We here at Goliath have already brought our beloved readers our opinions on the best and worst casting decisions in superhero movies, and we had so much fun digging into the world of comic book adaptations that we decided to do a little casting of our own. With a huge docket of impending superhero and comic book adaptations on the way, we wanted to play around with some ideas about which actors and actresses could play superheroes, and what roles they’d be best in moving forward. Now, mind you, these are just our opinions, but we feel pretty confident in saying that the individuals on this list would be stellar choices for the roles we’ve outlined, and we fully expect to see most of these characters make their way to the big screen (or, in some cases, the smaller screen of television) in the very near future. Without further ado, here are 10 actors and actresses who should play superheroes.
10. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Cable)
With Deadpool set to hit theaters early this year, we fully expect his comic cohort, Cable, best known as the leader of the X-Force, to make his way to the silver screen as well. When the hulking cybernetic telepath does get there, we’re hoping it’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the wickedly underrated actor who you might recognize from Zach Snyder’s Watchmen or Supernatural, who gets to play him. Morgan, whose been doing quietly stellar work for quite some time, is a dead ringer for Cable, whose powers consist of advanced cybernetic enhancements and the ability to jump back and forth in time (he also has light telekinetic and telepathic abilities, but they’re more of a backseat sort of thing). Cable, who would most certainly be at the head of the X-Force when he does make his way into the movies, did a now-famous comic book run with Deadpool in a “buddy cop” situation. It’d make for great cinema.
9. Tom Hardy (Wolverine)
Hugh Jackman can’t play Wolverine forever (although we’d like him to), and eventually they’ll need to cast a new actor to take up those sideburns and adamantium claws. We know this may not be a hit with everyone, but we love the idea of Tom Hardy in the role. Hardy, who has proven time and time again that he’s more than capable of doing the “gruff but quietly stoic” thing, is closer in appearance to the Wolverine of the X-Men comics than Jackman ever has been (Wolverine is a shorter, stockier character in the source material, while Jackman maintains a taller sort of physique), and we’ve no doubt he’d slip right into the role as a younger but equally intimidating character. Of course, he’d have to ditch the accent, but we believe he’d have no problem after seeing what sort of voice he crafted for Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.
8. Keri Russell (Spider Woman)
Keri Russell has been doing stellar work in Hollywood for decades now, but we’ve never seen her given her due as a quality actress who could carry a big time action flick all by her lonesome. We’re going to go against that grain here and choose her as our ideal candidate to play Spider Woman. Whether she’d be Jessica Drew (the original Spider Woman) or Julia Carpenter (who later took up the mantle) remains to be seen; that’s the filmmakers job, after all. But we’d like to see Russell, who has done some terrific work on FX’s The Americans, in an action-oriented role similar to the one she played in J.J. Abrams’ Mission Impossible III, where she shined as the protégé of Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt. With Spider Woman a once-integral part of the Avengers, we fully expect her to make an appearance in a Marvel movie at some point in the future; when she does, we hope Russell is the one donning the tights and bringing this formidable female into the fray.
7. Natalie Dormer (Carol Danvers)
We’ve identified a whoooooole lot of women on this list we’d like to see play Carol Danvers, a.k.a Ms. Marvel; the reason behind this seems to be the prominence with which one might expect Danvers to factor into the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward. One of the Marvel’s universe’s most powerful individuals, Danvers is capable of going toe-to-toe with most anyone the comic book world, and her place as both an Earthly individual (so as to interact with the Avengers) and a galactic one (so as to interact with the Guardians of the Galaxy) makes her an important figure in this interconnected universe moving forward. With all that said, we’d love to see Natalie Dormer, best known for her work on HBO’s Game of Thrones and in The Hunger Games franchise, take on the role. Dormer’s trademark smirk and buoyant personality would fit excellently with the Danvers comic book readers have come to know and love. However, Dormer isn’t our first choice for the role….but more on that later.
