Comic book characters are more prevalent on our screens than ever before. Nowhere is this more true than over at DC’s workshop. With their animated universe, their film universe and their television universe all taking up separate spaces, multiple versions of your favorite Justice League members aren’t that hard to find. Unlike their film universe, their television universe is thriving. Arrow, the show that started it all, is currently enjoying its sixth season, and everything seems good to go for a seventh. From Oliver Queen’s adventures in Starling (now Star) City spawned The Flash. Then came Vixen, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. There seems to be no stopping this television juggernaut. Nor should there be. The lovingly named Arrowverse has given fans the live actions versions of some of their favorite characters that they’ve been hoping to see for years.
A number of fans have taken to drawing up their own choices for who should play their favorite heroes and villains on the screen. Some of them are just amateur work, but others look like they could have been even better than what we got. Here, we’re looking at 15 Arrowverse fan casting photoshops better than the versions on our television screens.
15. NATALIE DORMER AS BLACK CANARY
Here’s the first of two Game of Thrones vets on our list. The complex nature of that show alone should be enough of a resume for any actor. As Margaery Tyrell, she showed that she could play a character who was both devious and compassionate. The same can be said for her portrayal of Jamie Moriarty on Elementary.
In The Hunger Games she tackled a slightly different role as a political documentary filmmaker. She had a small role in Captain America: The First Avenger, but she has yet to fully work her way into the comic book world. Dormer would bring a strength to the Black Canary character that’s been under represented. On top of that, this costume by SPDRMNKY XXIII is far more comic book accurate than what we’ve gotten thus far. The fish nets may be a little too racy for network television though.
14. RYAN GOSLING AS JOHN CONSTANTINE
Matt Ryan definitely has the snark down. Thanks to numerous recent releases, he’s become almost synonymous with Constantine. Not only did he play him in the short-lived NBC series which led to him entering the Arrowverse, but he also voiced the character in the recent DC animation Justice League Dark. The only thing is, he seems like a bit of an annoying bloke.
This one by Ilver Safin is one of a few alternative Constantines we’ll look at. Ryan Gosling doesn’t have John Constantine’s accent, he certainly has his looks though. And if the Academy Award winner has proven anything recently, it’s that he’s extremely adaptable. Like Gosling’s face, this photo oozes charm. He would have been able to bring a quiet coolness to the character that even Keanu Reeves couldn’t quite muster.
13. CHARLIE HUNNAM AS GREEN ARROW
Arrow brought the Green Arrow’s name back into the public spotlight. Ever since that happened, this has been a popular fan cast. For television fans, Stephen Amell is Oliver Queen. But for fans of the comics, there’s been something lacking since the beginning. Maybe it’s his brooding nature — the comic book Oliver Queen is just a happier guy in general. Maybe it’s the look. Amell fits the profile, but he just doesn’t jump off the screen the way Queen usually jumps off the page.
Regardless of your gripe, Hunnam seems to be the universal choice to fix both issues. His facial hair alone is a hundred times more accurate. Plus, just look at that little smirk in this depiction by Ilver Safin. Hunnam could bring both the visual appeal and the humor that many feel are still sorely lacking.
12. DAN STEVENS AS REVERSE-FLASH
Let’s talk Eobard Thawne. This character joins the ranks of people like The Joker and Darkseid as one of the most important DC villains of all time. Over the years, he’s been responsible for any amount of death and misery in The Flash’s life, which has been handled quite well by the Arrowverse. Even when Thawne dies, he just doesn’t seem to go away. Somehow, some time displaced version of him always seems to show and cause more trouble. Because of that, we know he has at least two faces.
So why not throw a third face into the mix? BossLogic thought that this could be the perfect way to bring the larger than life antagonist back into Barry’s life with yet another mystery. Dan Stevens certainly has the chops to play the villain. It may be just a pipe dream, but it’s a fun one.
