On the urging of Ourchair, I shall competeorize, though sadly, I can't find those wonderful headshots that Ourchair does.
The New Avengers
Big Budget Summer Blockbuster
- Chris Barrie
Chris Barrie was Rimmer in Red Dwarf. So... not Tony Stark. BUT... Barrie was also Ace Rimmer in Red Dwarf (what a guy!). The way I see it, Tony Stark has to be sexy and charismatic and commanding, all the things that Chris Barrie can do as Ace Rimmer proved, but here's what Chris Barrie had for me for this particular role over say other actors like George Clooney, Sean Maher, or the wonderful Timothy Olyphant - This is not an Iron Man film. This is an Avengers film. This means the majority of Iron Man's appearance will be in the suit, and not in a tux. This means what you need more than anything else is a good voice
actor. Chris Barrie did a **** load of voices for Spitting Image, which was a puppet show of impersonations. Chris Barrie can make his voice interesting enough to carry a show - he's a good Iron Man.
- Andy Serkis
Okay - Andy Serkis (Gollum) makes a terrible Peter Parker. Doesn't even remotely look like him. You hire another guy to play Peter Parker. That actor does the voice of Spider-Man too. But in the Avengers film, the majority of Spider-Man will be a guy in tights doing all kinds of acrobatics. What this means is you need a guy who can create a character with his body - not
his face, nor his voice. Andy Serkis could do this brilliantly. You can easily get away with another guy doing the voice - it worked fine for Darth Vader.
- Adam Baldwin
Wolverine always looks like a turd in spandex when he's drawn at 5'3". Which is why no one ever draws him at 5'3". And why no actor hired to play him is ever 5'3". This is true even for voice actors. So you go with a tall, strong, tough guy. Adam Baldwin can do that no problem. What Adam Baldwin can do though, is make the tough guy lovable. Wolverine can't be the same note over and over again of, "Look how tough I am, bub" he's got two other main notes - the first is his paternal side (which works only if he's TALLER than the girl) and the second is his comedic elements. Adam Baldwin can do both, and at the same time, he's really good at taking a hit, something the Wolverine actor has to be able to do. Baldwin can take a hit and make it look like nothing or that it hurt like hell, depending on the occassion. Works well for me. Another thing that makes Wolverine special, that makes him dangerous, is his animal nature - his berserker rage, his instincts - Adam Baldwin played "Animal Man" in Full Metal Jacket. He can go 'snap'. And when he's calm, clean-shave, and in a suit and tie, he can STILL look like a predator.
- Henry Simmons
In the TV show, SHARK, there is precisely three things that are good - the rest is balls. James Woods, Jeri Ryan, and Henry Simmons. He plays a PI who used to be a cop but was kicked out of the force for planting evidence to indict a guy who he saw kill his partner. The guy's first appearance is him being at odds with the show's star, James Woods, losing, and STILL coming off as a great character. He's very likeable even when doing morally questionable things. He's can do all the stereotypical blaxplotation stuff he'd have to do as Luke Cage - the 'streetwise' stuff, being big and black and what not - but he's actually very likeable and highly charismatic. Because he's an athlete and a businessman. A guy like this stands out. He could be Iron Man (the only reason I didn't pick him as such is due to the 'voice actor' business). But I cast him as Luke Cage because Luke Cage NEEDS a good, charismatic black actor that has more depth to him than just being 'big and black' because Luke Cage would be in this film alongside Captain America and Spider-Man. Luke Cage has no costume, no super power name, and his super power is the rather non-splashy "bullet-proof" skin. Luke Cage is a secondary character at best, and in order to make him worthwhile, you need someone who with a smile, can grab the audience. I reckon Henry Simmons can do it, because he did it fine in SHARK, and his character in SHARK is a boring Luke Cage.
- Krista Allen
I don't have much affinity for Spider-Woman but as far as I can tell, men fall head over heels for her because of her super-pheromones and not because she's outrageously hot (or something). So I've noticed that one of Krista Allen's most frequent roles she's hired for is the 'hottie who's unaware everyone is ogling the **** out of her'. So she'd have no problem doing that element. Krista Allen is also physically very athletic so she works well for a superhero. And she can act. She actually can and doesn't get nearly enough respect for it because she's too damn fine. It's also oddly appropriate because I'm convinced
she's the PERFECT MARY JANE. Mary Jane - gorgeous supermodel who wants to be a respected actress? Krista Allen IS that. She doesn't even need to act. And she looks EXACTLY like MJ. So it's oddly appropriate she'd be a good Spider-Woman.
- Vincent D'Onofrio
The Sentry has got to be tall (especially considering the HEIGHT of this cast - yeesh!) but not much taller than the rest, enough to look 'right'. The blonde hair can be accomplished with a wig. What The Sentry needs is the vulnerability. Sentry isn't like Superman. Superman isn't vulnerable - the Sentry is. Sentry is a man who was the world's greatest hero and had it all taken away from him. He lives in the shadow of the most dangerous foe, the Void. He's the greatest hero, it's greatest danger, and his friends have ruined his life. He's seeking redemption - and he's crazy. All this, and he's an alcoholic and an ordinary man who just remembered he's a god in spandex. This is not Superman. This is a messed up guy. I originally was thinking of David Wenham because he looks the part, but I thought Vincent D'Onofrio would be better (D'Onofrio would be a great Iron Man if it wouldn't be a travesty to cast such a visually interesting actor and then stick him in a tin can for two hours). The guy hits all these notes as Pyle in Full Metal Jacket - vulnerable, and mad. The Sentry's a lot more subtle though, and D'Onofrio's overqualified to pull off this character. As my friend Duncan said, regarding his performance in Full Metal Jacket, "The guy went from goofy smile to sinister smile with his EYEBROWS
I was going to go for The Rock, but I went against it because the film has Luke Cage in it and Henry Simmons and the Rock would have too much overlap. This bad for two reasons - in a team like this you want each character to be wildly unique and unmistakable from the others, and while you wouldn't get the two confused, they'd be too similar. The other problem is this - Luke Cage NEEDS to be given a real shot in the arm to have any real standing in this film. Casting a similar actor in a more prestigious role GUTS Luke Cage. So no to the Rock. So Captain America can't be the bombastic superhero in this film. We've got Sentry and Iron Man for the special effects, Spidey for the kids, Wolverine for the honeys, Luke Cage for the 'cool', and Spider-Woman from the homina-homina. So Captain America can't be the all-america soldier who kicks everyone's *** in red, white, and blue. He'd just be redundant. Instead, you make him the emotional core. The idealist. The AVENGERS would be about avenging injustice, and for that, you need them to have been hurt. Captain America can hold that feeling of loss. A man out of time, obsolete, faced into a harsh world. He's lost so much. But you need a guy who can showboat too, make that hurt WORTH watching, liven it up, and be entertaining. Captain America is the emotional core of the film. The all-american kid who wanted to be a superhero and got the chance. So I got to give it to Nathan Fillion.
Now I want to see this film.