The Worst of Comic Book Movie Casting
As a fan-boy, I have certain expectations when it comes to the casting of characters in comic book movies. Those expectations aren’t anything too extravagant or demanding either. All we want is for the actors to be a fitting choice for the role, which, if you look at the list below, is much harder than it looks. Either that or the casting directors were high when they made these choices. With the exception of just a few of the actors on the “Worst” list, the folks listed below were part of films that were quite sub-par and lacked more than just better actors. In some cases, the cast and crew of some of these films should be, to this day, embarrassed to even have taken part in these projects. Yes, they are that bad. Take a look and see if you agree.
15- Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane: Remember back in 1978, when Margot Kidder played a feisty, gritty, no-nonsense Lois Lane? The way the character was supposed to be portrayed. Jump ahead to 2006 and Bryan Singer casts 7th Heaven alum Kate Bosworth. In a film that was the epitome of mediocre, Bosworth was less than dynamic and far from the portrayal that Kidder gave us decades ago; a perfect match for a near lifeless Superman. She wasn’t all bad, however, she at least looked the part. It’s just so hard to shine when you have a script like that. This is what happens when you try to recreate and reconnect to a film that is awesome. I hope Singer and company learned their lesson.
14- Jennifer Garner as Elektra: When Garner first showed up as the supposed lethal assassin Elektra in Daredevil, opposite Ben Affleck, I thought that it might actually work. She’s a beautiful actress with obvious skills in the martial arts department. But as the film went on and continued in her own spin-off Elektra, it became more and more obvious that she was all wrong for the part. The best word I can use to describe her would be soft. She’s a decent enough actress (good, but not great), but Elektra needs to be tough and no-holds-barred and what we got was a CW version that was more emotion than butt kicking, obviously missing a huge opportunity with the character.
13- Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy: This is the first of five, yes FIVE, actors from Batman & Robin on this list. I will do my best to keep on track and just bash the actors of the film, but I assure you, it won’t be easy. Before I begin, let me say that I have actually grown to enjoy Uma Thurman as an actress and think she is quite talented. But everyone has those mistakes that we wish we could forget and I’d bet a lot of money that this role is her mistake. The role was completely over-acted, to the point that she chewed more scenery that Nic Cage on a good day. Not only that, but the costume she wore was an abomination furthering the assumption that some characters just don’t translate well to film. So I guess Thurman can’t be fully to blame. Shumacher is a whole different story however. Shame on you!
12- Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl: Number two from Batman & Robin is this sad choice. Silverstone had just come off her now iconic role of Cher in Clueless, so why not place her among 4 other terribly cast characters in a comic book movie? Makes sense! Not only was the character completely useless in the film, Silverstone was just an overall bad choice for the role. Silverstone has had a tough time shrugging off the Clueless role that made her famous and this was her attempt to get rid of that perception, trying to prove she had the range. Sadly, it backfired and she took part in a film that is considered to be one of, if not the worst comic book movie ever made.
11- Jim Carrey as The Riddler: Sadly, there is a pattern forming here, as a majority of the folks listed have been a part of a Batman film. I’m saddened by this development. On paper, the idea of Jim Carrey as the wacky, eccentric Riddler seems like a great idea. But as you watch the third installment in the original Batman franchise, you’ll just see how bad it really is. Tommy Lee Jones, who played Two-Face in the film was also pretty bad, but he was so over-shadowed by Carrey’s ridiculousness, that you don’t really see him. As usual, Carrey takes his comedy to a level of obnoxiousness and by the end of the film, you were happy to see him come to an end. Not to mention, I’m OK if I don’t ever see him in a green spandex uni-tard ever again. It’s fairly obvious where Schumacher took over from Burton, as things just got way too out of hand.
10- Halle Berry as Storm: I don’t think I need to mention that Halle Berry is an Academy Award winning actress and has numerous iconic roles on her resume. When I’d heard that she had been cast as Storm in Bryan Singer’s X-Men, I was actually pleased. Then I saw the film and realized how bad it was. She attempted an accent which failed terribly and she had none of the strength and presence that the Storm character actually has. Had you placed someone like Angela Bassett in that role, then you’d be headed in the right direction. But Singer, who admitted that he doesn’t like the character, wrote her to be a fraction of herself and lacking in attributes that make her an incredible character. So I guess Berry isn’t quite to blame, but even had the character been written better, I don’t think she would be the right person for the job.
9- Chris O’Donnell as Robin: Where do I begin here? I could talk about the fact that Robin/Dick Greyson is supposed to be a younger, teenage boy or that the his costume, which the classic style was hinted at in the beginning of the film, was sickeningly bad. But I will just say that O’Donnell was just all sorts of wrong. As with the other actors from the earlier Batman films, Schumacher was going for young, hip and edgy and instead ended up with bad, terribly acted and laughable. Because of this adaptation of the character, many fans have been ruined on the idea of ever seeing Robin in a Batman film ever again. I still think that in the right hands, it could happen, but not without some trepidation.
