Giancarlo Esposito is no stranger to television. Fans of AMC’s Breaking Bad will know him as the soft-spoken Gus Fring, owner of the Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant chain that serves as a front for his sprawling methamphetamine empire. As one of television’s most memorable bad guys in recent years, Esposito followed up Breaking Bad with another villainous turn in NBC’s Revolution, along with voicing one of the Dark Knight’s most well-known adversaries, Ra’s al Ghul, in the animated feature Son of Batman.
Speaking with ComicBook.com this week to promote the Blu-Ray release of The Jungle Book – where he surprisingly doesn’t play an evildoer – Esposito was asked about the connection between Disney and Marvel, and whether he might be interested in joining the ranks of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As it turns out, that almost happened:
“I know the Marvel world exists on the Disney lot. I love those guys at Marvel. We’ve been trying to figure out how to collaborate on something. I’m hoping that it is something. They came to me with something for their television department, then I realized if I did that, I’d never be able to have that same character be in that film department. Once you’re in a Marvel character in the television version, you have to stay in the particular character. They can’t carry that over to film.”
It’s surprising to hear that Esposito passed on an offer for one of Marvel’s television properties – and even more surprising when you consider his reasoning. Sure, there may not be a significant amount of crossover between Marvel’s television and film departments, but Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg and Jaimie Alexander have all made appearances on both the small and big screens. And although the “street level” heroes featured in the Netflix sector of the MCU have been restricted to the streaming network thus far, I’m still confident we’ll be seeing a few of those characters popping up in future films.
In the meantime, it’s fun to speculate on what Esposito might have been offered. With his gravitas and screen presence, he seems like a perfect fit for one of the Netflix shows – but it just as easily could have been something for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Agent Carter. Who wants to speculate?
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