Q&A #168: Who would you cast in a Justice League film?

In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.

Who would you cast in a Justice League film?


A L I

Before we get started, a couple of us make references to a DC “shared movie universe” which means we talk about characters and actors from The Dark Knight Rises. So if you haven’t seen the movie yet, be forewarned, gentle reader. Here there be spoilers!

I have been thinking about a Justice League movie a lot recently. With Marvel’s The Avengers being so awesome this summer, it’s hard not to think about what DC Entertainment’s response could (or should) be. And I have ALL OF THE OPINIONS which I will try my best to reign in.

For me, a Justice League movie has to have your heavy hitters. You can bring in characters that are a bit more “obscure” or not well-known to a broader pop culture audience, but my dream line-up falls somewhere between Bruce Timm’s Justice League cartoon and Super Friends. For me, you cannot do this movie without Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. I think, with three superhero franchises already out there, now would be a great opportunity for DC to learn a lesson from Marvel Studios and give this shared movie universe thing a shot. Hopefully building off momentum from The Dark Knight Rises and the upcoming Man of Steel, I’d put Henry Cavill “back” in the role of Superman and, SPOILERY MCSPOILER, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake as Batman (in general, I’d love to see Gordon-Levitt take a shot at the Caped Crusader).

But most importantly, a Justice League movie is the perfect opportunity to finally, finally get Wonder Woman on the big screen.

Wonder Woman

At her core, Diana is a woman with the beauty, wisdom, and strength of the gods. She’s a fine balance of compassionate princess and formidable warrior. Someone who you can’t help but admire, yet is still really likable. It’s a tall order, but it can be done. Lynn Collins pulled off a perfectly Wonder Woman-esque performance as Princess of Mars Dejas Thoris in John Carter.

Now that I’ve got the heavy-hitters out of the way, it’s time to bring in the rest of the team. When I first started reading comics, Black Canary was head of the Justice League. I’d love to see her back.

Black Canary

The thing I love most about Dinah is how unbelievably well she holds her own. Yes, she does have a super sonic scream, but she doesn’t have the amped up powers of a Superman or Wonder Woman. She also doesn’t have the budget of a Bruce Wayne or an Oliver Queen to give her an unlimited arsenal. But Dinah still kicks ass just as well (if not better) than the rest of the League. She’s totally bad-ass, but still cool enough to go grab drinks with and vent about a bad day. I’d put Yvonne Strahovski in the fishnets for Black Canary. Her super spy Sarah on Chuck always reminded me a bit of Dinah.

If you’ll bear with me a bit longer, I’d like to add one more to the cast: Aquaman.

Aquaman

I know most people think he’s a joke, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Arthur of Atlantis (plus, Geoff Johns LOVES Aquaman, so I’m sure he’d crowbar him in to a Justice League movie). Communicating with marine life does sound pretty lame, but I think Aquaman can fill the most important role of any team: the heart. The guy who believes in everyone, the one you can’t help but love even though he’s kinda campy. I think you need someone really likable in the role. And someone who can embrace the ridiculous aspects of Aquaman but still be respectful of what is really a fun character. I think Neil Patrick Harris would be brilliant as Arthur.


A N I K A

I decided to focus on characters I want to see in a Justice League film and in the way I want to see them.

Zatanna

It can be difficult to introduce characters with decades of history to an all new audience. Zatanna is a character who doesn’t need much explanation: she’s a magician and that’s something anyone who’s read a Harry Potter book or seen a Disney Princess film can grasp. And she could be brought in easily via her connection to Batman. It’s a slippery slope, since I wouldn’t want her to be stuck as a Bat-sphere supporting character. But I love the childhood besties relationship between Zatanna Zatara and Bruce Wayne and I would love to see it explored on screen.

My ideal Zatanna is Selena Gomez as a nod to her Wizards of Waverly Place character, Alex Russo. Selena is young to play a Zatanna who is a peer (which I’m defining as up to a 5 year age difference) to an established Bruce Wayne Batman. She could conceivably be a peer of Joseph Gordon-Levitt if the films went that way. While Joe is 31 and Selena 20, they could play late twenties and early twenties believably. But if she’s deemed too young for it to work, I’d give the role to Mila Kunis.

Green Arrow (Oliver Queen)

On the other end of the age spectrum I’d like to cast Simon Baker as Green Arrow. I like Oliver Queen as a reluctant mentor. Someone who is arrogant and full of bluster and for whom heroism doesn’t always come easily, but he’s never afraid to make the difficult choice. Ollie needs to be able to stare down and disagree with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and having a few years on them wouldn’t hurt the audience’s perception of his authority and equality.

But if the script calls for a twentysomething I nominate Chace Crawford.

Chace has been playing an Ollie-lite (his Nate is a sometime society darling with a social conscience who dabbled in politics, has a thing for a particular blonde, and will do anything for his team of friends) on Gossip Girl for six years and I’d support him graduating to the real thing.


