New Ideas for Old Faces: The #1930sSuperheroCasting Hashtag
Monday night on Twitter, writer Greg Pak was imagining who might play superheroes and supervillains in movies of eras past. He started a hashtag, #1930sSuperheroCasting, which spread far and wide as the night continued, with comics Twitter offering a wide variety of vintage choices for heroes and villains from Marvel and DC. While Pak and others also veered into other decades, it was the 1930s hashtag that really took off.
Some of the choices were for actors who inspired the characters in the first places. Pak's first suggestion of Conrad Veidt is one of these, as his portrayal of Gwynplaine in The Man Who Laughs was a direct inspiration for the Joker. Errol Flynn --- star of The Adventures of Robin Hood --- has a similar relationship to Green Arrow, right down to the hat, the goatee, and of course the weaponry.
Some of the other choices come very much out of left field, and those are frequently the most exciting. For example, Gary Foss suggested Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire for the roles of Harley Quinn and the Joker. Even if you've never seen one of their movies, you can look at the picture below and get a sense of how perfect they are.
Rogers' blonde hair, gorgeous face, and goofy expression are ideal for Harley. While Astaire, rail thin with a long narrow face and huge smile, looks more like the comic book Joker than any actor other than Conrad Veidt ever has. And if you have seen them perform, then you know that Rogers' goofy demeanor masks a sharp wit, while Astaire's theatrical charisma has an almost insidious edge, and their chemistry together is almost unmatched. Which is to say, they really are the perfect incarnation of the pair.
Other memorable choices include Paul Robeson as T'Challa, original lady of vice Bette Davis as Jessica Jones, and of course spooky-voiced (and spooky-faced, if we're honest) Orson Welles as the Spectre. These and a selection of other tweets are included below, or you can check out the whole hashtag on Twitter.