One of the best geek debates going right now surrounds who will be cast in the much anticipated (and somewhat dreaded) Justice League movie coming from Warner Brothers in 2015.
I have a lot of things at stake with this project. I’m a life-long DC fan, and Marvel has been wiping the floor with us DC guys at the box office since 2008 (with the exception of the Dark Knight Trilogy). As much as it KILLS ME to say it: Marvel has created the superior movie universe. But no longer!
You’ve seen what a group of extraordinary people (and one demi-deity) can do to save the world…but just wait until you see what a group of demi-deities (and one extraordinary man) can do!
Kap-El’s Justice League Fantasy Casting Call
As far as derivations of the JLA, the first incarnation of the Justice League is probably the most iconic set of heroes ever assembled (sorry, Avengers). At least some version of the Original/Magnificent/Big Seven, with a possible Green Arrow/ Atom/Hawkman tease. Let’s take a look at the players:
The first true superhero, Superman was the most iconic and recognizable face on the planet for almost 50 years. The Justice League’s heaviest hitter, Superman should be the backbone of The League. A strong leader who balances the might of the team with the rights of the people they serve and protect.
Actor: Henry Cavill (confirmed)
I haven’t seen any more of Man of Steel than you have, but Henry Cavill seems like he is going to do a good job as Superman. I’m kind of confused why every time I see a trailer for MOS, it looks like the movie is going to be about Aquaman (more on that later), but I’m more than happy with what seems to be the thoughtful tone of the movie. Cavill certainly looks the part, and I’m hopeful he’ll do a good job playing the Man of Steel.. as long as he keeps the “MAN” more important than the “Super”.
The Dark Knight Detective, Batman is the thinking man’s hero…a mere mortal who has gone toe to toe with gods…AND WON. He’s a fan favorite character, and for my money, is always at his best when on a Justice League league team. I hate “Loner Batman”. He needs a Robin, a Batgirl, an Oracle and a faithful butler, and a Justice League to keep him from going over the line. Batman should be the strategist and thinker of the group.
Actor: Deidrich Bader
If you are still reading this: thank you for hearing me out. Bader has already lent a voice to the Dark Knight in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and is familiar with the character. With my casting, I went for the obvious choice in my mind: the modern day Michael Keaton. Bader has an excellent, non-gravel throat Batman voice, can balance humor and seriousness, and would bring us a far different version of Batman than we have seen in the last 8 years, without ratcheting up the camp factor. Also: let’s make Batman a detective again. If we do end up getting Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I won’t complain. Although I would love to see Bader as the live action Bat.
Also, Kevin Conroy looks nothing like Batman.
It’s no more ridiculous casting than Keaton was in 1989
Strong as Athena, beautiful as Aphrodite… Wonder Woman was the first major female superhero, and, here comes that word again: iconic female name in crime fighting. She’s a teacher but also a doer, a lover and a warrior, a fighter and a peacemaker. Diana is everything goodhearted and kind people are. Her incarnations have ranged from a sex symbol to “down to earth” ambassador, a godlike warrior to a den mother…but personally, I have always preferred to view her as the “cool aunt”, not unlike her role on the Superfirends TV show. She should be the heart of the JLA.
Actor: Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson can balance both “bad ass” and “feminine” in a single line delivery. She’s beautiful, talented and would look right among the actors already suggested. Wonder Woman needs to be firm, but caring at all times, and I think she could pull off a turn as Wondy in a big, bad way. I’m sure many of you may disagree with the choice, but, hey: write your own article, buttface.
THE SCARLETT SPEEDSTER! THE MONARCH OF MOTION! THE FLASH! Barry Allen is a super quick CSI with a hot wife and a mortgage. He’s been played a few ways from John Wesley Shipp’s “I’m not really Barry or Wally, but I am definitely the right guy for the job considering this is 1990”, to NPH’s earnest Flash in “Justice League: New Frontier” to… well, actually, I’m pretty sure Michael Rosenbaum played Wally in JL/JLU.
But, yeah… Barry should be a the fun guy from the cubicle down the row who you bowl with on Thursday nights. He should be quick with a joke, an encouraging word, and right hook- all exactly at the right time. Flash should be the guy who keeps The League from getting too serious.
Actor: Michael Rosenbaum
Foul! I hear you cry. Foul! That’s two voice actors reprising their parts! Yes. And I stand by my choices. Rosenbaum has a trustworthy face, great comedic timing and could DEFINITELY pull off Barry in live action. Also, when I read Flash in the comics every month; I hear Rosenbaum. He’d be a great choice.
