32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

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Written By Maya Cantina

The brand new, revamped and rebooted DC Universe (DCU) has opened up endless possibilities. A new Superman has already been cast and is ready to take flight in the first movie in the new universe, which is replacing the old DC Extended Universe (DCEU). 

Producer James Gunn has shown he has a clear vision to wipe away most of the past and move forward with new actors and new stories, so for the purposes of this daydreaming, we’re going to leave out the great actors who have appeared in DC-related films in the past, including the most recent movies starring the likes of Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, and Ben Affleck, though we’re not against them returning, too. 

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling is one of the biggest stars in the world, and also one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood. He’s the kind of actor you could cast in almost any role and you just know he’d hit it out of the park. He could play a hero or a villain and audiences would be transfixed no matter what. We probably want him as one of the most famous heroes though, someone befitting his star status. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Daisy Ridley

We know she can carry a franchise, and we know she’s a tough woman, so Daisy Ridley just has to find her way into the DCU. Of course, she’d have to be a hero, but who knows, maybe a change of pace from the Star Wars movies could be cool and she could play a villain. Either way, she has to have powers greater than The Force. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Columbia/TriStar)

Tom Cruise

It’s time. It’s hard to believe Tom Cruise has never been in a superhero movie. One of, in not the, biggest action stars of the last few decades still has that “hole” on his resume and it’s time it got filled. Of course, we’d all love to see Cruise as a hero, but it would be awesome for him to be in any role, even a cameo like his turn in Tropic Thunder. Just get him in there, James Gunn! 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Sony)

Jennifer Lawrence

Sure, Jennifer Lawrence appeared in the X-Men franchise, but that was years ago, and the comic book movie scene is a whole lot different today. Lawrence is a perfect fit for any number of roles, and even though she’s great as Mystique, what about a hero as big as Wonder Woman or Black Canary? Surely she’d be fantastic. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

John Krasinski

John Krasinski delighted fans with his cameo as Dr. Reed Richards in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. MCU fans have been dying to see him as Mister Fantastic in the Fantastic 4 in the future, but so far, there’s only been cold water thrown on the idea. That opens up the DCU for the former The Office star and he needs to step in. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic))

Zendaya

There isn’t a bigger star on the scene right now than Zendaya. Sure, she’s played MJ in the MCU and Spider-Man movies, but let’s give her some real superpowers and let her run wild in the DCU. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: HBO)

Jacob Elordi

Sure, Jacob Elordi says he’s not interested in playing a superhero, having turned down an opportunity to read for Superman in the new DCU, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream, right? There are so many heroes in the universe he could play. Elordi has been a hit in recent years with his role on HBO’s Euphoria and movies like Saltburn and Pricilla, so he doesn’t really need to be in the DCU, but we need him to be. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Timothée Chalamet

Timothée Chalamet has a knack for picking great roles for himself. At this point, he can pick and choose anything he wants, given how often his movies are hits. Chalamet could probably just tell James Gunn what role he wanted and they’d find a way for it to happen. So let’s do it! 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

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Meryl Streep

Let’s be real, there is nothing Meryl Streep can’t do. The greatest actor of her generation, bar none, and yet, she’s never appeared in a superhero movie. She’s flirted with the idea, according to some reports, and she even did the Wakanda salute at the 2024 Golden Globes, but alas, we still haven’t seen her in one. The new DCU must have a spot for her, right?

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Patina Miller

Patina Miller has won a Tony and she’s starred in two hit shows (Madam Secretary and Power Book III: Raising Kanan), but she hasn’t broken big on the big screen, aside from an important but too-brief role in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, and it’s time that changed. She looks like a superhero and can act her socks off, so let’s make it happen, let’s make her a star in the DCU. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Adam Driver

As Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequels, Adam Driver showed he could play a first-rate villain. Now it’s time to see him play a hero. Any hero, pick one, it doesn’t matter, he’d kill it. Batman? For sure. Superman? Well, that role is taken, but yes. Aquaman? Oh yes. Martian Manhunter? Check. Wonder Woman? Sure, why not, he’s got the hair for it. Let’s go! 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg may be aging gracefully and while he says he’s ready to play grandpa roles, we think he’ll never be too old for a spot in the DCU. Somehow he’s never been in either the MCU or any of the DC-related properties, so the time is right. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: A24)

Cailee Spaeny

She may not jump off the page as a possible superhero, but don’t forget that Cailee Spaeny starred in Pacific Rim Uprising and clearly has the chops to be in a big action flick. She’s an up-and-coming superstar and jumping into the DCU now would be perfect timing. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Universal)

Alan Ritchson

Reacher’s Alan Ritchson is over six feet tall and built like a monster truck, is there anyone in Hollywood more perfect to play an intimidating villain in a comic book movie? Sure, he could play a superhero, too, but being a villain would be an awesome departure from his character on Reacher and it would be a ton a fun. And again, just look at the guy! 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

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Sterling K. Brown

Sterling K. Brown had an all-too-brief role as T’Chala’s traitorous brother N’Jobu in Black Panther and it’s high time he gets a chance to sink his teeth into a bigger superhero role. How about John Stewart/Green Lantern in the DCU? Brown has even campaigned for the role, so really, it’s a perfect opportunity to get him into the DC Universe, it needs to happen, so we’re putting it out there into the universe again. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Indievest Pictures)

Peter Dinklage

Peter Dinklage has dabbled in superhero movies in the past, playing the villain, Bolivar Trask, in X-Men: Days of Future Past, as Eitri in Avengers: Infinity War, and as the Toxic Avenger, but it leaves us all wanting more. Let’s be honest here, anything Dinklage does is awesome, so getting him into the DCU somehow would be amazing. He’s also pretty good at carrying a wildly popular franchise, as he proved with Game of Thrones.

