Star Wars and the MCU are two sides of the same coin. Because Disney owns both properties, they often get the same treatment. Both have a dedicated section of a Disney theme park, both have found TV homes on Disney+, and both have enjoyed incredible success at the box office.
Naturally, the line between these two franchises often blurs. Samuel L. Jackson, for example, plays both Mace Windu and Nick Fury. Jon Favreau plays Happy Hogan in the MCU, and co-showruns The Mandalorian. Fan-favorite Taika Waititi directed and starred in the two latest Thor movies, and voiced a quippy droid in The Mandalorian. Now, just this week, Harrison Ford officially joined the MCU as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, and another iconic Star Wars actor could be hot on his heels.
According to Giant Freakin Robot, Hayden Christensen is in talks to join the MCU in an undisclosed role. This is an unconfirmed rumor, so take it with a whole packet of salt, but it’s certainly enticing. Christensen’s non-Star Wars career hasn’t exactly taken off, so a Marvel pivot would be a boon for him, and Disney would undoubtedly appreciate an increasing overlap between the MCU fandom and the Star Wars fandom.
Christensen famously played Anakin Skywalker in the last two films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, but was relegated back to indie movies after the buzz wore off. But in December 2020, Lucasfilm announced that Obi-Wan Kenobi was getting his own spin-off series that brought Ewan McGregor back to the role. The more intriguing part of the announcement, however, was that Hayden Christensen would return as Anakin, now known as Darth Vader.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was a massively successful ode to prequel nostalgia, and it’s not unbelievable that Christensen, who turned in a solid performance, would reap some of those benefits. But who could he possibly play? Now that he’s returned to the Vader suit, he has experience with cutting-edge visual effects, so he may have what it takes to be a superhero. Or a supervillain.
The role of Anakin Skywalker will always be what Christensen’s most recognized for, but if this wild rumor turns out to be true, he may become a double franchise threat.
It takes a while for the truth of stories like these to come to light, but that won’t stop fans from wildly speculating. Casting rumors and theories are just one more element that Star Wars and Marvel fandoms share.