With an estimated 83,000 DC and Marvel Comics characters combined, studios may run out of actors during casting sessions. It’s understandable that actors could take on roles that branch off from a single comic book company, but then cross over to portray a character from a rival imprint. However, it’s surprising that a studio selects a comedian to play different characters who share origins from the same comic book series.
Repeated casting choices that started out as head-scratchers sometimes turn into audience-friendly experiences. For example, Marvel encountered a host of angry fans who thought it was insane to launch Chris Evans as Captain America after previously birthing fiery threads as Johnny Storm in The Fantastic Four franchise. Since then, it’s hard to imagine anyone else wielding the shield.
Studios usually want a big name attached to their tent properties. by Matt Damon modest foray into Marvel movies, involved the actor flying under the radar with two small cameos. Damon has made appearances in Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder as a theater actor and in Deadpool 2 as Redneck #2.
Damon has openly expressed his displeasure with Hollywood’s favoritism towards comic book movies. So it’s a shock that he chose to play multiple Marvel characters. Both of his roles were the result of a friendship as a close friend Chris Hemsworth suggested Damon for the role in Thor deductible and Ryan Reynolds launched the Deadpool 2 cameo idea to Matt while they were having dinner together. Damon surprisingly accepted both recruitment offers.
Respect Pierre Dinklage brought gravitas to one of the most critically acclaimed x-men movies. Dinklage starred as military scientist Boliver Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past and four years later he portrayed Eitri, king of the dwarves, in Avengers: Infinity War.
Trask and Eitri exist in different cinematic universes, but share stories of Earth-616 characters in Marvel Comics. The hair extensions and CGI did little to disguise the fact that Marvel Studios dubbed Dinklage and cast him in his second Marvel role.
Jon Favreau was cast as Matt Murdock’s best friend Foggy Nelson in 2003 daredevil. As director from 2008 Iron ManFavreau introduced himself as Happy Hogan, one of Tony Stark’s closest friends and his bodyguard.
Avi Aradthe founder of Marvel Studios and Kevin Feigethe mastermind behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe, served as a co-producer on daredevil. Favreau was eager to work with both producers again and signed on as director for the first MCU installment. After the director nominated himself for his second Marvel role, he reprized his role as Happy Hogan in six MCU films.
Lawrence Fishburne is no stranger to comic book properties and has played four different roles in comics. His portrayal of The Silver Surfer and his display of Goliath share Marvel Comics-related origins.
On Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, it was a last-minute decision on whether the Chrome Dome would have speaking lines and Fishburne’s voice was enlisted two months before the film’s release date. When the cast calls Ant-Man and the Wasp rang, Fishburne was busy working in the DC Extended Cinematic Universe as Perry White in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He was excited about the possibility of working with Marvel again and said he considered himself a “Marvel guy”.
Most artists shy away from similar roles for fear of being typecast. The brave strong brand shows confidence in his acting skills and has portrayed four different characters from three different comic book franchises. Two of these characters are villains from the DC Universe.
Mark Strong played the role of Sinestro in The Green Lantern and while the Green Lantern Corp member was a good guy for most of the film’s run, Sinestro’s evil turn was hinted at during a post-credit scene. In Shazam!, Strong was given the role of Dr. Sivana, Shazam’s nemesis. Strong was thrilled to play another DC villain and said Dr. Sivana was an “evil bastard” and that those roles are “always fun to play”.
John Glover has had a long string of appearances on DC properties since his role as Dr. Jason Woodrue in batman and robin. After pulling the strings related to Poison Ivy and Bane in the Batman movie, Glover would go on to play three different DC villains in five different versions.
When reminiscing about his first DC role, the DC Comics loyalist mentioned “it was hard to act…” because of the cartoonish tone of batman and robin. Glover didn’t let the experience deter him from associating with the comic book company and went on to provide the voice for the Riddler in 3 Batman animated series. Additionally, the actor also played Lionel Luther in Smallville and Mr. Sivana in Shazam!fathers of two members of DC’s Gallery of Thieves.
Michael B. Jordan
The Fantastic FourThe 2015 reboot featured a reverse casting choice of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm. Shortly after becoming part of Marvel’s First Family, Jordan agreed to join Marvel Studios’ A-list set and star as Killmonger in Black Panther.
Ryan Coogler was chosen to lead Black Panther project and drafted his muse, Jordan, who had collaborated with Coogler on the director’s previous two feature films. Their relationship allowed Jordan’s previous role in Marvel to be overlooked.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was recently tapped to lead Marvel’s amazing man series on Disney+. Before joining the MCU, Abdul-Mateen lent his acting skills to DC for his roles as Dr. Manhattan in HBO’s watchmen series and Black Manta in the Aquaman movies.
After playing DC’s Aquaman adversary, Yahya signed on to star opposite Regina King in watchmen. The actor shared that the studio was keeping tight lips regarding his backstory and didn’t reveal he was cast as Dr. Manhattan, one of DC Comic’s most elite superheroes. His portrayal ultimately won him an Emmy Award, and it’s no wonder casting directors are willing to overlook his past roles in shared comic book universes.
Josh Brolin starred as five different comic book characters over the span of eight years. It was only a matter of time before the cinematic universes collided, and he played characters from the same comic books. Brolin teamed up with the X-force in Deadpool 2 as Cable after confronting the Avengers in the infinity saga like Thanos.
To 20th Century Fox’s credit, the studio did everything in their power to avoid casting Josh Brolin as Cable since he was already in the middle of a multi-picture deal with Marvel Studios. Countless actors have been considered for the role of Cable, including brad pitt, Michael Shannon, David Harbor and Pierce Brosnan before the game finally goes to Brolin.
Chris Evans was at the center of Fox’s The Fantastic Four franchise under the Human Torch name. Marvel returned to Evans as they searched for a leading man to portray The Super Soldier in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Evans turned down the Captain America part three times before agreeing to work with Marvel a second time after working as Johnny Storm. After the backlash of starring in two critical Marvel movies, Evans admitted his decision to step down was based on fear, and he ultimately reversed his decision with no regrets.
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