The ComicsAlliance Guide To Comic Book Movie Casting Redundancies
How many comicbook movies are on your gift list for Christmas or Hanukkah? Does it already include The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, and The Amazing Spider-Man? Are you chuffed enough to request the The Dark Knight Trilogy on Blu-Ray, or are you nervously holding your wad for April 2013, when the 10-disc Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One drops like a ton of bricks? When it finally comes time to plop down and watch your superhero flicks, new or old, you will have to come face to face with a startling fact: throughout the relatively short history of comicbook movies, a whole lot of actors have played more than one character. How can you reconcile that in your OCD-afflicted, comicbook nerd brain? To help combat the cognitive dissonance your’e likely to experience, ComicsAlliance has compiled a list of actor-based continuity errors you might come across. It is by no means complete, as we’re not counting Stan Lee. We just don’t feel like being cute today.
James Marsden, as dreamily handsome as he is, doesn’t seem to get his due as an actor, so it’s fitting that his comicbook movie characters tend to get dumped-on. Though Cyclops has been the most interesting character in the X-Universe for years, in the movies he was little more than Wolverine’s c-block who died like a chump. He was treated even worse in the underrated Superman Returns, where he played Richard White, Lois Lane’s fiancé, and raised Superman’s bastard son until boy blue showed up again to take it all back. Don’t be sad, James. Some day, scientists will build an alternative energy source powered by your smiles.
Uniquely talented at playing scumbags, criminals, and psychopaths, Foster has been great in most of his comicbook work. As Spacker Dave in The Punisher, he was grubby, funny, and lovably pathetic. In 30 Days of Night, he stole the movie with his performance as a feral, unnamed harbinger of doom. As Angel in X-Men: The Last Stand, he was the victim of bad casting and a crappy movie. He stood around with his shirt off, said some bad dialogue, and flew around for a minute in his ridiculously blonde hair. Nah bro, Foster is at best when he looks like he hasn’t showered for four days and just got in a fight with a rabid badger.
The “Queen of the Indies” has actually been in three movies based on comics characters: in Josie and the Pussycats, she was Fiona, the evil CEO of MegaRecords. In Blade: Trinity, she was hilariously malicious as Danica Talos, the vampire who once turned Hannibal King. And in Superman Returns, she played Lex Luthor’s bubbly, conflicted concubine Kitty Kowalski. And though she’s always played a villain, you can’t help but love this woman. I would murder my girlfriend for a chance to sack Posey’s groceries. You decide if that’s a euphemism.
A versatile, sensitive actor with impressive range, Logue has had a bit part in American Splendor as a stage actor playing Harvey Pekar and a more involved role as Johnny Blaze’s buddy Mack in Ghost Rider. But way backs in the nineteen-ninety-eights, he had the role of a lifetime as the vampire Quinn in the first Blade movie. Nobody says “I got his pig-sticker” like Donal Logue says “I got his pig-sticker.”
We all know that Jon Favreau appeared as Happy Hogan in the two Iron Man films he directed, but you may not have seen him as Franklin “Foggy” Nelson in Daredevil. You lucky bastard.
Reynolds is another three-peat. Way back when, he was the action-comedy relief in Blade: Trinity, as Hannibal King, and it was great. In 2009, he played the merc with a mouth, Wade Wilson/Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and it wasn’t very good. In 2011, he portrayed Hal Jordan in Green Lantern, and it kicked off the series of events that will come together on December 21st to end life as we know it.
Mmmm, nudity. Decked in blue body paint, pasties, and a vag patch, Rebecca Romijn brought some much-needed subtlety and class to the X-Franchise. As Mystique in three X-films (and a cameo in First Class), she commanded the screen with her exotic presence and complete lack of clothing. In The Punisher, she was just unconvincing as the down-on-her-luck, ex-junkie waitress Joan. If her life sucked so much, why didn’t she just try modeling or make guys buy her stuff or something? Way too beautiful to play that role.
At the opposite end of the looks spectrum, we have Ron Perlman. He had the best lines of the movie as the vampire soldier Dieter Reinhardt in Blade II, then went on to play the titular character in both the Hellboy movies, infusing the role with an amazing mix of gruffness and heart (alongside castmade Doug Jones, who also played the Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four 2). A great performance to go with perfect casting. And if they ever make a movie out of Spaceman and Perlman isn’t playing Orson, I’m going to kill myself.
General Ross in Ang Lee’s The Hulk and The Caretaker in Ghost Rider, but in a bar fight my money’s always on Wade Garrett.
Five-peat! In Fantastic Four and the sequel, Evans was easy to hate as the gratingly cocky Johnny Storm. In The Losers, he played a mouthy nerd named Jensen, in Scott Pilgrim vs the World, he played arrogant action star Lucas Lee, and for the animated TMNT feature, he provided the voice for a seriously-wussified Casey Jones. When Evans was cast as Captain America, thousands of nerds experienced grand mal seizures. But Evans portrayed Steve Rogers with all the courage, hopefulness, and humility that the character deserved. Fifth time’s the charm.
Man, Nic Cage. What happened there? Cage is of course a well-known comics fan – he took his showbiz name from Luke Cage and was slated to play Tim Burton’s Superman, which of course never happened. He made up for it by playing Johnny Blaze in both Ghost Rider movies, and Big Daddy in Kick-Ass, in which he’s simultaneously pretty good and absolutely ridiculous. Such is Cage.
Stevenson, a British actor who looks like he could easily play a tank, took on the role of Frank Castle for The Punisher: War Zone in 2008 (and some hilarious voice-work on The Super Hero Squad Show), then followed it up with a turn as Volstagg in Thor in 2011. By all accounts, he will be returning in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. Murderous sociopath to gluttonous god in just a few years. That’s a tank with range.
JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN
The Comedian in The Watchmen, Clay in The Losers, Jeb Turnbull in Jonah Hex, and that shirtless guy in your mom’s fantasies.
THE SIN CITY PLAYERS
Rosario Dawson was in Josie and the Pussycats, Josh Hartnett played Eben Oleson in 30 Days of Night, Bruce Willis was in Red and The Surrogates, Jessica Alba previously played the Invisible Woman in the Fantastic Four flicks, Mickey Rourke went on to play Whiplash in Iron Man 2, and Frank Miller has lost his mind.
Idris Elba appeared as Roque in The Losers and Moreau in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and pissed off a bunch of Nazis as Heimdall in Thor. If that’s the case, let’s just make Thor: The Dark World an all-black cast. Black Heimdall, Black Odin, and Black Thor go back in time and stop Hitler. Come on, Hollywood, let’s make this happen.