When Parks and Recreation first debuted in 2009, it would have been hard to convince audiences that the schlubby Andy Dwyer would one day be a superhero. But with Chris Pratt’s game (and physique) changing role in Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s clear that anything is possible. This became doubly certain when mild mannered but hilarious Paul Rudd was tapped to play Ant-Man.
Michael Keaton might have been the first big comedy name to become a superhero, but the recent precedent was set by Seth Rogen in 2011. Since Rogen was picked to play the Green Hornet, donning a mask and dropping pounds to fight crime, Hollywood has broadened what it takes to be a superhero. With these zero-to-hero transformations in mind, it got us thinking: Who else should Hollywood call upon to head the next superhero franchise?
There are several lists floating around the Internet detailing big-name actors or actresses who would do well in these parts, but what about comedy stars? Leading man looks and a killer lady figure no longer factor into superhero prerequisites, since those things can easily be acquired with the efforts of a whole physical transformation team. Instead, looking at personalities, who among the current comedy stars would make an excellent superhero? Here are fifteen names that would bring a breath of fresh air to the crime-fighting world.
1. Nick Offerman
Perhaps an odd choice right off the bat because of his dry, droll demeanor and penchant for whittling and whiskey, but imagine Offerman as equal parts sarcasm and badassery and his superhero potential becomes clearer. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and with his sheer masculinity threatening to burst his plaid seams Offerman is the man to do it.
Paste Comedy Editor Garrett Martin’s Pick For Who He Should Play: Since Dum Dum Dugan’s already taken, let’s go with Jack Kirby’s two-fisted cop Dan “Terrible” Turpin. Although he’d be a perfect Thing, too, if he could get the New York accent down.
2. Gina Rodriguez
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images
The Jane the Virgin lead burst on the scene last year and made waves for her ability to play comedy and drama so powerfully. With her star on the rise, Rodriguez would make a strong superhero, one who can hold people to their word and still roundhouse kick them when they don’t listen.
Who She Should Play: If they make a Young Avengers movie in the next few years, you’re looking at your Miss America.
3. Sarah Silverman
Silverman is one tough cookie, adeptly playing coy in the face of trouble. Then of course there are her sarcastic ways, which would make her a unique superhero, able to undermine her opponents with the spoken word before she trounced them.
Who She Should Play: She’d be a great Wonder Woman. When the bad guys told the truth in her lasso, she could tear them apart with the filthiest insults.
4. Anna Faris
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez
Faris became a comedy staple thanks to her role in the Scary Movie franchise, and she’s continued showing off her comedic acumen with a range of projects ever since. Her willingness to be foolish all for the sake of a laugh makes her potent superhero material on par with her husband Chris Pratt. Faris can easily revamp what it means to kick butt and take names. Carol Danvers, maybe?
Who She Should Play: Marvel’s already announced that a movie starring Carol Danvers, the space-faring Captain Marvel, will be happening at some point in the future. Maybe Faris and Pratt could reunite on-screen with an interstellar romance?
5. Nick Kroll
Kroll’s ability to inhabit young, old, ghetto, uptight, male or female characters landed him his very own sketch show on Comedy Central. With Kroll Show, he concocted some truly outrageous but simultaneously memorable parts, all of which demonstrated he’s got the chops to bring a very special kind of superhero to the big screen.
Who He Should Play: Ted Kord, aka the Blue Beatle. Or at least the old wisecracking Blue Beatle from the sitcom-style Justice League International comics of the ‘80s.