Green Lanterns are a galactic peacekeeping force that have magic space rings that make green constructs by harnessing their willpower, instead of carrying badges or guns…or lightsabers. Sector 2814 (Earth’s neighborhood) is a trouble sector, one which often times requires multiple Green Lanterns to keep the personalities of our solar system in line. We’ve already seen a pretty mediocre intrepretation of Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern, and I think it’s time we see what someone else could do with a gift that great.
Green Lantern needs to be the authority of the team, an expert on crowd containment and combat presence.
Actor: Taye Diggs
I went back and forth a lot with this one. Nick Jones Jr. was considered, despite being a relative unknown, he certainly looked the part, and has served in the Marine Corps, but I’m not sure if he has the range to play Stewart. Levar Burton/Michael Dorn would be too old for the role (if only he were 10 years younger, we could do it!)…and then I struck gold: Taye Diggs. If you’ve ever seen Equilibrium (and if haven’t…please do!) you know that Taye Diggs can have a command presence that will make bad guys wet themselves. He’s cool, he doesn’t get enough screentime and would be a great straight-man to Rosenbaum’s Flash.
Swift and Powerful Monarch of the Seven Seas, rightful heir to 70% of the planet, husband to the hottest woman in comics and founding member of the Justice League, Aquaman is NO JOKE. Forget what you’ve seen on Family Guy, Aquaman has come into a huge success in comics and popular culture in a major way in the last year, and anyone caught spouting tired cliches about the King are now likely to get an earful from anyone of his legion of devoted fans (see: AquamanShrine.com).
Aquaman should be treated as DC’s Thor: a powerful outsider who cares about the shared fates of his world and ours. Not only can he toss an Abraham’s Tank around like a Tonka Truck (lookout, G.I. Joes!), but he can leap higher and greater distances than the Hulk, he also commands an army of ocean creatures and the armed forces of Atlantis. Plus, he has Diplomatic Immunity. Aquaman Rules. Literally.
Actor: Chris Pine
I chose Captain Kirk himself for the role after having an epiphany while bemoaning the fact that Chris Hemsworth will never play Aquaman. Hemsworth played George Kirk in Star Trek (2009), which led me to Pine. Chris Pine as a younger, “less ready” Arthur would be a natural fit. I really loved John DiMaggio’s “Swashbuckler” style, high-adventure Aquaman from Batman: The Brave and the Bold, but the movie Aquaman needs to be not only daring, but a little cocky. In Arthur’s first appearances in the new 52, upon meeting the rest of The League, he votes himself leader on the spot. Pine has the chops to have humility and bravado without coming off as a jerk or a pushover, qualities a great leader should possess. Also, the ability to deliver a pithy one liner does not hurt.
A tough sell, to be sure, Martian Manhunter is like a mash up of Batman, Superman, Plastic Man and Sue Richards from the Fantastic Four. His weakness is fire, but he can change shape & size, turn invisible, fly, has super strenth, super vision, and telepathy- picture a Harry Potter/Jedi/Mogwai hybrid. I love Martian Manhunter, but in a JLA movie, he’s going to have to be toned down for people to buy him. He should be the soul of the team, balancing power, duty, and honor with humanity and justice.
Actor: Jon Hamm
With the moody twists and turns of Don Draper on Mad Men, Hamm has flexed is brooding skills on screen more than once. He can also be hilariously funny, like every time he shows up on Saturday Night Live. Manhunter needs to be a solid, barrel-chested fellow with a pleasant demeanor and a dark past. I think Hamm could do wonders to legitimize him as a viable hero for today’s cynical audiences.
So there it is – my fan cast for the Justice League movie. I’d love to see a cameo of Hal Jordan (now patrolling deep space, possibly as punishment for his GL movie?) and maybe work Michael Dorn in as Darkseid, the movie’s confirmed villain (with Rainn Wilson as Desaad!). What do you guys think?
Comment below or on Twitter (we know you will) and let me know who you would cast in the Justice League movie!
Kap El is an illustrator from the midwest. He has a two day head start on you, has friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, speaks a dozen different languages and knows every local custom. He’ll blend in, disappear. With any luck he has the grail already. He once got lost in his own museum. You can reach him on Twitter@Kap_L or on Tumblr at AKapellusch.tumblr.com