How many times have you read about one of your favorite comic book characters finally getting his own movie, learned the actor that was cast to play him, and thought, “What were they smoking?” It’s happened over and over. It’s going to happen again.
What else would you expect from Hollywood, where they focus more on putting the pretty people in the roles, rather than the right people. And sometimes the movie is horrible to begin with and they are only taking whoever answers the phone.
Priorities like that make the following list possible. Here are the 10 worst comic book movie casting blunders, starting with…
10. Nicolas Cage – Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider
Johnny Blaze is a young motorcycle daredevil in the comics. In the movie, Cage looks every bit his 43 years. He looks tired. I keep seeing the scene in the graveyard where he’s drinking coffee and Caretaker says, “You all right?” and Cage replies, “Yeah, I’m good. Feels like my skull’s on fire, but I’m good.”
That’s how he looked through the movie. Like an over-the-hill stunt rider that just wanted to hang up his leather chaps and take a nap. This would have worked if the movie were based on the Danny Ketch thread of the Ghost Rider story and Johnny Blaze shows up years after having been the rider, but that’s not what they did.
It seems like rather than find the right actor for the story, they worked the story around the actor.
9. Vinnie Jones — Juggernaut
The Juggernaut is massive. According the the Marvel Comics wiki, he stands nine feet, five inches tall and weighs in at over 1,900 pounds. I can look past how they changed the origin of the character for X-Men, The Last Stand — making him a mutant when in the comics he’s magical — but I can’t accept the way they simply took Vinnie Jones, slapped a poorly designed costume on him, and called it good.
Juggernaut is big enough that he would warrant his own vehicle and security for transport. He wouldn’t be shoved in the same trailer as all the regular mutants. This guy is a tank.
In the movie, he was Vinnie Jones in a leftover costume from Gladiator.
Don’t get me wrong. Jones is good at playing really hardcore bad guys that don’t take crap from anyone. He would have been great voicing a CGI Juggernaut, perhaps putting his face on the special effects, as they did with Mark Ruffalo and the Hulk. But casting him without any assistance from the special effects department did the character an injustice.
8. Ryan Reynolds — Green Lantern
Ryan Reynolds brought an awkward feel to the role. Hal Jordan is one of the most serious comic book heroes in the genre. While arrogant, he wasn’t aloof when he first had the ring. He has a sense of humor, but he didn’t throw it around because there wasn’t any time for that. There were serious things going on.
Reynolds nails the arrogant part, but has the baggage of all his previous — and sometimes hilarious — roles. Because of that, people had a hard time seeing him as the super-serious Jordan.