Looking over the amazing roster of this generation’s comic book films and it’s safe to say we’ve been spoiled by fantastic casting. It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Tony Stark but Robert Downey Jr. or a better Wonder Woman than Gal Gadot. For the most part, the comic book movie casting has been pretty much perfect. But there’s just a few slots that could have been even better with a different actor. So why not come up with a list of casting redos?
This list is just for the modern era starting from the kickoff to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man. In more than half of this list, the original actor/actress was pretty good. It’s just a matter of others being better fits for the character. So let’s check out these 10 redos.
Black Widow: Gemma Arterton for Scarlett Johansson
No real knock on Johansson’s take. More than anyone else on this list, she’s made the role her own. But Black Widow needs a touch of mystery and a more sophisticated air. While Arterton is also not Russian like the source material, she can channel that aloofness without having to try so hard. And a British accent just seems essential for a super spy, right?
Bruce Banner: Edward Norton for Mark Ruffalo
Wait, what? Yeah, I know Norton was the original Marvel Cinematic Universe Hulk and got bumped for allegedly being a pain behind the scenes. But there was something about Norton’s take on the role — in addition to being slighter and appropriately less threatening than Ruffalo. He looked and acted the part of the haunted scientist and at least on screen was a perfect Bruce Banner.
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Lex Luthor: Michael Fassbender for Jessie Eisenberg
Eisenberg’s casting was intended to go against the norm for Superman’s biggest enemy. That’s fine if it works. No one questioned Michael Keaton after watching Batman. But Eisenberg’s take didn’t work even with the benefit of further character development in the Unlimited Edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Luthor needs to be a polarizing figure with as many people loathing/fearing him as loving him. His real world equivalent would be someone like Steve Jobs who at 6’2″ could look down on little people. You don’t have to look further than Fassbender’s portrayal in Jobs to see how well suited he’d be for the role of Luthor. He’s also done some of his best work as a bad guy as Magneto in the X-Men series. Making him DC’s big villain would be a step in the right direction for the franchise.
Lois Lane: Rachel McAdams for Amy Adams
Here’s how good Amy Adams is an actress. She almost makes her Lois Lane work. The Academy Award nominated actress could do any role justice, but her take on The Daily Planet’s star reporter is almost too thoughtful and reserved. And her chemistry with Superman Henry Cavill is decent, but not so obvious that their hasty romance in Man of Steel is credible. McAdams played a journalist in the fantastic newspaper drama Spotlight and knows a thing about creating on screen sparks thanks to her work on The Notebook. Plus, at 38, she’s closer in age to Cavill (34 years old) than Adams (43 years old)
War Machine/James Rhodes: Morris Chestnut for Don Cheadle
There’s no doubt Cheadle has been great in the role of Tony Stark’s best friend James Rhodes. But like Terrence Howard, Cheadle doesn’t quite fit the part. Cheadle is a slight 5’8″ and looks like a regular guy when he’s not armored up. For a more impressive, imposing military man Chestnut would fit the bill and his charming demeanor would a nice contrast to Robert Downey Jr.’s snarky Tony Stark.