Comic Book Casting: Part 1
Last week I yapped about the reboot and/or reimagining craze that has seized Hollywood. This week I’m sounding off about Hollywood’s other current love affair — comic book flicks.
With the Dark Knight and Ironman, the comic book genre has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years. Gone are the days of neon walls and blacklight makeup. Thank God. The campy comic book knock-offs have been replaced with respectable films that have turned Hollywood on its ear.
The only thing that equals the anticipation of upcoming comic book flick is the speculation that goes along with them. Ask 10 people who should play the next incarnation of a favorite superhero and you just might get 10 different answers.
That’s the beauty of cinema.
For years we’ve seen these characters in our minds and sometimes when actors are slated to star in a picture, it crushes our fantasy. I’m going to tackle a few upcoming comic book films that have yet to announce a definite lead, one that has and why the Green Hornet is doomed for disaster.
Brad Pitt is Captain America. Case closed.
I’ve heard all the arguments — he’s too old, we don’t need a star in the role — save it. Since Pitt burst on the scene in the early 90s, I always imagined him as Captain America.
Pitt possesses all the essentials, all-American good looks, likeable Midwest demeanor and the physique. Not to mention some very serious acting chops. Pitt is an actor whose talent will not be fully recognized until well after he walks away from the industry. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.
The other actor that has had fans buzzing as a possible Captain lead is Will Smith. Here is my argument against Will Smith. It’s been done. Smith has been Mr. Action Hero Guy for years, dropping releases such as Independence Day, Men In Black and Hancock on the national birthday and it would be easy to see him in the role.
I, on the other hand, want an actor less obvious. I want someone who brings more than bulging biceps and an over-the-top persona to the roll. Basically, I want someone who is going to be good.
It might be conceivable that Pitt would only commit to a few films, but that would give the writers and director a chance to do something not done before, show a superhero pass on the mantle. Good stuff folks.
Casting for the God of Thunder has been a long and tedious task. The usual suspects like Brad Pitt, Leo DiCaprio and so forth have been rumored to be in talks to star, but a relative newcomer is taking the reins. It was announced that Chris Hemsworth, that’s right Captain Kirk’s daddy, will be hoisting the Hammer in the 2011 Kenneth Branagh directed film.
I was convinced when I heard that Bradley Cooper was in the running for GL that they had found their man. Young, brainy and an obvious talent, he seemingly would be a perfect choice for Hal Jordan. But whereas I would like to see a known, marketable talent in the role of Captain America, I don’t want that with GL.
The reason is simple. Not too many people know the character of Hal Jordan, or the Green Lantern for that matter. It might be more bankable from the get-go to get an A-list actor, but for the long haul an unknown is a way to go. I’ve got two names for you and one might be a surprise.
Chris Pine is not one of those names; let’s get that out of the way first and foremost. I advise against any actor trying to take on two iconic characters and since Pine will undoubtedly be James T. Kirk for years to come, so he’s out of the running.
My first name is Shawn Roberts. Take one look at this kid and it’s easy to see him in the green mask. Possibly a little young, but pick up a copy of a GL comic and you’ll see a striking resemblance.
My other name is…drum roll please – Brian Austin Green. Yes, that Brian Austin Green. He’ll forever be known for his role on Beverly Hills 90210, but Green might have what it takes. He’s coming off the recent cancellation of The Sarah Connor Chronicles. To his credit, he was one of only two good things in that series, the other being the closing credits because you knew that pain was close to ending. Sorry, but the show sucked.
It would take guts for a studio to hang a multi-million dollar franchise on Green, but that’s what Hollywood needs right now – a change. Green looks every bit the part and I believe if ever given a proper chance to make something happen, he might just surprise some people.
I would actually give the edge to Green in this instance. The selection would most certainly garner the pic a ton of buzz and that’s something any movie hopes for.
Seth Rogen is The Green Hornet. Those six words sent a shudder down my spin that is still reverberating.
I’m not a huge proponent of slipping a comedic actor into a superhero role unless the film is a spoof. Rogen is an unbelievable comedic talent, but to put him at the helm of a comic flick isn’t a good idea.
With Rogen in the lead, the film is guaranteed to bring in the bank, but is this a good thing for the genre? I like Rogen, but the casting is another instance of the establishment looking at the bottom line instead of the quality of the picture.
I saved the best for last. Next week I will discuss the casting of Wonder Woman and if the Superman franchise already needs a reboot, but now it’s your time.
We here at The Yap want to know what you think. Am I out of my mind? Do you agree? Who do you have in mind for the roles? And remember, if you don’t Yap, you don’t care.
Keep on Yappin’!