10 Actors and Actresses We Can’t Stop Trying to Cast as Superheroes

by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck on November 13, 2013

in Comics, Movies

Fantasy superhero casting has its peaks and valleys, and we’re due for an inevitable rise in speculation as a result of the huge Marvel/Netflix announcement. I like dream casting as much as the next fanboy, but many times it seems like an exercise in futility. Admit it: We don’t have a great success rate.

Many of the actors who ultimately turned in the most popular and widely loved comic book character performances on film and television have largely been the ones whose casting we initially questioned. Michael Keaton and Heath Ledger come to mind as actors whose casting was second guessed until their performances helped prove their detractors wrong.

For as many unforeseen home runs, there have been just as many (if not more) “can’t miss” casting choices that seemed like excellent character/actor matches at the time, but  failed to live up to expectations. Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Spacey were both generally perceived as solid choices to portray Hal Jordan and Lex Luthor respectively, but neither owned the role as expected.

The point is, rarely do the internet’s snap casting reactions match up with the ultimate performance. Regardless, we’ll keep wish-casting our favorite actors and actresses as comic book superheroes and villains, but it seems like the same names come up repeatedly. Remember when everyone on Earth was sold on the idea of Nicolas Cage as Superman or Adam Brody as The Flash?

Here are 10 actors and actresses that we just can’t quit fantasy casting as comic book superheroes and villains:

10. Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper has been rumored to star as The Flash, Green Lantern, and even Batman in recent years. When he was finally cast as a comic book character, it was far from what many had forcasted as his first Marvel or DC film role. That said, the fact that Cooper is voicing Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy probably won’t stop everyone from casting his as other, less woodland creature-y superheroes.


9. Gina Carano

Wonder Woman may be the most speculated-upon comic book character when it comes to potential film portrayal. MMA fighter Gina Carano has definitely got the physical presence to pull off a superheroine, and after her performance in Haywire, she became every nerd’s go-to casting choice for female comic book characters. She’s certainly charming in talk show and radio appearances, but let’s pump the brakes on handing her every tough girl role in Hollywood. Besides, my vote still belongs to Jaimie Alexander.


8. Matt Bomer

Matt Bomer, star of USA’s White Collar, was basically handed the role of Superman by many fanboys and girls. I’ll admit- he’s got the look, and his appearance in Magic Mike proved that he can get in superhero shape, but word is he screen tested for the role of Superman twice and couldn’t lock up the part. Rumors abound as to the real reason he was never cast as the Man of Steel, but regardless, we should let professional casting directors do their job and stop wishing him into the role of a comic book superhero.


7. Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling captured women’s hearts as the male lead in The Notebook, and then won over a large contingent of male fans as a mysterious unnamed stuntman in Drive. His name has been tossed around for the roles of Batman, Green Lantern, Ant-Man and most recently he’s been attached to Star Wars Episode VII.


6. Megan Fox

Before actually being cast in Michael Bay’s upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, Megan Fox’s name was attached to Wonder Woman, Fathom‘s Aspen Matthews, and countless other female comic book characters.

Next page: Everybody Wants to Riddle the World, and the actor we’ve cast as every superhero ever –> 

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doubledumbass November 13, 2013 at 9:49 am

Gina Carano may have the physical chops, but I’m the whole ability to act thing is still in question. She was decent in Haywire … but in Furious 6 her dialogue was a bit stiff.

HowardTheDeck November 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

Yup. And ever since the whole Jaimie Alexander speculation began, that’s who I’ve been sold on. Especially after seeing her in Thor 2, I think she’s ready for a larger chunk of screen time and a higher profile character.

plazmaorb November 13, 2013 at 11:30 am

F&F movies are never known for their great acting… a good director can bring out the best, even out of the most mediocre of actors (look at Tarrantino with Travolta)

William Bruce West November 13, 2013 at 11:39 am

Speaking of Haywire, a lot of people don’t realize that her dialogue was overdubbed because her lines just didn’t sound right. She’s got the physicality, but the delivery ain’t there.

