The DC Extended Universe has had its share of difficulties and criticism since the release of its first film, Man of Steel. They’ve received a lot of flack, as many fans believe that Warner Brothers has been rushing its series to capitalize on the popularity of the MCU. In all the excitement, the company fundamentally misunderstood its own characters. We’ve seen so many actors as these characters that it’s difficult to portray them in a fresh and exciting way. Although we have only seen four films in the franchise and we are still months away from the release of Justice League, fans have seen enough to know when the casting works and when it doesn’t.
Since the Flash has been known to to time travel and alter history, here’s hoping his time-tinkering will allow the DCEU to do some recasting. With the on-again/off-again rumors that Ben Affleck might be on his way out, this might be a great opportunity to recast other roles. Let’s be clear that many issues people have are likely due to the creative choices of the directors and scriptwriters, but sometimes actors just don’t fit well with the role they are give. In any case, here are the 15 roles that the DCEU should recast.
Even though Henry Cavill embodies the character physically, what with his perfectly square jaw and ridiculously muscular physique, many believe that his performance as Superman was one-note and that he lacks the charm and warmth that Christopher Reeve and (to a lesser extent) Brandon Routh brought to the role. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. proves that he is fully capable of charm, but for some reason, it is entirely lacking from his version of Superman.
Furthermore, there is no real distinction between his Superman and his alter-ego Clark Kent. The only discernible difference is that one wears glasses while the other does not. He does not distinguish the two characters through his posture or mannerisms the way his predecessors did so well. Maybe it’s time to retire this Superman and get a new one.
14. ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Jeremy Irons lacks the warmth and compassion to play a proper Alfred. The character is meant to be Bruce Wayne’s only true semblance of family, especially in a world where his surrogate son, Robin, is dead. Alfred is meant to be a caring father figure who would want nothing more that for Bruce to hang up his cowl and retire the Batman.
Yes, it is true that he helps him on his quest to stop crime, but he does so reluctantly. Irons plays him very dry and with little nuance, making him seem colder and non-caring. He warns Bruce that his rage will consume him, but he says it matter-of-factly instead of the compassionate manner you would expect from the man who raised Bruce. He doesn’t make for the best father figure.
As much as we like Will Smith, he just doesn’t fit the role. Warner Brothers was just looking for star power as opposed to a truly great casting choice. He’s a perfectly charming actor, but he comes off really corny when he tries to play bad guys (even though in the case of Suicide Squad, the team turns out to be the reluctant heroes of the story instead of bad guys).
Anyways, Smith simply doesn’t look like the hitman type. He is great at playing comedic and dramatic leading roles, but as the hero, not the villain. He lacks the grit and tough-as-nails masculinity required to play such a role. Deadshot shouldn’t be a jokey bad guy with a heart of gold. He’s a ruthless killer that is not afraid of dying, which is what makes him such an intimidating opponent for Batman and anyone else.
12. WONDER WOMAN
When Gal Gadot was first cast, there was a huge uproar. Many thought she was too thin or simply couldn’t act. However now that she has been in two DC features, most would agree that Gadot did a fantastic job as Wonder Woman. Fans thought she was a highlight in the gloomy Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and praised her performance in her solo movie.
But perhaps she has received so much praise because fans are comparing her solo outing to the previous entries in the DCEU. When you’ve already watched three terrible movies, a so-so one looks amazing in comparison. A few critics were concerned that she had difficulty acting through the more emotionally-charged scenes. Her line delivery was quite clunky at times, particularly when she talks about how horrible war is.
11. RICK FLAG
Tom Hardy was originally supposed to take the role of Rick Flag, but he had a scheduling conflict with The Revenant. Instead, Joel Kinnaman was cast. It is safe to say that Hardy would have made a far more interesting choice for the character, as Kinnaman does very little with the role, and he ends up just being a tool for Amanda Waller.
In the film, he serves as a foil to Deadshot and must constantly keep the gang of misfits in check, but there is absolutely nothing intimidating about him. To make matters worse, his relationship with Dr. June Moore/Enchantress is completely uninteresting and we don’t buy their relationship at all. He’s not even the biggest problem with Suicide Squad, but the issue remains that he is forgettable and doesn’t do the character justice.
10. THE FLASH
Some fans would have actually liked Grant Gustin to reprise his role from The Flash television show, but that would most likely cause a lot of headaches trying to reconcile the DC CW Universe with the film world they are trying to create. Based on the little we’ve seen of Ezra Miller’s Flash, he appears to be the Spider-Man of the DCEU: he’s a wide-eyed new-comer to the league that is meant to counterbalance Batman’s worldweary view of crime fighting, which also happens to parallel Peter Parker’s relationship to Tony Stark.
It’s great that Miller’s Flash maintains the humorous nature of the character, which will add some levity to the series, but he is far too young and looks nothing like his comic book counterpart for many fans. His hyper-armored costume also looks particularly ridiculous which has undoubtably bothered plenty.
Deathstroke first appeared as a villain for the Teen Titans. Joe Manganiello was set to star as the one-eyed supervillain, and they even did some screen testing in costume while Ben Affleck was still on board as director of The Batman. However, now that it appears Matt Reeves will be writing an entirely new script, Deathstroke’s fate in the film remains uncertain. This would be the perfect opportunity to recast the character since we have yet to see him in action.