11. ANTON YELCHIN AS KID FLASH
For some reason, the Arrowverse just doesn’t want to use Wally. His initial arc was decent if not predictable. Since then he’s definitely helped, but he still kind of falls into the category of characters things might not have gone that differently without. He got to be The Flash for like, a second. Keep in mind we’re talking about a character who was the one true Flash in the comics for decades.
Unfortunately, this one can never be anything other than wishful thinking. Anton Yelchin died in June of 2016 in a freak Jeep accident. The rising star was only 27 years old. We can only imagine what kind of great characters in geekdom he would have take on had his career been able to continue. SPDRMNKY XXIII drew this one up as a tribute.
10. RICK COSNETT AS ZOOM
Rick Cosnett gave a great performance as Eddie Thawne in season one. He was such a stand up guy that it was hard not to ship Iris and Eddie. Obviously, Iris had to end up with Barry. Eddie was forced to sacrifice himself to destroy his future relative Eobard Thawne for good.
Some thought this might come back to haunt Barry. This image by BossLogic depicts a theory that made the rounds early during season two. What if the mysterious new villain Zoom actually turned out to be Eddie? This would have made the story that much more personal for Barry. What we got was fine, but the glaring problem was that it was essentially the same twist as season one. Jay Garrick was actually a villain going by someone else’s name. Eobard Thawne did the same thing with Harrison Wells.
9. TOM WELLING AS SUPERMAN
This one seems like an obvious choice. Tom Welling doesn’t need to prove that he can play the perfect Superman. He already did that for ten years on Smallville. Fans were infuriated that they never actually got to see Welling wear the costume. This would have been the ultimate fan service.
It wouldn’t even have been that hard for them to match up the timelines. Supergirl already takes place on another Earth. The Superman they introduced has been doing what he does for years. Tom Welling definitely would have rocked it as an older Superman. If fans continue to push hard enough, this could still become a reality. SPDRMNKY XXIII is certainly working for it. Anything is possible with time and dimension travel. If Stephen Amell can push his agenda for a Supernatural crossover, then fandom can push their agenda for a Smallville crossover.
8. YVONNE STRAHOVSKI AS SUPERGIRL
This one isn’t completely outside the realm of possibility. After all, there are crazier things in the multiverse. Supergirl has had multiple comic book incarnations — we’ve already seen evil Nazi Supergirl. Maybe on some other Earth is Yvonne Strahovski as Supergirl. SPDRMNKY XXIII has opened the door.
Melissa Benoist plays the goofy Kara Danvers very well. Strahovski would have gone in a totally different direction. Her characters on Chuck and Dexter have been strong, mysterious and dangerous. As both a spy and a serial killer, Strahovski’s characters don’t take crap from anyone. She’s definitely someone who strikes fear into the hearts of her enemies. She would have brought a confidence that Benoist often lacks. This is a woman who’s supposed to have all of the same abilities as Superman. Even though she’s still learning, sometimes the character we have feels inferior.
7. NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU AS JOHN CONSTANTINE
Let’s throw yet another Constantine into the mix. The character is so interesting with such a rich history of stories that multiple actors could attempt it and every one of them would bring something fresh. Jaime Lannister and John Constantine are totally different on the surface. Dig a little deeper and they start to have more in common. They’ve both made mistakes and they both sometimes have to protect people they don’t necessarily like. They’re both good at fooling people. Though they’re complicated, they both have good hearts.
Also, just like Ryan Gosling, Waldau has the look down. Throw a faded trench coat and a tie on him and he is John Constantine, as we see in this fan art by Ilver Safin. Plus, it’d be nice to see him play a character we don’t feel bad rooting for. He’s another perfect contender for the role in Justice League Dark.
6. ADAM BRODY AS THE FLASH
What a beautiful time we live in. We have two concurrent incarnations of The Flash gracing our screens. One is the steadfast and level headed Grant Gustin version on television. The other is the less experienced comic relief we got in Justice League with Ezra Miller.
