Sorry, Sterling K Brown. It seems you don’t entirely understand how the superhero movie game works.
You can’t be in two franchises at the same time. You can’t simultaneously appear in Marvel movies and DC films.
You can’t play N’Jobu, “a mysterious figure from T’Challa’s past”, in the upcoming Black Panther movie that will be filming soon, and also take on the role of John Stewart in Green Lantern Corps.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself, why not?
That’s a pretty good question. You see, uh, there’s a very good reason.
It’s a reason, that, um, makes a lot of sense. It can’t be done, because of, reasons? And things?
Okay, yeah, good question indeed. Why can’t Sterling K Brown play a minor character in a Marvel movie at the same time as playing a major hero in the DCEU?
Sterling made his comments after the announcement of Green Lantern Corps, a movie that will finally introduce power rings into the DCEU, just in time for things to get a little more intergalactic.
Brown instantly took to Twitter to try and nab a good role with the power of social media hashtags:
“Dear powers that be, if you are looking for someone to play John Stewart, I humbly submit my name. Namaste #GreenLanternCorps.”
But DC doesn’t typically like to use Marvel actors in their movies, unless it’s from a decade-old franchise featuring Tobey Maguire. Anyone who’s been in an MCU film seems to be banned from the DCEU, or otherwise, prefers not to rock the boat by jumping ship.
Moving between Fox and DC or Marvel, on the other hand, is easy. Fox doesn’t care, they’ll take anyone, and they’ll just as happily see their actors go onto other projects. That ever-present annoyance Ryan Reynolds did some Fox movies, then did Green Lantern, then hopped back over to Fox.
The prevailing assumption, though, is that at least one of the two big comic book giants has a non-compete clause in their contracts for actors. Henry Cavill can’t sign on to play Sentry in Infinity War, and Chris Evans won’t be taking on the role of Captain Marvel/Shazam any time soon.
Apparently, though, Sterling K Brown either hasn’t signed such a contract, or is happy to break its terms if it means getting to play John Stewart.
(Okay, it’s the second time we’ve mentioned his name, it’s time for the obligatory “not that Jon Stewart” clarification. Keep up, people, we’re all nerds here.)
The question of whether or not DC are willing to entertain Sterling’s offer will likely all come down to how petty they’re feeling. The studio might see this as an opportunity to get one over on Marvel, or they might considering Brown to be blacklisted over his association with the biggest movie franchise in history.
There’s also the size of Sterling’s role in Black Panther to consider. If N’Jobu is in the movie for eight minutes before getting killed off, Brown is prime for DC to snap him up. If he’s tied into multiple sequels that Marvel are going to be stubborn about, he’s not worth the effort.
All of this leads us back to the main question that Sterling’s comments bring up: can an actor simultaneously appear in Marvel and DC movies?
Why not? There’s nothing to really stop this kind of sharing, as long as both studios are willing to be civil and share him appropriately.
When it comes to comics, both companies have been swapping writers and artists for decades, mostly without a fuss (although Jack Kirby is a fun exception to this, with his utter contempt for Marvel pushing him into the warm embrace of their Distinguished Competition). Why can’t their movie studios share actors?
Because both Marvel and DC like being petty, that’s why. It’s more fun to be vindictive and retaliatory. Fighting and scrapping over big name stars is an enjoyable experience that nobody wants to give up.
Sorry, Sterling K Brown. Unless you can finally solve the Marvel vs DC debate once and for all, you probably won’t get the chance to take on the role of Jon Stewart.
Uh, I mean, John Stewart.