Monday, November 17, 2008
Dream Casting the JLA Movie
A while back, I put together a dream cast for the Ultimate Avengers movie. Now it's time to go with the flip side of the coin.
Here's my list for the JLA movie they keep promising someday. I can guarantee you will not agree with many of my choices, but think about them and they just might grow on you!
Tom Welling as Superman
Why mess with what works? Welling does a great job as Clark on Smallville, even though the plots can sometimes get a little weird now. I think he deserves a chance, and the audience is built in.
He's already in his 30's, so there's no reason to think he couldn't change overnight to a more adult version of the character. Get rid of the constant questioning of his abilities, let him be secure in his role as a hero, and set him loose on villains everywhere.
I know Brandon Routh did an amazing job of perfectly channeling Christopher Reeve in Superman Returns, but I'd still give Tom a chance.
Christian Bale as Batman
Need I say more?
Bale has taken the character to new levels. While I enjoyed Michael Keaton's take on the role, Bale turned Batman into someone to really be scared of, and made us understand how a guy in a bat suit could actually become a legend.
I would prefer they just gave him a more stripped down suit though. The armor was nice, but unrealistic to the character. The Dark Knight got a little closer, but the thing that makes Batman so powerful is the fact that he's just a man with amazing athletic abilities putting his life on the line every night. A full suit of armor almost seems like cheating.
Ryan Reynolds as the Flash
This was a role that was almost cast, but last time I heard it had fallen through the cracks.
Even though Ryan is playing Deadpool in the upcoming Wolverine movie, let's hope he could still find time to get back there to play a few other hero roles. He's made for the Wally West character. Both are smart alecks, and have witty personalities. Plus the fact that he can play it tough when he has to (remember Smoking Aces?).
Kiefer Sutherland as Aquaman
You may wonder why I've allowed two members of Smallville to keep their roles, while replacing this one. Kiefer Sutherland has the ability to perfectly capture the essence of this character.
Sutherland has done a lot of action roles lately, and he has that royal air about him at times. I think he'd make a great King of Atlantis. Imagine him facing down Christian Bale's Batman and threatening to unleash the armies of Atlantis on the surface world for whatever reason. I think we might believe him.
Leonard Roberts as Green Lantern/John Stewart
I'm casting two Green Lanterns in this movie because I have a feeling they'd go with John Stewart even though Hal Jordan is the natural choice. For John Stewart, Leonard Roberts fits the bill. His work on Heroes was powerful, and he can definitely throw the attitude around when need be. At the same time, we saw his father/protector side during the first season of Heroes, and that shows a range the character would need.
Laurence Fishburne as The Martian Manhunter
Let's be honest, the man already seems like he's from another planet most of the time. As Morpheus, he kept this "I'm so bad I could kill you with a look if I felt like it" vibe going throughout the movie, and that's the thing MM would need. He can exude calm in the midst of chaos, and he could easily fill the spot as the backbone of the team.
Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern/Hal Jordan
Here's my Hal Jordan choice that makes sense if you give it a chance. He's been in space as captain of the Serenity, he's been a fighter in Buffy, and he's got the attitude to be both funny and threatening in the same sentence ("I aim to misbehave.").
He seems like one who honestly could be a man with no fear (as Jordan was supposed to be), and at the same time he could be that wild test pilot secret identity. Let's work with it.
Justin Hartley as Green Arrow
Ok, so there's no goatee, but Hartley did a bang-up job with the character on Smallville. Add the fact that we have Welling as Superman and it allows for a little back story if the writers so choose.
Now that's not to say we're going with younger versions of everyone, but with Ryan Reynolds playing Wally West and Hartley as Green Arrow, it's easy to see a possible dynamic between the two. They could easily become enemies during the movie, only to of course have GA save Wally's butt before it's all over.
Yvonne Strahovski as Black Canary
You've seen her on Chuck, and she does a pretty good job with the action parts. She's got that tough act down pat, and can still seem sensitive when needed.
She'd make a perfect foil for Green Arrow, and I think she's a better fit than the choice they made for Smallville. Let's just stay true to the costume this time. No black makeup mask or anything...just spandex and fishnet stockings.
