With a few exceptions, every actor in Hollywood desires a role in a superhero film. With their cinematic worlds, Marvel and DC have reshaped the filmmaking landscape, and anybody with a résumé is coming out of the woodwork to audition for the next big part. With their extensive and illustrious history, it may be difficult to cast the proper person as a comic book icon. Each distinct character has a different level of complexity, and just because an actor looks the part doesn’t imply they have what it takes to capture the spirit of the role. We’ve previously prepared our list of the finest superhero casting choices, praising outstanding performances like Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool and Chris Evans’ Captain America. Now it’s time to focus on the less-than-pleasant selections, the performances we’d rather forget than have to see again. We’re not claiming these performers were the only thing wrong with their movie, but they surely didn’t help an already poor production. As a reminder that even superstars make mistakes, we’ve compiled a list of the 13 Worst Superhero Movie Castings of All Time. We sincerely apologize in advance.
13. Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor:
Before you decide to sacrifice us to the DCEU gods for having Zack Snyder’s interpretation of Lex Luthor on our list, let us clarify. We’re not jumping on the bandwagon that says “Batman v Superman is the worst comic book movie of all time.” While we realize that the film has its admirers (and rightly so), we also acknowledge that it has problems, and those problems are most visible when Jesse Eisenberg appears on the scene. Snyder’s idea of the business mogul and power-hungry billionaire comes across as a crazed Mark Zuckerberg, sans Eisenberg’s snappy, humorous remarks in The Social Network. Furthermore, Eisenberg lacked a dominating presence in the film, appearing more like a spazzed out tech whiz with major inadequacy issues than somebody who could exude the confidence required to govern over Metropolis. It didn’t help that the character veered inadvertently into an unintentionally humorous area with a weirdly homoerotic scene with a Jolly Rancher. Overall, the figure comes off as more of a possible enemy for the upcoming season of Silicon Valley than somebody who should have faced off against Superman.
12. January Jones As Emma Frost:
Emma Frost, a seductress with remarkable telepathic talents, has become renowned among comic book readers as a heroine with flexible morals. Born into a violent family, her father committed her to a mental hospital after discovering her telepathic abilities. She then worked as Sebastian Shaw’s apprentice in the Hellfire Club before joining the X-Men, where she became a teacher for the brilliant young mutants and had an affair with Cyclops. Frost, being a morally ambiguous figure prepared to go to any length to protect the mutant species, is continually plagued by doubt about her actions. While the eye test suggested January Jones was destined for the part of the White Queen in Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class, the distinctly wooden findings demonstrated she was unable to bring the White Queen’s forceful personality to the big screen. Jones comes out as disinterested and devoid of any evidence of internal struggle as a member of Shaw’s Hellfire Club. While her performance as Betty Draper in Mad Men showed that she was more than capable of playing a villain, her portrayal of Frost demonstrated that she was just not the proper option for the job.
11. Nicolas Cage As Ghost Rider:
We can’t blame Nicolas Cage for wanting to play the stuntman turned blazing spirit of vengeance in the Ghost Rider movies, given his history of wild performances and his fanatical dedication to comic books. Instead, we’ll chalk this miscasting up to the production team’s decision to cast a middle-aged actor as the young, typical blonde Johnny Blaze. While Cage’s performance is far from the worst on our list, he does go beyond with his delivery, frequently exceeding the line with his typical passion and loud emotions. Cage was eventually cast in the part, although it was nothing out of the ordinary for the actor. The character, a bizarre mash-up of Elvis Presley and Evil Knievel, was little more than a quirky cosplay experiment that, while amusing, fell short of satisfying fans of the motorcycle-driving Marvel hero. Perhaps, when the Robbie Reyes version of the character takes centre stage in season four of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., audiences will finally get the adaptation they deserve.
10. Ben Affleck As Daredevil:
Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the grizzled, PTSD-plagued Caped Crusader in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman may be one of the finest casting choices in recent memory, but the actor/director wasn’t always suited to the superhero world. Affleck had a reputation as an uncommitted talent who wandered between assignments before proving his skills behind the camera. Daredevil, his first real break into better films, could have been in 2003, but instead of proving himself as a capable Matt Murdock, we were treated to a snarling, sombre hero who had no on-screen chemistry with his co-star Jennifer Garner, despite later marrying the actress years after filming had finished. In his fairness, Affleck isn’t as much of a miscast now as he was ten years ago. If given the chance, we’re confident he could teach Charlie Cox a thing or two about playing a blind vigilante. But, terrible timing or not, we’re obliged to include his stiff and sometimes cartoonish performance, while thinking how much better the picture could’ve been if Matt Damon had accepted the job before Affleck. At the very least, we still have Batfleck, which is more than enough atonement to make us forget about this movie.