HowardTheDeck November 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

oof. Yeah that sounds like a Wonder Woman death sentence. I think most fans would prefer the delivery and charisma be there, and the look is secondary.

Josh Kaye November 13, 2013 at 10:22 am

I really wanted Nathan Fillion to play Captain America. Sure, he’s no Chris Evans, but it would just be the funniest thing ever made.

wat November 13, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Wow, Bradley Cooper would actually make a great Flash. He’s a great actor and he naturally has the joke-y nature of Flash. Also +1 for Jaimie Alexander for Wonder Woman.

HowardTheDeck November 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I agree. I’ve heard rumors of Cooper for GL and Flash, and I’ve always liked him for Flash more. I think Chris Pine could be a good fit in one of those roles as well.

wat November 14, 2013 at 2:33 am

I’m not so sure if I can see Chris Pine pulling off the nature of Flash but Bradley Cooper is perfect because he has both experience in comedic and serious films. Perfect for Flash! 🙂

So far my Justice League is:

Superman – Henry Cavill (obviously)
Batman – Ben Affleck (obviously)
Flash – Bradley Cooper (again, he’s a great balance of serious and comedic and he looks the part as well)
Wonder Woman – Jaimie Alexander (she looks the part minus a tan and she has experience playing a similar role for Marvel with the character Sif)

Not sure who could play Martian Manhunter or Aquaman yet! lol

For villains I have:

Lex Luthor – Bryan Cranston (He’s proven he can play an evil, bald head of an empire. The darker parts of Breaking Bad just scream he’s optimal for Lex Luthor)
Darkseid – Ron Perlman (He’s proven he looks great in full makeup and what he can’t handle physically at his age, CGI can step in)

wat November 14, 2013 at 2:40 am

Whoops! I forgot my Green Lantern. 😛 I’d go with John Stewart over Hal Jordan personally (for versatility’s sake). And I’d cast Idris Elba. He’d make a PERFECT John Stewart (he looks the part down to a T plus he’s a pretty amazing actor) and the Green Lantern franchise needs a well-deserved reboot after Ryan Reynolds’ performance as Hal. It was as terrible as the entire Green Lantern movie.

HowardTheDeck November 14, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Elba is awesome in everything he is in. It would be funny to see DC pirate two Thor actors to be in the Justice League. It just speaks to the strength of Marvel’s casting.

wat November 14, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Haha, I didn’t even think of that. That would be funny. I hope DC wouldn’t take that into consideration if they were thinking of Idris and Jaimie.

wat November 14, 2013 at 4:43 am

Also, how do you think Flash’s costume would be executed? It’s easy for them to have an alien-like suit for GL similar to Superman’s Man of Steel suit (or even revisit the CGI design technique for Ryan Reynolds’ suit), Batman will probably have a cool practical design, Wonder Woman can just have (skimpy) armor in the classic colors of her outfit, Aquaman can have a fish scaly outfit that’s also a bit similar to Superman’s and the rest of the Kryptonian’s, and Martian Manhunter is pretty much just naked with a cape. What design could Flash have that works for him? Especially the lightning bolt ear pieces. I can’t see that not being cheesy in live action lol.

HowardTheDeck November 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I fear the look of the lightning bolt ear pieces as well. Thing is, I felt the same way about Captain America (that there would be no way to convert that look to film effectively) but they pulled it off. Now Marvel seems to have a better rep as far as the visual design of costumes goes, but I think Flash can be done right.

wat November 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm

I wasn’t a fan of the Avengers Captain America costume. I preferred the one he wore during WW2.

Jason G November 14, 2013 at 9:33 am

Dave Chapelle in a reboot of Handi-man #inlivingcolor

Manuel Granados November 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Bryan Cranston as anything.
He’d make a great villain for anyone. Hell, he’d need his own villain themed movie because all others would pale and look lame next to him.

Elroy_Jetson November 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Maybe not the best in the role ever, but no one, absolutely no one, will wear the Wonder Woman costume quite like Lynda Carter.

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