James Gunn is a powerhouse in the comic book movie sphere. While he wrote and directed projects before Guardians of the Galaxy, the Marvel Studios cosmic adventure is the movie that put him on the map. Not only did he craft a fantastic film, but he took an entire group of characters out of obscurity and gave them the spotlight, turning them into household names.
With his latest theatrical movie, The Suicide Squad, he managed to do it again, with one of the lead villains getting his own spin-off show: Peacemaker.
John Cena’s ridiculous character intrigued Gunn enough to not only bring him from the brink of death into a new adventure but also create a new team for the former fugitive. Jennifer Holland’s Emilia Harcourt and Steve Agee's John Economos return as their ARGUS agent counterparts, alongside newcomer Clemson Murn, who is brought to life by Chukwudi Iwuji.
One of the bigger additions the show has made falls to a character even more obscure than Peacemaker: Judomaster. Nhut Le takes the character and has fun with the martial arts madness, badassery, and his take-no-nonsense attitude—even if he has been simply yelling during most of his screen time so far.
Given the traditional pattern of long-form storytelling, the character will no doubt arise from obscurity even more throughout the remaining episodes, and fans will come to love him even more than they already do.
As an up-and-coming DC superhero, another question comes into play - are there any Marvel projects the new actor would want to be a part of? According to Nhut Le himself, there are a couple—including golden aliens in Guardians of the Galaxy and a new spin on a famous Doctor Strange character.
Nhut Le and His Theoretical Marvel Future
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Direct’s Russ Milheim, Peacemaker star Nhut Le, who plays Judomaster in the HBO Max series, was asked what Marvel property he would like to be involved with the most.
Le quickly responded, saying he “really like[s] the Doctor Strange Universe,” and that he thinks “a different iteration of The Ancient One… would be really interesting:”
“I really like the Doctor Strange universe, so to be able to play with that sort of magic and wizardry. A different iteration of The Ancient One, I think, would be really interesting just because I look so young. Maybe it could be like a commentary on old souls using a human vessel. I think that would be cool.”
Peacemaker’s writer and director James Gunn is currently filming his next MCU entry, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Chukwudi Iwuji, Le’s co-star in Peacemaker, recently joined the project in an unknown role—though many fans are speculating that he will be playing the film’s villain, The High Evolutionary.
When asked if he would join the project alongside Gunn and Iwuji, Le declared that “[he] would immediately say yes:"
“I think if James were to ask me to play any character, I would immediately say yes. Just cause I had such a great time working with him on [Peacemaker].”
But who would he play? “I can imagine myself as one of his alien species,” possibly even “[one of] the High Sovereign:”
“... I can imagine myself as being one of his alien species… [Vol. 3 has] Adam Warlock and all that; I think it would be fun to play with all those actors. I think it would be a lot of fun to be one of… the High Sovereign. I think Ayesha, the leader, I think all of them are very serious. [So] when their comedy peaks through, it’s even funnier… to be able to play that would be fun too.”
From Guardians to Strange, Anything is Possible
Nhut Le’s ideas for a new take on the Ancient One are especially interesting. Given some of the controversy surrounding The Ancient One’s original casting in Doctor Strange, Marvel Studios may aim to explore some of the character's past in future problems.
The concept of an older, neigh ancient, mind in a younger body could be an intriguing take—think Sprite from Eternals, but more magical and mysterious. Then again, there is always the Multiverse where Marvel Studios can do anything they want. Maybe one day, Strange will need the wisdom of various Ancient Ones across various universes.
When it comes to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Chukwudi Iwuji is likely not the only new cast from one of James Gunn’s more recent DC Comics projects. Le could already have a role in the film, and he’d be unable to say—just ask Andrew Garfield.
Even if Nhut Le doesn’t make it into an upcoming Marvel project, given his talent and screen presence, he’ll no doubt continue to show up as Judomaster—assuming the character survives until the end of Peacemaker’s first season.
Peacemaker streams every Thursday on HBO Max for the DCEU. With Marvel Studios, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 lands next year on May 5, 2023.