Henry Cavill was recently cast as Superman in the reboot of the reboot of the franchise in another attempt to not screw it up. Hollywood can do that, you know. Some people find the choice a little questionable, partially because the man is British and partially because people hate all superhero casting choices. It’s pretty much inevitable. If you look hard enough you’ll find someone who probably thought Patrick Stewart was a bad choice for Professor X. But that said, some choices are clearly weirder than others. Let’s take a look at some of the most questionable casting choices in superhero filmdom.
Nic Cage as Ghost Rider
Starting things off with a bang is Nic Cage because, if you’re talking about ridiculous casting, Nic Cage is a great place to start. The context barely even matters. But in this case, it’s Nic’s second most preposterous role (after the Wicker Man) that makes him fodder for our criticisms. Nic and his hairpiece play Johnny Blaze, who becomes the Ghost Rider and hangs out with Sam Elliot’s character from The Big Lebowski to hunt down an emo asshole in a crappy town in Texas where everyone was a jerk. Or something like that.
Nic Cage may be the precise dictionary definition of every antonym for super that there is. Maybe in his 20’s he could have convinced someone that this would work, but these days he seems like a Mad Hatter who everyone refuses to institutionalize. He’s not intimidating or heroic particularly and even if he were, his hairpiece throughout this entire movie looks like a deformed honey badger trying to eat his scalp.
Tom Welling as Clark Kent
If you are not now or have never been a teenaged girl, you may not have ever seen Smallville. It apparently had something to do with Superman and a bald boy. No one cares because it was Dawson’s Creek-level drama with pseudo superpowers and was, arguably, the worst superhero adaptation ever and that includes the Justice League movie that featured Charles Emerson Winchester III as the Martian Manhunter.
Tom Welling played young Clark Kent and it wasn’t that the kid was so bad at first as Superman it’s that he wasn’t Superman. The show ran for God knows how many seasons and he never became Superman ever. On the one hand the producers were awkwardly trying to tell the story of Superman before he was Superman, but on the other hand Clark Kent was always Superman so he should have at least slapped an S on his chest and flown to the hamburger stand in downtown Smallville at least once. But he didn’t. So this kid was cast in a pointless role for no reason, really.
Halle Berry as Catwoman
One of the most curious things in the history of acting is Halle Berry and her entire career. She’s won an Academy Award and yet it seems like every role she takes is worse than ever other role. If you were to watch two of her movies at the same time and try to decide which performance was worse your ears would likely start bleeding as you blacked out and lost your memory of the previous 24 hours. Despite this, she’s very popular, possibly because she’s hot. Or maybe because of The Last Boyscout. That was a great movie.
No one liked the movie Catwoman because it was worse than Hitler AIDS. Halle Berry was cast in the role because of two things – she was riding high on a wave of superhero goodwill from her useless turn as Storm in the X-Men and it was during Hollywood’s curious “let’s intentionally unintentionally cast people of different races in roles” phase that also saw Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin, Cedric the Entertainer as Ralph Kramden and Ashton Kutcher in Guess Who as who cares. All of those movies sucked, too.
When you think of women who can kick your ass, you probably don’t think of Halle Berry. While she’s in shape, she also seems liek she spends most of her day just looking pretty and maybe fretting over her lack of Perrier.
Bullshit as Galactus
If you saw the sequel to Fantastic Four, then that’s a shame. But you also bore witness to what the producers figured was a decent representation of Galactus. Oy.
For those not in the know, Galactus was supposed to be one of the oldest living things in existence. He was so damn old he predated the universe and had, in fact, been a resident of the previous universe. That’s old shit, and he was pretty powerful. So powerful, in fact, he consumed the life force of entire planets to sustain himself. In the movie, they made him a really poorly rendered storm cloud.
Now I get that, in the comics, Galactus looks a little silly. Or a lot silly. He looks like a Roman Gladiator with a coat rack on his head. But he’s at least got a body. And he’s massive. And he eats worlds. Anything would have been better than a cosmic fart cloud.
Topher Grace as Venom
Toper Grace as a superhero would be preposterous. Topher Grace as a menacing supervillain is as ridiculous as FOX news anchors teaching journalism classes. In the comics Eddie Brock is a monster of a man who hates Spiderman for ruining his life. He finds the suit and becomes Venom and thinks he’s a good guy, wants to be a superhero, is a giant beast that scares everyone and still hates Spiderman. However, in the movie, he’s basically exactly the same as Peter Parker, hates Peter Parker and just becomes more of an asshole with the suit on.
Venom should have been a big, misguided fool, not a weiner. Remember that, casting directors – only cast Topher Grace in roles that require wieners.
Shaq as Steel
Steel was originally a Superman, which you may not have known if you saw the movie as they didn’t really mention it ever. See, back in the day, DC made a big deal out of killing Superman in the comics and then having new Supermen take his place, including Superboy, a cyborg Superman, a clone and Steel, a man named John Henry Irons who was inspired by Superman to do good but, having no powers of his own, he made a suit out of steel to help him in his quest to right wrongs.
The bizarre thing about casting Shaq in this role is that, technically, he looks exactly like Steel from the comics. The problem is, of course, that Shaq is to acting what a hammer blow to the crotch is to intimacy. Plus the mask they gave him was completely dumb. For reals.
Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl
Before Renee Zellwegger was stinking up the screen, you had to turn to Alicia Silverstone if you wanted to see a dim blonde sleepwalking her way through a role with a mildly petulant look on her face.
After Tim Burton’s tolerable run with Batman, Joel Schumacher took over after abusing a cocktail of mind-altering substances. The results are two of the worst pieces of shit ever put on film. But the final piece of shit really takes the cake for any number of reasons – George Clooney’s abhorrent Batman, Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, those guys on ice skates, etc. And then there was Alicia Silverstone. She was supposed to be Alfred’s niece, despite not being English and has all the energy of a dog being put to sleep. She also evokes the idea of superheroism in much the same way a hobo makes you think of cleanliness.