After briefly contemplating playing Khan for JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, Benicio Del Toro will finally scratch his sci-fi itch by joining the cast of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy in “a lead role.” Deadline reports that Del Toro will be “playing a character that is built to be part of future Marvel films, which means he has signed a deal with options that put him into multiple movies.”
Del Toro joins an impressively eclectic cast including Chris Pratt (confirmed as team leader Peter Quill, aka Starlord), Zoe Saldana (unconfirmed “officially” as team member Gamora), Michael Rooker (confirmed as past Guardians‘ co-founder Yondu), Dave Bautista (confirmed as team member Drax the Destroyer), Lee Pace (confirmed, but for an unknown role that might be villainous but might also be secretly heroic), Glenn Close (confirmed, potentially, as a member of Marvel’s NOVA Corps), and John C.Reilly (unconfirmed, but please oh please put John C. Reilly in a James Gunn-directed Marvel movie).
There’s no indication of just what “lead role” Del Toro has signed on to play, but given what we know of the casting on Guardians so far it’s not impossible to make some rampantly unfounded (un)educated guesses. Del Toro’s distinctive drawl could be put to excellent use as the voice of Rocket Raccoon, for instance, although fan interest in the voice of that particular CGI critter makes it seem likely that Marvel will openly trumpet that particular bit of casting.
Perhaps more likely is the idea of Del Toro as Thanos, aka That Creepy Smiling Purple Guy Your Friends Were Confused By At The End of The Avengers. In his first brief appearance Thanos was portrayed by relatively unknown actor Damion Poitier, but despite their notoriously penny-pinching approach there is absolutely no way that Marvel will allow him to continue to play the character. Thanos will need a Titan* of an actor to convey his eerie/ooky-spooky gravitas and stately menace, and Del Toro is the sort of actor who could conceivably make the character into someone genuinely ominous.
Let the wild speculation commence. Who do you think Del Toro is playing in Guardians of the Galaxy? And if he is indeed revealed to be playing Thanos will you be excited by the prospect or, like, totally let down?
MMorse is a comforting fiction. You can track him stalkerishly on Twitter at @M_Morse