S A M

In an effort to cut down my really long answer, I have moved my intro (including my Big Three) to my personal blog. You can find it here if you’d like.

I’m rounding out my team with two somewhat obscure, potentially younger characters.

Blue Beetle (Jamie Reyes)

I thought about this one for awhile. I think American audiences are cooler with the idea of a hero in a full suit of armor (thanks, Iron Man!) than they used to be, but his bug-derived powers may be a bit much. And I would hope his costume wouldn’t end up looking too much like a Beetleborg. But I like Jamie because he’s a newbie and a regular human, but he’s got a very black-and-white view of morality. I think that’ll be an important counterpoint to a lot of people in a movieverse that builds off of where Nolan went, which is what I think Warner Brothers would like to do. I also have always liked the twist that a superpower causes intense pain. It adds a lot to Logan’s character in the X-Men movies, and I think it adds a lot to Jaime; here’s a guy who goes out and does what he does despite crippling pain.

Jamie was easy to cast. Much easier than my next choice. In fact, as soon as I thought “Jamie Reyes” I thought of this guy.

I mean, Tyler Posey. Right? Bring in those Teen Wolf fans (I know you’re out there, I see you all over my tumblr feed). He’s young, handsome, can do darkness, and I think could pull off a superhero pretty easily. Also it would be casting an actual Latino to play a Latino character. GASP.

Liberty Belle

My most obscure pick! Every superteam needs a speedster, if you ask me. I love speedsters. I didn’t go with a direct member of the Flash family for a few reasons, which I can get into some other time. Mainly, I wanted another female on the team, and Jesse is the only female speedster (not counting Iris, who wasn’t even old enough for the Teen Titans when the universe rebooted), which is pretty cool.

I like Jesse because of her relationship with Wally and with her mom. The former is one of the main reasons I will never be a Wally West fan, and the latter would make for some great Hollywood drama. I mean, she was sleeping with her mother’s murdered fiancé. This is the stuff Hollywood loves! And for a group movie, she’s someone who has studied superheroes (or metahumans, whichever) and who now finds herself among them. Maybe she feels like she has to prove herself. That’s a great story. Bring in her mommy issues (and a dead dad) and she’s superhero movie gold, even if Wally never exists in this universe.

As for casting, I see Amber Heard thrown around a lot. I could get behind that. But I’m choosing Maggie Grace.

Jesse isn’t tiny – in some art she’s drawn as tall as Wally – and Maggie Grace is 5’9”, so that’s a plus. It’s hard casting women in the roles of superheroes, when the Hollywood standard of beauty doesn’t usually involve muscles. I really liked her in LOST (though maybe I’m in the minority on that) and the few smaller movies I’ve seen her in. She said in an interview for Lockout (which I did not see) that she wants the chance to “hit the gym and kick a little more ass,” and hinted that we may see a bit of that in Taken 2 (which I will see). I’m game.


S A R A

Okay, I grew up in a DCU household. Okay, maybe not household as my parents don’t read comics, but community, I guess you could say. It’ll all be explained in a later post (my very own intro, yay!), but I was basically indoctrinated at the early age of 7 to be a fan of DC Comics. It worked. And Justice League Unlimited is my favorite show ever. Ever ever ever. Which is why the idea of a Justice League movie both excites and terrifies me. BUT, if I were to cast actors in the roles of my favorite superheros, it would go a little something like this.

Green Lantern (John Stewart)

Why John Stewart? See above devotion to JLU. John is the best Green Lantern, in my opinion and the fact that he is a SOC (superhero of color) makes him all the better choice for a Justice League movie because of the woeful under-representation in mainstream media/cinema. Anyway, who would I choose to fit the strapping Marine?

Richard T. Jones. Super obscure, yes. But if you’ve watched Judging Amy, you’ll recognize him as Bruce. Ridiculously dependable, humble, amazing Bruce. Jones as Bruce brought a quiet dignity and a undertone of immense strength and thoughtfulness–all qualities that John Stewart possess in spades.

Flash (Wally West)

Wally! He’s my favorite in JLU because he brings a lot of the humor in the show. He’s kind, compassionate, goofy, and quick-witted. Beautiful, beautiful specimen of a human being. Choosing an actor to play him wasn’t too difficult, but it is wrought with a lot of irony.

I chose Ryan Reynolds, the man who played Hal Jordan in DC’s Green Lantern movie. I did not like that movie, nor did I like Reynolds as Hal. I don’t know why, but, as talented as he is, I couldn’t see it. But, I do think, after a hair dye job, he’d make an excellent Flash. Movies like Van Wilder and The Change-Up have shown us his goofy/flirtatious/class-clown side, while movies like Definitely, Maybe and Just Friends have shown us that he has heart. He would make an awesome Flash, if he had time after Deadpool!


So what about you? Who would you cast in a Justice League film?