Craptain America's TOP 10 CBM Castings
Who translated what was on the Comicbook page to the screen the best? My favourite performances coupled with those that were close, those that deserve a mention and future contenders for a top spot...
Whenever a top 10 list of comic book castings gets uploaded I always take the time to read them. It's great to see the differing opinion. It's also nice to see who others think epitomises their favourite hero. Most choose performance and translation. Others choose the look of the character. I tend to lean toward the former. The look of the character if very important but the blame usually doesn't lay with the actor themselves.
I've made lists, deleted lists, made lists, ripped up lists and finally decided who should make my top 10 CBM castings. There may be some that divide the masses and that were omitted that are deemed, simply, scandalous. But disagreement is what keeps the CBM world (and this site) buzzing. So without further ado, in no particular order:
Patrick Stewart - Charles Xavier/Professor X (X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand):
For me this is a part they will struggle to replace IF future X-Men movies are made. James McAvoy portrayed the younger Charles Xavier very convincingly but I tend to base most of my top 10 on those that could, potentially, be irreplaceable. Stewart translated the personality of his comic book counterpart perfectly. Ok, so he isn't the most action based or exciting character but he was the calm persona that held the cast together.
Chloe Grace-Moretz - Mindy Macready/Hit Girl (Kick-Ass):
When Vaughn was put in position to make this movie there was one character, I felt, was going to be a tough casting decision. Not only was the character herself going to be a tough (possibly uncomfortable) translation, but it was going to be difficult to make her believable. But with the introduction of Moretz there was never a doubt that we were going to get a baby-faced, yet mature, performance. She was undoubtedly the highlight of the movie and entertaining enough to warrant even more screen time if a sequel gets the green light. It was like she had literally jumped from the page. The product of directional steering from her father and the vengeful eye of any superhero, without losing that innocence of a child her age.
Hugo Weaving - Johann Schmidt/The Red Skull (Captain America: The First Avenger):
I think this was a casting decision that the majority would have rubbed their hands at. I find Weaving to be versatile in almost all movies he has been in. The make-up was incredible but to give a performance from underneath that brought, possibly, one of the most sinister villains in comic book history to life was going to be a task. For me he has been one of the best villains that Marvel has produced. From the look, to the casting, to the performance which lies solely with Weaving. There was never any let up when presenting us with a man clearly hell-bent on world domination. If it's true that Weaving won’t return to the role and we never get to see him again it will be the saddest omission from the MCU since Edward Norton departed...
Edward Norton - Bruce Banner/The Hulk (The Incredible Hulk):
This may be one of my top 10 that really divides everybody. This choice in no way shows that I'm not behind Ruffolo. Banner is a complex character. When he is Hulk he is very one dimensional as a character. What a Hulk movie has always needed was somebody who could deliver that angst that should follow somebody who is genuinely alone in the world. Saddened by his self-imposed exile from those he loves. Norton, for me, delivered that in bucket loads. He has been the best translation of Banner from page to screen I have ever seen to this present day. He will be missed.
Michael Fassbender - Erik Lensherr/Magneto (X-Men: First Class):
Like the news of Weaving being cast as The Red Skull, this was one of those that made me think "perfect, I have no fears about this casting". I was right in my feeling. As well as some incredible glimpses of the villainous Magneto we shall come to see in the future there were some genuinely powerful moments. It's easy to forget the childhood Erik had and what really drives this character to do what he does. It left me, strangely, championing his actions up until the beach scene at the end of First Class. But to play a character that is lost in his vengeful nature but has a burning rage whilst being able to blur the lines between the two makes Fassbender, easily, in the top 5 of my choices. I can't wait to see him developed further.
Heath Ledger - The Joker (The Dark Knight):
So I'm, no doubt, about to be scorned by all those who will deem me a 'Nolanite'. Those may just switch off and think my choices less plausible because I may be following a trend. But hear me out. It's not about the movie. It's not about Nolan. It's about a man so immersed in a character that the pure evil in his actions, that The Joker deserves, is displayed. Ok, so he may not look the same as his comic version or display the same campiness of Nicholson's Joker (which I also loved) but if everybody thought about him less as a comic book character he would be up there as one of the best played villains of all time. Again, to never see this character again is a crying shame. THE highlight of ALL Batman movies thus far.
