The Surprising Character Avan Jogia Wants To Play In The MCU – Exclusive
In the recently released “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City,” Canadian-born actor Avan Jogia plays Leon S. Kennedy, one of the most popular characters in the video game franchise. First introduced in the “Resident Evil 2” game, Leon is a rookie cop who finds himself battling a horde of zombies and other monsters on his first night assigned to the Raccoon City police department — an origin story that has been transferred fairly faithfully to the new movie.
For Jogia, this may be his most high-profile role since he first broke out on the Nickelodeon TV series “Victorious” a decade ago. Since then, the actor has pursued an eclectic career that includes acting in and directing independent films (his directorial debut, “Door Mouse,” is due out in 2022), writing and publishing poetry and releasing original music. But as he tells Looper, and as evidenced by his enthusiasm for the “Resident Evil” series, he’d be up for joining another major franchise like the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Some of Jogia’s castmates in “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” have previous franchise experience themselves. Kaya Scodelario has shown up in the “Maze Runner” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, while Hannah John-Kamen played the mysterious villain Ghost in the MCU’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp” back in 2018. “There are great characters in the MCU world that I’d love to pursue,” Jogia says — but admits that he has one character in particular for whom he’d love to throw his hat in the ring.
Avan Jogia has his sights set on this well-known Marvel superhero
When asked if there’s an MCU character he wants to play, Jogia replies, “I mean, anyone who’s throwing cards. I like all the characters that are a little bit more fun. The muscle-bound, tights guy is not nearly as fun as Gambit or something … I like characters with a little bit more personality and there’s great characters in the MCU world that I’d love to pursue. I like Gambit.”
Gambit (real name Remy LeBeau) is a mutant who was first introduced in the pages of “The Uncanny X-Men Annual” #14 from Marvel Comics. Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Jim Lee, the Ragin’ Cajun (as he was nicknamed due to his Louisiana roots) had the ability to control kinetic energy with his mind. Gambit would combine that power with his skill at throwing playing cards — his trademark — often charging the cards with energy as he flung them at his opponents.
A popular anti-hero who began as a semi-villain before becoming part of the X-Men in the comics, Gambit was first embodied on the big screen by Taylor Kitsch in 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” After that, actor Channing Tatum attached himself to a long-brewing standalone Gambit movie, with directors like Rupert Wyatt, Doug Liman, and Gore Verbinski in the mix at various stages. After five years of development, the project was finally canceled once Disney purchased 20th Century Fox and reacquired the rights to the X-Men characters for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With the X-Men certain to be rebooted as part of the MCU sometime in the next few years, it’s almost inevitable that Gambit will eventually make his way there too — which means Jogia could get his shot. “I like that character a lot,” he adds. “I get lucky. Touch wood, but I’ve been really fortunate to play characters that I feel like feel a part of my DNA, or my story in a way.”
“Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” is playing in theaters now.