Every kid and adult of a certain age knows what superhero they want to be. For actors, however, they have a chance to at least portray their favorite hero on the screen. In Living Color and Scary Movie star Marlon Wayans wants to play Plastic Man in a movie, so he might actually get the chance to do it. Currently promoting his new Netflix movie Sextuplets, in which the actor plays all six of the titular characters, Wayans let slip his superhero dream. What’s interesting is that in saying he wants to play Plastic Man, Marlon Wayans shows off how deep his knowledge of comics goes. Plastic Man is not a household superhero name, but he’s an interesting choice. He’s both ridiculous, and, possibly, one of the most powerful superheroes in the DC canon.
Why Marlon Wayans Wants to Play Plastic Man
Unfortunately, given what we know about the upcoming DC slate, a Plastic Man movie is not in the works. Yet, given the surprising success of standalone films like Aquaman and Shazam, Warner Brothers might want to dive deep into their hero roster for some unorthodox choices. Characters like Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy seemed odd choices for tentpole feature films, but they ultimately crushed expectations. Yet, Marlon Wayans wants to play Plastic Man not because it is good business but because he thinks he’ll nail the role.
As he told Screen Rant:
“I would love to play Plastic Man. I think he works with the comedic skill set that I have, in terms of how I’m physical, I’m bendy. And I think it’d be cool to just do it without… You know, what’s great about Black Panther is he’s a black superhero, right? But sometimes to just do something. Like, you wouldn’t think Plastic Man was a black guy, but it’s not black – it’s just, he’s plastic. I think it’d be fun for me, because I know I got to add my humor to it. The only two superheroes I ever really wanted to play was Plastic Man and The Mask. Those are the two superhero films I would love to play.”
Given the physicality Marlon Wayans brings to his roles, he makes a good point about being the right choice for a character like Plastic Man. Of course, most of the scenes involving his powers would be handled digitally, but Wayans’ own performance sensibilities can inform those visual effects decisions when the time comes. Also, because of the stories told about this character, Plastic Man might be DC’s answer to Deadpool. The character can be both funny and formidable. While Plastic Man has a long history in the comics, they should go back to the well that helped create Batman: Frank Miller’s the Dark Knight books.
Who is Plastic Man?
Image via screengrab
To better understand why Marlon Wayans wants to play Plastic Man, let’s look at the character. Originally created in 1941, Plastic Man appeared in books by Quality Comics who also published Will Eisner’s The Spirit. Patrick “Eel” O’Brien started out life as a small-time crook, but thanks to a sci-fi accident became Plastic Man. Originally, he simply stretched and reshaped his body to fight bad guys. But as storytellers took the character more seriously, they realized his power set allows for so much more. Plastic Man can change his size or density, making him impervious to harm. He can regenerate destroyed tissue, possesses super-strength, and can change his appearance at will. This unique powerset inspired Frank Miller to include Plastic Man in The Dark Knight Strikes Again as one of the most powerful superheroes of his age.
So, hopefully someone from Warner Bros. picks up on Marlon Wayans’ suggestion to play Plastic Man. It’s a character that’s never been done before, mostly because the technology needed to make the character believable only just exists. Anyone who saw Requiem for a Dream knows that the youngest of the Wayans siblings can handle dramatic, serious roles. A character like Plastic Man is a chance for him to use both his dramatic skill set and his comedy experience in a single character. Also, there is nothing about the character that demands he be played by a white actor (just like Superman), and could be a great way for DC to add diversity to their heroic roster while still using a character with 78 years of stories behind him.
What do you think? Do you want to see Marlon Wayans play Plastic Man? Let us know in the comments below or by sharing the article on social media.
Image via Netflix
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.