On the back side of the Funky Bunch, we never imagined that Marky Mark would emerge as Mark Wahlberg, top marquee draw and an Oscar nominee. While DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince was a fun and popular pop act of the 80s, no one living through 1988 ever thought, "That Will Smith sure has box office gold written all over him!" Cut to thirty years later, and he too is a multiple Oscar nominee and one of today's top leading men. While Justin Timberlake hasn't exactly set the big screen ablaze, he's become a beloved institution amongst the hipster marketplace, as well as a sought out persona amongst all other demographics who love his comedy on Saturday Night Live, bathe in his music, or applaud his various turns at dramatic acting. He's the closet thing we have to Frank Sinatra today.
What I'm trying to say is, there's hope for Justin Bieber. Just the mention of his name sends shots of electrified hate through some people. But that's been true of most popular young musical acts aimed at teen girls throughout the decades. And with the various ups and downs that his career has had, it's easy to assume the kid has reached his zenith. Now, it's time for him to choose a career path that won't lead to his absolute destruction. Like it or not, he does possess the ability to be an entertainer that is around for the next twenty years. Or, he could do a Leif Garrett face plant, with all the kids born today saying, "Justin who?" less than a fortnight from now. It's his choice to make, right?
For a while now, we've known that Justin Bieber has wanted to break into acting full time. Like Justin Timberlake before him, he's been able to win audiences over on Saturday Night Live, proving that he is quite funny and able to land a well-written joke. Spit spite at him all you want, the guy has timing. For a while, it was known that he was actively pursuing a lead in a movie like Fear, a dark thriller that launched Mark Wahlberg's career. There was even talk that he might star in a remake. That never came to fruition, with some folks being quite vocal about his inability to play someone like David McCall, a psychopath prone to terrorizing his girlfriend. Some even called for a gender reverse, with Justin Bieber taking on the role of a young man abused by his girlfriend. Or, he could simply play the Alyssa Milano party girl role.
We believe that bit of noise was thrown into the ether to see how fans and non-fans both would react to this news. We can also confirm through multiple sources that Justin Bieber has actively pursued a role in a Marvel movie. After watching his once and future girlfriend swing for the fences in Spring Breakers a few years back, the guy certainly has felt the heat to get himself in front of audiences at the multiplex. And Marvel, with its golden touch at the box office, is an almost full-proof way to go. At the very least it would do more for his acting aspirations than Zoolander 2. Look what those films did for Robert Downey Jr.'s career. We'd say at least 50% of audiences paying to see Tony Stark have forgotten, or refuse to acknowledge, some of the hijinks that guy involved himself in over the years. Downey did a lot worse then write a funny joke in Anne Frank's guest book, and when he was on Ally McBeal, people couldn't yell 'douche' loud enough. Marvel movies makes sense for ANYONE trying to kick-start an acting career. Their movies are seen by everyone, old and young. And it's the perfect fit for Justin Bieber, where he can attract a fan base that isn't entirely made up of screaming tweens.
Now, don't read this the wrong way. Marvel, as far as we know, are not actively seeking Bieber out. And there is no particular character calling his name. So we've come up with a few characters we think he'd be perfect for. You might hate on The Biebs now, but you can't look at this list and deny that you might enjoy watching him play at least one of these superheroes or mutants. And oddly enough, it's a DC Comics character that we feel fits Justin Bieber best. So characters from both the Marvel and DC Cinematic Universe have been included here, in our list of 13 superheroes perfect for The Biebs.
Robin in Ben Affleck's Batman
There is going to be a lot of conjecture, but based on the comics the Joker killed Robin at some point earlier in Batman's life. By earlier we mean earlier than the events portrayed in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, there are also rumors that the character of Jason Todd, aka The Red Hood is going to show up in the new standalone Batman movie. The idea, it seems, is that this new film will take place in the past. Thus, we will see how Robin's suit came to be in Batman's possession later in Batman v. Superman. First of all, the character of Robin likens itself to Dexter or the Punisher and even Batman in that he takes out villains of all stars and stripes. Would it be so hard to imagine Justin Bieber playing this role? He's pulled off the ring walk with Floyd Mayweather who, with his Money Team, is considered a brilliant ring tactician and businessman. Realistically, how much farther away would that be from playing sidekick to a big screen version of the Caped Crusader? Lastly, if the lore is correct, it also seems like Bieber-haters could get to see him die on on screen; provided this movie gets that far.
