
Stark can be a pretty combative personality and Rocket doesn’t seem to like anyone except Groot very much. While it’s possible they could be fast friends, it’s more likely they’ll really get on each other’s nerves-- and that’s what we’re hoping for. Imagine the constant bickering and arguing between this billionaire inventor and an angry raccoon. It would be hilariously surreal.
2 Captain America And Captain Marvel
Tony Stark may have been the hero to establish the MCU, but over the years, Steve Rogers has very much become the heart of the franchise. Alas, he can’t stick around forever. Some have speculated that Cap would meet his end battling Thanos. The Avengers will need a new leader soon, and who better to take up the position than a fellow captain?
Rumors say that Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel will make her debut in Avengers: Infinity War and she’s likely to become a very integral part of the universe very quickly. Having Captain America be the one to welcome her to the team would be a great way of establishing her role.
Chris Evans has really grown into the role of Steve Rogers, creating a truly iconic role. Seeing him paired with an actor of Larson's caliber could make for some of the most powerful and moving scenes in a Marvel film.
1 Any Avenger And Any Defender
Okay, now we’re really dreaming. Everyone at Marvel will tell you that the odds of the TV shows crossing over to the movies anytime soon is virtually zero. And yet, we can still hope, can’t we?
Sure, there are difficulties with incorporating The Defenders into the movie world, like the drastic differences in tone and subject matter, but why make these worlds connected if you’re not going to do anything with them? We get little references here and there, but just hearing Luke Cage or Daredevil talking about “The Incident” isn’t as thrilling as it was the first time.
Spider-Man operates in New York, but we can’t get a little appearance from one of the Defenders? Even a cameo, no more than a few seconds long, would give fans reason to cheer. The movies can pretend Iron Fist doesn’t exist if that makes it easier, but let one of the street level heroes appear!
We’re not likely to get our wish in Phase 3 of the MCU, but we have to see the team-up eventually-- right?!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 arrives in theaters May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.