Jenna Ortega: Wednesday star sparks debate among Marvel fans after being ‘ruled out’ of MCU role

Marvel fans have been debating whether Jenna Ortega would be eligible for a future role in the popular superhero franchise.

The 20-year-old actor is currently experiencing a surge in popularity following the release of the Netflix series Wednesday.

While Marvel has been known for signing many of Hollywood’s most promising young actors onto big recurring roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) – including Florence Pugh, Will Poulter and Hailee Steinfeld – some have pointed out that Ortega may never get the chance.

This is because she has in fact already appeared in the MCU as a child, playing a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role in 2012’s Iron Man 3.

Ortega’s appearance in the film didn’t escape the notice of many disappointed Wednesday fans, including former adult film star Mia Khalifa, who wrote last week to her 5.1 million Twitter followers: “Life is unfair, and I stand by that because Jenna Ortega had a cameo in a Marvel movie years ago which means we’ll never be able to see her as a lead in a Marvel movie.”

However, there may be hope yet for those rooting for Ortega to join the MCU.

While it is rare, there have been a handful of occasions in which actors have returned to the franchise in a different role to that which they first occupied.

The most prominent example of this is Gemma Chan, who played the role of Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel, before returning to the MCU as Sersi in Eternals.

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Chris Evans also portrayed Johnny Storm (AKA The Human Torch) in two Fantastic Four adaptations, before being cast as Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger. The Fantastic Four films were not, however, part of the MCU’s canon at the time.

Fans weighed in with these examples and other instances of actors performing multiple roles within the Marvel universe.

‘Wednesday’ star Jenna Ortega (Getty Images)
‘Wednesday’ star Jenna Ortega (Getty Images)

“There have been a few actors who have pulled double duty. I imagine we will see her in a way bigger role eventually,” one person wrote.

“Gemma Chan was in Captain Marvel before she was in the Eternals so never say never,” commented another.

Of course, the bigger question is perhaps whether Ortega, who has drawn acclaim for her role in Wednesday, as well as for previous performances in 2022’s Scream and X, would even be interested in another MCU role.

Wednesday is available to stream on Netflix now.