Famous vs. Unknown -Which Actors Make Better Comic Book Movies?

Famous vs. Unknown -Which Actors Make Better Comic Book Movies?

Does the level of fame of an actor play a role in how well a comic book movie is recieved?

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By Justin Alen - 4/5/2012
Is it better to cast unknown actors in comic based films or known actors? We all have in our minds who we think should play the role of some of our favorite CBMs, but what surprises us and disappoints us about certain films is the casting

Over the years in Hollywood, a number of successful franchises have seen great success by casting unknown actors in the lead roles of film. Actors whose name recognition was not well known, but they embody the presence of the character more than any known actor. This type of casting is not uncommon and has been done many times over with great success being reflected in the box office of the film


Chris Reeve – Superman
Chris Pine - Star Trek (2009)
Chris Hemsworth - Thor
Hayden Christensen
- Star Wars Ep II
Shia LaBeouf
- Transformers
Hugh Jackman -
X-Men
Eric Bana
- Hulk


This type of casting is successful do in part to the fact that the unknown actor is seen more as the character rather than a known actor trying to portray the character. Over the most recent years this has been proven true with casting big name stars in comic film, but their name and portrayal not bringing in the blockbuster croweds the studios wanted.


Ghost Rider - Nicolas Cage
Daredevil - Ben Affleck
Barb Wire - Pamela Anderson
Judge Dredd - Sylvester Stallone
Catwoman - Halle Berry
Steel - Shaquille O'Neal
Jonah Hex - Josh Brolin
Green Lantern - Ryan Reynolds


So my question is... Do you think unknown actors make better comic book movies than known actors? Comment below.
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35 Comments
MrDuck - 4/5/2012, 6:12 PM
Wait, you seriously think Bana was a good Hulk?
antonio - 4/5/2012, 6:14 PM
@Mrduck I think he means him being unknown helped Hulk be a success(not a major success, but still).


P.S. I think you forgot Christian Bale in Batman Begins.
CorndogBurglar - 4/5/2012, 6:57 PM
Eric bana was hardly an unkown.
CorndogBurglar - 4/5/2012, 6:58 PM
Also, most of those known actors were just horrible choices for their characters, regardless of whether they known or not.
CorndogBurglar - 4/5/2012, 7:05 PM
Why didnt u put the successful knowns? Like Patrick Stewart as prof x. Iam mckellan as magneto. Jack Michelson as joker, ledger as joker. Kelsey grammer as beast. Ed Norton as banner. RDJ as stark. I could go on and on, but the fact is that u cant just put all the poor choices just to try to support your point. There have been plenty of fantastic cbm performances by plenty of well known actors and actresses.
CorndogBurglar - 4/5/2012, 7:11 PM
Its like u purposely listed all the biggest mockeries in cbm history that u could think of just because u wanted people to agree with u. U didnt list one single good performance by well known actors. This is a fail, sorry, but it is.
WEJAlen20 - 4/5/2012, 8:14 PM
@CorndogBurglar
I listed the best unknowns who plaid lead roles and worst knowns who plaid lead roles. I left every one in the middle out. Just the best and worst. And Eric Banna was unknown in the USA
WEJAlen20 - 4/5/2012, 8:18 PM
@antonio Equilibrium? American Psycho? Christian Bale was very well known
antonio - 4/5/2012, 8:25 PM
@WEJAlen yes, but he didn't become big after Begins, imo. The same would go for Shia Labeouf. Constantine, Holes, I-Robot, and of course, Even Stevens.
CorndogBurglar - 4/5/2012, 8:42 PM
Ever hear of a little movie called black hawk down? Yes, Eric bana was known in the states.
CorndogBurglar - 4/5/2012, 8:46 PM
And that is kind of my point. U put the BEST unknowns and compared them to the WORST knowns, all while trying to say its better to use unknowns. U cant compare knowns vs unknowns like that lol.
CorndogBurglar - 4/5/2012, 8:50 PM
Basically, u cant take all the worst examples of ome thing and compare them to all the best examples of another thing ans then say, "see, im right." Thats a totally unfair comparison.
Jolt17 - 4/5/2012, 9:10 PM
Unknown actors. The thing with many known actors is that they already have their own images; for example, Ryan Reynolds, who is seen by many people as the typical bumbling, wise-cracking type of character. (Alright, not precisely, but something of that kind.) He wasn't so bad as Hal Jordan, in my opinion, but the writers might decide to give him a lot of cheesy dialogues due to that his image as an actor. Another thing is that it's pretty hard to recognize known actors as their respective characters...like, when we see Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze, what comes first in our mind have to be, "Oh, that's Nicholas Cage," and not, "Oh, that's Johnny Blaze." (Although by that example, Cage is indeed not a good choice for Johnny Blaze.) What sticks in out mind is them as actors, not as the comic book characters. Of course, that doesn't necessarily apply for all - some could make a perfect fit, such as Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson, Robert Downey, Jr., et cetera.

But, I still prefer casting unknown actors; especially for main comic book characters. It's like, we can expect to be surprised by them since we don't know what they are capable of. (And there are a lot of unknown actors that have impressive skills nowadays.) Besides, unknown actors can easily stick to the characters they portray, since they don't have their own image as actors, making it easy for us to believe and see them as their respective characters. I'm not saying that I'm against the idea of having known actors in comic book movies, though - sometimes it's pretty fun to see the people we are familiar with in these types of roles - only, I prefer to see them as supporting characters; like Sir Michael Caine as Alfred, or Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. Plus, the presence of these actors can help to attract more general audiences to go see the movie.
WEJAlen20 - 4/5/2012, 9:37 PM
@CorndogBurglar What is your argument or are you just commenting to be an A$$?