What if we could have a version that was both? Sure, Gustin can be funny and Ezra Miller definitely showed some vulnerability. But doesn’t it just seem like the two are deliberately polar opposites of each other? The folks at MarvelDCFanCast certainly thought so. Enter Adam Brody, an actor who’s comic timing and raw charisma have been criminally underrated. This version would be the perfect mix of humor and heart and was real close to happening in Justice League Mortal. Neither current incarnation of The Flash is bad, but some people were just born to play certain roles.
5. EMINEM AS CAPTAIN COLD
Far be it from anyone to imply that Wentworth Miller isn’t great at what he does. He brings the perfect energy to the role: He’s sarcastic and intimidating when he needs to be. He’s been showing his impressive range by playing the more warm-hearted Citizen Cold. Eminem would have been different. Not necessarily better, but not necessarily worse either. Eminem has a quiet simmer about him that’s perfectly suited to play a villain. Don’t believe us? Go watch 8 Mile. Sure that character is basically him, but he’s great at it.
We know Eminem can play emotionally shut off characters. Seeing him show up as a super villain would have been quite a treat. Bonus that this work by Ilver Safin shows how cool the Detroit rapper would look with blowing blue eyes and cold shooting powers.
4. OPRAH AS AMANDA WALLER
Would Oprah play a villain? Is she even capable of portraying that kind of nastiness? Amanda Waller is a tough piece of work. She never cares who lives or dies as long as the mission is accomplished. This is consistent throughout every version of her. Viola Davis did an excellent job of this in Suicide Squad. Before she was announced, folks thought Oprah Winfrey would be perfect for the role. In terms of the look, it’s definitely not a stretch — this photoshop work by BossLogic proves that. She also definitely has the charisma.
Cynthia-Addai-Robinson was a fine Waller. She was someone you could love and hate all at once. But someone like Oprah would have brought a wisdom to the character that would have made her truly intimidating. If she doesn’t end up as the president, playing this shot caller could be the next best thing.
3. COLIN FARRELL AS JOHN CONSTANTINE
If anyone was born to play the sarcastic Liverpool native, it’s Colin Farrell. In terms of natural application, he’s kind of the opposite of Ryan Gosling, as shown in this rendering by SPDRMNKY XXIII. He’s got the personality down, but he’s lacking a bit of the look. But if a black haired American can be cast as the snarky blond Brit, anything is possible.
Colin Farrell had some pretty bad luck when it comes to superhero properties. He played Bullseye in that Daredevil movie people would rather forget about. That wasn’t really his fault, and he was definitely one of the best parts of the movie. Giving him the chance to play this hero on TV could have been the redemption he needed. Sure, it’s two different companies, but comic books are comic books. And Colin Farrell gets precious few opportunities to show off his hero chops.
2. MATT DAMON AS GREEN ARROW
Let’s assume for a second that Ben Affleck does keep playing Batman in the DCEU. It’s looking less and less likely, but while there’s no official word we can always hope. If Matt Damon were to take on the role of Oliver Queen, this would make for a great on screen reunion between the two. BossLogic certainly thinks so.
Over on the TV side of things, this might have been a stretch in terms of budget. But in terms of chops, Damon has the character down. Throughout his varied career, he’s shown that he can play action heroes and flawed villains. Stephen Amell is certainly good at brooding but Matt Damon’s star power could have brought a distinct flavor to the character lacking in the current incarnation. And let’s be honest, any action product with Damon in the lead is bound to turn to gold.
1. KATHERYN WINNICK AS BLACK CANARY
The Black Canary has had some pretty bad luck on Arrow. Sarah Lance took on the mantle first. She was awesome, but her costume was strange to say the least. What was with that wig? After she died, her sister Laurel stepped into her shoes. This never made much sense. The costume may have been slightly improved, but Laurel was never a fighter. Anyone could have seen her death coming a mile away.
BossLogic imagined Katheryn Winnick taking on the role. As she’s shown on Vikings, Winnick is prone to playing tough characters. She would have brought a strength that lacked in the first two incarnations. Dinah Drake does fit the bill a little better. Maybe if (when) the current incarnation dies, Winnick will get a go at it.
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