Sporting Legend Shaquille O’Neal Lobbies For Avengers Role Opposite Robert Downey Jr.


Forget Thanos and the so-called Black Order; if the stars align, Iron Man’s next enemy will come in the form of Shaquille O’Neal, basketball Hall of Famer and all-around NBA legend.

Chatting to Entertainment Weekly, the sporting icon revealed his desire to star in an Avengers film, where he’d very much like to “kick Robert Downey Jr.’s ass.” His words, not ours.

Of course, long before Marvel launched its cinematic universe and Warner Bros. began composing the DC Extended Universe, Shaq starred in Steel, a 1997 superhero flick that ultimately bombed with critics. It still drew praise for its big-screen portrayal of a black superhero, though Mr. O’Neal clearly still has a taste for costumed crusaders. And RDJ, in particular.

“I would love to be in one of the Avengers movies. I would like to kick Robert Downey Jr.’s ass,” he said.

We can see it now: Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars starring Shaquille O’Neal and a whole host of famous X-Men. The latter is nigh on certain following the historic Disney-Fox merger – even if it takes another two-to-three years to fully consummate. However, when it comes to Shaq’s potential involvement in the MCU, we wouldn’t hold our breath.

Marvel Studios isn’t one to entertain celebrity cameos, as they often undermine the actual story. And let’s face it, Shaquille O’Neal is one of the biggest sports stars on the planet, so we’ll chalk this up as wishful thinking. Sorry, Shaq!

In a related news, yesterday brought forth a refresher on Infinity War‘s official, deadly synopsis:

An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must willing to sacrifice it all in an attempt to defeat the power of Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Anthony and Joe Russo direct the film, which is produced by Kevin Feige. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, and Stan Lee are executive producers. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay.

Destiny arrives sans Shaquille O’Neal on May 4th, and all signs point to Avengers: Infinity War becoming one of, if not the biggest comic book movies ever made. Stay tuned for more.