Does Robert Downey Jr. Want Mel Gibson For ‘Avengers’ Sequel?

The 'Iron Man' actor reportedly wants Marvel to hire friends and Oscar-winners Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster for a future 'Avengers' film.

What are the odds of seeing Mel Gibson grace the screen in a Marvel movie? “Not very high” is the right answer, based on Gibson’s headline-making controversies over the past several years. But that answer doesn’t account for Gibson’s friends in high places.

According to one report, there’s a very powerful Marvel man who wants to include Gibson in Earth’s mightiest franchise: Robert Downey Jr., also known as Iron Man. RadarOnline.com reports that Downey has been attempting to get both Gibson and Jodie Foster cast in a future Marvel movie, “preferably in one of the ‘Avengers’ films.”

“He wants to bring Mel and Jodie into the Marvel universe,” an unnamed source tells the outlet. “It’s been a longtime dream of Robert’s to help Mel and Jodie reach similar big box office heights like the ones he’s achieved in recent years.”

If you’re suddenly hearing sirens and seeing red lights flashing all around you, good! That means the Rumor Detector we installed over the holidays is working. Give us a second and we’ll shut it down.

Look, there’s really no way of authenticating the Radar report. Even if it’s true, RDJ has pull with Marvel, but does he have enough pull to get Gibson a job? Even Radar notes that “Marvel is run by one of the richest and most prominent Israeli businessmen in Hollywood, and you can be sure even if Robert got down on his knees and begged, there’s no place for Mel,” given the actor’s high-profile anti-Semitic remarks made during a 2006 DUI arrest.

But let’s play ball for a minute. It’s Friday, after all, so let’s have some fun. Let’s say Downey really does want Gibson (and Foster) in a Marvel movie. And let’s say Marvel is intrigued by the idea. Who is Gibson best-suited for? The answer should be clear, for anyone who takes even a quick look at the actor’s snarling stare, his prominent chin, his toothy smile, and his blue face-paint circa “Braveheart.”

The answer, if you didn’t get it, is Thanos.

Whenever Thanos makes his proper Marvel Cinematic Universe arrival, he’ll be played by someone famous, or at least famous to a certain crowd. James Spader is an exciting choice for Ultron, but Marvel will want someone bigger for Thanos. Gibson fits that bill. On name, looks and abilities alone, Gibson’s a strong choice for Thanos. Hire Foster as his mistress, Death, and you have a winning combination, judging solely on talent and marquee recognition.

Of course, there’s other criteria to consider in casting, including an actor’s reputation. Gibson has likely done far too much damage to his public image to net a lead role in a Marvel movie, let alone as the franchise’s numero uno nemesis. As interesting an idea as it is, don’t expect to see Mad Max as the Mad Titan, or as the Mad Anyone, as far as Marvel is concerned.

Do you want to see Gibson in a Marvel movie, and if so, who would you want him to play?

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@roundhoward