Benecio Del Toro is now a superhero
Or maybe a supervillain.
Del Toro is the latest to join Guardians of the Galaxy, the insane movie Marvel is set to start filming in a couple months. Chris Pratt is leading a cast that includes Lee Pace, Dr. Who’s Karen Gillan, Zoe Saldana, Glenn Motherf*cking Close, and John C. Reilly is in talks for a role that’s comparable-ish to Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson. That’s a helluva cast for a movie that prominently features a trigger-happy talking raccoon and a space ent.
The question, though, is who Del Toro will be playing. He’s signed a multi-option deal, but everyone who joins up with Marvel signs a multi-option deal, and while Deadline calls his part a “leading role”, the leads have been filled except for Rocket Raccoon (I know it sounds nuts, and it is, but that’s the part set up to walk away with the whole movie). So Del Toro is either Rocket Raccoon, or he’s got to be playing someone who will cross more into the Avengers franchise, like Thanos, the villain teased in the credits of The Avengers, or Dr. Strange, who will figure into Phase 3.
This is what Marvel does: They either give you half a dozen names—and still are likely to pull the final casting out of their asses at the last minute—and no guarantee of who will be playing what, like Lee Pace pulling from the late stages of hero casting to land the villain role after Pratt came out of nowhere to be the hero, or they’ll give you the name of their newest hire with no clue who they’re playing. It’s frustrating but also impressive; few can make a casting announcement such a big news item, but even just talking to Marvel has become headline-worthy. Some of that is their nature as a juggernaut, but a lot of it is that they know how to milk these reveals for maximum impact.
My money is on Del Toro playing Thanos. He just reads as more the villain type, and I’ve not given up hope that Marvel has Benedict Cumberbatch on the hook for Strange. But watch, he’ll end up being someone totally random and previously undiscussed from the depths of the geek closet, like Adam Warlock. Either way, the people getting involved in Marvel’s most flamboyant project to date have my expectations going through the roof. They just keep raising the bar.
On another note—how many of you read this and thought about Scarlett Johansson?
Attached -- Del Toro in Cannes a couple of weeks ago.