The 'Justice League of America' Fantasy Casting Call
While making this list I followed a few self-imposed rules. First, I included only characters that are confirmed to be in the actual film, including the villain Maxwell Lord. You won't see my choices for Zatanna or the Green Arrow, sorry. Second, I chose actors who would actually stand a snowball's chance on Apokolips of actually starring in an ensemble-based superhero movie. This means my list isn't a collection of A-List stars who would bust a stomach staple laughing if offered the part. So take a deep calming breath, and read on.
Gerard Butler as Superman
This is probably not going to make me any friends, but this is my list and I'll pick who I please. Superman is essentially the most powerful being in the Justice League and arguably the DC universe. The Justice League's Superman is not a bumbling Clark Kent with relationship issues. This Superman is a leader whose presence on screen must make his team members as well as the audience respect and follow him. Butler has that physical presence and has actually had a more upbeat career aside from his role in 300. He's been a romantic lead, a singing phantom and even Dracula. Let's see what Butler can do as a truly heroic figure.
James Marsden as Batman
Hate mail can be sent directly to me, but I will defend this to the grave. Where Superman is the brute physical presence of the Justice League, Batman is the brains behind it all. Marsden never got enough credit for his role as Cyclops in the Wolverine - I mean X-Men - movies and this actor manages to play roles far more diverse than most are aware of. The Batman I envision in the Justice League is a loner who, while part of the team, has his own agenda. He has his own loyalties that, while ultimately for the greater good, clash with Superman's ideals. Physically Marsden would need to bulk up for the role, but he has the jaw line that would work well under the restrictive cowl. Perhaps his costume would be more in line with that of Superman and give the world's greatest detective the ability to actually turn his head.
Emily Deschanel as Wonder Woman
If this was a Wonder Woman movie than my choice would be entirely different, but this movie is about a team, a team where the men far outweigh the women. That is why I chose Emily Deschanel from TV's "Bones." She has a more mature look about her and also a look of confidence. While Wonder Woman is described as one of great beauty, she doesn't rely on her looks alone. I would never feel right casting a supermodel in the role or even one of the younger waif-like actresses that are so prevalent today. Deschanel has a very classic look to her, and she has proven her ability to portray a self-assured character who is more than a match for the men around her.
Shemar Moore as Green Lantern
His look alone makes Shemar Moore a fit for the role of Jon Stewart/Green Lantern. While he is relatively unknown, Moore's work on "Criminal Minds" has this actor familiar with working as part of an ensemble, something a more well--known actor may not be comfortable with. Plus, a little known geek fact: Moore was on the short-lived WB Series "Birds of Prey," playing the love interest of The Huntress. This gives him some comic book cred….right?
Pre-Blade Trinity Ryan Reynolds as The Flash
This is my fantasy cast, right? That means I can hop in a time machine and enlist a less buff and scruffy Ryan Reynolds as Flash. Rumored for a long time to actually be playing the title role on David Goyer's "Flash" project, Ryan Reynolds has that knack for humor that is associated with the speedster. If he is able to buff down to play a slightly less imposing version of the character, one not as physically imposing as Superman and Batman, he could become a hero not by strength or intelligence, but by his own dedication to the cause.
Ryan Phillippe as Aquaman
This was the hardest casting choice I made, mostly because Aquaman is a character that can so easily become one of parody. I chose Phillippe for the role not just because he has blonde hair, but because the actor is one who you cannot seem to place into one distinct type of actor. Is he a pretty boy, does he have an edge, is he just the wounded ex-husband? I want that sort of mystery to the King of Atlantis, who serves with the Justice League in an uneasy alliance between the land and the oceans. This version of Aquaman sees him as an outsider much in the way that Batman is an outsider in the group: he's a hero, but is he really fighting for Superman's cause?
Carly Lumbly as the voice of Martian Manhunter
I'm taking the easy way out on this one. Martian Manhunter will be motion captured, and the voice will be provided by Carl Lumbly, the "Alias" vet who provided J'onn J'onzz in the animated Justice League Series. He has a calm powerful voice that will have the audience listening to the character instead of the actor behind the character.
James McAvoy as Maxwell Lord
Imagine if you will that the man responsible for bringing the Justice League together with villainous intentions was someone who audiences would not immediately suspect. My choice James McAvoy (Atonement) is not based on his age alone, though a younger actor would give the character the perception of naiveté that he could use against the team. Since most of Maxwell Lord's interaction with the league will not be him physically fighting, I wanted an actor who could mentally go up against the league, even if Superman dwarves him in comparison. The threat is greater when the audience sees that one man shows no fear in the face a group of gods.
Agree? Disagree? Make a comment.
Story Dan Chruscinski
Starpulse contributing writer
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