Maybe it would actually be best to shelve the character for now and recast him later since there are so many similar characters on screen at the moment. We already have Deadshot and Deadpool (who is actually a parody of Deathstroke). Do we really need another character that wears a mask, is great with guns and has a variation of the word ‘dead’ in his name? Not really.
Countless fans were outraged that Batman murdered in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Batman rarely, if ever, breaks his one rule. It’s been a staple in the Batman comics since the ’70s and many were frustrated by this. Of course, Batman has always been a dark, cruel counterpart to Superman’s hopeful personality, but in a universe where Superman kills General Zod, it would make sense that Batman would have to be more extreme than Superman, something that Ben Affleck just doesn’t have the range for.
His utter disregard for human life means that Bruce Wayne’s humanity is lost. There is no struggle to do good in a world filled with evil when you are willing to kill Superman even if there is just a one percent chance that he is evil. His internal conflict has been entirely removed from the equation, which makes him a far less interesting character.
7. JIMMY OLSEN
Didn’t know Jimmy Olsen was in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? You’re not the only one. That’s because his name is never uttered in the theatrical cut of the film as he is murdered after he is revealed to be a mole for the CIA. You would only know that it was Jimmy Olsen if you watched the extended cut of the film.
What an utter waste of a character that has played such a huge role in Superman mythology and brought so much heart to the comics. Why bother even naming the character in the film at that point? Just leave him nameless. Here’s hoping they adapt the Flashpoint series, reboot everything and Jimmy Olsen has the opportunity to actually do or say something this time.
Jason Momoa is a total badass and many were intrigued by the choice to cast him as Aquaman. Famed for playing the hulking brute Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones, he seems like a great choice to shut down people that mock Aquaman for his silly powers and ridiculous costume. He certainly has the physical presence to make Aquaman a force to be reckoned with.
But does he have the acting chops to carry an entire film? He can certainly get by in Justice League since it is an ensemble cast, but when his solo Aquaman film comes out, will he be able to take the reins of an entire film? His last big budget film, Conan the Barbarian, was a critical and box office bomb, and nobody was praising Momoa’s quality as a leading man.
5. BLACK ADAM
Dwayne Johnson has made huge leaps in his career in the last few years due to his involvement in the Fast and Furious franchise as well as countless other productions. His likability factor and his recent box office success mean that casting him as a superhero is a no-brainer. The problem here lies in the fact that Black Adam isn’t a superhero.
At best, he is an anti-hero, but he is often depicted as a villain consumed by his obsession with magic and power. There have been speculations that Black Adam will actually be the villain of Man of Steel 2. If this is the case, we fear that he will not have the range to portray a convincing evil character, much in the same way that Will Smith can’t play Deadshot.
Here is another case of a character being killed off before he even has a chance to do anything. Slipknot was the only Task Force X member that didn’t get the mandatory flashback sequence showcasing his origin, which is probably for the best considering his fate, but he could’ve been a valuable member of the on-screen Suicide Squad team but we’ll never know.
He arrives late in the game and only has a few minutes of screen time before Rick Flag blows him up to prove that they’re not joking about the miniature bombs implanted in the Task Force X members’ heads. The fact remains that we know absolutely nothing about the character based on the film. He was only used as a ploy to prove that Flag and Waller aren’t bluffing. It is clumsy and predictable.
3. HARLEY QUINN
Harley Quinn is one of the most beloved villains in Batman’s rogue gallery, and a lot of people were worried about the casting of Margot Robbie. When her costume was revealed, it seemed like a great take on the character, complete with smeared makeup which was clearly inspired by Heath Ledger’s Joker. When the first trailer was released, fans started to get really excited. She perfectly embodied the character’s playful humor and madness.
Unfortunately all of her best lines were in the trailer and the film itself didn’t add much of anything interesting to the character. In fact, all of her humorous lines were hit or miss. On top of that, she never really did anything violent or crazy as you would expect from Harley Quinn which left many feeling pretty lukewarm about the character, or maybe it was just who was behind the paint.
2. THE JOKER
Jared Leto’s tattooed pimp take on the Joker didn’t particularly resonate with fans during his first outing as the character in Suicide Squad. His performance was far from iconic or memorable like those who have played the character before him. His over-the-top portrayal comes off as silly rather than being a truly menacing opponent for Batman, as he tries his best to do a Heath Ledger impersonation.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is wrong with the Joker in the film (apart from his ridiculous look). Perhaps it boils down to the fact that he had limited screen time or was reduced to a pimp whose sole motivation is to rescue Harley Quinn. Or maybe it’s just that Jared Leto was trying too hard and hammed it up a little too much for people’s tastes.
1. LEX LUTHOR
The backlash was almost instant when Jesse Eisenberg’s casting was announced, and after seeing what he did with the role we can see why. He was too young and too meek-looking to play the broad-shouldered, super genius of the comics. There was a huge group of fans that hoped that Bryan Cranston would take on the role after his brilliant portrayal of Walter White in Breaking Bad (since both characters are bald and evil, he would naturally be a perfect fit for Luthor, right?).
No one would have expected Eisenberg would make a good fit for the role and it turns out they were completely right. Jesse Eisenberg’s twitchy, eccentric take on Lex Luthor was a little too much for fans who wanted a calmer, cooler version of the character, and Superman’s greatest threat always has a presence to him, something Eisenberg is completely lacking.
Did we miss any other DCEU casting misfires? Let us know in the comment section!
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