Early this morning, WWE Superstar and Royal Rumble moment Titus O’Neil posted on his Twitter account some astounding news. That he was currently in training to become a Marvel character for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In his statement, he stated he was trimming down to a “leaner 270lbs Marvel character” and told one of his best friends, former WWE World Champion Dave Batista, who portrayed Drax The Destroyer in both Guardians of the Galaxy films and the currently playing Avengers: Infinity War that he would “see him soon”.
284lbs now 6weeks from today I’ll be ready for a Lifelong Goal 2be reached&I’m excited about the process to go down to a Leaner 41 year old 270lb @Marvel Character 😎🌍 Has nothing to do with @WWE but everything to do with being a Blessed Man! @DaveBautista I’ll see you soon 😊 pic.twitter.com/zdeuhaQ7GK
— Titus O'Neil (@TitusONeilWWE) May 17, 2018
Batista tweeted his congratulations to his friend shortly after.
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) May 17, 2018
While the exact role hasn’t been announced (nor whether the project is for a feature film or one of the TV series, either on Netflix, ABC or Hulu), the fan speculation is already running rampant. Here’s a few possibilities of who Thaddeus Bullard Jr. (Titus’ real name) could be portraying in the MCU.
WHO WE CAN RULE OUT
Some fans are clamoring for it to be Luke Cage, apparently oblivious to the fact that Luke Cage has already been portrayed in several Netflix series (including Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and The Defenders) by actor Mike Colter. While recasting has been done before, such as Don Cheadle taking over James Rhodes/War Machine from Terrence Howard, a recasting of Luke Cage is highly improbable. Another African-American hero we know that’s coming to the small screen is Cloak, from the duo Cloak & Dagger, but considering the series will focus on them as teenagers from their early days, a 41-year old Bullard Jr. is probably not up for that role.
Marvel’s half-vampire vampire hunter Blade has seen the silver screen treatment before, in three films around the turn of the millenium (Blade in 1998, Blade II in 2002, and Blade: Trinity in 2004) that starred Wesley Snipes in the lead role. The original trilogy was released by New Line Cinema, but in 2011, the film rights reverted back to Marvel Studios. Last summer, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige stated that bringing Blade back into the MCU “would be cool, someday” when asked, so it’s at least in the wheelhouse. But with so many films already planned over the next few years, if Blade was to be the role he’s currently preparing for, it would most likely be as a cameo in another film or TV series.
Vance Astro, also known as Captain Victory, is potentially one of the more likely. Astro is from the future (or the past, you know how comics timelines can be) and is a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comic books. With Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 gearing up for pre-production, appearing in a movie alongside his buddy Batista could be why he said “see you soon” and why Batista signed off his congratulatory tweet with “Drax”. Titus definitely has the physique to pull off Astro’s character and depending on the fallout from Avengers 4 (the sequel to Infinity War), the Guardians may be looking for a few new members following Thanos’ wrath.
While everyone is assuming it’s an MCU film (including us at the beginning of this article), it could be a different Marvel film. As in, one in the X-Men Universe. 20th Century Fox announced that plans for a film about X-Man Gambit is still going on and that pre-production starts this summer. Gambit is a southern hero from New Orleans, Louisiana, and if the action stays in his home area, he may have an ally that he can call on – another New Orleans superhero called Brother Voodoo. Brother Voodoo has worked with all kinds of heroes, from Dr. Strange to Spider-Man to Black Panther. He even helped Gambit protect New Orleans from an army of zombies.
Another Marvel film in production is Captain Marvel, featuring Brie Larson in the lead role as Carol Danvers. Captain Marvel’s power comes from the Kree race and they’re going to need some of those characters to work into Danvers’ story and while Genis-Vell is the son of Mar-Vell (the original Captain Marvel), Genis-Vell has been more active of late in the comics. And while the character is white in the comic books, Marvel has shown that Kree characters can be either, as Djimon Hounsou portrayed the Kree character Korath The Pursuer in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 (and is set to reprise that role in Captain Marvel).
Who do you think Titus O’Neil could be portraying? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below!