While supporting his new film, Trumbo, in which he plays the titular blacklisted screenwriter, Bryan Cranston voiced an interest in an upcoming project, namely working with Marvel on a future work. Speaking with the UK’s Metro, Cranston said that he’d like to play a “nasty” villain in a “Marvel classic,” something presumably a bit more theatrical than his famed (saying it lightly) anti-hero in Breaking Bad. Frankly, it’s a great idea, even more so considering that Cranston said that he would like the nefarious character to be an original creation, something he developed for a specific project with a writer and director.
To see Cranston in an original work, or even a more imaginative retelling of an existing Marvel character, would be a tremendous delight, considering how versatile and riveting the longtime thespian has proven to be over the years. It’s not an entirely plausible idea however, as time has proven that on both sides of the aisles on comic adaptations, the written mythology in the comics themselves is not to be toyed with. There have been original takes on established characters and all, but the outcome has almost exclusively favored narrative parameters and relationships already clearly defined in the span of the universe they exist in. As optimistic as I like to consider myself, there’s little chance that any Marvel film will allow a writer or director to stray all that far from the mythology that’s been set up in the comic books, which is a real shame.
That being said, there are at least two characters that Cranston could be great at, and there is precedence in comic-book mythology for this: an older Joker or Two-Face. There have been numerous rumblings about attempts at adapting Frank Miller and Klaus Janson‘s masterful “The Dark Knight Returns” to the screen, in which a 55-year-old Bruce Wayne is forced back into battle with Joker, Two-Face, and a gang called The Mutants, with a female Robin at his side. With the right director, such a film could attract a seriously scary villain, in contrast to whatever the hell Jared Leto‘s up to, and Cranston would make for a sharp choice for either the murderous madman or the grisly, scarred criminal mastermind. Heck, for that matter, he’d make for a pretty great older Bruce Wayne too.