It seems this Ben Affleck casting caused quite a stir. As the news was dropped and the debris laid rest, fans were up in arms over their fallen hero, Christian Bale. The thing is the Batman recasting would’ve had to happen eventually. Just as all comic book movie stars will have to be recast eventually. So to avoid another commotion we’re here to help. We want to help plan ahead for these comic franchise, both new and old, released and unreleased. So this is our 3 part series to give Hollywood a blueprint to deal with the future of their franchises. We will cast comic book characters based on 3 categories; 1) “Please don’t fuck this up”, where we’ll cast comic book movies not yet made, but we think should be; 2) “You already fucked up but we’ll see if we can save it”, where we’ll recast the movies Hollywood ruined in a bad way, i.e. Green Lantern; and lastly 3) “That’s a tough act to follow”, where we’ll recast the best cast characters in an attempt to prepare the franchises when their star actors move on.
This is the part we break down who has been treated very poorly. We try to rectify the transgressions of hollywood. And we try to resuscitate some possibly dead franchises.
Daredevil (I’ll give them the excuse that this was before Hollywood had learned how to handle a comic book franchise):
Michael – DISCLAIMER (Daredevil is a character close to my heart.) So when I was 12 and impressionable, I loved this movie. I watched the DVD and special features hundreds of times. As I got older, I began to realize that this Daredevil was missing a lot. I watched it recently and saw folly not in the casting, but with the actual production of the film. The script, style, and structure of the story had far too much in common with the previous Spider-Man movie. (Not to mention they totally left out Karen Page and Stick…VERY important pieces to the DD pie.) Yes, they are similar characters, but not enough was done to really illustrate Daredevil as a character cut from a totally different cloth. Tonally, they are different stories. Daredevil is a far rougher character, with more tragedy and if you were to ask me, he is really defined by the grim n’ gritty era of the late 1970s – 1980s. There were no wisecracks. Spider-Man is cut from the same cloth of hope that Superman is cut from. Idealistically, I consider Spider-Man a left over from the 1950s “Curt Swanian” Silver Age. In the way that I consider Spider-Man a response to Superman, I consider Daredevil a response to Spider-Man. He came out as a byproduct of the Silver Age, but really found his voice with Frank Miller in the anti hero 1980s…
So. In a perfect world, you can all bet that I would love to see a Daredevil TV series. I loooooove TV series’. They are a great way to tell a story, and the medium has gotten better at creating contained stories. So lets play with what we know: Marvel has the rights. The last Daredevil project with David Slade was going to take place in 1973. Now lets play with franchises.
Let’s say Marvel strikes a deal with Netflix for a VOD series about the early Marvel Cinematic Universe called Marvel Knights. This would be a nostalgic look at a darker more mature side of NYC in the 1970/1980s. Taxi Driver-esque you could say. I would say then and only then can you cast Benjamin McKenzie as ol’ hornhead. I’d believe him as a superhero with good ole’ Irish Catholic guilt. and in a looser Marvel Knights branded world, you could have him meet up with the likes of characters in their appropriate time periods to add a sense of history. Luke Cage. Iron Fist. Punisher. Hell. Even a younger Nick Fury. You’re welcome Marvel.
…But if we have to go plain-ole movie, Josh Hartnett is my guy. Just watch Sin City. Shit is simple.
Nichole – I’m torn on my casting picks for Daredevil. So I’ll offer my two. Jack Huston is the actor who brilliantly portrays Richard Harrow on Boardwalk Empire. I think he’s so underrated, despite Richard Harrow being a fan-favorite. A comic book movie might be just what Jack needs to up his presence in Hollywood. He definitely has the chops to fill the role. My second choice is the lesser known Aneurin Barnard. Aneurin was recently in The White Queen playing the brooding and complex Richard III. I’d never heard of him before, but his performance in TWQ really stood out for me. The only downside with Aneurin is that he’d be on the “younger” side of the spectrum, as he is 26. Bottom line, Jack or Aneurin, they both do interesting, brooding characters very well.
Cargile - I hate to be the guy to do this, but I guess with my penchant for being likable it’s shouldn’t be a surprise I want a little of both your ideas. I like this use of Netflix to create back stories for what I would assume would have to hit the theaters eventually in some form. With that being said we aren’t debating the strategy of Marvel and how they will release these franchises, so on a pure character level, I like the idea of a great character actor for this. Jack Huston already knows how to overcome a mask and still seem compelling. With that his face is relatively unknown (the first time I saw those Guiness commercials I found myself wondering, “who’s this jamoke?”). And if we’re going to strategize out a blueprint, I like the Marvel Knights idea and I say they take an “American Horror Story” approach and create mini series’ wrapped around certain characters who they will later make movies for (I am now going down a long rabbit hole of planning Marvel’s next 30 years). Jack Huston it is. However I am a sucker for Benjamin McKenzie, but I think his broodiness might be better fit for a guy like Havoc, which without warning I now just recast. Deal with it.
