While most studios who make big blockbusters seem to pick from the same of-the-moment list of actors when casting their tentpole releases, Marvel Studios has set themselves apart by thinking outside the box a bit. They cast an actor many thought was a has-been as Iron Man, one who was mostly known for wisecracking as the stoic Captain America, and one who nobody had ever really heard of as Thor—and so far all the gambles have paid off.
Perhaps not coincidentally, their next big property, Guardians of the Galaxy, seems to be the epitome of outside the box thinking. The film is adapting one of Marvel’s more obscure hero titles, it’s going to be populated largely by strange alien creatures, it’s set a sitcom actor up as its star in Chris Pratt, and it’s looking to give feature roles to awesome but lumpy-looking character actors like John C. Reilly and Michael Rooker. The movie is basically someone who roots for underdogs’ wildest dream. And now it’s being reported that director James Gunn is making one of his most interesting left field moves yet, as he’s taking Glenn Close, an actress most associated with high-minded, dramatic roles, and he’s putting her in a superhero movie.
The news comes from Heat Vision, who report that Close is in final negotiations to join the film as the head of the Marvel Universe’s intergalactic police force, the Nova Corps. It’s true that the head of the organization is likely to be the sort of character who mostly stands behind a space desk and barks orders, but it should be noted that members of the Nova Corps wear ridiculous helmets on their head, fly, and can shoot energy beams out of their hands. Just imagine how much fun it would be to see Glenn Close wearing a ridiculous helmet on her head, flying, and shooting energy beams out of her hands. So much fun.
While she still does voiceover work on animated projects fairly regularly, Close’s involvement would mark the first time we got to see her do something silly, like play the First Lady in Mars Attacks! or dress herself up in ridiculous outfits to play Cruella De Vil, in person since the mid to late 90s. Has Marvel become such a force in Hollywood that they’re basically able to pick and choose any actors they want at this point, despite what trajectory their career is currently on? Or has Close simply decided that she was past due to set the hand-wringing of Albert Nobbs aside and do something silly again? Either way, it’s great to see Marvel is still able to surprise us with their movies.