As far as roles go, this one would be the most interesting. First off, this movie is going to hit theaters in 2019. It stands to reason that if Disney and Marvel hopes to make that release date, they're going to have to get cracking. Secondly, lets not let the fact that Captain Marvel is a woman get in anybody's way. Justin Bieber has shown himself to be quite versatile. If he wasn't, he never would have made it past his original, mop topped hit "Baby," right? The reality also is that there are only so many ways to skin a cat. These superhero movies are good but their stories and characters can only go so far. We're not talking about films that reach the level of say an Inception or Boyhood, right? In order to make a splash, why not have Justin Bieber play a woman who is suddenly imbued with superpowers from the Kree Empire? Lets see what he has right from the jump. Either he nails it and suddenly is broken free from tween idol status, or the film goes the way of Showgirls, Bieber makes another album and licks his wounds in the process.
Bronze Tiger in Suicide Squad 2
If Justin Bieber wants to take a slower path to stardom, then this is the perfect role to get his feet wet in the superhero realm. Like Batman and other superheroes, this one features a similar story of family trauma. After seeing a man attack his parents (and killing them with a kitchen knife), Ben Turner learns martial arts and heads to the far east. After battling his demons, Turner eventually is recruited by the Suicide Squad where he is second-in-command under Rick Flag. Like Batman, he doesn't have metahuman powers but is a skilled martial artist. Doesn't this sound taylor-made for Justin? It will allow him to show off his dance skills (hey think of all the money the studio could save in Bieber's training) and play to the more mature roles he is seeking. Again, this is probably a safer choice than Captain Marvel but it's also one that could pay many dividends. If Bieber pulls it off the way it seems like he can, the prospect of a standalone film could be his (or hers) for the taking.
Northstar in Alpha Flight
Justin Bieber is Canadian. So is Jean-Paul Beaubier. They have similar sounding names. And they both court a flashy, flamboyant look and lifestyle. As of now, there are no plans for an Alpha Flight movie, though some thought X-Men: Days of Future Past might be bringing in Peter Dinklage to play Puck. That turned out to be false, and the fact that Alpha Flight is a superhero team with a Canadian background has kept it from really entering into the Marvel movie zeitgeist. Despite that, the comics have a rich and detailed story arc that is quite profound and relevant in today's socio-economic climate. If done right, Alpha Flight could be another one of those superhero movies that fanboys love to shout, "changes what our ideas of a superhero movie can be." Northstar has a great backstory, and makes for an interesting character no matter where he lands, be it in an Alpha Flight standalone movie, or as a member of X-Men in a future installment of that franchise. Northstar is one of the first openly gay Marvel characters, and married his partner Kyle Jinadu a few years ago in the comics. He has superhuman powers, and is an expert skier. He's fought the AIDS crisis and super villains, and has a tumultuous relationship with Wolverine. There seems to be plenty of confusion as to where, exactly, the rights to Alpha Flight and Northstar rest. They are believed to be with 20th Century Fox, though since they seem in no hurry to utilize those rights, it would be easy for Marvel Studios to get them back. An Alpha Flight movie might sound strange and improbable, but so did Guardians of the Galaxy just a few years ago...And look where we are with that now. Alpha Flight has a good story, and if done right, it will certainly be one of the more unique super hero movies ever made. Justin Bieber seems like a natural fit.