Robert Downey Jnr - Tony Stark/Iron Man (Iron Man, Iron Man 2):
It seems easy to me that somebody could come onto the screen and just play a cocky wise-ass. Tony Stark demands that quality and that is what I would have expected. But Downey Jnr. came in and gave more. But that 'more' was exactly what the character needed without my knowing. From the rambling interruptions during his dialogue delivery to the void of an unfulfilled philanthropist lifestyle played out to perfection, Robert Downey Jnr. gave, what could have been, a generic comic book movie credibility. That credibility has allowed Marvel to continue their cinematic grand plan and paved the way for Comic book movies to be considered more than just a piece of action pie.
J.K. Simmons - J. Jonah Jameson (Spiderman, Spiderman 2, Spiderman 3):
The only shame with this character is that, with Raimi's Spiderman dead in the water, we won’t see him return. He isn't the main hero, villain or plot point but Simmons made the gruff Jameson come alive in a way I never would have expected. He was a grumpy, tight bastard but Simmons managed to stand out in three (well maybe two) great movies with little screen time. A great translation with a genuine comedic edge. It wasn't an Oscar nominee performance but was fun none the less.
Tom Hiddleston - Loki (Thor):
How do you cast a character with such depth? Do you search lists of top A-list performers and pay out for mediocrity? Or do you leave a chance meeting on a West End stage with Kenneth Branagh to give you, what I would consider, THE best page to screen adaptation of a character in all comic book movie (but I'm not picking favourites) history? Hiddleston came in as an unknown. We had little to no previous big screen work to base his future performance on. But he, for me, managed to outshine a perfectly casted Thor, Odin and Jane Foster. Hiddlestone gave us a spoilt child, a loving brother and a person who would stab anybody in the back to deceive his way to the top. His teary sinister dialogue with Thor prior to their final fight was executed perfectly. It will no doubt be the evil we will be treated to in the up and coming Avengers movie. But Hiddleston has managed to give us the most selfish villain ever but still leaving us in a state of confusion regarding his likeability....he is meant to be bad after all.
Christian Bale - Bruce Wayne/Batman (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight):
The last spot was tough to fill. There is a long list of people who deserve to make any top 10 list but Bale is, by far, the unsung hero of Nolan's Batman movies. He is constantly overlooked in favour of villains and supporting cast that we forget how integral Bale's performance is to each and every one of these movies. As Batman it is easy to forget the man underneath as that is how he mostly appears on screen. But Nolan's Batman is about one man's journey and passion to save what he loves most. If Wayne's inner turmoil was portrayed so well he would have been lost in a medley great set pieces that have no meaning. The show may have been stolen by others in both movies (and possibly in The Dark Knight Rises) but he, like Stewart, is the gel that binds the movie together and makes it a genuinely credible piece of film making.
Those that were close but didn't quite make it (but possibly deserved it):
Ron Perlman - Hellboy (Hellboy, Hellboy: Golden Army)
Billy Crudup - Johnathan Osterman/Dr Manhattan (Watchmen)
Danny DeVito - Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin (Batman Returns)
Wesley Snipes - Blade (Blade, Blade 2, Blade Trinity)
Alfred Molina - Otto Octavius/Doc. Octopus (Spiderman 2)
Other mentions for a great performances in comic book movies:
Jackie Earl Haley - Walter Kovacs/Rorschach (Watchmen)
Jeff Bridges - Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger (Iron Man)
Gary Oldman - Jim Gordon (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight)
Christoper Reeve - Clark Kent/Superman (Superman)
Aaron Eckhart - Harvey Dent/Twoface (The Dark Knight)
Chris Hemsworth - Thor (Thor)
Mark Strong - Sinestro (Green Lantern)
Liam Neeson - Henry Ducard/Ra's Al Ghul (Batman Begins)
Famke Jansson - Jean Grey (X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand)
Jack Nicholson - Jack Napier/The Joker (Batman)
Anthony Hopkins - Odin (Thor)
Terrance Stamp - Zod (Superman 2)
Sam Rockwell - Justin Hammer (Iron Man 2)
James Marsden - Scott Summers/Cyclops (X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand)
Chris Evans - Steve Rogers/Captain America (Captain America: The First Avenger) & Johnny Storm/The Human Torch (Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer)
Future star performers in a comic book movie:
Andrew Garfield - Peter Parker/Spiderman (The Amazing Spiderman)
Michael Shannon - General Zod (Man Of Steel)
Tom Hardy - Bane (The Dark Knight Rises)
Samuel L Jackson - Nick Fury (The Avengers)
The more I re-read, the more I feel I should change my mind. There are some great performances in here but I have posted before my over-active trigger finger gets involved. Thank you for taking the time to read. Your comments are welcome as always!
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