Tradecraft: S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Dum Dum Dugan Cast
Variety reports that actor Neal McDonough (Traitor, Desperate Housewives) is in talks to play Nick Fury's Number 2 man, "Dum Dum" Dugan, in Marvel's primarily WWII-set Captain America movie. What's not totally clear is whether he'll be Dum Dum Dugan, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (as seen in Jim Steranko's classic Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. comics and plenty of other Marvel titles up until today), or Dum Dum Dugan, soldier, as seen in Stan Lee's classic war comic Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos. Just like Fury, Dugan began his career fighting in WWII, but became a spy for S.H.I.E.L.D. during the Cold War. Like most decades-spanning characters in the Marvel Universe, that history becomes a bit tough to sell today, as Dugan hasn't really aged. I suppose he must be taking the same Infinity Serum that keeps Nick Fury ageless. Anyway, as such hokum is unlikly to go over in the more real world-based movies, I suspect that it's a case of either/or. Which would be too bad, because I love Dum Dum as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and it seems more likely he turn up as a Howling Commando. But who will lead the Howling Commandos, with Nick Fury (as played by Samuel L. Jackson) clearly established as a modern day character too young to have fought in WWII? McDonough has wartime experience, having already served one tour of duty on HBO's Band of Brothers. Whichever era he ends up in, I think the actor is a good choice for the role. And if he grows a mustache, he'll certainly look more like Steranko's Dugan than Jackson does like his Fury!
"As is the case with other characters that appear in Marvel's pics," says the trade, "they may also return for multiple films in other superhero outings the company makes."
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog reports that The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner is close to a deal to play another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Hawkeye, in another Marvel film, The Avengers (based on the comic book of that name and no relation to the real Avengers, sadly). In the original comics, Hawkeye started out as a bow-and-arrow-wielding villain who succombed to the allures of sexy Russian superspy Black Widow. When she fell in love with her target, she ended up switching sides as well, defecting and forging an uneasy alliance with The Avengers. Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanoff, was portrayed by Scarlett Johanson in Iron Man 2, a role she's expected to reprise in Joss Whedon's Avengers movie, which will also feature Samuel L. Jackson returning as Nick Fury.