The PoP! Stars narrow it down to the cream of the crop in categories ranging from (but not limited to) Comics, Movies, Toys and Geek Culture in general. This is the PoP! Top 6-Pack.
Casting is one of the most important elements of filmmaking, especially when adaptring beloved characters from other media on the big screen. As we have seen in all of the high-profile films based on superhero comic books from the past fifteen years, casting the right actor to portray these well-known characters is one of the most essential factors involved in pleasing that book’s legion of fans. With so many comic book movies in production, and countless others in development, here are six can’t-miss choices for any future superhero movies coming down the pipeline.
Nick Offerman as J. Jonah Jameson
Best known as the rigid but wise Ron Swanson on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, comedic actor Nick Offerman has made a name for himself playing gruff, no-nonsense characters with a modicum of shrewd, self-deprecating humor. Based on this, he is the perfect candidate to play the gruff, overbearing publisher of the Daily Bugle in a future sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man. While J.K. Simmons’ iconic portrayal of Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films would be a tough act for any actor to follow, Offerman would give audiences a subtler, more grounded Jameson that would be a better fit with the world established in Mark Webb’s 2012 reimagining of Spidey’s big-screen exploits. So far, Webb and company have done a bang-up job in choosing the right actors to portray Spidey and his varied supporting cast, and choosing Offerman to play the Web Swinger’s biggest civilian detractor would be another perfect pick.
Elizabeth Banks as Carol Danvers / Ms. Marvel
This multi-talented actress currently appearing in the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise is no stranger to comic book movies, having played Betty Brant in all three of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films, but Marvel Studios has never shied away from using actors who have already dipped their toes in the Marvel Universe (Chris Evans, anyone?). Elizabeth Banks’ gift as both a dramatic and comedic onscreen presence make her a strong frontrunner for the role of Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, in a future Avengers movie. While some may argue that her somewhat petite frame would not do justice to the Kree-powered Danvers, some extensive training could get her battle-ready in no time. At the same time, her quick wit and playful manner would mean that she could easily hold her own in scenes of dialogue with dynamic personalities like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe in dire need of kick-ass female heroes, Elizabeth Banks’ Ms. Marvel (or Captain Marvel, if Whedon and company wanted to sku towards current Marvel continuity) would be a welcome addition to the premier superteam of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as T’Challa / The Black Panther
This pick isn’t the most original of the six, but that’s only because of how great this particlar actor would be in this role. Ever since the rumors started flying last year of a possible movie starring Marvel’s first-ever superhero of African descent, this talented veteran of such diverse films such as Love Actually and Serenity was near the top of many people’s wish lists to play the lead. After years of strong supporting work, Ejiofor got his big break this year with the lead role in the acclaimed docudrama 12 Years A Slave, which has generated a great deal of Oscar buzz for the film itself and for his performance. Perhaps the newfound fame that role has brought him will inspire Marvel and Disney to finally greenlight a Black Panther movie and cast the newly sought-after Ejiofor as the tough and noble ruler of Wakanda.
Christophe Waltz as Victor Von Doom
There was a lot wrong with the two Fantastic Four movies that 20th Century Fox unleashed in 2005 and 2007, not the least of which was a lame, neutered version of one of Marvel’s premier villains. With all due respect to Julian McMahon, he was all wrong for the role of Victor Von Doom, a character that requires an actor who is able to inspire both fear and a little bit of sympathy, sometimes in the same scene. Enter two-time Oscar winner Christophe Waltz, who has flawlessly played characters from both extremes of the spectrum of good and evil. This amazing range makes him a no-brainer to cast as Dr. Doom, who is seen as a monster by the majority of the Marvel Universe but in his own country of Latveria is seen as a benevolent ruler who has his people’s safety and best interests at heart. With a rebooted FF movie on the way, many fans of the so-called “World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” are no doubt hoping that the writers are going to treat Doom with a lot more complexity than the creators of the two previous films did, and casting Waltz in that iconic role would be a great first step in inspiring the confidence of those fans.
John Barrowman as Eros / Starfox
Now that Thanos has been established as a major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it wouldn’t be to far-fetched to introduce some members of his extended family as well, and who better to play the mad Titan’s womanizing brother than nerd god John Barrowman. As seen by his portrayal of Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who and its spinoff series Torchwood, Barrowman has the chops and the swagger to play a character as arrogant and lascivious as Eros in any future Marvel movie that further deals with the cosmic side of the MCU. Some may argue that his recurring role on the CW’s Arrow would mark a conflict of interest, but frankly I can’t think of a better match between an actor and a role. Also, based on how beloved Barrowman is among several geek circles, casting him in a Marvel movie would reap even more goodwill from fans and help expose him to an even wider audience, wider even than Arrow‘s viewership.
Matt Damon as Thomas Elliot / Hush
Like it or not, Ben Affleck is going to play Batman on the big screen for a number of years, which means that DC and Warner Brothers need to think of other big names to bring his massive rogues gallery to life. One interesting idea would be to cast Affleck’s best buddy and co-Oscar winning screenwriter Matt Damon to play Dr. Thomas Elliott, better known as the villainous Hush. Fans of the Batman comics know that Elliott was a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne’s who later becomes one of his most hated enemies, and the idea of casting two people who already have years of real life history together could make for an interesting bit of onscreen chemistry. As shown in Good Will Hunting and Dogma, these two work well together onscreen, and the opportunity to play a villain after years of leading man roles would give Damon a chance to recapture that sinister side to his persona that emerged way back in 1999 with The Talented Mr. Ripley.