Superhero movies are extremely popular, and with so many coming out in the next five years, it is becoming increasingly likely that big names in Hollywood will be playing comic book characters. Hollywood A-listers like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Pratt have given stellar performances as superheroes in comic book movies. Some actors have even played multiple superheroes in comic book movies.
Chris Evans was the Human Torch and he is now Captain America. Ben Affleck was Daredevil and will soon be Batman. Ryan Reynolds was Deadpool then Green Lantern, and now he is going to be Deadpool again. There are many superhero performances in the pipeline that have people very excited. Will Smith’s portrayal as the anti-hero Deadshot in Suicide Squad has a lot of people intrigued and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange should prove to be quite interesting.
However, there are some actors that simply should never play a superhero. Perhaps they are simply too talented and above the medium of comic book movies, or maybe there isn’t a superhero that would be a good role for him. Here’s a look at 10 actors who should never play superheroes on the big screen.
10 Bill Murray
There was a time when Bill Murray was rumored to play Batman in the 1989 Tim Burton Batman film. They ended up going in a different direction and cast another comedic actor of the time – and the casting of Michael Keaton turned out great. The time of Bill Murray playing a superhero has long passed. Now he's just like Daniel Day Lewis. Bill Murray pretty much just stars in movies that can earn critical acclaim. He refused to make Ghostbusters 3 and will have a mere cameo in the all-female Ghostbusters reboot next year. Bill Murray has proven he’s another actor simply too talented to be reduced to starring in a superhero movie.
9 Daniel Day Lewis
Despite the critical acclaim of the Dark Knight and the ensuing Oscar win for the late Heath Ledger, comic book movies are still not typically movies that are considered award worthy or masterpieces. Even the really good ones like Captain America: the Winter Soldier or Guardians of the Galaxy are not even close to being considered anything more than summer blockbusters. It seems like that will always be the case. A comic book movie being nominated for best picture is unlikely. That’s why Daniel Day Lewis should never play a superhero. He is the best actor working today and perhaps the best of all time. He is simply too good for comic book movies.
8 Jack Black
Jack Black came extremely close to playing a superhero on the big screen. Before Ryan Reynolds played the Green Lantern in that horrible movie, there was much talk about a much more comedic version starring Jack Black. It seems like a bullet was dodged when that version was cancelled. Jack Black is one of the best comedy stars working today, but him playing a superhero just seems absolutely ridiculous, and it’s something basically no one is asking to see on the big screen. Jack Black is better off sticking to laugh out loud comedies than a silly superhero movie. He should never play Green Lantern or any superhero for that matter.
7 Leonardo DiCaprio
It would be pretty boring to see Leonardo DiCaprio play a superhero on the big screen. He is certainly one of the best actors working today, but as of late he has shown it’s much more fun to watch him as the bad guy. Two of his best roles ever were that of slave owner Calvin Candie in Django Unchained and Jordan Belfort in the Wolf of Wall Street. If he were to ever star in a comic book movie, it would be way more interesting to see him play a super villain. However, if DiCaprio wastes his time in a comic book movie, that probably means less chance of him winning that Oscar his is long overdue for.
6 Zac Efron
Zac Efron has proven he has some range and has given great performances in comedies like Neighbors, where he co-starred with Seth Rogen. However, he still has the reputation of being a Disney star because of his roles in the High School Musical series. Even though Disney owns Marvel, Zac Efron should never play a superhero on the big screen. Who would he even play? There doesn’t seem like there would be a superhero role that would be a good fit for him. Besides, he is much better off starring in the sequel to Neighbors, than playing a caped crusader.
5 Hugh Jackman
He has already played a superhero, and he’s done it longer than anybody else. The upcoming third Wolverine movie will be Hugh Jackman’s final turn as the mutant, and that’s the way it should stay. He should never play Wolverine again, and he should never play another superhero. He’s already done it so well, and seeing Hugh Jackman as another superhero would simply be far too weird. After playing the ol’ Canucklehead in nearly ten movies for over 15 years, it’s best that Jackman leave his superhero days behind him. If he tried to play another superhero, everyone would just be picturing Wolverine anyway.
4 Tom Hardy
Despite being completely unintelligible in The Dark Knight Rises, there continues to be talk of Tom Hardy starring in another comic book movie. He was nearly cast in Suicide Squad as Rick Flagg, but he had to back out due to scheduling conflicts. Hardy is one of the best actors working today, but perhaps he is beyond superhero movies at this point. He’s played the villainous Bane already and he was one of the few bright spots in that film. Hardy has many upcoming movies that have people excited and an Oscar is surely on the horizon.
3 Joaquin Phoenix
Before Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as Dr. Strange, there was wild speculation that Joaquin Phoenix would be the master of mystic arts. It turn out those rumors proved to be false and honestly, it’s probably for the best. Phoenix has given amazing performances in films by PT Anderson and Ridley Scott, and he is arguably one of the ten best actors working today. With so much potential it would be unwise for him to waste his talent on a comic book movie. Phoenix should continue to prove his skill in dramatic roles rather than play a superhero.
2 Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro is a legend. He’s one of the best of all time (if not the best ever), but a superhero movie just doesn’t seem like the right fit for him. Wizard magazine once said he would have made an excellent Puck in an Alpha Flight movie, but it seems unlikely that will ever come to fruition. He hasn't reached the pinnacle he did when he starred in movies like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, but De Niro still has some spark left in him, and a comeback of epic proportions should be more than him starring in a superhero movie.
1 Al Pacino
Just like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino has not reached the heights he was once at. Even De Niro has had memorable performance as of late in films like Silver Linings Playbook, but Pacino at this point is just cashing paychecks. However, he is still one of the best of all time, and even though there are rumors he will star as Starlord’s father in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, there has to be something better than that in Pacino’s future. One of the best of all time deserves to be in many more Oscar worthy films rather than playing a superhero in a summer blockbuster.