Green Lantern (So is it me or does this seem oddly similar to the Daredevil situation. Hollywood hunk gets casted and no care for the quality of the movie, as long as they get their catch phrase moments. This movie sucked. Although Colin Farrell was a good Bullseye and Michael Clark Duncan made a very good Kingpin.):
Michael – (DISCLAIMER: I’m not going to rant on this very long, BC I could give a shit about Green Lantern.) I think they should toss away continuity and cast a totally different guy and a totally different character. My issue with Green Lantern, and with the Justice League, AND with superhero groups is that they are generally a group of orphaned white guys. In a perfect world, I’d be able to cast Lizzy Caplan as Kyle Rayner, but this will never happen. Having said that, I think they should go with John Stewart since he gained visibility in the cartoon, and I think it would be best if they cast an actor like Derek Luke, since he has a name and could be reintroduced easily in an Justice League movie. Maybe a comedic relief character can make mention in reference to the changing face of the Green Lantern. I honestly don’t think that this character needs his own movie. Unless they retooled the concept of a Green Lantern film to be more like an intergalactic Saving Private Ryan. Then we could see more of an ensemble film, which I think would be more interesting than the last thing we saw. He’s just not that interesting unless he’s with a team. Alone he’s just a green dude making green balloons.
Nichole – I am 100% for Idris Elba as the John Stewart Green Lantern. I pretty much want Idris to be in everything, but this role in particular would be perfect. With Sci-Fi credentials like Prometheus and Pacific Rim, Idris has a powerful, effortlessness about him which would make for a great Green Lantern. And ‘an intergalactic Saving Private Ryan’ approach sounds awesome!
Cargile – I too would cast Idris Elba in everything if I could, but I already casted him as Spawn. Here’s the thing, if you’re going to make a whole origin story movie, you’re going to want someone seriously good, like Elba. But hear me out on this idea. What if DC comics decides to forgo making another movie based around this character and instead just had him show up in the Justice League movie. And what if the Justice League movie was going to be bad, which there’s a good chance it will be. Then what if they said fuck it and decided we’ll just revel in our badness ala Fast and Furious. Then and only then do I say cast Tyrese. For some reason this is wildly entertaining to me and I actually want to see this movie. If somehow we could spare Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman from needing to be in this movie, I’m all in. But if somehow DC surprises me and makes a good run at the Justice League franchise, I’d say give the full reboot to Green Lantern and cast Michael B. Jordan. If anyone can do it, he can.
Deadpool (I like Ryan Reynolds. Right?!? I don’t know maybe it’s a bad sign that he’s had his hand in 2 of our ruined franchises):
Michael – Keep Ryan Reynolds. He wasn’t ever the problem. I blame the producers for this. Reynolds is the perfect asshole to do this part. But if a gun is to my head, my dream Deadpool would have to make fun of every superhero movie in a Tarantino fashion. It would almost have to be a metafictional farce in the vein of Community + Crank. I’d like to see someone like Matthew Vaughn take on Deadpool. Someone with a really fun kinetic style. I mean. Deadpool is kind of the James Franco/Charlie Day of superheroes. Actor wise, I’d love to see someone funny like Adam Scott don the mask. I’d want it to be sort of in the spirit of the 90’s joke the Deadpool is. It’s a shame Joss Whedon can’t get his hands on this.
Nichole – I’m going to have to say Zachary Levi, although I don’t know how that’d work canon-wise as he’s replaced Josh Dallas as Fandral in Thor: The Dark World. He’s got the physicality and the nerd street cred. Most importantly, I think he could bring that light, comic element to Deadpool.
Cargile – Okay I know I’m supposed to help us come to a consensus but for this one I’m going to throw another hat in the ring. While I agree that Ryan Reynolds isn’t to blame for Fox turning him into Baraka from Mortal Kombat, I still can’t help but remember that Ryan Reynolds did also have a hand in the Green Lantern fiasco so I think maybe he should just stay away from the comic book movies. But fortunately for us there’s another brawny actor that plays the dickhead almost too well. And if we’re going to do a Community-esque satire type of thing, I’d say why not take from the source. Joel McHale. I mean seriously. The guy lampoons pop culture for a living on Talk Soup and his network show lampoons network shows. He essentially is Deadpool of Hollywood already. Cut and print.
