3 of the Best vs 3 of the Worst is exactly what it sounds like – 3 of the best examples of either an actor, film series, genre, etc. versus 3 of the worst. It’s also an opportunity for you to have your say on my choices and whether you would have placed something ahead of my best or my worst. This week…. Superhero Casting!
After last weeks Supervillain casting, inspired by Chris Cooper’s casting as Norman Osbourne in The Amazing Spiderman sequel, it got me thinking about the superhero casting. I thought this would be easier but it’s actually proving much more difficult. I’m sure that means there will be plenty of discussion and debate. So without further ado…
3 of the Best
3 – Micheal Keaton as Batman
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christian Bale as Batman but he is much better as Bruce Wayne than he is as the hero behind the mask. Michael Keaton managed to do a great job of both. As Bruce Wayne he can play the mask of the playboy millionaire, slightly eccentric with a hint of arrogance. Get him in the cave and he can shift to the Bruce Wayne who fights crime and thinks ahead of the criminal. He manages to bring character to Batman too, the confidence, the kick-ass ability and the straight-faced determination, particularly compared to the villains he faces off against. He is a sorely overlooked piece of superhero casting.
2 – Hugh Jackman as Wolverine
This is a strange one. In X-Men, Hugh Jackman plays a fantastic Wolverine. He is the character I imagined from the comics. He has the attitude, the confidence and can handle the claws. As the films have gone on, the lines between Wolverine and Jackman have blurred. It doesn’t really matter what Jackman does with character (within reason) because we associate the two so closely. It feels like whatever Jackman does with the indestructible mutant is accurate because he IS Wolverine. This is the reason he earns the number two spot and why I’ll keep watching films starring Wolverine.
1 – Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man
This casting is a mix of both the number 3 spot and the number 2 spot. Downey Jr has the confidence, arrogance and vulnerability to portray Tony Stark, taking a lot from the character in the comics. He has done what Jackman has done for Wolverine though by moulding the character to fit his own personality. Now we have a situation where Tony Stark is Downey Jr and it would almost be impossible for anyone else to play this role after him. The rest of the Avengers play their characters very well… Robert Downey Jr IS Iron Man.
3 of the Worst
3 – Brandon Routh as Superman
If you are going to play the most iconic superhero of all time, you need more than just a passing resemblance to the person who played the role before. You have to exude confidence, own any room you are in while being able to shy away as Clark Kent and pull of the look of a muscle-bound alien from a dead planet. Brandon Routh did very few of these. His performance felt more like an impression of Christopher Reeve, who did a decent enough job on his version of the character back in the seventies. Superman has moved on since then and superhero films are more mature and more accurate, which is why Routh failed but I have high hopes for Cavill.
2 – Tobey Maguire as Spiderman
This is more of a recent change. I love Spiderman and Spiderman 2 and for the longest time it was as close to a perfect interpretation of Spiderman on-screen you could get. Maguire did a decent job of Parker and a passable job as Spiderman. Some of that was the writing, his version of Spiderman wasn’t cocky or smartass enough, but also boiled down to his interpretation, which was more whiny and glum than optimistic but flawed. It doesn’t help that Spiderman 3 killed his version of the character completely and Andrew Garfield’s Spiderman felt like the perfect interpretation of the superhero on-screen.
1 – George Clooney as Batman
This wasn’t even up for debate. Its cringy to watch. It’s not even Batman, it’s a man in a Batman suit pretending to be the Dark Knight. He is wise cracking, smug, cocky and not Batman! His Bruce Wayne has a strange, forced anger and his Batman has a comical, campy style. I understand if it was supposed to be a nod to Adam West but not in the same series that gave us Keaton as Batman! This was a film that had loads of flaws, but Clooney as Batman was up there as one of the worst.
Overall, the best manage to outdo the worst but only because Downey Jr is so good as Iron Man. Clooney as Batman is awful and the worst version of the character in any form. There were loads of people who narrowly missed out, particularly Tom Jane as Punisher, which I think is a role he owns. I’m sure other people have choices they would rather see in both the best and worst so feel free to add you views below.