The MCU’s Leaves appears to still be in the early stages of development in terms of most of its casting, so it’s worth examining who could appear in Marvel Studio’s Leaves and what actors are perfect for the roles. Of all the Multiverse Saga’s projects announced and released so far, Leaves may be the one that has gone through the most obstacles. It has been delayed, lost its director, and needed to be rewritten from scratch. However, all of Blade’s production delays are likely for the better, as Leaves‘s cast is taking shape with interesting actor choices that have plenty of potential within the MCU.
Without any solid plot or storyline to guide Leaves‘s cast, the possibilities are almost limitless. So far, Mahershala Ali’s inspired casting as the titular Eric Brooks aka Blade has been followed by two other casting announcements: Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre. Their roles haven’t been confirmed, but Blade’s Marvel lore provides some likely options. Likewise, various Marvel comic book characters commonly associated with Eric Brooks could be part of his formal MCU introduction, after Blade’s voice cameo in Eternalsall of them played by relevant names in Hollywood.
Delroy Lindo as Lucas Cross
The Harder They Fall actor Delroy Lindo often plays stoic and wise, yet intense characters in movies like Then 5 Bloods spirit The Cider House Rules. Lindo shines in villain roles such as Rodney Little in Clocks and Bo Catlett in Get Shorty, but is also capable of showing a kind side. Along with Delroy Lindo’s ability to portray the nuanced morality of a mentor figure in Malcolm X spirit Crooklyn, this makes him the perfect candidate to play Blade’s father, Lucas Cross, whose life crumbles after being wrongly imprisoned and turned into a vampire in an attempt to cure his cancer.
Even though he sacrifices his mortality for his son, Lucas Cross also becomes an antagonistic force to Blade. In the comics, he not only forces Blade to give in to his vampiric desires but also helps Marvel’s Dracula come back from the dead. Delroy Lindo could have plenty of material to explore while he walks the line between friend and foe as Eric Brooks’ father in the MCU’s Leaves.
Aaron Pierre as Deacon Frost
The Underground Railroad actor Aaron Pierre’s acting career is just starting, but he already has a few notable roles in his resume. Pierre’s commanding presence helps him stand out Britannia spirit Old as well as the DC prequel show Krypton. The MCU could give Aaron Pierre more opportunities to showcase his acting chops in a major villain role as Deacon Frost, the evil vampire that infects Blade with vampirism at birth. Previously, Stephen Dorff chewed the scenery in his portrayal of Deacon Frost in 1998’s R-rated Leavesbut Aaron Pierre could draw inspiration from the source material, an older, more sinister vampire that refuses to stop tormenting Blade throughout his life.
Wesley Snipes as Jamal Afari
In the absence of his real dad, Blade finds a father figure in the vampire hunter Jamal Afari. Afari raised Eric Brooks and shaped his vampire-hunting abilities. The ideal casting for this role would be none other than Wesley Snipes, the actor who brought Blade to life on the big screen for the first time in the original Leaves trilogy. After his return to big-name movies with The Expendables 3 spirit Dolemite Is My Name, Wesley Snipes could pass on the torch to Mahershala Ali’s Blade in the MCU by playing his mentor. He can also get another go at being a vampire in the tragic moment when Dracula infects Jamal Afari, which leads Blade to kill him.
Simone Ashley As Rachel Van Helsing
Blade isn’t the only vampire hunter with a grudge to settle in the Marvel universe. In the comics, he’s joined by prominent fighters such as Frank Drake and Rachel van Helsing. The latter, a descendant of legendary monster hunter Abraham van Helsing, swears vengeance on Dracula after he kills her parents. Although Rachel van Helsing could be a little bit too similar to the recently introduced MCU monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone, the MCU could take advantage of their similar skills and goals to eventually form a team-up between both female descendants of two famous Marvel monster hunters.
But first, Rachel van Helsing can be introduced Leavesportrayed by Sex Education spirit Bridgerton stars Simone Ashley. In Bridgerton, Simone Ashley’s Kate Sharma is a fearless and strong-willed character that aligns with Rachel van Helsing’s personality. In Sex Education, Ashley’s Olivia Hanan is a vengeful brat with secret insecurities. In LeavesSimone Ashley could channel both of her breakout roles into Rachel van Helsing to define the vampire hunter’s hatred for vampires and her deep-rooted fear of becoming one of the monsters she loathes.
Joseph Quinn as Hannibal King
Hannibal King, played by Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds originally, is a standout character in Leaves Trinity. But similarly to Stephen Dorff’s Deacon Frost, Ryan Reynolds’ Hannibal King is much more extravagant than his comic book counterpart. In the comics, Hannibal King is a rather somber private detective who struggles with the temptation of succumbing to his own vampire desires after getting bitten on the job.
Hannibal King’s no-nonsense attitude, however, is complemented by his charisma and his ability to make the most over-the-top moments seem like a regular occurrence. Stranger Things sensation Joseph Quinn would be a great fit for this role, as his performance as Eddie Munson is a neat package of dramatic, comedic, and action-packed talent in a supernatural setting. Quinn can find the right spot between the gloomy comic book Hannibal King and Ryan Reynolds’ wisecracker in order to join Marvel Studios’ gallery of unforgettable MCU supporting characters.
Brian Cox as Quincy Harker
One of Dracula’s many sworn enemies in Marvel is Quincy Harker, the son of Jonathan Harker himself. Quincy takes Rachel van Helsing as his protégé and repeatedly joins forces with other vampire hunters like Blade to wage war on Dracula even though his body constantly takes the toll. The MCU’s Leaves can cast this role with a major actor such as Brian Cox, who has received many accolades for his performance as Logan Roy in HBO’s Succession.
Brian Cox has a long list of impressive acting credits that include Agamemnon TroyRobert McKee in Adaptationand William Stryker in Fox’s X-Men 2. But Cox’s Logan Roy may be the role that aligns most closely with Quincy Harker, an overly ambitious and often self-sabotaging man with plenty of resources who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. This role could add a big name to the MCU’s Leaves while also giving Brian Cox the freedom to return every once in a while.
Antony Starr as Dracula
In terms of ideal castings for future MCU roles, an actor who’s difficult to ignore is The Boys‘ lead supe, Antony Starr, who has already delivered an iconic superhero performance as The Seven’s leader Homelander. Starr has fleshed out Homelander’s twisted mind on many levels, from letting a whole plane full of passengers die to forcing his own ally to eat his beloved octopus. Needless to say, Antony Starr could translate Homelander’s despicable acts of cruelty to the MCU as Dracula, the vampire that has ruined countless lives in Marvel Comics.
With many horror-inspired characters already joining the MCU in the Multiverse Saga, Antony Starr’s Dracula could be one of the franchise’s major villains, if not the main big bad of the MCU’s supernatural corner. Seeing Mahershala Ali’s Blade, Gael García Bernal’s Werewolf By Night, and Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight teaming up against Antony Starr’s Dracula would be spectacular, and the foundations for such an event could be set up as early as in the potentially star-studded Leaves.
Next: Marvel’s Blade Could Finally Be Ghost Rider’s Ticket To The MCU