This is simply a cast stock-taking post for our movie (trilogy which takes the form of one big adventure ala Lord of the Rings). Subsequently, I won’t ask the new readers to read the first five parts before reading the rest of this post. No, since this is a summary post, I’ll ask the newcomers to read the previous instalments AFTER reading this one.
So far, this is our cast:
Superman (Tom Welling) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Batman (Christian Bale) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Wonder Woman (Evangeline Lilly) CENTRAL CHARACTER
Flash – Barry Allen (Chris Pine) CENTRAL POINT OF VIEW CHARACTER
Green Lantern - Hal Jordan (Nathon Fillion OR Ryan Reynolds) CENTRAL CHARACTER
Martian Manhunter (Hugo Weaving – via either FX make-up OR voice, motion capture, and CGI) CENTRAL POINT OF VIEW CHARACTER
Hawkman (various candidates) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Hawkgirl (Jessica Biel) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Green Arrow (various candidates) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Black Canary (Jamie King) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Mister Miracle (James McAvoy OR Jake Gyllenhaal) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Barda (Lucy Lawless) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Booster Gold (Sean William Scott OR Jenson Ackles) CENTRAL POINT OF VIEW CHARACTER
Blue Beetle (James Roday) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Orion (Jaoquin Phoenix) OPTIONAL SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Highfather (Anthony Hopkins) OPTIONAL SUPPORTING CHARCTER
Darkseid (Clancy Brown - via either FX make-up OR voice, motion capture, and CGI) CENTRAL CHARACTER
Desaad (Willem Defoe) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Aquaman INCLUSION DOUBTFUL
Blue Devil INCLUSION DOUBTFUL
Okay, so both Aquaman and Blue Devil have INCLUSION DOUBTFUL stamped next to their names. What gives, you ask?
Here’s the deal with Aquaman. I’m not sure how to capitalize on Aquaman in a cinematic sense without doing what Marvel would do with Namor the Sub-mariner in a movie. Yes, I could figure it out, but I don’t want to force it.
The Blue Devil case is more complex. Firstly, I initially included Blue Devil in Part 1 (which was a post on directors and done tongue in cheek) to serve as a shaky-cam viewpoint character. Secondly, I included the original incarnation of Blue Devil – the stuntman with the FX exoskeleton mystically fused to his body. That version of Blue Devil goes on to join the JLA to secretly film their missions for profit. That was the direction I was thinking of when I included him. However, the current incarnation is a real demon and when playing with some else’s toys, you should use them without damaging them. DC would probably want any film version of Blue Devil to be more faithful to the current (and probably more marketable) version.
This is different to the Blue Beetle situation as that was different guy, different powers, and the same name. The Blue Devil situation is same guy (vastly changed), different powers, and same name. Also, the three incarnations of Blue Beetle (three different guys) all had distinctly different personalities and subsequently different followings while Blue Devil (the same guy) had the same personality (modified by events) throughout his career. So, with Beetle, I cherry-picked the version I liked (and I think is the most popular, anyway).This is fanboy guilt and remorse talking here. I'm not decided either way...Some help?
By the way, my initial pick of Jensen Ackles as Blue Devil works on an acting level, but I had forgotten how tall Blue Devil is (6 foot 8 inches compared to Ackles’ 6 foot 1). Such a height and muscle mass probably makes Vin Diesel more suited to playing a screen version of Blue Devil...Jenson I like for Booster Gold
At this point, I’d like to thank LissBirds for her invaluable input to these casting decisions. I could not have gotten this far without your perspectives, Milady.
After reading the recent Comics Alliance feature on the GL Corps, I’m tempted to expand the cast with one hero (some might say this omission was a HUGE oversight on my part): Green Lantern Raker Qarrigat.
It occurs to me that we DON’T really need an Emerald Twilight situation to force Raker to “seal his ring in a time bubble, relying on it only in case of emergencies lest his final 24 hour charge run out and leave him powerless to battle” Darkseid. We could do a little tweaking and it would tie into the very nature of the planet Apokalips and the technology of the GL Corps rings.
Apokalips is impossible to get to (kind of like the island on Lost) without a boom tube, which would point to a trans-dimensional shift one has to make. One of the often glossed-over parts of GL science is the link between a Green Lantern’s battery and the central battery on OA. In the movie, we could theorize that the barrier that makes Apokalips such an “exclusive destination” may also (for the most part) sever the link between the central battery on OA and Raker’s battery. Therefore, Raker would have to use his ring’s (and battery’s) diminishing charge sparingly.
