Tuesday, October 02, 2007

CASTING CALL: Justice League of America

Recently Warner Brothers has been slowly leaking info about the Justice League of America (JLA) film. They have a director, Mad Max's George Miller and a script written by Dermot Mulroney's brother and his wife. Yes I said Dermot Muroney's brother and his brother's wife. This makes me a little nervous about the content but, I will reserve criticism at least until I see a trailer. Anyway, the important thing is that George Miller has decided to put Happy Feet 2 and Babe 3 on hold so he can get back to his action roots to direct this very high profile comic based film. I mean this is a real task to find an actor or actress that can fill the shoes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest as well as share screen time in a big budget film. You may think this is like the X-Men but it's really much more complicated. You have at least seven big time heroes that can do their hero thing all by themselves. So how do you put them all in a film together and not have it be campy, stupid and completely ridiculous?

The first rumor that I heard the other day was the casting of Wonder Woman. Apparently the WB had approached the gorgeous Jessica Biel for the role of the Amazonian princess. For some reason I'm still not sure of, she turned them down. Oh to see Jessica Biel in the star spangled panties of Wonder Woman, it's truly a shame. We at the Bucket love ourselves some Biel so this is truly a crushing blow for us. So who could be badass enough and hot enough to pull off the warrior princess?

Wonder Woman
Jennifer Garner (pic below) comes to mind as a beautiful woman who can kick ass. Although she already played one comic book heroine, Electra from the Daredevil comic series, I think she would be better suited playing the warrior princess. The only doubts I have about Garner is whether or not she could pull off the colorful panties. But really, I don't know if any serious actress would be able to anyway. After roles in Alias and her recent film The Kingdom I think Garner has the chops to work the guys into a sweat, deal out some mean diplomacy and if talking doesn't work--we know that Garner can beat your ass into submission.

Erica Durance (pic below) also would be a good choice for Princess Diana of the Amazons. She has proven she can be sexy as hell as Lois Lane on Smallville and she has the toughness to pull off a convincing Wonder Woman. Not to mention that I think she would work well in an ensemble as she is not a super star, at least not yet. Garner could play Wonder Woman in a solo shot if she wanted but it may be tougher for her to blend in with a Batman or a Superman.

At least we know that Erica can pull off the star spangled bikini look!

John Stewart/Green Lantern

The second rumor on this film, that has still yet to be confirmed from Aint It Cool News, is the casting of a Green Lantern. Now it sounds to me that Warner Brothers is casting a live version of the Justice League based loosely on the animated series that aired on Cartoon Network. It looks like they are fixing to cast for the black Green Lantern John Stewart. Their choice so far is Tyrese Gibson (pic below) from Transformers, Waist Deep, Four Brothers and quite possibly John Singleton's comic book interpretation of Luke Cage. I already cast this character in my Green Lantern film so I don't feel like I need to toy with that. I think Tyrese would be fine although, as I said in an earlier post, I think Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity, Children of Men and Inside Job) would be the best choice. Tyrese does have the physicality to play John Stewart and I think after roles in Transformers he can handle the bigger role, but I'm still not convinced about his acting.


So far I have heard no rumors about Superman except that the current Superman Brandon Routh will not be in this film. So that opens up a large array of possibilities. Again there is a fine line to walk here, it's Superman but you don't want someone who will overshadow all of the others-- at least too much. Yet you also need someone who can pull off the tights and be the leader of this team.

My first choice for Supes would be Eric Mabius (pic to right) from Ugly Betty, the short lived show Eyes, Resident Evil and one of the Crow sequels. He has a commanding presence and I think he could also take a back seat to the other cast if the situation called for it. I actually liked that show Eyes and I felt that he was a stand out, albeit he wasn't playing a boy scout, but I think he would be a very interesting choice. Plus he can do action as shown in Resident Evil and The Crow sequel--whichever one that was.


