Which Marvel characters could Giancarlo Esposito bring to the MCU?

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Image via AMC

Marvel fans have spoken: they want Giancarlo Esposito in the MCU. But which characters could he play? 

Few actors can match the underscored, suppressed rage hiding behind a calm demeanor as well as Giancarlo Esposito. In every line he delivers, there is unsaid malice and scheming behind the flat, emotionless expression. He’s the consummate intellectual villain; physically, he is no match for his adversaries, but underneath the unassuming exterior, there is a master manipulator and strategist at work. Much like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Professor Moriarty, Esposito brings to life the chess player who always manages to stay five moves ahead of the competition. 

The son of an Italian carpenter and an Alabama opera singer, Esposito began his acting career in the 1970s. It wasn’t until Breaking Bad that he was thrust into the spotlight with his scene-stealing portrayal of chicken-restauranteur-turned-crime-lord Gus Fring. His scenes with the equally amazing Bryan Cranston were simply magical. Esposito was so great in that role that he convinced the world he wasn’t just playing Gustavo “Gus” Fring, but rather he was Gus Fring.

These days, Esposito has ventured into the science-fiction realm, first as Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian before taking his talents to The Boys as the Vaught corporate mastermind, Stan Edgar. While we didn’t see much of him in season three, rest assured that Mr. Edgar is hatching a scheme for season four.

Of course, you can’t be a standout in a comic adaptation without being in the Marvel fan conversations. That brings us to today’s list as we dream cast Esposito in the MCU. The question is, where would he best fit? Let’s explore some options.

Doctor Doom

Image via Marvel Comics

Of all the Marvel roles still available, none are fan cast as often as Doctor Doom. The dictator of the fictional Latveria has captured the imaginations of MCU enthusiasts everywhere, and the name that dominates the conversation is Giancarlo Esposito. In the comics, Doom is a no-nonsense megalomaniac and certified genius who has mastered both science and magic. While the classic ‘60s comics made him more grandiose, Esposito could give Doom a more grounded, realistic flare. 

Professor X

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When you are as great at portraying villains as Esposito, fans naturally think of him in villainous roles. However, he could make for a wonderful Charles Xavier. Granted, there’s no replacing Patrick Stewart in the role, but Esposito could give the MCU an entirely different approach to Marvel’s most powerful psychic. Traditionally, Professor X has been portrayed as White. However, Stan Lee himself had said that the character was inspired by Civil Rights champion Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and casting Esposito in the role would bring Xavier’s story full circle to his real-world counterpart.

Magneto

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Perhaps the reason Magneto is such a popular villain is that his rage is understandable. His methods may be harsh and his rhetoric callous, but Magneto has a reason for his actions. In fact, he’s less a true villain and more an antagonist. A survivor of Nazi Germany and the Third Reich’s death camps, Magneto believes he is protecting mutants from extermination by use of force. It puts him at odds with Charles Xavier, who utilizes a more peaceful philosophy of human-mutant equality. Does that sound familiar? It should, considering Lee based Magneto at least in part on Malcolm X as the antithesis to the MLK-inspired Professor X. If Magneto is modernized for the MCU, Esposito could embody the “by any means necessary” approach to mutant freedom.

Silver Surfer

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He may not have the cliché superhero bodybuilder physique we’ve been accustomed to, but for this role, he wouldn’t need it. The Silver Surfer, aka Norrin Radd, is not human. In the comics, he’s drawn with the standard Greek god build, but he is coated in a glistening metal alloy that shields him from cosmic radiation. Painting someone silver would look exactly like that — a guy painted silver. No doubt when the Surfer arrives in the MCU, he will be all or mostly CGI with qualities of the actor in the motion-cap suit. That is a role Esposito would own. Surfer typically has a subdued personality, and Esposito doing the voice work would be perfect.

Mister Sinister

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With Professor X having made a glorified cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Ms. Marvel confirmed as an official MCU mutant, it should turn up the heat on those Mister Sinister rumors. A gifted scientist from Victorian England, Nathaniel Essex has been given a healthy dose of personality and flamboyance in the modern comics. It has quickly made him a fan-favorite villain, though he retains his menacing undertones. This could be the perfect role for Esposito to give audiences his patented intellectual evil while also giving him an opportunity to show his range as an actor.

M.O.D.O.K.

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The Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing has been rumored for the MCU for a few years now. The last time we saw the giant hovering head, he was voiced by Patton Oswalt in the stop-motion animated series for Hulu, M.O.D.O.K. Despite the show’s clever approach to one of the oddest characters in Marvel Comics, it lasted only one season. Some theorists have wondered if we will see a more sinister M.O.D.O.K. in live action. If that is the case, Giancarlo Esposito could provide just the perfect amount of menace, which the actor has made into an artform. 

High Evolutionary

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The hot gossip is that Peacemaker star Chukwudi Iwuji has been cast as the High Evolutionary for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Since the full cast for GOTG3 is still under wraps, that leaves this role open to theories. An even better choice than Iwuji could be Esposito. This is a character who doesn’t need to use brute strength to reach his goals due to his vast intellect and that is just the type of character Esposito is famous for portraying.

Galactus

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Minus the giant purple helmet, Esposito could pull off the all-powerful Devourer of Worlds with more than a little help from proper CGI. Here’s a thought: a Galactus origin film that follows him from his days as the scientist and explorer Galan as he finds himself the last survivor of a universe that preceded the Big Bang. The journey could lead him across the ancient cosmos, encountering worlds and characters yet to be seen in the MCU. As Galan becomes the cosmic god Galactus, Esposito could inject a dose of humanity and sympathy to the role, much as Josh Brolin did for Thanos.