5 Marvel Characters We'd Love To See Nicolas Cage Play

Nicolas Cage has had a long and strange career, establishing himself as a singular talent who gives everything he has in every role. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand, it becomes more and more difficult to find big name actors who haven't played some sort of part in it. Cage's name has come up more than once — it's just a matter of who he should play. 

While he may be known for a certain over-the-top style of acting, the star has given plenty of nuanced performances over the years as well. In fact, there are so many Nicolas Cage memes floating around that it's sometimes easy to forget he's actually a fantastic actor. Cage is remembered fondly for roles in movies like "Valley Girl" and "Raising Arizona," but has proven his immense range with films such as "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Adaptation." Let's also not forget Cage's excellent performance in "Kick Ass" or his more recent turn in "Mandy," which many saw as a return to form for the actor. He has released a string of movies since, most recently "Pig," which showed yet another, more subdued side of him.

So, yes. It's time for a Marvel role.

I know what you're thinking: didn't Nicolas Cage already play a Marvel character? Yes, Cage portrayed Johnny Blaze in "Ghost Rider" in 2007 and reprised the role in its 2011 sequel. However, Marvel movies have come quite a long way since those less-than-spectacular films were released. Cage is a huge comic fan himself and he deserves to be reborn as a different character in the MCU. After all, he was great as Spider-Man Noir in "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." Plus, remember when Chris Evans was best known as the Human Torch in some pretty awful "Fantastic Four" films?

If Cage was to enter the MCU, he'd certainly need the perfect role. What parts would best suit the actor? Let's discuss!


We may not have been introduced to Mephisto in "WandaVision" like many fans had hoped, but it seems safe to say that Marvel's version of the devil will eventually have his MCU debut. Created by Stan Lee and John Buscema, Mephisto made his first proper appearance in "Silver Surfer" #3 in 1968. Since then, he has been a thorn in the side of pretty much every Marvel hero. A version of the character has been seen on the big screen in both "Ghost Rider" movies as Mephistopheles, first played by the late Peter Fonda and then by Ciarán Hinds, but he mostly appeared as human.

Cage could definitely play up Mephisto's many demonic qualities. The character is anything but subtle and, like some of the best villains, very much loves the sound of his own voice — as you would expect, he is quite a smooth talker. There is a certain gravitas needed to play the Lord of Hell that Cage certainly has. Whether the character has his trademark devilish appearance or is simply decked out in the fanciest of red suits, Cage could turn up both the charm and the smarm needed to manipulate events in the MCU.

The Owl

Leland Owlsley was introduced in "Daredevil" #3 in 1964. He was created by Stan Lee and Joe Orlando. Owlsley did appear on Netflix's "Daredevil," played by Bob Gunton. However, he was killed off without actually becoming the Owl. He did have a son named Lee and it seems like the plan was to have him become the Owl comic fans are familiar with. That never wound up happening and though the MCU isn't finished with Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin and Charlie Cox's Daredevil, it's unclear how much of the largely-ignored Netflix shows will be considered canon moving forward. If Daredevil is indeed returning, why not bring in one of his oldest foes?

I don't know about you, but not only can I picture Cage with the Owl's signature hairdo, I can also clearly see him pulling off the crime lord's theatrical demeanor. The Owl can be almost feral at times and has a manic energy that Cage could easily capture. He's over-the-top, but can also be quite intimidating, particularly after Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev redefined the character in their incredible Daredevil run in the early aughts.

Norman Osborn

An actor needs real depth to play Norman Osborn, because they'll also be portraying the Green Goblin. It's akin to playing someone with a split personality and you have to be able to channel both. One of Spidey's greatest foes, Green Goblin was created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee. He first appeared in "Amazing Spider-Man" #14 in 1964. Willem Dafoe famously played Osborn in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (a role he recently reprised in "Spider-Man: No Way Home") and Chris Cooper portrayed him in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."

Dafoe did such an incredible job that it's difficult to envision anyone else in the role. It would need to be someone who could bring the same level of intensity, while still making the part their own. Cage could definitely do both of those things. Norman is far more than a crazed masked villain: he's also a genius that has placed himself in immensely powerful positions within the Marvel Universe at various points. There is such a dichotomy within Norman and Cage would probably have a great time playing with that.

The Mad Thinker

A lesser-known character than those mentioned above, the Mad Thinker is often an antagonist of the Fantastic Four. Sometimes referred to just as the Thinker, he was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. The villain first appeared in "Fantastic Four" #15 in 1963. The Mad Thinker specializes in robotics, but he can also predict the future, thanks to his math skills and complex machinery, which would now probably just be called computers. Known only by the name Julius, his past is still very much a mystery, giving writers plenty of freedom to pen a cinematic backstory for him.

We probably won't find the Fantastic Four in the MCU for a few more years, but Cage would be brilliant as this unhinged adversary of Reed Richards. Can't you just see the actor playing a mad scientist? I certainly can. Plus, the Mad Thinker's greatest creation is the fabulously titled Awesome Android, which is capable of mimicking its opponents' powers. Believe it or not, Awesome Andy has a redemption arc in the comics and also major connections to She-Hulk — who is soon to get her own Disney+ show.

Kraven the Hunter

Sergei Kravinoff dates back to "Amazing Spider-Man" #15 in 1964, where he was created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee. One of the founding members of the Sinister Six, Kraven is an over-confident big game hunter who seems to think the only way to prove he's the best is to bag himself a Spider-Man.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson has signed on to portray Kraven in the Sony film, but with the Marvel multiverse cracked wide open, the possibilities are endless. Plus, who knows if Sony's Spider-Man Universe will ever truly cross over with the MCU? Hear me out though, because I'm talking "Kraven's Last Hunt," in which Kraven realizes he's getting too old for this stuff and that the only way to keep his honor intact is to defeat Spider-Man once and for all. Why not have Cage play the aging hunter as he attempts this epic feat? The actor would probably have a whole lot of fun hamming it up as Kraven, who is actually more complex than you might think. Admittedly, the Russian accent might give Cage some trouble (maybe in a good way?), but I can definitely imagine him in Kraven's trademark getup.

Some of these might sound like wild ideas, but one has to admit that such things are something Nicolas Cage is uniquely suited for.