If you diss agree with the point cool, but diss prove my point
95 - 4/5/2012, 10:06 PM
This article is not well thought out (as far as examples go). But I get your point. A supporting cast of famed actors and an unknown lead is my preference.
LoudNoises - 4/5/2012, 11:33 PM
WAJAlen20- Here's the problem with this argument your making. I'm going to tell you that Chevy is better than Ford. Then I'm going to say I know this because Chevy has the Corvette and the Camaro. Ford only has lame cars like the Tourist and the Focus.

I'm not tryin to be an ass, but it's just a dishonest way to present an argument. I'm pretty sure no one would argue that RDJ wasn't perfect for Ironman despite the fact that he was a well known actor.
CorndogBurglar - 4/6/2012, 3:31 AM
I dont know how many times I have to say it lol. My argument is that you only gave the best of unknown actors to play up the fact that unknown actors are a good idea. (keep in mind I dont necessarily disagree with that.) But when u preset the argument for the known actors, you only list the absolute worst examples in cbm history. Like my man above said, its a completely biased and unfair way to present an argument. I really cant explain it any better than that, so if u still dont get it then I dont know what to tell u.
EdgyOutsider - 4/6/2012, 4:47 AM
Here we go again with the Nicolas Cage hate, Nicolas Cage is a damn good actor and did with the character what the script wrote the character to be.
MarVell - 4/6/2012, 5:07 AM
I agree that unknown actors are a good idea for CBM roles, because then the superhero they're portraying is a bigger star than they are, and they're more believable in the part.

However, I dissagree with the movies listed above as examples of big name actors being the result of the the films not being well recieved. Those are all bad movies for much more reasons than the actors. They can't take all the heat. Bad scripts, bad direction, and in the case of Catwoman, Judge Dredd and Johna Hex, they strayed too far away from the source material, Catwoman was a completely different character.

The only one that sticks out (in my opinion) as the acting macking the movie worse than it aready was, is Steel. As others have already mentioned, there are good examples of CBM's that a well know actor has nailed the part, like Chris Evans as Captain America. I admit when I first heard of his involvement I was among the skeptics, but he proved me and many others wrong. He proved his acting chops for me with The First Avenger.

Good read though.
Hellsing - 4/6/2012, 8:04 AM
theres nothing wrong with known ACTORS being cast in CBM roles its a problem when they cast a known CELEBRITY, e.g, actors that are in the news for things that are totally unrelated to there acting, something RDJ was part of but the dude turned his life round so kudos to him. I am all for unknown actors, but the focus shouldn't be on whether known or unknown rather if there good for the role, if they get the character and have the chops then there the right person doesn't matter if there known or unknown end of the day becomes it comes down to being the right person for the role.
Hellsing - 4/6/2012, 8:05 AM
and honestly Stallone COULD have been the perfect person to play Dredd but the script and pretty much everything else [frick]ed it up. The dude has the chin.
incrediblesuperbatspider - 4/6/2012, 8:11 AM
You forgot Edward Norton for the Hulk
antonio - 4/6/2012, 8:32 AM
@Dromeo Norton was a an extremely well known actor when he did TIH.
Irons - 4/6/2012, 9:51 AM
I get the point you are trying to make, but your argument is a little silly for the reasons Corndog stated.
justified1 - 4/6/2012, 10:18 AM
I don't mind the actors.

I just want them to do a good job
leftcoastpunk - 4/6/2012, 10:30 AM
Its kind of a difficult discussion in the way that it's easy to be a 'monday morning quarterback'. We're all a bit worried when a relatively unknown gets cast as our favorite character, but like the article points out, when they pull it off it's cool cause we now associated them with that character alone. When the movie busts, we say "horrible choice, should of never gone with them." I personally like the unknowns unless the actors resume' screams that character, i.e. Downey jr as Stark, Dafoe as goblin, and Picard(Stewart) as prof. X. All in all though I think 80-90% of it comes down to the script and director.
golden123 - 4/6/2012, 11:13 AM
I prefer good actors.
golden123 - 4/6/2012, 11:14 AM
and I, also, prefer good editorials.
CorndogBurglar - 4/6/2012, 12:20 PM
@ golden

lol
headlopper - 4/6/2012, 1:31 PM
Good question to ask.
However I'm with Golden 123 on this one.
Good actors regardless...
BigK1337 - 4/6/2012, 3:31 PM
@golden123



Burn. Seriously, that was major burn there. But yeah, good actors is better than know and unknown actors.
ecksmanfan - 4/6/2012, 4:37 PM
1- All do the "bad" cbm's you listed weren't bad because of the actors, they were bad because of piss-poor scripts and direction; they were doomed from the get-go.

2- Several of the actors listed as unknowns were hardly unknown when they were cast. Shia had a following from his days on Even Steven, or whatever the hell it was.

3- Nic Cage is a shit actor who got lucky on a few roles. And on those few roles, he played himself.

Peace! I'm out!
incrediblesuperbatspider - 4/6/2012, 4:40 PM
@antonio-yes I know, but he's only been listing failed movies with famous actors and I'm illustrating a successful one with a famous actor. Also, let's not forget that Spider-Man had Tobey Maguire, who has famous but not well known.
BIGBMH - 4/6/2012, 8:53 PM
It really depends. Unknowns can be great, but there have been some great well known actors chosen for major roles. Edward Norton, Robert Downey Jr., Patrick Stewart.
AUSSYACE - 4/11/2012, 9:38 PM
Unknown...

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