8- George Clooney as Batman/Bruce Wayne: Oh look! another Batman character! This time, it’s the man himself. When Burton cast Michael Keeton as Batman, many folks were in doubt, but he proved to do a pretty good job as the Dark Knight. In the third film, Batman Forever, Val Kilmer stepped into the role and he also did OK. For the fourth film, the TV turned big screen actor George Clooney donned the now iconic nipple-clad Bat-suit. And that’s when it got ugly. Perfect proof of the fact that just because you are a handsome, up-and-coming actor doesn’t mean you are perfect for every role tossed your way. He was a bad Bruce Wayne and an even worse Batman. Oh, and that suit…THE SUIT!
7- Anna Paquin as Rogue: As with Halle Berry’s Storm, Paquin’s Rogue was terribly written, to the point that the character was nearly unrecognizable. But Paquin’s portrayal of the brooding teenager was flat-out bad. Now, I’m no actor, but I’d think that holding a Louisiana accent for a film wouldn’t be terrible difficult; after all, some actors learn entirely new languages for their roles. Not to mention, I think Paquin gets way more credit than she deserves, as she has about as much depth as a Dixie cup. For a character like Rogue, you need an actress that can emote the sadness, the introversion and the darkness that lies within her and Paquin didn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Shame really, as the character could be awesome to see on the big screen, but done right.
6- Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze: I’m fairly certain that Schwarzenegger has some of the worst and cheesiest lines to ever grace the silver screen in Batman & Robin. I know they were going for the funny puns, but the lines fell so flat that I feel bad even making fun of them. Ahnuld’s delivery didn’t help the situation either. Like his villainous counterpart Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze is one of those characters that just doesn’t move from the comic pages to the big screen very well and casting Conan in the role only helped to make the character even more silly looking. The sad attempt by Arnold to try his hand at “dramatic” acting was just as bad as the puns he was trying to deliver. I think he was also trying to channel Tony Montana in some of his scenes as well, which is just down-right scary.
5- Halle Berry as Catwoman: Anne Hathaway recently brought the femme fatale Catwoman back to the big screen in The Dark Knight Rises and while there is a bit of controversy about her casting, it doesn’t at all compare to this blunder. As I mentioned earlier, Berry has won acclaim for several of her roles in film, but whoever thought it would be a good idea to put her in the cat cowl must have had a great sense of humor. The plot for the film was an insult to the character, by the way: a plan that involves perfume to take over the world? Anyway, Selina Kyle is a kinky, slinky and vicious cat burglar who has successfully balanced on the fine line of hero and villain, making her one of the greatest anti-heroes in comic history. Berry failed to grasp every part of the character and in doing so, created one of the worst comic book films ever made.
4- Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson: I’m not afraid to admit that I’m not a fan of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films. Granted, I’ve never been a huge follower of the Spider-Man character, so my opinion is jaded to begin with. But one of the things I despised most about the films was the fact that Kirsten Dunst was cast as Mary Jane Watson, a red-headed model and actress. For some reason, Raimi thought it was a good idea to cast an actress that is neither a red-head nor a model. Not to mention, I don’t think she owns a bra and in this case, that is a bad thing. She only came off as whiny, which is tough to do next to Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker.
3- Jessica Alba as Sue Storm/Invisible Woman: I will go on record and say that Alba is miscast in just about every role she gets. If you are looking for a beautiful woman to just sit in a corner and be hot, then she is the right person for the job. If you are looking for an action star in a campy comic book movie, then keep on looking. Alba’s talent for not bringing anything to a role is very prevalent here and was completely over-shadowed by a guy in rubber suit and a dude who has been dealt the unfortunate card of starring in a CW series. Only when she has scenes with her on-screen brother, Johnny Storm (played by Chris Evans), does she become watchable. Which I credit fully to Evans.
2- Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom: I’m actually a fan of Topher Grace. I think he’s a great comedic actor and has a style of his very own. But whoever thought he was right for the role of Eddie Brock, a body builder turned anti-hero, needs to have their head examined. I can only assume that they were trying to find an actor who had a similar build to Maguire, but the character would have come across much better had they stuck to the comic version: a short, very well-built dude. But the worst part is that through the entire film, I was expecting a scene where Ashton Kutcher busted in through a door yelling “BURN!” There is a Venom spin-off in the works at Sony, and fans can only hope the studio learned from this mistake.
1- Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider: What would a list of mis-cast characters be without Nic Cage? I’ve never held back the fact that I despise Mr. Cage. In fact, I think he’s quite possible the most over-rated actor in the business. Sony, in all their genius, decided to cast a middle-aged man with a bad hair piece as a younger, less lame stunt biker. Ghost Rider requires an actor that is not a cheese ball, as he is a dark and vengeful hero and Cage just isn’t capable of checking his ego and scenery chewing at the door, so both Ghost Rider films, despite the bad writing, were extremely bad and just down right sad. He pees fire and spit bullets, however, so that’s cool. Or is it?
There are the 15 worst cast actors in comic book movies. Believe me, it wasn’t an easy task, but thanks to some “SOAL-tastic” friends, we have a complete list. There are obviously quite a few more that could be included here, but I’m not sure I would ever come to an end!