Marvel Studios has ventured a long way since the inception of its cinematic universe with Iron Man in 2008. As Kevin Feige has noted, casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark carried so much risk but resulted in laying the foundation for one of the most successful shared universes in film.
Back then, Marvel Studios was thrilled to get just one A-list actor to join the Marvel family. Now, the MCU is the fixation that Hollywood household names want to be a part of. Marvel just might add another notable name to its growing roster, someone who is looking to make the leap from their own blockbuster franchise into the universe of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
In a recent video chat with ComicBook, Ghostbusters actor Ernie Hudson revealed that he has reached out to those at Marvel Studios for a potential role on more than one occasion. He previously discussed the opportunity to portray T'Challa's father King T'Chaka in 2018's Black Panther, before the role eventually went to John Kani:
Louis D'Esposito, who's co-president over at Marvel [Studios], I keep sending him texts and it's like, 'Hey, I'm here and I'm available.' And I'm not very good at begging. You know what I mean? I don't know how to do that well...I've been a fan of the Marvel universe and DC [movies]. I love that stuff. I grew up with a lot of it, but it hasn't been from a lack of desire on my part.
Hudson additionally mentioned that Marvel Studios may have passed him over for the role of T'Chaka because the role wasn't "big enough" for him, leaving the possibility of saving him for another MCU appearance in the future:
First it was the dad in Black Panther...So I kind of hinted [at it] — I went a little beyond hinting. The fans started to pick it up. So I called and I said, 'Well, you know there's the part of the dad.' He said, 'Well, that part is too small for you.' So that didn't work out. So, something will come out and I'll send him a text like, 'I really loved it. Congratulations on that. Wow. It would've been really, really great to be in that one.' And they're amazing over there. Stan Lee was a friend. We at least knew each other, we'd spend time at different conventions talking. Kind of hinted to him. But I don't know. You never know, short of going to somebody's house and [asking].
WHAT THIS MEANS
One thing is for certain: if Marvel Studios already has their eyes on you for a potential role, it's a safe bet to assume they'll find a way for you to appear on screen some way, somehow. After all, Mahershala Ali advocated for playing Blade on screen and Kevin Feige obliged without hesitation. Ernie Hudson already has an advantage given that he was already in talks for possibly starring in Black Panther, having the support of the studio and the fans themselves.
If that Black Panther role wasn't "big enough" for the Ghostbusters actor, then perhaps a role in the film's sequel is? The untitled sequel has locked down a May 2022 date, the primetime slot for Marvel's annual summer blockbuster release. It's not an overstatement that Black Panther 2 is among the MCU's most anticipated films, and a film of that magnitude might require some additional A-list star power. Who's Marvel going to call? It just might be Ernie Hudson.