Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Actors Who Should Play John Marston In A Red Dead Redemption Movie

With 70% of people onboard with Red Dead Redemption movie centered around John Marston, according to a recent survey, one can't help but ask themselves multiple questions. One might be who could be cast to portray the gruff, introspective cowboy that featured as the main protagonist in the first Red Dead Redemption and served as a major supporting character in the sequel, which inspired other games such as Ghost of Tsushima.


John Marston hit some of the cowboy stereotypes: a grizzled lone wolf type who ultimately has to go it alone in a world seemingly out to get him, which proves true to the end. Yet, the character demonstrates personality traits all his own that define him as an atypical fictional cowboy. He's thoughtful, contemplative, and often shows reluctance and mercy. Where most cowboy characters illustrate resolve by plainly blasting their opponents to smithereens, John Marston takes a more cautious approach, which is important to understanding his character in any artistic format.

With that, here are the actors who should play John Marston in a Red Dead Redemption movie.

Bradley Cooper

Although Bradley Cooper mostly gives off a "pretty boy" vibe, the actor is undoubtedly multi-talented in his own right. Proving musically versed in A Star is Born, a hilarious voice actor in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, and a compelling actor in dramas such as American Sniper and The Silver Linings Playbook, Cooper is clearly capable of stepping into the spurs of John Marston. Just as his multi-layered performance in Limitless, it's conceivable that Cooper could brilliantly pull off the intricacies and sheer depth of John Marston. As an action star as well, any shootouts or combat scenes would be extremely believable. 


Of course, Cooper is no stranger to comedy either. As a character who isn't quite as well-read as his peers, John Marston occasionally comes off as very goofy, which Cooper could easily convey, as his performance in The Hangover would indicate. Even as the straight man, Cooper could seamlessly cover all elements of John Marston as seen in the Red Dead Redemption games.

Bryan Cranston

If the movie were to go a different route in terms of Marston's age, Bryan Cranston could potentially pull off the role of John Marston. Having played a good character gone bad with some form of redemption, Cranston is a more than capable actor with an iconic performance as Walter White in Breaking Bad. With numerous quotable lines and loads of memorable scenes, Cranston was the shining star of the series, which could easily carry over to a Red Dead Redemption movie, as Cranston could handily deliver monologues with power and effect.


While drama has certainly become his forte, Cranston's performances in comedy series like Seinfeld and Malcolm in the Middle show that he's quite valuable as a comedic actor. Thus, an in-depth and somewhat demanding character like John Marston could easily be performed by an esteemed actor like Brian Cranston. And as a side note, with Giancarlo Esposito starring in Far Cry 6, following his portrayal of Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, it's about time Bryan Cranston gets in on the video game movie action. Fans might enjoy seeing him go up against the likes of Micah or Dutch.

Josh Brolin

Josh Brolin appears to have the cowboy side of things down — thus, he would be very suitable for the role of Marston. He stars in No Country for Old Men, a pseudo-western in its own right, where he portrays an equally vulnerable man in a position where he has everything to lose. As it turns out, Red Dead Redemption also places Marston in a precarious position where he could lose everything he values as well, including family and freedom.


As one of this generation's most compelling actors, Brolin would be a more-than-worthy choice to portray Marston. Certainly having the gruffness down, as demonstrated by his time as Thanos, Red Dead Redemption fans would certainly get the genuine John Marston character vibes.

As a bonus, Pedro Pascal would also be an amazing choice for John Marston, having portrayed utmost stoicism in The Mandalorian. However, with his upcoming role in The Last of Us TV series, it looks like he may have a full schedule.

Tom Hardy

With Clint Eastwood's hay days come and gone, it'd be time for another actor to head up the western movie scene, and perhaps that could begin with Tom Hardy. With a diverse set of acting skills and having starred as the Spider-Man villain Venom (set to appear in the sequel to Marvel's Spider-Man), as well as filling roles in movies like Dunkirk, Mad Max: Fury Road, and the western film Lawless, Tom Hardy has proved himself equipped for nearly any role.


The John Marston character isn't an easy portrayal, as he's a character with a hard exterior but vulnerabilities made clear to most he's opened to. However, Tom Hardy's dynamic acting qualities make him more than prepared for the role. Of course, where Tom Hardy has played many bulky characters, he would have to stay trim for his role as John Marston. While hardly noteworthy, Marston had an average build, which a great many leading male actors also have.