Marvel Zombies Victim #1
Straight up, not going to lie. This one is strictly for the haters. Anyone old enough to remember the theatrical run of Return of the Living Dead Part II will remember the howls of joy Michael Jackson's cameo as an electrified zombie evoked from the audience. Justin Bieber's presence would most certainly do the same here. Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige says he loves the idea of Marvel Zombies, but doesn't know how to do it. In the same breath, he talks about bringing certain Marvel characters back home but not really knowing how to utilize them just yet. Let me pitch this idea. Make a low budget Marvel Zombies utilizing all the characters that have come home to roost but don't have a solo movie lined-up. Throw a bunch of the cult characters that will never see the light of day in along with them. A Howard the Duck zombie sounds pretty cool. Then find someone who knows how to make an awesome movie on the cheap, like Todd Rohal or Jason Eisener, and let them go to town, no holds barred. Marvel could make their notorious penny pinching work in their favor, and make a really neat, really cool horror adventure for adult genre fans. Maybe they throw in a little extra scratch to get Justin Bieber as a young Flash Thompson, who so far isn't appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Or have him star as A. Guy, a human without powers who tries to bring the apocalypse to an end before meeting his own, grisly zombified death. This could work. Some of us would really, really love it.
Longshot in Doctor Strange 2, Guardians 3 Or X-Men 7
In terms of looks and that flamboyant pop-rocker lifestyle, Long Shot is probably the best overall fit for Justin Bieber in the entirety of the Marvel Universe. Despite being a member of the X-Men, his inaugural introduction in his own six-issue miniseries included Doctor Strange, which makes him sharable, like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. He could very easily show up for a minor bit in a Doctor Strange sequel. The guy is also from outer space, the Mojoverse, to be exact. Which means he could very easily slide right into Guardians of the Galaxy 3 alongside Howard the Duck, if they move forward on a sequel. Lets also not forget that Long Shot had Dazzler as a girlfriend there, for a short minute. They even had a baby together. Of course, we could then squeeze Selena Gomez in as Dazzler. God, what a weird, wonderfully trashy Marvel movie that would be. A true dumpster diamond masterpiece. But that aside, Long Shot is a pretty cool character, with a neat backstory involving bio-genetics and one of the creepiest villains ever drawn for the pages of Marvel. Even YOU have to admit Justin Bieber would look pretty damn good in that black leather jumpsuit...And, OH! That mullet! It's got his name written all over it.
Chase Stein in Runaways
This is where it gets scary. And ugly. And you call us an asshole. While they toyed with Justin Bieber possibly playing Quicksilver in The Avengers 2, you can forget all of that nonsense. Marvel has been trying to get a Runaways movie made for years now. It could be a Marvel Phase 4 movie, and it has a character that IS...Justin Bieber! Meet Chase Stein, one of several super-villain offspring who've become emancipated from their parents to form a group of do-gooders. Chase comes from a long line of Mad Scientists, and is the wild card of the group, one that serves many functions. He's funny, smarmy, and all-around pretty Bieberish. Because of Justin's babyface, he'll be able to get away with playing Chase well into his thirties. Stein is a rule breaker and a loose canon, and plays at being unlikable on occasion. He is the oldest of the Runaways at 18. And he rides a dinosaur that he shares a telepathic link with. Sorry, gang, your fears of seeing Justin Bieber in a Marvel movie are probably coming true in a boardroom somewhere, right now. Chase is Bieber, Bieber is Chase. Case closed!
Billy Batson in Shazam!
In terms of roles, this one is interesting as it deals with transformation. Justin Bieber is actually in flux as we speak. He's transitioning from a boy to a man. Bieber is also trying to go from being a teen idol to a respected performer who can dominate all mediums. The character of Billy Batson is a tough cookie who is shuffled around from one foster home to the next. Eventually, he is transported to the Rock of Eternity where he meets the Wizard. It is here that Billy is given the power to command "living lightning" and transform (after Billy shouts the name Shazam!) into his muscular alter ego. There is a lot going on with Billy Batson. There is equally a lot happening with Justin Bieber. If the right script and director were put together, we could have a bonafide, superhero coming-of-age saga. In fact, if they could share the universes a bit, we might very well see a superhero Stand By Me. Talk about pushing the genre!