Tiffany Dupont as Wonder Woman
She was Queen of Persia, so why not Princess of Amazon Island?
I know it seems strange to cast a little-known actress in such a major part, but she has an air of innocence about her that makes it believable she could have been raised on an island away from the evils of man. Tiffany has the dark-haired look, though Wonder Woman had blue eyes in the books. I'd skip the fake contacts and keep her as-is, letting that one little detail slide.
Could she do action films? I have no idea, but she can do emotions as needed.
Vin Diesel as Hawkman
Put down the knife! Ok, so this isn't the best actor in the world, but all he has to do is act menacing and beat people with a big stick! This is what Vin Diesel already calls "Saturday night as usual" so why not let him get paid for it? He's got the build, the freaky voice, and the attitude. Now just give him wings.
Ioan Gruffudd as The Atom
He was Reed Richards and that shows he can do the brainy role. Ray Palmer would be an easy part for him to play.
Keep in mind that for most of the movie he'd be in the JLA satellite or lab or something trying to figure stuff out. There probably wouldn't be a lot of screen time for action shots, so this character would need to project smarts. Ioan does.
Val Kilmer as Red Tornado
Just the voice here, folks. This character would need to be computer generated to give us the real feel, and Val Kilmer is as big as a horse now, so he's lost the look for movies.
Fortunately, he can still talk. If nothing else, he could give Red Tornado that emotionless, flat sound we'd expect from an android (and from most of Val's previous roles).
Jim Carrey as Plastic Man
Let's be honest: who else could do this without special effects of any kind? His face can already double in size in seconds, and he acts like he's on speed every time he's seen in public, so this is an easy, off-the-wall role for him to fill.
The only thing would be that the director would have to keep a tight rein on this. Plastic Man would need to be a character with a funny, witty side, but if it devolved into a slapstick routine it would detract from the rest of the movie. There's nothing wrong with letting Jim have fun with the role...just keep it close to the script.
John Cusack as The Question
Ok, I'll admit this guy isn't really a member of the Justice League, but he did show up in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon series a lot. Even though he's dead in the regular DC universe, let's ignore that fact and look at the potential the character could have. The cartoons gave him this "conspiracy theory" kind of feel, and his final appearances in DC's 52 finally turned him into a really cool character, so let's combine the best of all that and turn him into a character that's the catalyst for the JLA getting together. Maybe he's uncovered some huge plot to form a super-villain army, maybe it's an alien infiltration, maybe the Girl Scouts are an evil organization putting addictive chemicals in their cookies...who cares? Just give us something.
Cusack has this ability to act like a guy waaaaaaaay over the edge of sanity at times, and that would add to the quirkiness of the character. There would always be this doubt over whether or not the guy had really uncovered something or was just crazy as a loon.
And finally the most important spot to fill to make the movie work...
Zack Snyder as The Director
I haven't seen Watchmen yet (and who knows if we'll ever get to...thanks, Fox!), but the previews make it look like he knows how to handle a comic story. If he does manage to deliver the goods and stay faithful to the original plot, I think he'd make a natural choice to handle another DC hero team. They might be more open to giving him a chance after they see the money rolling in on the Watchmen box office.
If they don't like Zack, they could always like Bryan Singer have a chance at it. He did such a great job of taking the guaranteed-hit potential of Superman Returns and turning it into a film that makes Superman IV look like a masterpiece of visual storytelling (so on top of the island of Kryptonite he's so weak Luthor can beat him up, but put him under it and he can lift the whole thing and fly it into space? Yeah, that makes sense). He could let Superman's kid show up, give Aquaman a scene where he almost drowns, let Hawkman have a fear of heights, and let the Atom and Plastic Man turn out to be father and son. Oh, and Wonder Woman would actually turn out to be a guy at the end of the film. Singer has shown a knack for taking the simplest stories and convoluting them to the point of absolute chaos, so let him murder this team as well. Sorry, that was a lot of sarcasm to unload at once.
The Justice League has a ton of characters who rotate through their ranks. Who did I miss that you think should at least make a cameo in the film, and who should play them?