Monday, January 17, 2011

F Weird Casting in Comic Book Movies

The Green Hornet is the number one movie in America right now, which I don't think any of us expected from a superhero movie starring Seth Rogen. Speaking of actors who might be miscast as superheroes, let's F some of the weirdest/most terrible casting decisions in comic book movie history.

1. Michael Keaton, Batman (1989) - The original WTFuck casting of a comic book movie. I get what Tim Burton was going for in casting Michael Keaton -- he wanted a guy who was odd and a little off and who might believably dress up as a bat and fight people. Unfortunately, he let that one casting decision do all the heavy lifting character-wise and spent no further time on developing Bruce Wayne or Batman. I did like when Batman made grilled cheese with an iron. You're doing it wrong, Batman!

2. Halle Berry, X-Men (2000) - Because Angela Bassett isn't a person who acts in movies.

3. Jessica Alba, The Fantastic Four (2005) - Yes, anyone whose name doesn't rhyme with "Rhis Revans" is horribly miscast in Tim Story's terrible Fantastic Four movie (even you, the Commish), but Jessica Alba's casting is particularly egregious. Maybe because she's playing a scientist. Mostly because she's playing a human. She's the worst.

4. Warren Beatty, Dick Tracy (1990) - Square-jawed, do-gooding supercop? We've got just the mumbling, incoherent sack of leather for the job.

5. Matthew Goode, Watchmen (2009) - It's almost impossible to watch Matthew Goode's fey, quasi-European, Schumacher Ozymandias in Zack Snyder's Watchmen after learning that at one point the part was being considered by Tom Cruise. That would have been some brilliant casting, and would have helped solve one of the few big problems that movie has.

6. Shaquille O'Neal, Steel (1997) - Great idea, people in charge of movies!

7. Keanu Reeves, Constantine (2005) - I'm not sure anyone who read Hellblazer pictured Johnny Utah as the chain smoking, very British badass John Constantine. Shane Falco isn't bad in a movie that's somewhat underrated, but I'm not sure you can call it a real adaptation of Hellblazer. Someone should have told them about Clive Owen.

8. Tommy Lee Jones, Batman Forever (1995) - The fact that Two-Face is one of the villains in Batman Forever at all is a mistake, but I get it that Warner Bros. had already burned through most of the well-known villains by the third movie in the franchise. I get the feeling they cast Harvey Dent more than Two-Face, and Tommy Lee Jones is an aging white man, which makes him convincing as a lawyer. No one could have predicted how fantastically shitty he would be in the part. In a movie filled with badness, he is the badnessest.

9. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (2008) - Speaking of Batman villains. I was bummed out when I learned that Heath Ledger would be playing the Joker in Christopher Nolan's second Batman movie -- partly because I didn't feel like the Joker needed to be revisited (wrong) and partly because I thought Heath Ledger was way too young for the part. It takes a big man to admit when he is wrong, and I'm fucking huge. Heath Ledger killed the part (the part returned the favor), walking away with the movie and owning the role of the Joker for the rest of time. I was wrong about Heath Ledger, too. He rules.

10. Nicolas Cage, Superman Lives (Never Happened) - I'll admit that I was excited to learn that Nicolas Cage was going to be playing the Man of Steel in Tim Burton's unproduced Superman movie, even though I recognize it's the worst possible casting choice. I just happen to love Nicolas Cage, and suspected that he was going to play the superhero like an alien freak who feels cut off from humanity, and that intrigued me. I was way less excited about the possibility of a Tim Burton Superman, because there's nothing about his aesthetic that suggests he's the right director for that job and I thought he had already said everything he needed to say about the comic book genre with his two Batman movies. This was nearly 15 years ago, before we learned that Tim Burton had already said everything he needed to say about movies. Period. Nic Cage still got paid $20 million for not making the movie. Badass. Also, wasteful and terrible.

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