Mr. Freeze (honestly one of the best motives among villains, can we get this guy done right):
Michael – I’d love a return to the kind of villain we hate to love. The Dr. Frankenstein types that start out with good intentions. I think that Batman villains evoke a great deal of sympathy from their tragedies. Vic Fries was once just a guy who wanted to love, but wanted to preserve everything in ice. He’s a guy holding onto love, life, and I think in today’s world, he’s hold onto his youth. He’s a Shakespearean tragedy. I think an update on Mr. Freeze would give him a slant in the vein of Dorian Grey. For these reasons, and Hollywood’s obsession with preserving youth, I’d select Paul Dano, who has the fat face of a baby, but the soul and acting chops of a much older man. Yes, I could have picked an old English guy, but I just don’t think that would make sense with the character if he was in our world today. Dano could do it.
Nichole – Okay, Okay, my choice is English – but! …For some reason, my split second gut reaction when I saw “Mr. Freeze” was Dominic West. Dominic West is another one of those underrated-why-don’t-more-people-know-you? actors. I think he has such gravitas and presence, as well as charm and charisma – which could make for an interesting, more sympathetic, Freeze.
Cargile – So first let me paint you my vision. I’d love to start seeing some comic book movies that gave origin stories for the villains. I mean if they can make Hannibal walk the grey line of protagonism than why can’t we do this for our comic book villains. Most of them are certainly not as evil as Hannibal Lecter and are in most cases governed by some pretty empathetic motives. And Mr. Freeze has one of the most empathetic stories around. IT’S FOR LOVE DAMMIT. Now I also have a vision of DC completely blowing people’s minds and filming 4 villain origin movies simultaneously, but doing so in complete secrecy. Then releasing them all with less than obvious titles and making it so the actual reveal of said villains is the surprise ending. They release all four in one year, and the final one shows them all meeting up in some post credit clip, leading to a super-villain super team movie. It’s Avengers, but flipped. And the one guy leading the bunch is the guy who rightfully should never get an origin and he walks out of the shadows at the end of the clip just laughing maniacally and closes the clip with him saying, “wait till they get a load of us.” (for those not keeping up I’m referring to the Joker). Rewind now, cause I think the first of these secret origin movies should be Mr. Freeze. You make the movie about a love so great, so passionate it just can’t last, and it doesn’t. And make it about a man who loses his mind after losing everything he ever wanted and subjects himself to grave danger in an attempt to save the only thing that matters to him. Cue the teary eyed ending where everything goes dark and sad and all that emerges is Mr. Freeze. And the one man I keep seeing playing this part so perfectly emotional in the early acts and cold and brutal in the final, is Ryan Gosling. DC I’m available via email. Lets make this summer of DC happen.
Rogue (I know people love true blood, but she was not Rogue. We discussed a Ms. Marvel movie, and for that we’ll need a Rogue that works)
Michael – Chloe Grace Moretz. I am forever glued to the idea of Wolverine having a ward, and who better than Hit-Girl?! I can just tell from the Carrie trailers that she’d be perfect to play Marvel’s most reluctant and unmerry mutant.
Nichole – I never felt Anna Paquin fit the role of Rogue, and I was doubly disappointed when we never saw a Rogue/Gambit relationship in the movies. My pick is Juno Temple. A sprite-like actress, Juno’s been gaining momentum ever since her role in Atonement. She even had a small part in The Dark Knight Rises. My second choice is Eleanor Tomlinson. She was (unfortunately) in Jack the Giant Slayer where she didn’t get to do much with her role. She was more recently in The White Queen (second actor from this, I know, but BBC period pieces are good at casting up and coming unknowns!) as Isabel Neville and was great in the part.
Cargile – Nichole you took the words out of my mouth. As my first crush as a kid, Rogue was the first female comic book character to catch my attention. Her surface charm and sass that covered her deep seeded depression and loneliness always got me. And Anna Paquin never even came close to that kind of gumption on screen. And leave it to you two to make this way too hard. Honestly I like them both. Is there a way we can cast them both. I guess with a gun to my head I’m tempted to go with Chloe, but if that’s the case I want to cast Juno Temple as Domino. Although Chloe might be better at interacting with our newly casted Deadpool as she’s a bit more snarky, so I vote both these girls for both these parts. Honestly Hollywood just have them pull straws. And while we’re at it, I too need the Gambit-Rogue romance and will say they should cast Colin Farrell as Gambit (who’s origin story is great for a stand alone movie. Come on, bad guy turns good, people love that sort of story)
And there you have it. Another batch of comic book franchises saved again by Rookerville. We’ll be back next week with probably the hardest part of this series which is recasting the guys who were done almost too damn well.
About Nichole Louise
Nichole is a crazy cat lady, geek girl, and writer. She has had fiction published with Yesteryear Fiction, Danse Macabre Du Jour, and Delta Women E-Zine. Her articles have been published on flashfiction.net and here on Rookerville! Her first novel, The Crash of Hard Water, is available on Amazon.
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