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Imagine Television)

Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson has done it all, except star in a comic book movie. Henson is one of the best actors of her generation and yet, she’s got this hole in her resume that, let’s be honest, we all want to see filled. The DCU would be a perfect place for her to land, in just about any role, superhero, villain, regular human… anything, just get her in there! 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Universal)

Charlize Theron

Audiences were teased with a Charlize Theron character in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and the actress stars in the Old Guard franchise, but she’s not appeared in any DC-related projects yet and she sure deserves to. We’d love to see her in any number of roles, as she can play just about anything. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Jason Statham

He’s one of the biggest action stars in the world, and yet Jason Statham hasn’t appeared in the MCU or anything DC-related. This is something that must be remedied! How about Cliff Steele/Robotman, whose origin story comes out of a race car crash, which would dovetail perfectly with Statham’s past work as star of The Transporter movies and in the Fast franchise?

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Jodie Comer

Jodie Comer has been taking the world by storm over the last few years and that means it’s time to find her way into the DCU. Comer could be great in the MCU, but the possibilities in the DCU are endless and for someone like her, on the rise in Hollywood, the sky’s the limit. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Don Cheadle

Don Cheadle is pretty entrenched in the MCU, where he’s played James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine 10 times in various movies and TV shows. Still, Cheadle is awesome, and there has to be a way to get him into the DCU, too. He’d need to play a completely different kind of character, like a villain, but we’re for it. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

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Jenna Ortega

Wednesday star Jenna Ortega is clearly ready for the big time. She’d be great as Aquagirl, or, even better, the villain Lourdes Lucero/Encantadora. There are a lot of options, let’s hope she fits into one, because it would be great. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Zoe Saldaña

Zoe Saldaña is another star that most fans immediately associate with The Guardians of the Galaxy and the MCU, but with the Guardians franchise possibly winding down, and the franchise’s director, James Gunn, now in charge over at DC, this could be a good time to switch it up for Saldaña, as there are a lot of different heroes she would be great for. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Josh Gad

Hear us out. Josh Gad may not be the first person you think of when you think of an action movie or a comic book movie, but some of the best casting decisions are sometimes the ones you least expect. Think Michael Keaton as Batman or even Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man. Gad, with his blend of humor and “everyman” qualities, can be pretty chameleon-like and that could make him perfect for the DCU. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Netflix)

Gwendoline Christie

How has this happened? How have we gotten dozens of superhero movies in the last couple of decades and Gwendoline Christie hasn’t been in any of them? Sure, she’s got the physique to play any hero out there, but it’s her wit and comedic timing combined with that that makes the Game of Thrones star a no-brainer. This seems too easy.

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Naomie Harris

Naomie Harris jumped into the comic book world by playing Shriek in Venom: Let There Be Carnage. She was predictably great, so why not have her cast as a character with a multi-film arc? She should be. With the James Bond Universe in flux with the departure of Daniel Craig, this would be a great time for Harris to find a new franchise to get attached to. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Daniel Kaluuya

Black Panther star Daniel Kaluuya (who also starred as a real-life Black Panther in Judas and the Black Messiah) is an actor who could fit into the DCU in just about any role. He could be a charming hero, or an evil villain, or even a government bureaucrat. Kaluuya’s acting toolbox has a lot of options, the DCU will do well to take advantage of that somehow. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: HBO)

Natalie Dormer

Natalie Dormer is a veteran of a lot of big-time franchises. Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, and even the MCU. Unfortunately, she was in fewer Game of Thrones episodes than you would think, and her appearances in the other two were also fairly brief. The DCU has a great opportunity to feature her in a much larger role. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

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Donald Glover

This is another absolute no-brainer. Donald Glover is one of the most talented and charming actors in the business, there are an endless amount of roles he could fill in the DCU, so someone out there needs to find a spot for him. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Diego Luna

With Andor (and his other projects) Diego Luna showed the world how great he can be in a franchise. His performance was gripping, and bringing that same energy to the DCU would be fantastic. 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Jack Quaid

Let’s take a sec to lament that despite starring in one of the wildest superhero franchises of all time, The Boys, Jack Quaid hasn’t really had an opportunity to be a proper superhero (V-24 notwithstanding). So let’s give him a proper chance here! Put him in the DCU! 

32 Actors We Hope To See In The New DCU

(Image credit: NBC)

Hayden Panettiere

Save the cheerleader, save the world. It was a mantra for Heroes and it’s time to see Hayden Panettiere play another superhero. She was so great in Heroes, there’s no way she wouldn’t be great in the DCU

The DC Universe is James Gunn’s oyster, these are some of the pearls out there just waiting to be plopped onto his beach. 

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