The Marvel Cinematic Universe has already introduced a number of compelling characters in its Phase 4 of storytelling, and that is only expected to continue in the franchise’s next few years of movies and Disney+ television shows. On Thursday, fans got confirmation about one of the newest characters who will be joining the MCU, when Russell Crowe let it slip that he will be playing Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder. While some fans had previously theorized that Crowe could be playing the Greek god, the news still surprised some fans, especially because of the ramifications it could mean for the larger MCU. In particular, many began to speculate about when and how Hercules — Zeus’ son, and a formidable hero and Avengers member in his own right — could eventually appear.
Granted, there is currently no confirmation as to Hercules actually appearing in the MCU, but a number of fancasts have begun to float around for the role anyway. With that in mind, here are eight actors we could see playing Hercules in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While Henry Cavill might be best known for his tenure as DC Films’ Superman and The Witcher‘s Geralt of Rivia, that hasn’t stopped fans from imagining him also joining the MCU, with suggestions that he could play Captain Britain, Hyperion, and even Wolverine. Another popular fancast has been for him to play Hercules — and given his onscreen charisma and experience with action scenes, it’s easy to see why.
If anything, Crowe (who played the biological father of Cavill’s Superman in Man of Steel) playing Zeus in Love and Thunder only has furthered fans’ hype to want him in the role. But even then, it seems like he might continue to be busy in the DC universe for the time being.
Another staple of the fancast world — particularly for Hercules — has been Luke Evans, as fans have been eager to see the Beauty and the Beast and The Hobbit star properly enter the superhero space in some capacity. To say he’s become a popular suggestion for Hercules would be a bit of an understatement, as rumors previously swirled for months that he might be playing the character in Marvel’s upcoming Eternals movie.
While Evans might usually be associated with more serious roles, he arguably has the bravado that could work for Hercules.
If you’re familiar with the comedy world, you’re probably familiar with Jon Gabrus, as he has developed a fan following for his work on the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast, Younger, and What We Do in the Shadows. Along the way, a number of fans have thrown his hat into the ring to play Hercules, with fancasts going as far back as 2016.
Gabrus undeniably has the comedic timing to embody Hercules (seriously, just check out any of his appearances on Bang! Bang!), and he is arguably a spitting image of the character’s more recent portrayals in the comics. Plus, Gabrus could join the long line of comedy actors becoming stars in the MCU, like Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Chris Pratt and Eternals‘ Kumail Nanjiani.
After breakout roles in Crazy Rich Asians and A Simple Favor, Henry Golding has quickly become an actor that fans want to see in larger franchises. Later this year, he’s set to appear in a rebooted version of the GI Joe universe, where he’ll be starring in a Snake Eyes solo film — but that certainly couldn’t stop him from having a role in the Marvel world as well.
Golding has the charm and star power to bring Hercules’ comic iteration to a larger audience, all while bringing more diversity to the MCU’s Greek pantheon in the process.
Yes, fans have wanted to see Zac Efron join the MCU for almost half a decade now, with the former High School Musical star’s name being thrown out for everyone from Adam Warlock to Johnny Storm.
As those who have seen Efron’s more recent work — particularly his recent Netflix docuseries Down to Earth — know, he can definitely bring the physicality and natural charm that has made Hercules so beloved in the comics.
Another under-the-radar actor who could easily fit into the Hercules role is Tom Bateman, whose work includes Da Vinci’s Demons, Murder on the Orient Express, and the upcoming Death on the Nile. Earlier this year, Bateman’s acting abilities reached a whole new audience when he starred in Behind Her Eyes, the genre-bending Netflix drama.
Fancasts for Bateman to play Hercules have popped up online for years now, and he’s definitely the kind of lesser-known actor who could thrive in a Marvel role.
After starring in buzzworthy films like Upgrade and The Invitation, Logan Marshall-Green has definitely made an impression on audiences. While the comic book movie role that he previously campaigned for, Mister Miracle in DC’s New Gods, appears to be on hold for the time being, Hercules feels like a natural fit for him.
Granted, Marshall-Green did make a brief appearance as the first Shocker in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but that certainly wouldn’t be the first time that the MCU has noticeably cast an actor in two roles.
Liam Hemsworth’s tangential ties to the MCU have stretched almost since its inception, as the Hunger Games star auditioned to play Thor before the role ultimately went to his brother, Chris Hemsworth. Since then, his name has definitely been thrown out as a possibility in a number of MCU roles, but nothing has come to pass.
Liam is definitely recognizable enough to embody the role, and the sheer idea of his Hercules and his brother’s Thor sharing a screen together would be comedy gold.