Hal Jordan in Green Lantern Corps
Ryan Reynolds inhabited this role in 2011. Sure, he did credible work but it is apparent that his personality and temperament is better suited to Deadpool. As a result, this creates a character in Hal Jordan that is essentially a sitting duck for a performer like Bieber. This is a superhero who gets his mojo from a power ring. If he can think up a power, the ring can essentially provide it. Again, this will play right into Bieber's strengths of dance and movement. Heck, if the scene calls for it, the actor could potentially sing his way out of a tight spot with Highfather, Indigo-1 or whoever else happens to be the bad guy. Reynolds brought an All American quality to this role, and it stands to reason that Bieber could bring that but also add a bit of an edge. Lets face it, he's growing up, he's sleeved and as a result these are things that should be used to bolster certain roles he could play.
Deadman in Justice League Dark
Of all the roles being bandied about on this list, the role of Deadman is easily one of the coolest. The character's real name is Boston Brand, but he goes by the name Deadman, a trapeze artist in the circus. He is murdered while performing. Deadman is then given the ability to inhabit any living entity as he searches for his murderer. Infused with East Indian-like culture (the Hindu God that gives Deadman his power is named Rama Kushna), Deadman has the ability to cross over in more ways than one. First of all, the backstory alone is something Bieber could sink his teeth into. Sure, it would probably have to be in a stand alone film, but Deadman can certainly have one heck of an introduction in the Justice League Dark movie. Secondly, Bieber as a trapeze artist would probably have the suits behind the studio salivating at the prospect of him playing this role. Lastly, as our culture evolves, as we look for alternatives to the norm, a superhero of East Indian ilk might just be what the doctor ordered.
Cannonball in New Mutants
Okay, it might seem like a joke, but Justin Bieber could probably crush as the erstwhile Sam Guthrie. As The New Mutants is currently in development, we don't exactly know which mutants are going to make the cut. However, if a character that can generate enough thermo-chemical energy to fly through the air, use it as a shield, and bash his opponents as he passed over, the New Mutants movie had better have some other truly amazing mutants up its sleeve! With CGI being beyond amazing nowadays, the character of Cannonball could really be something special. With Justin Bieber in the role it could really broaden him out. Not wanting to merely be a human turned CGI creation (however, lets be honest, the Hulk has come a long way since Ang Lee had his hands on it), it seems like it would be in Justin's best interest interests to bulk up. That, combined with the thrill of seeing him transform into a human cannonball could potentially be an amazing feat of cinema.
What makes Namor so interesting for any aspiring thespian (not just Mr. Bieber) is how he seems to be good at just about everything. Namor has super strength and aquatic abilities. He also has the ability to fly! Add to this that, since 1939, this character has done time with the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and others, and the Marvel credibility factor is at an all time high. Wouldn't it be awesome if the Fantastic Four finally got the big screen treatment they deserved? How cool would it be if Justin Bieber had a big hand in making that a possibility? In this role he would (physically at least) be stretched to his absolute limit. Chances are Marvel would higher some of their crack scribes and this could make Namor a truly coveted role. Best of all? It might even be one Bieber would have to earn.
Warlock in New Mutants or X-Men 7
Described as a cyberkinetic extraterrestrial superhero, Warlock's character mimics how Bieber might both be feeling and looked at in the superheros universe. Having never taken on a role in a movie so massive, it would be smart for him to be a part of an ensemble. What better ensemble for that to be than the X-Men? Also, this character's body can be reshaped at will, it can transform others into a being like itself, and it can literally suck the life out of similar beings. However, one thing that really makes this character stick out is its ability to feel for others. In many of the early superhero movies (think up to about 2008), having such a well rounded character was anathema. In today's superhero films, this is expected. Writer's wouldn't have to do much work to find this character's humanity, and that would allow Justin Bieber the room he needs to make it his own. Regardless of what you might think of him, you don't attain the fan base and longevity he has had if you don't have the goods.
Is anyone sold on the idea of the Biebs entering the superhero ring? Or, is this another sign of the Anti-Christ? Should he stick to singing or do audiences even have the tiniest bit of interest in seeing him in super role? If not superhero movies, what type of vehicle would be the best for this icon of pop culture?