The Great Casting Challenge: Part III


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.  


Part III


This is the part we try to recast some roles that have some really tough shoes to fill. Lets hope we succeed in continuing these already great franchises.


Wolverine (Hugh Jackman is Wolverine and Wolverine is Hugh Jackman, but one day he will have to step down.  I’ll hate it, but we need a plan)


Nichole – Aidan Turner, if we’re going younger. He has the look and he seems to be into fantasy/sci-fi stuff as his credits include The Hobbit trilogy and Being Human. He has that lightness (i.e. Kili) that can fulfill the comedic side of Wolverine.


Michael - Let me begin this by saying that despite his height and good looks, Hugh Jackman did a hell of a job as Wolverine. Hugh Jackman is a dope actor man. For serious. I honestly think that he could have had a crack at any major heroes, if he didn’t play Wolvie. He could have been Batman. He could have been Superman. Hell He could have even been Bruce Banner, and lest I forget James Fucking Bond. These are all pretty good looking guys, and maybe with the exception of Bruce Banner, they all exceed 6’0”.


Having said all that, I want a new Wolverine to be closer to his characterization in the 1970/1980s. Back in the days where he was kind of the opposite of the heroic ideal. I want someone who isn’t dashing with a kind of John McClane’esque flair. Someone who is short, hairy, and maybe even losing his hair. The thing that strikes me about Wolverine is that although he is immortal, he’s not that sexy, airbrushed, Twilight-y, Forever 21 version of immortal.The dude is 40. Maybe perpetually his late 40s. In a perfect world, I’d like for them to cast a younger actor, but then age him up a little with make up or CGI even. I want my perfect Wolverine, who when you see him, you know he’s a mutant. There’s one artist that gave him really thick forearms like Popeye (Wolverine & Havok: Meltdown), and that’s kind of what I want. I want a Wolverine that is an animal. Not an obvious action hero. Not James Bond. I want him to be short. And I want him to not always be the most likeable guy. I mean a guy who looks 40, who is actually much older hitting on some young post-teenage red head? And then banging her whilst her innocent childhood sweetheart boyfriend broods through his 20s? Wolverine is a dick, but we should learn to like him.


Having said all of this, I would like to see Aaron Paul don the claws. Give him the hair, the chops, and a few months in the gym, but acting wise he has the height, and I think he has the range. Read Origin and just picture Aaron Paul as a younger Wolverine. Killing the love of his life. Going through Hell. Joining Weapon X. Enduring so much pain, and never dying. This is the Wolverine I want to see. I think that a new actor as Wolverine should really be transformed into the character, straight from the page, but they should also add more of what we don’t always get to see. Wolverine is a living wound. Sure i could go with an obvious guy like Joe Manganiello or Josh Brolin, but I can’t think of many actors already in their 40/50s that have the time to grow into this part. I think Aaron Paul could really sit into something like this and really convince us that he is this man. Quite frankly, if I could have my way, Harvey Keitel would have been my DREAM version of Wolverine, but time passes… I think that a new Wolverine should have the depth and grit of a movie like  Taxi Driver…with a little bit of Platoon spliced in.


Cargile -  I might still be on a Breaking Bad bender, and it may never leave me, but Aaron Paul does sound like a great choice.  One, he’s young enough to carry this franchise for a while; and two, he has the proper emotional spectrum for Wolverine. He would need to hit the gym and put on a good amount of muscle, but with how dramatically good Need For Speed looks, which is has no business looking that good, I’m convinced he’s perfect for this.  Plus he plays a tortured soul really well.


Iron Man (RDJ took Iron Man from a tier 2 super hero and made him a tier 1 guy.  That can’t be given enough credit.  Not sure anyone can Tony Stark like he can)


Nichole – I think this is the hardest of the entire list because RDJ has made his Tony Stark iconic. It’s a stretch to think of an actor who can embody the humor, confidence, toughness, sarcasm, and thoughtfulness that go with this role. (Also, RDJ pretty much acts likes Tony in real life.) I keep thinking of possible actors, but there always seems to be one or two pieces missing. For example, Ben Barnes has the look. He can be suave and charming, maybe even a tad menacing. But can he do humor? He’s done action in the Narnia films…but can he do Iron Man-grade action? What about Tyler Hoechlin? I’ve never actually seen him in anything, but I know he was (supposedly) in the running for Superman and Batman.


MichaelLeonardo Dicaprio. I don’t really think an explanation is needed. But if you MUST pry me open, I think that Leonardo could be our chance to see a Demon In A Bottle interpretation of Tony Stark. I think that what RDJ has done has set a wave in motion that really forced us to examine the inner life of our heroes. Who are they really? Flaws and all? Watch The Aviator because that movie pretty much is the story of Iron Man. Howard Hughes IS Tony Stark.



Cargile - Alright so I think there’s no way you can Leo for more than 2 films.  I think you let him do the whole Demon in a Bottle storyline, but you put it off in some future, so that the Avengers continuum is not screwed up.  You then employ one of these younger guys to take the franchise back up at the present time line. I like Tyler Hoechlin.  So that’s the final choice.


Blade (I mean I think we should all thank Wesley Snipes for revitalizing the new era of comic book movies.  And he wasn’t the perfect comic version of Blade, but that blade was lame. He took a tier 4 hero and made him easily a tier 1 hero)


Nichole – We need some Chalky White up in here! And by that, I mean Michael K. Williams. Is he too in-your-face for this role? Maybe that’s a good thing. I can also see Chiwetel Ejiofor, although he might be too “high-brow” for the role.


Michael - I’d be interested in seeing a brand new interpretation of Blade. Maybe even something closer to an origin story about Blade. In the comics he was born in London in 1929, So maybe it might be a little cool to give Blade the hypothetical MCU Marvel Knights treatment, in the sense that his story can be removed from the present day happenings of the MCU Universe. I think it might be cool to connect him to a branch of SHIELD. You could call it “Howling Commandos” and combine the horror/mystery side of the MCU with the espionage part. This would be the “Journey Into Mystery”/Doctor Strange/Giant B Movie Monster part of the MCU. I think that it would be a cool move to “high brow” Blade up a bit to distinguish him from other harder-edged black heroes in the MCU. Treat him more as a samurai-type or cursed wanderer type. Blade would be a cool hero to see fight Nazi-Vampires, and Werewolves with weapons of mass destruction… it could be very fun and far-fetched. I’m just speculating here.


And I want him to be English-y since he was born there. Chiwetel Ejiofor for the win. I’m sorry if this show is basically Doctor Who with vampires, but I’m not sorry. I desperately need to get into fan-fiction.


Cargile - Blade has a special place in my heart.  I’m usually a sucker for comic book movies sticking to the source material but there’s no doubt in my mind the cinematic version of Blade is cool as shit. The only bad thing is, that since it was an original take, it essentially is Wesley Snipes. For those who don’t know Wesley took this role more seriously than he probably should’ve.  Rumors of him holding fighting tournaments in warehouses as a way to train lead me to believe he might’ve thought he actually was Blade. It got to the point that he legit hated Ryan Reynolds in the third one because he thought he wasn’t taking it serious enough.  Still, Blade 1 and 2 are amazing.  But I think if it’s not Wesley Snipes you’re going to need a new route to go. Had he not signed on to do Spider-man I would’ve said Jaime Foxx, but since he’s not available, I like the sound of Michael K. Williams.  I think his more intimidating demeanor might be the perfect fit.



Jean Grey (Look Fox fucked up, but the casting was great.  She fit the mold quite nicely and at some point Fox is going to want to make amends to this character, but who shall they employ)


Nichole – Lily Cole!! My other choice would be Karen Gillan, but since she’s going to be in GotG, that wouldn’t really work. Lily Cole is a model who has been acting more and more in recent years. She’s a 5’10” redhead with this ethereal look that would be perfect. Phoenix is probably my favorite character in the entire Marvel universe, so my very biased opinion is that she needs her own movie. Also, the Phoenix force is one of the most powerful entities in the entire canon! I think that deserves a movie! And I think that movie should be an adaptation of the Dark Phoenix Saga!


Michael - I second Karen Gillian. Talk about a missed opportunity. I’d like to see a reboot of the X-Men franchise from the perspective of Jean Grey since she is basically, kind of the center of the story when you really think about it. I’d like to see something a little bit closer in characterization to her Ultimate Universe counterpart because she was bubbly and fun. I think that Jean Grey is way too much of a plot device in the mainstream U. I feel like my dream for Jean Grey is for her to be the anti-Bella Swan. If they were to go in one direction and put her in high school, I’d like to see someone like Brie Larson take one the role. I think it would be wise to kind of make her like an older sister-type of character. Put her in grad-school and put her days of working in the field behind her. I see her as an academic (like Prof X) and an example of what mutants can be in the mainstream world. I would love to see Taylor Schilling take on this kind of a role. Someone who is afraid of their power, and done being a hero. I mean she was known as Marvel Girl for Christ’s sake. I feel that she’d be this uber waspy girl who sort of has the same kind of regret that a former child star would have. Also I wanna see Dagny Taggart make out with Jesse Pinkman. Just sayin.


Cargile - My job here is to play pseudo arbitrator so I’m not going to rock the boat.  Karen Gillian wins on principle but since we’re worried about crossing comic book lines I’ll throw my vote for Rose Leslie, from Game of Thrones.  She can obviously be tough and yet compassionate.  If we’re starting with a young Jean Grey this is who I want.



The Joker (Probably the hardest recast ever.  This will not go over easy.  But it has to be done eventually. It was hands down the best comic book performance ever.  No Hyperbole)


Nichole - Would anyone even touch this role again given the unique circumstances of the last Joker? I cheated and have several possibilities, which is inevitable in this category. If we’re going for campy-comic-booky, cosplayer “Harley’s Joker” has the perfect look and has the act down. But, this is the film world, and that’s probably not going to happen for him (even though he has attracted ample internet fame.) That being said, what about Gaspard Ulliel? He has that angular face and the ability to play someone off the hinges (i.e. Hannibal Rising) He’s usually cast in male lead/male heart throb roles, so it would be interesting to see him as the Joker. Gael Garcia Bernal keeps coming to mind too; I don’t quite know why. Both these actors are also not American…so maybe I subconsciously think the Joker can’t be played by another American…? Also, Aiden Gillan – we know he can play sly and cunning through his role as Littlefinger in GoT – I also suspect he can play crazy quite well.



Michael - Sam Rockwell. Although I have to say that Aiden Gillan is a bomb-ass choice. I just can’t shake wanting to see his take on Harvey Dent or Commissioner Gordon.

So yeah, Sam Rockwell is a “great fucking actor.” I’d be interested in seeing him explore the origins of the Joker. Specifically his :Killing Joke” origins. Yes. The Joker a homicidal maniac, and we’ve seen that done. I think now what I’d like to see more of is the side of him that we can relate to. Lest we forget, the Joker was created by Batman in a sense. They are almost brothers. They define each other. I’d be interested to see Sam Rockwell find the happy medium between the showman that Nicholson was, and the cerebral terrorist that Ledger was. And maybe, just maybe, it might be cool to give him a little “puddin’” to banter with.


Cargile – Man both these choices are great.  I wouldn’t be mad at either choice.  I almost think the Joker is something that should be played by different people all the time.  It adds to the psychosis of the character.  If you can make them as unrecognizable as Heath was in the Dark Knight I don’t see why you can have a different actor take on the role as is needed. But I’ve always thought of the Joker’s next phase being more pessimistic.  That sounds weird cause you’re probably thinking he was already pretty pessimistic.  But think about it.  He was rather hopeful he could change the ideology of the Batman.  He was convinced he could get him to kill him.  He thought he had the human psyche figured out. But now he’s less sure of himself, and therefore more brooding and angry. I present to you Sam Witwer.  On the show Being Human alone he’s played a ton of different characters just to fit the historical mold of his character’s storyline.  He’s done a ton of video game voice acting so we know his voice is compelling, which is what you need when it comes to wearing makeup for a whole movie.  And he’s got pretty awesome facial structure for the part. I think if you want someone to be the Joker, much like RDJ is Tony Stark, or Hugh Jackman is Wolverine, this guy can BE the Joker.



BONUS RECAST- Gambit (So Gambit isn’t really established and the shoes that were put in place were not that great, but I did recast him on my own in a cavalier fashion in part II so we needed to put this up for everyone on the committee.)


Nichole - I love Gambit! When I was younger and watching the 90s animated series, I loved him and Rogue together – so she would have to be in this movie. Garrett Hedlund. He has the face, the tone, that ease about him that is so Gambit. I am also suggesting David Oakes, who is often cast in “baddie” roles. I don’t want to type cast him though, I just think he has the look and I know he can play arrogant confidence really well. I also want to note that I didn’t think Taylor Kitsch was that bad – he was pretty good for Gambit, actually, he was just way under-used.


Michael – I wish to god that Kitsch had a real moment to shine as Gambit. Honestly, if you’re smart, you’d know that his performance as Riggins on FNL was probably the best version of Gambit that I’ve ever seen. But shit happens.


All that said. Channing Tatum wants to play Gambit. LET HIM DO IT.



Cargile – When I brashly picked Colin Farrell for Gambit I was unaware that Channing Tatum wanted the role.  I can’t say no to that man.  I do think a younger McConaughey would’ve owned this, but alas his time passed for this role.  So while I would like to give Farrell another shot at the comic book world I’m going with Channing.


That does it for this casting challenge.  However we’ve received such a good response form this that we’re thinking of what portion of Hollywood we should save next.  Maybe action franchises where we pick the next Bond, Bourne, and Mission Impossible stars.  Who knows.  Either way we’ll be back. 


Matt Cargile

About Matt Cargile

Matt Cargile is the Editor in Chief of He also works in finance, but refuses to read any news printed on pink paper. He is a child at heart with adult means. His childhood dream was to either become a magician or the leader of the next great empire and somehow both these things make complete sense. He's contradictory in nature, but is always consistent.

About Michael Stevens

Michael is a writer for Rookerville and an aspiring writer at the beginning of his first significant meltdown: the Quarter-Life Crisis. He likes to think of himself as 'the alien of the group' or 'the android attempting to be human.' He is interested in many things so it would be easier to describe all the things he is not interested in: Sports. Read his stuff if you want to hear everything but sports. He is currently at large.


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 and here on Rookerville! Her first novel, The Crash of Hard Water, is available on Amazon.


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