7. Sylvester Stallone — Judge Dredd
Judge Dredd doesn’t take his helmet off. It doesn’t matter what he looks like. He is the law. It’s really the foundation of the character.
In Judge Dredd, John Wagner explains how this became a hard and fast rule for Judge Dredd comics:
It sums up the facelessness of justice − justice has no soul. So it isn’t necessary for readers to see Dredd’s face, and I don’t want you to.
Casting Stallone as Judge Dredd threw that right out the window. It wasn’t more than 20 minutes into the movie and off comes the helmet. Then I think he loses it, or something.
Then there is the fact that Judge Dredd is as cold-blooded a man as have ever walked Mega-City One. All he cares about is the law and will mete out justice with zero empathy. He doesn’t care about you. He cares about the law.
Casting Stallone in that part doesn’t work. Remember, this was made a few years after Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!
Try and picture Judge Dredd saying that.
6. Dolph Lundgren — Frank Castle
In the late 80s, Dolph Lundgren struggled to make it as an action movie leading man. He had played Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, a KGB officer in Red Scorpion, and He-Man in Masters of the Universe. Only his performance in Rocky IV was memorable.
Then came The Punisher.
It wasn’t a role that required a lot of depth. Lundgren brought less than that.
5. William Hurt — General Thunderbolt Ross
William Hurt is a fine actor. However, the role of General Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross was already cast to the best actor for the role, Sam Elliott. In Hulk, Elliott became Thunderbolt Ross, from his demeanor all the way to his power mustache.
Hurt’s mustache simply couldn’t compete.
Plus, throughout The Incredible Hulk Hurt came across as weak, always at the mercy of those around him or circumstances outside his control. While Elliott’s character also had difficulties controlling the Hulk, he never seemed weak because of it. He came across as if there were always a backup plan.
Guess we could have just found confidence in the ‘stache.