Even though there have been more than two dozen Marvel Studios films and TV series over the last decade-plus, it’s still a fairly rare opportunity for an actor to be offered a role in the MCU. It’s even rarer still to get a second chance at a Marvel character. Yet, Jessica Henwick not only had that but turned it down in favor of joining the upcoming ‘Matrix’ sequel, “The Matrix Resurrections.”
Speaking to EW, Henwick described the situation she was in before auditioning for her eventual role as Bugs in ‘Resurrections.’ You see, the young actress was not only asked to audition for the ‘Matrix’ sequel but she was also in the running for a role in Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” The issue is that Disney and Warner Bros. gave her an ultimatum—Henwick had to pick which one she auditioned for and immediately turn down the other chance.
“It was a red-pill/blue-pill moment for me,” she said, echoing the reality-altering choice faced by Neo in “The Matrix.”
Obviously, Henwick decided to go with “The Matrix Resurrections,” which resulted in her earning a role in one of the most anticipated films of 2021. That said, she also joins a list of folks who turned down an offer from Marvel Studios, which seems to be a fairly small group, as most actors are trying their best to land an MCU role. Interestingly, perhaps some of her decision came from the fact that she has already played in the Marvel world before.
While “Iron Fist” isn’t often thought of as a good series, the short-lived Netflix show did have some highlights, including Henwick’s Colleen Wing character. Fans of Henwick and Colleen Wing will be a bit bummed to know the report says the actress was only auditioning for a role in ‘Shang-Chi,’ which likely means she wasn’t set to return as Wing.
Perhaps Henwick’s MCU window of opportunity isn’t completely closed, however. It is widely rumored that some of the Netflix/Marvel characters from that universe are said to be crossing over into the MCU Prime, including Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and Vincent D’Onofrio in “Hawkeye.” Though it’s important to note, neither of those rumors have been substantiated…yet.
So, even if Henwick chose “The Matrix” franchise instead of Marvel Studios, if we begin to see more Netflix/Marvel folks coming to the regular MCU, maybe Colleen Wing can show up down the line? We’ll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime, you can see Jessica Henwick play Bugs in “The Matrix Resurrections,” which hits theaters and HBO Max on December 22. Here are two new pics of Henwick in the film from EW: