I think we can all agree that there will be big summer super hero movies for a good long while. There will be an Avengers sequel. There will be yet another Spider-Man. Another era of Batman is around the corner. With so many properties on the horizon, we can’t help but play our favorite game Cast That Hero! In a perfect world, we would see these actors suiting up in the future. We also take a moment to mourn great casting that could have been.
10. Kristen Connolly as Mary Jane
Will this new Spider-Man series eventually give us a Mary Jane Watson? Probably. We nominate Kristen Connolly, who has become a geeky household name after Cabin in the Woods. Imagine the girl who did so well playing “the virgin,” retooled to play the aspiring sexpot who loves a super hero? Connolly would find herself in a rather rare position of having to fill very small shoes. “Kirsten Dunst will always be MY Mary Jane,” said nobody.
In Memoriam: Christina Hendricks in 2002.
9. Ben Foster as Hank Pym
Let me give you my reasons why there shouldn’t be an Ant-Man movie: 1) Hank Pym is the next obvious choice of character if Marvel wants to expand the Avengers roster in the future. 2) Having Edgar Wright make a movie that must fit into the current Marvel movie cannon is a terrible idea because it limits Edgar Wright and that is a sin against God!
So, if we have to adapt Hank Pym in a non-comedic way, we say Ben Foster is your man! Remember that Pym isn’t your average comic character, he’s like super hero Mark Zuckerberg. Pym has regularly crumbled under the pressure of being the worlds greatest inventor and a superhero. Ben Foster’s brooding demeanor would be a great contrast to the flashy self-confidence of Robert Downey Jr.
In Memoriam: Nathan Fillion in 2001.
8. Kit Harington as Jesse Custer
So he’s British… who cares? Most British actors who take on American accents end up sounding like watered down Clint Eastwood anyway, which is great because that’s Jesse Custer. The timing is ripe for a full-scale adaptation of Preacher, but not for the big screen, for TV. We’ve seen Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, both giant undertakings, have huge success on cable. Preacher can’t be far behind. Not only does Kit Harington have the look, he has nailed Custer’s loner persona. Pair that with his nonchalant ability to dish out pain and you have yourself a modern western hero.
In Memoriam: James Marsden in 2002
7. David Tennant as The Riddler
Can we agree that the best Dr. Who episodes are when David Tennant gets mad? Nothing like a man who despises violence using other means to destroy you. Imagine that energy channeled into Batman’s methodical nemesis. While we won’t get to see Christopher Nolan’s treatment of Edward Nigma, you can bet he will be on top of the list in the eventual reboot. Aside from his supporting role in Fright Night, we have not seen “David Tennant, movie star.” Can’t think of a better way to start.
In Memoriam: Robert Downey Jr. in 1995
6. Bryan Cranston as Norman Osborn
Bryan Cranston has had an odd career. He went from the manic, goofy father of Malcom in the Middle to the sinister yet likable Walter White in Breaking Bad. Norman Osborn has had the same kind of progression. As the Green Goblin he was silly yet deadly, but the character went through an overhaul in the last few years and evolved into a charismatic megalomaniac. Willem Dafoe was more suited for the latter aspects of Osborn’s psyche, then again, anyone would have trouble looking menacing dressed as a Power Ranger. Cranston feels like he’s been pulling it off for years. We know Peter Parker is set to face the Lizard in the upcoming reboot, but if a sequel wants to bring back a classic villain a la Joker in The Dark Knight, then Bryan Cranston is the guy.
In Memoriam: Tommy Lee Jones in 1990
5. Gina Carano as Wonder Woman
We previous brought up Joss Whedon’s derailed Wonder Woman movie with Cobie Smulders playing the Amazon princess. Sure she’s got swagger and wit, but when I think of Diana I think curves and grit. Gina Carano was born to dawn the gold bracelets. She would elevate whatever paint by numbers origin script they’ve got into what we all really want, action! A Wonder Woman who can actually fight? Go figure.
In Memoriam: Angelina Jolie in 2004
4. Dennis Quaid as Jim Gordon
Nobody will nay-say that Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Jim Gordon. He absolutely knocked it out of the park. Yet imagine Gordon played by an aging leading man instead of an aging character actor. Dennis Quaid could have been Batman at one time, what a perfect fit for the Bat’s legal counterpart.
In Memoriam: Paul Newman in 1985
3. Colin Firth as Dr. Strange
Origin stories be damned, give us a Stephen Strange who has been on the job for a bit! Maybe we wont see the sorcerer supreme whipping out any Muay Thai, but who wants to see that? Colin Firth would bring prestige and grace to the thinking man’s superhero. We might also see the first comic book movie that your grandmother would want to see.
In Memoriam: Hugh Laurie pre-House
2. Zac Efron as Nightwing
A Nightwing movie? Like that would ever happen. But, what if Man of Steel fails? Warner Brothers will surely be hesitant to throw money at an Aquaman or Wonder Woman picture. Batman has always been a sure thing. Why not produce a smaller property that ties directly into the Bat cannon? Zac Efron has built a career on his self-assured charisma. He will also bring to the Batman property the one thing it doesn’t have, a fan base of teenage girls.
In Memoriam: Michael J. Fox in 1982
1. Colin Farrell as Dr. Strange
Maybe you do want a young, ass-kicking Stephen Strange? Imagine a character who is part James Bond part Gandalf. Colin Farrell has already shown his ability to fully commit to a comic book role. Imagine if he had a director who actually told him when he had gone from cool to goofy?
There is a very real chance that the new head of Walt Disney Pictures will be someone from Marvel. That person’s first task will be to replicate the strategy of The Avengers and expand the Marvel universe. A tested movie star like Colin Farrell behind a Doctor Strange movie opens up an entire realm of options as we enter this second age of comic book adaptations.
In Memoriam: Pierce Brosnan in 1989.
tomorrow Monday for Earth’s Mightiest Decade — Part 6