If reports are to be believed, Peter Dinklage might be jumping ship from Fox’s X-Men movie universe (where he played Bolivar Trask, creator of the robotic Sentinels) to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe in time to join the cast of Avengers: Infinity War, where he’ll play an Officially Unknown Mystery Character™.
The Game of Thrones actor’s casting isn’t a done deal—he’s just “in early talks” for now—but it got us thinking: Hey, that Dinklage guy is pretty great, who else would we like to see in the MCU? Infinity War is already rumored to feature the Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man in addition to the eponymous Avengers, is there anyone else who could even show up after that? Well, yes. Quite a few characters, actually.
Avengers: Infinity War is strongly rumored to draw on the 1991 comic book The Infinity Gauntlet for its storyline. That makes sense; that series tells the tale of what happens when Thanos gets his hands on all of the Infinity Gems, which happen to be the objects the movie Thanos has been after since 2012’s Avengers flick. (Albeit renamed as “Infinity Stones,” because gems… aren’t cinematic enough?) If that’s the case, there are some very important players from that story still missing from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, just to help Marvel out, because there’s no way anyone there has already planned for this, it seemed polite to identify those particular characters, and then come up with some casting suggestions. You know, just in case. We’re here to help.
Who? A literal space messiah, Adam Warlock is a genetically-engineered perfect human who happens to have super powers, and died for the sins of an alternate Earth before returning to life to spread a gospel of 1970s cosmic-ness to an unsuspecting readership.
Why They Need To Be In The Movie: Warlock is, in his comic book incarnation, essentially Thanos’s equal and opposite number, as dedicated to preserving life as Thanos is to his oddly romanticized nihilism. More often than not, it’s Warlock who undoes Thanos’s schemes—a role so important that he even returned to life a second time in The Infinity Gauntlet to make sure it happened.
Who Should Play Them: Only Matthew McConaughey could pull off the mix of self-importance and stoner style that defines Adam Warlock.
Pip the Troll
Who? Adam Warlock’s curmudgeonly, slovenly sidekick. Pip is both comic relief and necessary reminder of the importance of the base needs of humanity.
Why They Need To Be In The Movie: On a basic narrative level, it’s possible to argue a case against Pip showing up in Avengers: Infinity War: There are already going to be far too many characters, and even if the story is a direct Infinity Gauntlet adaptation, Pip doesn’t really add that much to the plot in that one. But Pip brings the same potential for bawdy humor and grumpy everyman logic to the proceedings that Rocket does to Guardians of the Galaxy, and who doesn’t want that? Especially in a movie that could otherwise come across as overly serious. (Let’s be real; Captain America: Civil War could’ve used a few more characters willing to lighten the mood.)
Who Should Play Them: There is no way that this isn’t the ideal role for Peter Dinklage. Even if it’s not the role he’s in talks with Marvel about right now, this is the role he was born to play. (All due respect to Tyrion Lannister, of course.)
Who? It’s death. You know. Death. Alright, fine; it’s a personification of the abstract concept of Death, which Thanos is in love with. The character is traditionally portrayed as a skeleton in a cloak that weirdly and unnecessarily has a shapely female silhouette. (Because uh… comics, I guess?)
Why They Need To Be In The Movie: Thanos is, at least as far as his comic book incarnation, all about Death. He’s in love with the concept, so much so that the majority of his attempts to gain power should be viewed as an attempt to win the favor of Death. Each decision he makes that’ll lead to trouble, each person he kills, is him trying to seem cool in the eyes of Death. Stripping the character of that motivation for the movies might mean that parents get to avoid explaining that whole deal to their kids, but it also raises the question, just what would movie Thanos be driven by instead?
Who Should Play Them: Obviously, the character will end up being a motion captured CGI skeleton, but what actor will bring that mo-cap bonehead to life? If Josh Brolin is the man behind Thanos, let’s bring in one of his Hail, Caesar! actors for Death: Frances McDormand would kill, right? No pun intended. (OK, pun intended.)
Who? Mephisto is one of the surprisingly numerous Satan stand-ins in Marvel’s hellacious mythology.
Why They Need To Be In The Movie: In The Infinity Gauntlet, Mephisto plays a very particular role at Thanos’s side: a confidant, but one who is clearly—to all but Thanos—manipulating his “master” for his own reasons. He wants the Infinity Gauntlet for himself—but he’s hardly the only one in the story for whom that’s true.
Who Should Play Them: It’s a shame that Michael Keaton has signed up for Spider-Man: Homecoming, because he would have made a wonderfully charming, yet nauseating Prince of Lies. Can anyone get Bill Murray’s number and see if he’s be willing to consider the role?