As with Superman Warner Brothers has stated that Christian Bale will not be reprising the role in this film. So who else can play the dark knight? Batman does not like to work with others and when he does he gets kind of surly and mean so I think they should cast someone who can really push that element of him. He also has to be the brains of the group so we need to find someone with the intellect to overpower the super powered people in this group. It's one thing for Batman to show how smart and skilled he is when he's on his own but standing beside Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Superman-- Batman looks as if he is a little out of his league. So our Batman has to really stand out here.

Now my first choice may be a little different but I really like him for this particular version of Batman, Adam Baldwin (pic to the right). He played tough soldier Animal Mother in Full Metal Jacket. He played Jayne Cobb in one of my favorite television shows Firefly and in the film version Serenity. He is also now playing on my new favorite show Chuck as an angry no-nonsense bad ass NSA agent who can play it cold as ice. Now I will admit that Baldwin may be a bit older but I know he can pull of the surly and he has the physical presence to make Batman very formidable. He's got a great sarcastic attitude that makes me think he really should be the one and only choice here.

J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter

Like Superman, the Martian Manhunter is the only survivor from an alien planet. Unless you read the comic or have seen the animated show you probably are reading this and saying who the hell is Martian Manhunter? J'onn is a very important element to the Justice League he is the heart and soul of the group. He has many powers. He can act as a chameleon changing into the likeness of any shape or human form he sets his mind on. He can walk through walls like Kitty Pryde of the X-Men. He can fly and he is also a telepath which kind of makes him the resident therapist of the group. We need someone here who is sensitive and compassionate but also someone who can throw down if the situation calls for it. A tried and true character actor would work best in this role.

Again I think there may be only one or two people that could pull this character off and my first choice would have to be Carl Lumbly (Pic to the right). You may have seen him as Dixon on Alias, or his quickie rolls on E.R., West Wing and the X-Files. He also had a short stint in the 90's as a superhero in the failed pilot M.A.N.T.I.S. He is also quite prominently the voice of the Martian Manhunter on the Animated Justice League series. His voice is so great, strong, yet empathetic that really there is no better choice for the live action version. Plus the guy will be in some kind of prosthetic suit so really the only important thing here is how he sounds anyway.


You might also not recognize Hawkgirl, unless you've seen the show or comic. She is a warrior from the planet Thanagar. Again I am assuming that they are basing this film after the animated series. Instead of Hawkgirl they may end up using the Black Canary instead, and if we have time and space maybe we will try to cast her as well. Now back to Hawkgirl aka. Shayera Hol. Shayera is a tough cookie who attacks first and asks questions later. She is hard-nosed like Wonder Woman but unlike the Amazon Princess her softer side is a little harder to find. She likes action and she has a hot temper. In the show she has a on again off again relationship with John Stewart so it'll be interesting to see if they instigate that a bit.

A good choice for Shayera may be Tricia Helfer (pic to left) from Battlestar Galactica. She is tough, pretty and I think she could play the no-nonsense Thanagarian. Helfer is a fun actress to watch as she has manipulated pretty much everyone on the Galactica, it would be nice to see her as a straight up good girl for once.

Another choice for Shayera would be Ali Larter from Heroes, Resident Evil: Extinction, Jay and Silent Bob and American Outlaws. I like the duality of her character on Heroes where she's nice and sweet when she's Nikki but when she turns into Jessica she's a tough bitch. I like that she can play a little of both and we know that she works well in a large ensemble cast. Not to mention she's hot--so strap on some wings to this Hawk/Dove and give her a Thanagarian Mallet and let her take on The Legion of Doom.

Wally West/The Flash

On the animated series Wally is the comic relief and the skirt chaser. He's young and impetuous and usually gets himself and his comrades into trouble. He's also a lot of fun and makes this group a little less stiff and old. Wally is also the third Flash after Jay Garrick and his Uncle Barry Allen. I only have one person in mind for Wally and at this point and he has no real contenders.

