There have been many comic book movies since we got the first one came out in 1941, (The Adventures of Captain Marvel). It’s an amazing challenge to pull off a movie based on a comic book, but even more challenging might be to find the perfect actor/actress to portray the comic book characters. Here we take a look at some of the greatest people cast as their superhero counterparts.
10) J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man
Stan Lee said that he actually wanted to portray J. Jonah Jameson, Peter Parker’s boss at the Daily Bugle. However, when J.K. Simmons was cast as Jameson, Stan Lee was highly complimentary of the choice. J.K. Simmons did a great job at matching the voice that we all heard in our heads as we read the comics, and stamped the voice that we will always read that character with forever. He looks almost exactly like every comic book iteration of the character and is just as fun to watch on the screen as on the page. He is a perfect portrayal of this character.
9) Ron Perlman as Hellboy
Always one to put on 4 hours of some prosthetics for a role and become a new creature, Ron Perlman cashes in as a spot-on portrayal of the demon himself, Hellboy. Ron Perlman acts the part of Hellboy phenomenally, bringing a signature grit and noir-esque feeling while still keeping it humorous like the Hellboy we know from the comics. Ron Perlman reportedly read all the Hellboy comics as to nail the character down. And he worked out intensely to fulfill the role. Great dedication to the role. Hopefully David Harbour can fill his shoes.
8) Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon in The Dark Knight Trilogy
The Dark Knight Trilogy did a lot for the Batman franchise. Say what you want about the casting of other characters but Gary Oldman gets Commissioner James Gordon. A great realistic adaptation of the character, Gary Oldman nails the mannerisms, the idealistic true-blue attitude of this Gotham detective and creates a very likable character for the audience and Batman to trust.
7) Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man
The first Iron Man film pioneered comic book movies and kicked off the MCU. Thank goodness it was cast so well. Robert Downey Jr. has either redefined Tony Stark as we know it, or Tony Stark has redefined Robert Downey Jr. He looks like him in the comics, nails the smug genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist attitude, yet still provides a very compelling performance. Well done Robert Downey Jr.
6) Jackie Earl Haley as Rorschach in Watchmen
This is widely regarded as the greatest character in the Watchmen comic book. Rorschach’s voice is an integral part of his character as well as how he looks with the mask on or off. Jackie Earl Haley plays all these parts perfectly. He’s the best part about the movie and steals whatever scene he’s in.
5) Christopher Reeve as Superman
The campy-ness in the original 1970s Superman movies is hard to bear these days. But one cannot deny that for the time, the jump from page to screen was made flawlessly by the late Christopher Reeve. He looks just like the 1970s Superman and portrays him exactly as if one was reading the comic. He’s got all of Superman’s characteristics and is portrayal to admire.
4) Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier in X-Men
Since Charles Xavier is bald, you think it wouldn’t be that hard to just find somebody with the jaw line and shave them, but Patrick Stewart is another quintessential portrayal of the character. James McAvoy plays a great young Xavier, but Patrick Stewart takes the cake as the titular Professor X. Once again, what makes this a flawless portrayal is the combination of the stoic voice, stern yet gentle temperament and uncanny appearance.
3) Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
Perhaps this will be controversial regarding the portrayal of this character given by Lynda Carter in the 1975 Wonder Woman TV series, but Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is an incredible on-screen portrayal of the character. She has the authentic accent, plays the strong, compassionate, and inspiring character so well, and makes it so believable. The 2017 movie did so much for the DCEU and makes us all hopeful for more entry’s into the character.
2) Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool
This film took so long to make it to the big screen. Ryan Reynolds himself piloted a lot of the attempts to get it off the ground. What started as a relatively small role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine became everyone’s loveable psychopath Deadpool. The movie did better than any other R rated film at the time and it is thanks to Ryan Reynold’s portrayal of the “Merc With A Mouth”. His voice and sarcastic tone lent so much to the characters development making him the definitive Deadpool.
1) Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight
While all of the entries on this list deal with believable adaptations to the screen, no comic book movie casting list would be complete without mentioning Heath Ledger as the Joker. Though not the Joker we expected, Heath Ledger showed everybody what the best live action Joker looks like. Ledger maintains the mysterious nature of the Joker, plays him as an utterly insane individual masked in anarchy and steals the show. He literally gave his life for his performance.
What other memorable roles have come to life on-screen that we missed? Who would we all like to see in a comic book role? Let us know in the comments below!