What does our new triumvirate of geekdown – Joss Whedon, J.J. Abrams and Christopher Nolan – have in common with the Hollywood mavens of old? Apart from wielding more clout than perhaps any other filmmakers in movie history, they also have their own stables of actors, performers who they return to over and over.
Nolan has made repeated use of Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, not to mention recurring cameos by location manager Russ Fega (he first appeared as a waiter in Memento back in 2000 and most recently as “Trader #3” in The Dark Knight Rises.) Abrams, meanwhile, has been a consistent employer of best mate Greg Grunberg (from Felicity and Alias to LOST), as well as Jennifer Garner, Kevin Weissman and Terry O’Quinn, among numerous others. None, however, are as loyal to their performers as Joss “Remember that Guy, He’s in This, Too” Whedon who’s been reusing the same familiar (and very talented) faces since Buffy the Vampire Slayer all the way back in 1997.
Clark Gregg would seem to be the newest addition to Whedon’s coterie: having first appeared in Iron Man, Agent Coulson has gone on to become arguably the breakout original character of the whole Avengers franchise. Not only is Gregg now starring in ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but he’s also nabbed himself the role of Leonato, father of Jillian Morgese‘s Hero, in Whedon’s upcoming, fervently awaited Shakespeare adaptation, Much Ado About Nothing. Whedon, it seems, is a good man to have in your corner.
Given that so many of his favorite actors got their start in TV and none of them are huge enough stars to make a return to that format untenable, we’ve decided to compile a list of Whedonites, well-known and obscure, we’d like to see make an appearance in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the types of roles we’d most like to see them play.
They might not have the name recognition to necessary nab the juiciest roles, but they’ve proven time and time again that they can be trusted to carry anything they’re given. Here’s a few of the best:
10. Nathan Fillion
Of all the figures on this list, few set fans hearts a-fluttering like Firefly‘s Nathan Fillion. Not only did he rank highly on our list of possible Ant-Men, but he’s been involved in more Whedon projects than just about anyone else.
The most relevant one to a possible appearance in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would, in this instance, probably be his role as the narcissistic Captain Hammer in Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, though, having also played a hero in Firefly and a villain in the final season of Buffy, it’d be nice to see S.H.I.E.L.D. subverting this somewhat.
Casting Fillion as a sleazy, corrupt politician might provide a nice gloss on his All-American good looks, or, perhaps, a delusional civilian who believes himself to be a superhero: something with a touch of moral ambiguity that allows us to see a new, darker take on the dryly charismatic man of action that Fillion has made a career of playing.