9. Kate Bosworth As Lois Lane:
Lois Lane, the hard-hitting reporter for the Daily Planet, made her return in 2006 with Superman Returns. While playing the leading lady in a movie starring the Man of Steel was a difficult assignment, a great performance and some solid on-screen chemistry would have been enough to overcome the odds. Unfortunately, Kate Bosworth fell short on both counts, leaving many viewers scratching their heads and wondering what the casting makers were thinking. The selection sparked controversy early on, with fans claiming that the 22-year-old actress was too young for the role. As a single mother and a Pulitzer Prize winner, audiences are given to think that in the five or more years between Superman’s departure and return, Lois has somehow managed to become the planet’s most recognized reporter and raise a kid on her own, despite her young looks. She lacks the spark of Superman’s girlfriend, preferring to fit in with the rest of the group as a side character rather than taking any initiative. Obviously, more consideration might have been put into the screenplay to give the actress more to work with, but nothing could hide the fact that she was just out of her environment.
8. Julian McMahon As Dr. Doom:
Dr. Doom, being one of Marvel’s most beloved uber-villains, was always going to be a difficult casting choice. Born Victor von Doom in the tiny kingdom of Latveria, he chose the path of sorcery after finding his mother’s mysterious items. He begins wearing a nuclear-powered armour suit after being damaged by his own invention, designed to save his mother’s spirit from beyond the dead. He takes on the role of the Fantastic Four’s archnemesis, casting a shadow over the supergroup with his brilliant mind, fueled by his hubris. When casting for 2005’s Fantastic Four began, the major subject of discussion was who would play the main adversary. McMahon had a reputation for playing wicked characters because of his role in the program Nip/Tuck, but the devilish charm he displayed on the show was nowhere to be found here. Aside from the fact that his outfit design didn’t transition well to film (though at least one cosplayer has demonstrated that this isn’t such a difficult undertaking), McMahon lacked the gravitas to play the scary figure. He seems little in comparison to the four protagonists, since he lacks a powerful voice, resulting in a poor adaptation that had no chance of winning over admirers. McMahon’s performance in the sequel, which was universally criticized, was not much better.
7. Jennifer Garner As Elektra:
Elektra is a comic book heroine who was born on a Greek island in the Aegean Sea and developed her martial arts abilities under the guidance of her blind sensei, Stick. She blurs the boundary between hero and villain as a ninja assassin with links to the mythical supervillain organization known as the Hand. While her quick temper makes her a force to be reckoned with, her sinful background and urge to make apologies exposes her to the possibility of atoning for all her wrongdoings. Jennifer Garner comes out as overly lovely for the character of a boxer who provides a challenge to the extremely powerful Matt Murdock. Although the terrible writing may be blamed for Garner’s American accent, her wholesome looks should have been a clear indication that someone else would have been a better fit for the job. It’s not that the actress couldn’t play an action hero; she demonstrated that in the television series Alias — it’s just that she lacked the cynicism that the character deserved. The whole burden of Daredevil and Elektra may not have been on Garner’s shoulders, but her girl-next-door depiction did not help her.
6. Taylor Kitsch As Gambit:
Remy LeBeau’s character as the Ragin ‘Cajun has established a large fan following around his reputation as a crafty, manipulative X-Men member with the ability to drop an occasional one-liner off the top of his head. He was raised by the LeBeau Clan Thieves’ Guild in New Orleans, where his powers first manifested. He began by utilizing playing cards as an explosive weapon against opponents because he was able to charge inorganic items with kinetic energy. Taylor Kitsch, a Friday Night Lights star, originally endeared himself to audiences as wayward high school football fullback Tim Riggins. While he appeared to be a good fit for the role of Gambit in the first solo Wolverine film, it was the mutant’s Cajun accent that proved difficult. Kitsch’s delivery, which was more comparable to a normal Southern drawl, came across as disappointing, due in part to the seriousness he brought to the character. The film had more issues than simply its casting, such as introducing the mutant in someone else’s solo film, which nearly destroyed Deadpool forever, but it doesn’t excuse the poor portrayal of a beloved hero who was far more intelligent in the comics.
5. Topher Grace As Venom:
Topher Grace built a reputation for himself as the fun-loving, goofy, nice guy in That ’70s Show as Eric Forman. It’s easy to see where Sam Raimi went wrong when he cast him in the third and final movie of the original trilogy as Venom against Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man. We’re not saying Grace couldn’t play a threatening villain in the proper tale, but he’s not the ideal fit for the part of Eddie Brock. After losing his job as an investigative photojournalist for the Daily Bugle, Brock sets his eyes on Spider-Man. In a profound melancholy, he gets into touch with an extraterrestrial symbiote, which grants him abilities similar to those of the web-slinger. Overall, Grace lacks Brock’s Venom’s intimidating bulk from the books. Although his jealous demeanour was spot on, it did nothing to persuade spectators that he was capable of posing a danger to Peter Parker. He was forced to play second place to the film’s other villain, Sandman, who proved to be more dangerous than one of Spider-Man’s feared foes, a crime that Spider-Man fans simply couldn’t forgive.
