Casting The Comic Book Heroes Who Should Have Movies

With the smashing success of The Avengers, superhero movies are bigger than ever. Here are my choices for heroes that need their own film. Fellow comics nerds: further casting suggestions are highly encouraged in the comments! posted on

1. “Green Arrow”

Green Arrow is a kind of yin to Batman’s yang in the DC universe: he’s a self-styled Robin Hood whose alter-ego, Oliver Queen, is a billionaire and former mayor of fictional Star City, and in the comics he represents a progressive liberal ideal while Batman tends to represent traditionalist, conservative values. His whole deal is that he makes arrows that do different kinds of things, like glue, trap, explode, grapple, extinguish fire, and let off tear gas. He’s one of the more recognizable heroes not to get his own movie yet, but I think Ewan McGregor is the actor who could pull off the juxtaposition of a kind of silly looking hero who has a pretty serious message.

2. “The Flash”

Even if you don’t really know who The Flash is, you kind of already do. He’s super, super, super fast. And that’s about it! Now, about the casting… If you ask a Nathan Fillion fangirl/boy, they will tell you that the Firefly star is perfect for every single white male superhero every invented. That’s because they really want him to play a superhero in a big movie And I don’t blame them. Fillion would be great for “The Flash” because a Flash movie is going to need both a super-cool leading man and a good sense of humor.

3. “Wonder Woman”

The amazon is probably the most famous superhero without her own movie and it’s damn time. This has been in pre-pre-pre-production for approximately eight million years, and at one time “The Avengers” director Joss Whedon was attached to a version. Let’s do it, and let’s cast Olivia Wilde while we’re at it.

4. “Aquaman”

Aquaman is a ridiculous character, but the movie could be good if it takes a cue from “Thor” (also a ridiculous character) and has a sense of humor about itself. Aquaman can talk to marine life telepathically, including summoning them from afar, he can breathe underwater, and he’s super strong and tough. A film has been on the shelf for awhile but I’d really like to see Matthew Morrison riding a dolphin and stuff.

5. “Ms. Marvel”

Jennifer Lawrence is already committed to her X-Men character, but I really wish she wasn’t so that she could play Ms. Marvel (AKA Carol Danvers, Binary, or Warbird). Ms. Marvel is a superhuman (via energy exposure, duh), who can fly (really fast!), has superhuman strength, a precognitive “seventh sense,” and can discharge explosives from her fingertips. She also has a silly costume that dudes will love.

6. “Cloak and Dagger”

These comics were never really all that good, and the characters aren’t well known outside of comic-nerd-land, but this could be a really awesome film! Okay, bear with me: Cloak and Dagger are two teenage runaways who meet in NYC. Then they are kidnapped by drug smugglers and used as human test subjects, which somehow lends them special abilities. Cloak can “dispatch people in to the darkness dimension,” whatever that means, but it disorients them. Dagger can create “light daggers” which drain people of their vitality. Here’s the kicker: Cloak hungers for light, and he needs Dagger to survive. And if Dagger doesn’t regularly drain her light, she can be overcharged. They have to remain together all the time, which makes their story amazing fodder for a hyper romantic take on a superhero film. Tristan Wilds for Cloak! Dakota Fanning for Dagger!

7. “Dr. Strange”

Marvel’s master magician can basically do anything. In the comics, he seems like a distinguished older gentleman, but I’m sure the planned movie reboot will feature a younger actor. Patrick Dempsey was lobbying for the role, but I think Adrien Brody strikes the perfect balance between universe-wielding strength and dapper gentlemanliness. Plus, there’s the meticulously groomed facial hair.

8. “Metamorpho”

Rex Mason was in Indiana Jones type who, while exploring an Egyptian pyramid, was exposed to a radioactive meteorite that leant him powers. Boom: Metamorpho! He can shapeshift and change himself into any element found in a human body. He is not able to retain a totally human appearance so he thinks of himself as a freak and rejects an offer from the Justice League. The man walks alone. The man is bald. The man is so clearly, so obviously Jason Statham.

9. “Mento”

A cocky genius billionaire invents his own superhero with science. Sound familiar? Mento does have a lot in common with Iron Man, and he’s one of the key members of a team that could become a whole Avengers-type franchise — The Doom Patrol. I think Ben Stiller would perfectly capture the line Steve Dayton / Mento walks between arrogant and vulnerable.

10. “Elasti-Girl”

Elasti-Girl is a badass former swimmer turned actress turned superhero. She can expand or shrink her body (or just one limb at a time if she so chooses). In the storyline of the Doom Patrol comics, she is romantically linked to, and eventually the wife of, Mento. In fact, he invents that superhero helmet just to impress her. Jewel Staite proved when she played Kaylee in Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” that she can pull off the trifecta of hot/strong/vulnerable perfectly.

11. “Bumblebee”

I want this movie to happen before former “America’s Next Top Model” runner-up Yaya DaCosta gets too old to play Bumblebee, because she’s perfect. Bumblebee first appeared in Teen Titans and later joined the Doom Patrol, so she could be part of a franchise for either group. She was DC’s first black female superhero. She wears a “scientific” super-suit that allows her to fly and create sonic blasts. In the current comics timeline, Bumblebee is stuck being tiny (6 inches tall!), which I think would be an awesome plot-line for a film version.

12. “Ant-Man”

Ant-Man is going to be a movie, and Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead) is directing it, so it will definitely be awesome. Henry Pym, the original Ant-Man, actually has five hero identities under his belt, most recently “Yellowjacket” — but in the movie version, he will be Ant-Man. Pym is a biochemist and he learns how to change his own size at will, and change the size of other beings and inanimate objects. This power can be used to all kinds of ridiculous advantage, as you can probably imagine. I’ve cast Joel McHale because he looks tiny but is actually ripped, and because he always seem slightly on the verge of becoming unhinged, which befits a character burdened by a near-constant identity-crisis.

13. “Luke Cage”

When the character debuted, it was criticized for it’s blaxploitation stereotypes, but Luke Cage has evolved and now is the time for a film version. Cage gained his powers in prison and was originally one of very few “plainclothes” superheroes, which is how I think a movie version would be best served, especially if the film borrowed from the Marvel Noir series. A film starring Cage has been in development for years, and Isaiah Mustafa (the Old Spice guy) has made it very clear that he wants the role bad. Sometimes when an actor lobbies for a role it seems like they’re trying too hard but in this case, he’d be great for this.

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