With Zack Snyder releasing some storyboard concept art of his “Snyder-Cut” for Justice League, it was revealed that none other than J’onn J’onzz AKA Martian Manhunter was all set to make his cinematic debut!
One of the original seven members of the Justice League, J’onzz is widely considered one of the outright most powerful beings in the DC universe.
He is a extraterrestrial, florescent-green humanoid that ends up being pulled to earth courtesy of experimental teleportation beam constructed by Dr. Saul Erdel. After realizing Earth does not have the equipment or tech required to send him back home, J’onzz stays on Earth fighting crime until he can acquire the tech needed to get back home. He adopted the alias of John Jones, a Detective in Middletown, USA.
Fans have been clamoring for a Martian Manhunter film for quite some time now. He’s arguably one of the most popular DC hero’s and has a huge fan following. The news that J’onzz was going to show up in the “Snyder-cut” is sure to disappoint a lot of fans, but it may work to their advantage.
DC and Warner Brothers are sure catch wind that Snyder released this information and they will undoubtedly see how disappointed fans will be that they didn’t get to see J’onzz on the big screen. Once the studio realizes how lucrative this character could be, don’t be surprised if development on a solo film for the character begins to pick up steam.
Now, this will be a difficult fan-cast as J’onzz isn’t human and has green skin. But I never back down from a challenge! And so, without further ado…here are five actors I believe could own this role.
Colman Domingo is not what you’d call a ‘Movie Star’ or even a ‘Television Star’, he’s far from a household name. That doesn’t, however, mean that he’s not capable of becoming one. Domingo is a terrific actor who has played a number of high profile roles on TV in some extremely popular shows. Despite his lack of big time film credits to his name, Domingo is at the very least a face most audiences should recognize.
My first time seeing Domingo act was in season one of the first spin off series of AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, which is now in its fifth season and Domingo’s character, Victor Strand, is a mainstay and fan favorite. He’s an actor who is growing in popularity, mostly thanks to FTWD, as he’s landed roles in upcoming films like the remake of The Candyman and Lucy in the Sky opposite Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm. He may not be an “A-Lister” but a role like Martian Manhunter could propel him to stardom.
Sterling K. Brown
Here’s an actor who’s star has already risen to extreme heights and doesn’t look like to be coming back down anytime soon. Sterling K Brown, through his numerous film and television roles, has firmly cemented himself as one of the more well-known and talented actors working today. Getting an actor with the star power of Brown to play and obscure hero like Martian Manhunter would be a smart move by Warner Brothers.
Brown, in addition to his already established reputation, comes with comic book adaptation experience which gives him an even bigger advantage. He had a small role in 2018’s Black Panther, a role that most wish was bigger. Despite that small role, Brown has an extensive and impressive resume that includes roles in films like Marshall, Hotel Artemis, and The Predator. He’s proven time and again that he has the acting ability to carry his own franchise, J’onzz might be the role Brown has been waiting for to take him from ‘Star’ to ‘Superstar’.
Lance Reddick is a bit of a lesser known actor who has generally been cast in roles as the side-kick or just as a supporting character. A real shame considering how talented this man is! Not to mention, Reddick just has this look about him that has me convinced he would look exactly like Martian Manhunter once all of the makeup and prosthetics are put on.
In terms of experience, Reddick has a long, extensive and diverse resume of acting credits. He’s played a number of different roles throughout his career as it seems he’s made it a point to show his versatility to avoid being type cast. He’s had roles in films like the 1998 remake of Godzilla, Jonah Hex, Oldboy and of course, can’t forget about his recurring role in the John Wick films as the concierge! John Wick Chapter 3 finally let Reddick’s character let loose and he did not disappoint. While Reddick is definitely a lesser known commodity, he would kill this role.
Also a bit of a lesser known actor, Henry Simmons, physically, might be the best choice for this role. Standing at 6 foot 5 inches and weighing over 210 pounds (most of which looks to be solid muscle), they wouldn’t have to do hardly any CGI’ing to make Martian Manhunter appear physically imposing and intimidating with Simmons in the role. He can do that for the character all himself.
His physical stature obviously gives him an advantage, but the man is also a very talented actor. His biggest role came in the form of another comic book based project as he played Mackenzie “Mack” Alonzo on ABC’s long-running series, Agents of Shield. While his character didn’t have superpowers, he was still able to go toe-toe with just about anyone. Aside from his role on AoS, Simmons has had a handful of other roles on both the big and small screen but he’s far from a household name. That doesn’t make him any less qualified to carry his own franchise though.
Keegan Michael Key
It’s time for the out of the box pick. This pick comes in the form of one of the funniest actors working today, Keegan Michael Key. This man has a direct link to my funny bone, from his (no longer airing) hit show Key & Peele, to his numerous comedic roles on film and television, Key has established himself as one of the most consistent and in-demand comedic actors in Hollywood.
This would be a huge plus if he was cast as J’onzz as humor is something that the DCEU is sorely lacking. Key would be able to inject some of that humor into his performance which would help make the character more relatable to audiences. But it’s not just his knack for comedy that got him a place on this list; Key has proven that he’s more than just a comedic actor with roles in films like The Predator which showcased his action chops, Don’t Think Twice which showcased his dramatic chops, and his role on the Netflix series Friends from College that allowed Key to put his full range and versatility on display. This would definitely be a surprise casting, but it would be one that could turn out to be a stroke of genius.
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