4. Jessica Alba As The Invisible Woman:
While later Fantastic Four issues portrayed the Invisible Woman as a strong hero and mother dealing with difficult themes such as losing a child to a stillborn pregnancy, Alba was actually ordered to pull back on all emotional sequences. The actress was outspoken about her treatment in the 2005 hit and its sequel, claiming that director Tim Story reduced her to the role of the dimwitted girlfriend to Reed Richards’ Mr. Fantastic. Whether Alba’s narrative is genuine or not, the star wasn’t exactly prepared for such a big screen part so quickly, which makes her presence even more perplexing. As much as we hate to acknowledge it, Hollywood is a business predicated on money, power, and sex appeal. It is not Jessica Alba’s fault that she became overly engaged with the Fantastic Four. She wasn’t given much material to work with. In terms of 20th Century Fox, she did her part. Sue Storm was the latest street attraction, intended as eye candy for passersby to enjoy, but she fell well short of her heroic comic book image.
3. Seth Rogen As The Green Hornet:
With all of the end-of-the-world villainy and sombre masked vigilantes cleaning up the streets, it appears that comedy is an underappreciated aspect of superhero fiction. With The Green Hornet in 2011, Seth Rogen wanted to do something about it, and while we admire the effort, we would have chosen a more serious performer for the part. The Green Hornet began as a radio programme before evolving into numerous comic book series and a successful television show, chronicling the nightly exploits of Britt Reid, the son of a rich newspaper editor for Chicago’s The Sentinel. With the help of his sidekick, Kato, he employed unconventional techniques to bring the city’s mobsters and henchmen to their knees. Rogen approaches the realm of crime-fighting with his typical buffoonery and casual demeanour, with mixed results. The comic actor has never fit the stereotype of a hero, particularly one with such a long history. The Green Hornet, as a smart vigilante, once challenged Adam West’s Batman on television. In the end, Rogen’s portrayal of Reid felt far more comparable to his previous portrayals than anything that could hold a torch to Gotham’s protector.
2. Halle Berry As Storm/Catwoman:
Halle Berry is the only performer on our list who has been miscast twice in a superhero role. She began her problematic relationship with superhuman beings as the white-haired Ororo Munroe, alias Storm, in the X-Men series. While the majority of the audience was dissatisfied with Berry’s African accent, which faded and reappeared during each film, her largest flaw was a lack of dominating presence. Many of Storm’s more forceful pieces of dialogue seemed silly and over the top on film without the grandeur of the character from the comics. Attempting to move on from her portrayal as Storm, the actress was once again caught by a terrible screenplay with little character development in Catwoman. Ignoring the fact that the film is not about Selina Kyle, Berry appears in a dominatrix-like leather outfit and hisses at dogs. It’s not a nice appearance since she usually comes off as stupid and not in the least heroic. The actress, on the other hand, took her injuries with pride, accepting the Razzie award for Worst Actress in person, demonstrating how horribly incorrect the performance turned out to be.
1. The Entire Cast Of Dragonball: Evolution:
The Dragon Ball franchise’s characters may not match many readers’ definitions of superheroes, but we beg to differ. Whether in a full-fledged Super Saiyan state or holding back his full might, Goku’s Kamehameha assault is enough to make Superman grimace in pain. When you combine it with the countless enemies the protagonists have battled in order to rescue the planet, you have some truly heroic achievements on your hands. It’s simply a shame that all of those heroics vanished the moment Evolution began shooting. While we can’t blame the cast for Evolution’s failure, we do question why any of them agreed to participate in the project in the first place. Many of the characters, notably Goku (played by Justin Chatwin), were bleached because the series was based on a Japanese comic (played by Emmy Rossum). To make matters worse, the performers abandon the vibrant personalities of the comic series, delivering their portrayals with little enthusiasm. It’s difficult to tell whether the outrageous performances are just the product of terrible writing, but clearly the actors had to be aware of the dumpster fire they were working on, giving them enough reason not to care about the end result and the mark it would leave on their careers.
So yeah, these are The 13 Worst Superhero Movie Castings Ever. Which other superhero casts do you think are woefully inadequate? Which of these films might have been rescued by better-suited actors? Tell us in the comments, and until then, keep on reading Animated Times, the perfect place to get a closer look at the entertainment industry, upcoming movies, TV series, celebrity gossip, and much more. We’ll have you covered, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more.