Ryan Reynolds (Pic Below) was born to play the Flash. He's funny, he's a smart ass and he can make Wally's sexist remarks to his female compatriots endearing. After comedic roles in Waiting, Just Friends and Van Wilder and action roles in Blade 3, Smokin' Aces and just out The Nines Reynolds is more than qualified to fill in for the scarlet speedster. Although there is a sad rumor floating around that Reynolds has not signed on for the big screen version of the Flash and it seems unlikely that he would do this film either.

Power Girl/Kara Zor-L

Now this is an addition to the big 7 and I think Power Girl would be a great one at that. Now if you throw away all of the Multiple Earths crap we'll just make this one simple. Power Girl is Superman's first cousin. She has the same powers and she brings attitude and um, a nice rack to this team. Now you could technically go with Super Girl here as well but I think Power Girl would be more fun. Also Power Girl isn't technically a member of the JLA she is the member of the Justice Society of America, which is a little different. Technically Power Girl is Super Girl but you know DC can't have just one. Personally I have always hated the Multi-verse it is confusing and it makes no friggin sense what-so-ever. Anyway, I only have one choice for Power Girl.

Katee Sackoff, from Battlestar Galactica and Bionic Woman. She is a dead ringer for Power Girl. She is tough, she is strong she has the same damn haircut. I think she would be great in this role and I hope they make an exception just for her, her star is on the rise after all.


This is where you run into problems with a film like this. I'm really not sure who you would have as the heavies in this film. You would obviously need a disaster of biblical proportions in order to challenge this many top tier heroes. So do you go with the usual suspects? Lex Luthor, The Joker, Brainiac, Bizzaro or Sinestro? I mean you can't really have all of them and have this work but you do want some super villain team up. I say Lex Luthor and Braniac are a definite maybe. You could also just go with one big baddie and it's one I'm warming up to more and more---Darkseid. He can take on any of the seven almost single handedly. So instead of casting the others we are going to try and cast Darkseid.

Darkseid will have to be CGI or prosthetic he has a gravel face and he's friggin huge. The important thing about Darkseid is his voice. It has to instill fear and be commanding. Darkseid is the lord of the planet Apokolips and he wants to rule the Earth but first he wants to make Earth's greatest Champion, Superman, kneel before his feet. If we are going solely on voice I like Michael Ironside for the role. He played the voice of Darkseid on the Justice League series and I think he would be great reprising the role. The other person I like that could pull off the voice and the body is Vin Diesel (pic below). He's big enough to fill Darkseid's shoes and he certainly has the deep voice to give him resonance.

Now there are other villains that may work in this film that I'm not thinking of, so please let me know who you think would be a good matchup for this Justice League.


Cody Dee Williams said...

Good job, Jeffy. Although I can't see them bogging the movie down with peripheral characters like Hawkgirl or Powergirl or Who-Gives-A-Shit Girl, I like the choices for the core group. Hey, ain't Hawkman and Aquaman in The Justice League?? And can we please get a petition going on the Bucket to change Martian Manhunter's name to just plain Manhunter? It's gotta be the lamest superhero name... EVER!

David said...

Jessica Beil, Tricia Helfer, and Erica Druance could all get it.

Cody Dee Williams said...

...could all get it... on??

I'd go see that.

Cody Dee Williams said...

BTW, saw Katee Sackoff in the Bionic Woman pilot and she is just an atrociously bad actress. Never seen Battlestar Galatica, but maybe she should just stay on cable.

Jeff said...


I don't know how you rate talent but she is considered to be the best thing about the show by critics.

'Bionic Woman' needs less superficial angst, more Katee Sackhoff
- Chicago Tribune

The Washington Post TV critic also said that Katee Sackoff was great on the show.

She chews scenery for sure but it's fun. She's great on battlestar though, much better than on bionic woman.

Koz Konztrict said...

I think Kane should be Dark Seid, Batista should be Bizzaro, Undertaker.... well just find sumwhere to put him, he is awesome.