10 Most Controversial Superhero Casting Decisions

Look. Up In the Sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s just that actor comic book fans really hate. The superhero genre in film has always been popular but in the last couples of years, the genre has exploded. Several superhero films have been major successes, such as, Superman (1978), Batman (1989), The Dark Knight (2008), The Avengers (2012) and Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014). Now it's common for a few superhero films and TV shows to be released each year. Superheroes first appeared in comic books in the 30s/40s. For a long time it was difficult to bring superheroes to life because of a lack of special effects and restrictions in film. There were few attempts to bring these heroes to film or TV. Most of the characters are firmly established and have been around for years and decades in some cases.

It’s impossible to keep everyone happy but comic book fans are some of the most passionate and dedicated fans out there. They’re always hesitant when they hear that their favorite superhero is going to be brought to live action. Comic book fans want the film to be faithful to the source material. In several instances, controversy has erupted when an actor that fans feel is not right for a part is cast as a Superhero. Sometimes fans are right but other times have been proven wrong. Here is a look at 10 of the most controversial superhero casting choices.


10 Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot will be appearing as Wonder Woman in the film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. She will reprise her role in a stand-alone Wonder Woman film, which should be out in 2017. She will also appear in two Justice League films. With all the controversy that the DC Cinematic Universe has created with its casting choices, this one is a little short…on the controversy. Gal Gadot is an actress and model. She won the 2004 Miss Israeli title. She also appeared in the Fast and The Furious franchise. Internet fans criticized Gal Gadot being cast as Wonder Woman because of her small size. Fans pointed out that Wonder Woman is supposed to be warrior-like and have an imposing figure. However, Gal Gadot has been training and working out hard for the role in order to make up for her lack of size.

9 Keanu Reeves – John Constantine

Keanu Reeves played John Constantine in the 2005 film, Constantine. John Constantine is a cynic, magician, chain smoker, con-man and blonde hair Englishman who battles supernatural forces. The comic book character was actually modeled after musician Sting. Obviously, some fans of the comic book series were upset over the casting choice. Mainly because Keanu Reeves doesn’t have blonde hair and isn’t British. Keanu has starred in films such as, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Speed and The Matrix Trilogy. Fans of the comic books were not only upset with the changes in the character, but also with the drastic changes in the film's story.

8 Jessica Alba – The Invisible Woman

Jessica Alba played the role of Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman in the 2005 film, The Fantastic Four. The film also starred Loan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans. The film did well at the box office but received mostly negative reviews from critics. From the onset, fans were not impressed with the cast as a whole. Chris Evans, who would go on to play Captain America, was the only actor to receive any real positive praise. However, most of the controversy surrounded Jessica Alba. Jessica Alba has appeared in films, such as, Sin City, Into The Blue and Little Fockers. She also is considered a sex symbol. She regularly appears on FHM’s Sexiest Women List and Maxim’s Hot 100. Most fans felt she was only cast as Sue Storm to simply be eye candy.

7 Jesse Eisenberg – Lex Luthor

Jesse Eisenberg will be playing the role of ruthless and evil industrialist Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Lex Luthor is one of the most evil, diabolical and cunning villains in the DC Comic Universe. He is Superman’s arch nemesis and thorn in his side. Jesse Eisenberg has appeared in films, such as Adventureland, Zombieland and The Social Network. Gene Hackman previously played Lex Luthor to critical acclaim in the original Superman series from 78-87. In the first reboot attempt he was played by Kevin Spacey. Anytime an established actor makes a role theirs, it's always difficult to follow. Fans were outraged when Jesse Eisenberg was announced as the new Lex Luthor. Many comic book fans feel he is too young looking and not intimidating enough to play the evil villain.

