With an onslaught of upcoming comic book movies on the horizon and a ton of rumored properties being adapted from the pages of a comic book to the silver screen, the only thing a comic fan hopes is that the portrayal of their favorite character isn’t construed into something that falls short. I can reference a few of movies that didn’t go as well as the big studios hoped, the most glaring one being Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds. And if you’re an older nerd like me, the glaring one from our childhood was Daredevil starring Ben Afleck.
I mention those movies and leading actors because I’m sure that any comic fan has an opinion on which actor or actress they would like to take on the mantle of their favorite superhero. And if you’re like me, and not a Hollywood casting agent, our choices will probably never come true but we can always speculate and hope. Fan casting is something that I enjoy because I’m purely motivated by the source material whereas Hollywood studios factor in a lot of other things in their decision to cast an actor for a role. I’m not saying that they are to blame for when movies flop at the box office. There are a lot of factors but we’re only human and finding someone to blame for the catastrophe of a movie that X-Men: The Last Stand, the 3rd X-Men flick, was, helps me sleep at night.
But it all isn’t all negative. When Chris Evans was casted as Captain America after being the Fantastic 4’s Human Torch in two of Fox’s movies, I was really skeptical if he could fill the enormous shoes of Steve Rogers. Matthew McConaughey was up for the role, too, but besides having the look of Cap, I didn’t think McConaughey could exude Cap from the comics. As history will tell, Chris succeeded expectations, not only in the look of the character but also the presence of what Captain America stands for. Suffice to say, I forgot about the hotheaded and snarky performances he put in for Johnny Storm because Chris Evans will always be my image of Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Another prime example for fan casting is Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. When I read that he was up for the role, I immediately knew he would be perfect based on the actor’s personal life. Robert acted like a rockstar in the real world which anyone who knows Tony Stark in the comics knows that Tony was a womanizing drunkard. It seemed that Robert Downey Jr. was the real life version of Tony Stark! And we all know how that turned out; without Iron Man, we wouldn’t have the rest of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Course, most of our picks for new movies on the docket will never become realized but it’s always fun to speculate. I for one think Emily Blunt will be Captain Marvel in the movie slated for 2018. I’m also in the camp that Katee Sackhoff from the reimagined Battlestar Galactica would be perfect as well, but I think Marvel really wants Emily in their movies. And I could go on like this forever! That’s the beauty of fan casting.
But the downside of this whole thing is not being happy with who’ve they casted. I’m not a supporter of Ben Afleck taking up the cowl in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice but I’m going to reserve my judgment until after see I see the movie. And I know with the Internet, opinions will fly left and right with some being negative comments. It’s difficult to stay silent when you think your beloved comic character might not live up to your expectation based on the actor playing them but I want to remind everyone that it’s just a movie. The cinematic universe may (and mostly likely can) be different than the source material. And the studios can’t please everyone in the world who voices their opinion on the matter.
So as much as I would love Christian Bale to reprise his role as the Dark Knight post-Christopher Nolan, Ben Afleck or Batfleck is now the Batman and there’s nothing I can do about it. I do hope he makes the fans happy with his portrayal. This happens in comics also. A new creative team takes over after a story arc and the character is the same but the interpretation is what may vary. The question becomes, will I continue to read the book with a new creative team or not? Will I go see the movie or pass on it? The decision is up to you. But it definitely makes for good conversation at your local comic shop!
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