Raker would only appear near the end of the second movie or in the third movie when Hal would lead a small team to Apokalips. Hal knows about Raker and that the Guardians have lost contact with him for almost a year (meaning his ring is running on fumes). What Jordan doesn’t know is that Darkseid has manipulated them into coming, because it will draw a rapidly weakening Raker out into the open (to make contact).
After meeting Raker and other resistance members, Hal’s team realizes their mistake. After activating a boom tube with Barda’s help, Hal asks Raker to come with them. A near powerless Raker refuses to leave, rather opting to continue helping the resistance on Apokalips instead.
Raker gets captured by Darkseid, but what the ruler of Apokalips doesn’t realise is that Hal and Raker switched rings before they parted. Ouch!
Casting note: We should cast an unknown as Raker Qarrigat.
Having our cast set (for the most part), you’ll see that it’s mostly JLA classic (Big Seven) with some additions plus a smattering of the Giffen JLI and a pinch of the modern league era. Sadly, no members exclusively from the Detroit league found a spot in the movie. There are some heroes who were unlucky not to be in the movie (e.g. the Atom and, one of my personal faves, Metamorpho).
It might not be obvious, but with such a large cast of heroes our JLA can split up into three groups at any given time. This will come in handy as most of the action takes place on Earth and Apokalips and New Genesis simultaneously.
A very late after-though:
After nailing down most of the cast, it was ONLY THEN that it occurred to me to look for other fan attempts at casting a league. *facepalm* Here are the most notable of these:
The most comprehensive cast was compiled by THEHAWK. I had come across this months ago, but lost the link. So, I’m pretty glad that I’ve rediscovered this little gem (hehe). The one that gets me is Ben McKenzie (from The OC who is super-puny) as the Detriot League’s Steel (who is super-muscular) and as you’ve read that character isn’t even in my movie, so the mere strength of my disagreement compels me to mention it here.
Another cast list was proffered by The Faust. The Faust is a pretty prolific “fan-caster” of comic book movies and makes some interesting choices. On the positive side, he includes a synopsis of his proposed plot and I’ll admit that next our Apokalips plot, his is my second choice. In fact, if we went in that direction, I’d go further a step and suggest a plot involving The Joining (from Batman: The Brave and Bold). However, I can’t agree with his picks for Aquaman, Hal Jordan, or Superman.
I found a pretty reasonable cast list from Comics in Crisis as well. This is a pretty sober list, except for suggestions of who should play Wonder Woman and Hawkman. The blogger also picked a cool non-JLA hero as the plot catalyst for the JLA to team up, although I don’t agree with the actor chosen to play this hero.
I also came across three other single-author lists. This one gets Superman wrong (I’m forever biased against this choice, I know), Hawkgirl incredibly right, and gives us an Aquaman I don’t recognise.
The other one has the perplexing suggestion of Leonardo Di Caprio as Aquaman! Yup, some choices are pretty insane.
Then there's this list with the same title but different actors.
Of course, even insane choices can remind you of another actor in a Kevin Bacon game sort of way. You know, you read the fan choice of Actor X as Superman. This guy’s nuts, you think. Actor X doesn’t look like Supes and none of his roles gives any hint of him being Kal El or Clark Kent material. But just as quickly, you think about a co-star of Actor X as the perfect Aquaman. Fantastic! I would have never thought of him if it weren’t for the crazy intertubes guy who suggested Actor X play Supes. So, we should pay attention to lists that in our opinion get it wrong.
I’ve also come across a non-movie-related, cast-the-league-into-the-archetypes discussion. Might help anyone involved in writing a superhero team movie where the source material (and membership) is vast and you’ve got no clue which heroes to include.
Another Justice League movie fan plot summary can be read here where one of the commenters even outlines his preferred plan for a four-part series of JLA movies.
All in all, I hope future JLA screenwriters would explore the interwebs for some inspiration. They don’t have to adopt the plots and casts in a wholesale manner, but they could always borrow a few clever angles. It’s pretty easy to do. All I did here to find all the above lists was Google JLA movie and the word cast and a few variations. Not hard to do at all.
Here that obligatory notice I usually put at the start of these posts:
For those first-time readers, please read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 to see the rest of this fanboy thought experiment.