There have been some unusual superhero movie castings over the years, but now, Shaquille O’Neal is campaigning for a role in an upcoming Avengers film.
Widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time, Shaq is no stranger to the silver screen. Appearing as a boombox-trapped genie in Kazaam, O’Neal is better known for portraying protagonist John Henry Irons in 1997’s Steel and being one of the first African American superheroes in cinema. Although the movie was panned by critics, it looks like Shaq wants another shot at playing a comic book hero.
While the campaign may just be a bit of fun, EW reports that the 45-year-old has a certain member of the current Avengers roster in mind to go head-to-head with:
“I would love to be in one of the Avengers movies. I would like to kick Robert Downey Jr.’s ass.”
Shaq certainly has the muscles to take on RDJ’s Iron Man, but could the idea really go any further than just a joke? With Kevin Feige promising that he has another 20 movies planned for the MCU, there is definitely room for someone of Shaq’s stature to find a suitable role. Looking at last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, there were notable cameos from big stars like Sylvester Stallone, Ving Rhames, and Miley Cyrus, proving that literally anyone can get their foot in the door with the MCU.
Sure, Steel may not have been the best adaptation of a DC comic book to grave our screens, but alongside the likes of Ben Affleck and Ryan Reynolds, Shaq could be set for a redemptive return to the world of superhero movies. While it’s unlikely that he would find a part in the upcoming Avengers 4, that isn’t to say that Shaq wouldn’t fit in nicely somewhere down the line. Alongside the likes of Mark Ruffalo’s Incredible Hulk, Dave Bautista’s Drax the Destroyer, and Chris Hemsworth’s muscular Thor, he could provide just the kind of brute force that the MCU is famous for.
As the MCU heads into Phase 4 after Avengers 4 in 2019, there are plenty of projects on the horizon. Can anyone imagine Shaq as the perfect Ben Grimm/The Thing in an impending reboot of the Fantastic Four? While his addition to the MCU may seem like an out-there casting, many said the same thing before Bautista flexed his muscles in Guardians of the Galaxy. Also, let’s not forget that Dwayne Johnson put his sporting days behind him to become one of the biggest names in Hollywood. O’Neal could be a good fit for the MCU if the situation was right.
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