6. John Krasinski (Hal Jordan)
This one might seem a bit out of left field, but it’s important to note that John Krasinksi, best known for his work as Jim Halpert on The Office, was a finalist for the role of Steve Rogers/Captain America before Chris Evans was ultimately gifted the part. So we know Krasinski at least has his eyes on the superhero genre, and we know studios will give thought to casting the hilarious actor in a more serious and stoic role; that’s why we’ve chosen him as our ideal candidate to play Hal Jordan in the rebooted Green Lantern film that will ultimately connect with the burgeoning DC Comics Cinematic Universe (which began with Man of Steel). Krasinski would be perfect for the role of Jordan, a fast-talking and wisecracking fighter pilot who is far more noble than his exterior demeanor would lead you to believe.
5. Donald Glover (Miles Morales)
This one might be cheating, as Glover already voices the animated version of Miles Morales on the current run of Ultimate Spider Man. Morales, for those of you who are unaware, is the current iteration of Spider-Man, having taken up the role after Peter Parker’s death (don’t worry, he’s back now. Sort of. It’s complicated). Glover is an avid fan of the Spider-Man comics, having publicly campaigned (to much success with fans) for the role of Peter Parker before it was given to Andrew Garfield in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider Man. With Tom Holland set to play the latest version of Spidey in this year’s Captain America: Civil War, we’d like to see Glover be given a chance to get a Spidey costume of his own, even if it is in the form of a character he’s already currently playing.
4. Charlize Theron (Carol Danvers)
We’re firm believers that Charlize Theron can do just about anything, and last year’s terrific performance in Mad Max: Fury Road didn’t do anything to dissuade us from that opinion. Theron, who is no stranger to action movies having taken part in the aforementioned Mad Max and films like Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, would be an excellent choice to play Carol Danvers, a.k.a Ms. Marvel, if the studio decided to go in a more established direction that our previous suggestion of young Natalie Dormer. Adding a good bit of gravitas to most anything she does, Theron has also exhibited a strong comedic streak in work like Arrested Development and Young Adult. We can see this working in a Marvel movie.
3. Idris Elba (John Stewart)
We’d watch and listen to Idris Elba read a phone book if it came to it; the man’s just that awesome. He practically oozes charisma. That’s why the staff here at Goliath feel as though he’d be an absolutely stellar addition to the DC Cinematic Universe as John Stewart, the second Green Lantern (after the aforementioned Hal Jordan). Now, whether Stewart and Jordan exist in the same movie or the studio decides to go with one or the other, we don’t care, so long as we get to see Elba get a power ring and start wreaking havoc on anything silly enough to start trouble in his corner of the galaxy (or, you know, wear the colour yellow). Elba, who is most famous for his work on Luther, currently plays Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (he is present in both Thor movies).
2. Emily Blunt (Carol Danvers)
We promise, this is our last attempt at casting Carol Danvers. No, really. We think it’s the best one, too, and here’s why: fresh off a breakout performances in Edge of Tomorrow and Sicario, Emily Blunt is poised to become the next big female action star in Hollywood. We’re talking Linda Hamilton in Terminator big. She’s plays a no-nonsense badass as well as anyone, and we can’t think of anyone else we’d rather see throwing down as Ms. Marvel when she finally makes her way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rumor has it Blunt was courted by Marvel to play Natasha Romanoff, but the schedules didn’t align and the studio was forced to go with Scarlett Johansson instead (that’s not exactly a terrible fallback option).
1. Joaquin Phoenix (Marc Spector)
We’ve conveyed our dismay before that Joaquin Phoenix didn’t end up taking the role of Dr. Strange. While Benedict Cumberbatch is all well and good, Phoenix remains one of the very best actors of his generation, and seeing him take on a juicy comic book role would be a thing of legend. That said, rumors of concern on his behalf about committing to multiple films seem legitimate…but what about a TV series? Many big name actors are flocking to television, hailing it as a new opportunity to tell dynamic stories over longer arcs than a film can offer. Perhaps Joaquin could be coerced into playing Marc Spector, a.k.a Moon Knight, in a Jessica Jones-esque type of Netflix series? Moon Knight is a brutal fighter who would be right at home with Marvel’s new R-rated online content, and seeing Joaquin play the tortured badass would be like the cherry on top of a sweet, sweet comic book pie.