6 Jared Leto – The Joker

Jared Leto will be starring as The Joker in the upcoming 2016 film, Suicide Squad. The film will also star Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Joel Kinnaman. It will be the third film in the DC Cinematic Universe. Jared Leto is one of the finest actors in Hollywood. He is known for his passionate and dedicated performances. He is known to use Method Acting and often stays in character while shooting. He’s best known for his roles in such films as, Requiem for a Dream, Lord of War and Dallas Buyers Club. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. When he was announced as the new Joker, the uproar was minimal. He’s following two incredible performances as The Joker. However, the uproar became bigger when a picture of Leto’s Joker was Tweeted. Internet fans were upset over the look of the Joker. However, fans will have to wait and see how Jared Leto’s Joker performs.

5 Heath Ledger – The Joker

Many people may have forgotten but in 2007 when Heath Ledger was announced as The Joker for the 2008 film The Dark Knight, comic book fans and fans of Tim Burton’s Batman absolutely hated the choice. Many believed there was no way that Heath Ledger could be The Joker after the mind-blowing performance of Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman. Perhaps fans angry over recent casting announcements should keep that in mind. Heath Ledger was best known for his roles in films such as 10 Things I Hate About You, Lords Of Dogtown and Brokeback Mountain. His interpretation of the Joker was different than any other Joker seen before. He played the role to critical acclaim. Heath Ledger’s Joker has become equally as iconic as Jack Nicolson’s interpretation of the character. Ledger received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the psychotic clown. Unfortunately, Heath Ledger died a few months before the film's release.

4 Megan Fox – April O’Neil

Megan Fox played the role of news reporter April O’Neil in the 2014 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She will reprise that role in an upcoming sequel. April O’Neil isn’t your typical superhero. She’s good friends with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their master Splinter. She has been portrayed as a strong headed and brave companion whom the Turtles and Splinter can rely on. Fans were outraged when Megan Fox was announced as April for the Turtles reboot. Fans of the series weren’t the only ones upset and confused over the casting choice. Co-creator of the series, Peter Laird noted that he felt there were better choices of actress for the role.


3 Michael Keaton – Batman


History often repeats itself. In 2013, comic book fans were up in arms with the announcement that Ben Affleck would be playing the new Batman. Flashback to 1988, when comic book fans were up in arms with the announcement that Michael Keaton would play Batman in the then upcoming film, Tim Burton’s Batman. Early in his career, Keaton was known for his many comedic roles, such as Mr. Mom, Johnny Dangerously and Beetlejuice. His casting caused a massive amount of controversy as many felt that he wasn’t right for the role. Many speculated that the film was going to be similar to the campy Batman Series from the 60’s. Warner Bros received roughly 50,000 complaint letters from comic book fans who were very displeased. However, Michael Keaton proved his doubters wrong and played the role to critical acclaim. The film was a financial and critical success. At the time, the film was a cultural phenomenon.

2 Michael B. Jordan – The Human Torch

Michael B. Jordan will be starring in the upcoming film, The Fantastic Four. It’s a reboot and re-imagining of the series. He will star along side Miles Teller, Jamie Bell and Kata Mara. Jordan will be playing the role of Johnny Storm/Human Torch the brother of Sue Storm (Kata Mara). His casting in the role has angered some Internet fans. Michael B. Jordan has appeared in TV shows such as, The Wire and Friday Night Lights. He’s also appeared in films including, Chronicle and received critical acclaim for his role in Fruitvale Station. The big issue that most people complaining have is that in the comic book, the Human Torch is a white guy and well, Jordan isn’t. Other fans have pointed out that it's not being faithful to the source material.

1 Ben Affleck – Batman

Ben Affleck will be starring as Batman in the upcoming film, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, to be released in 2016. Ben Affleck’s casting as the caped crusader has caused a massive amount of controversy. Affleck has appeared in films like Dazed and Confused, Chasing Amy and Argo. He co-wrote and starred in the film Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon, which they won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for. Many hardcore Batman and comic book fans were outraged when they heard that Affleck was cast as the new Batman. In fact, an online petition was started to have him removed from the role. As many people know, this isn’t Ben’s first foray into the comic book world. In 2003, he starred in the film Daredevil. Some comic book fans have still not forgiven him for that film. However, Michael Keaton has proved that it’s possible to prove the doubters wrong. Ben Affleck will reprise his role as Batman in two Justice League films and a possible stand-alone Batman film.



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