With plaudits being thrown in Andrew Garfield's direction for his performance as Peter Parker in Sony's rebooted The Amazing Spider-Man, you can't help but feel for Tobey Maguire, whose take on Parker seemed to be relatively popular during his tenure as Marvel's friendly box office blockbusting wall crawler from 2002-2007. But he's hardly the actor to suffer from rebootitis the most…
Admittedly, the switch from Howard to Don Cheadle in the role of James Rhodes between the two Iron Man movies had nothing to do with a reboot and everything to do with financial considerations. But, while Cheadle's Rhodey had an increased profile in the second Iron Man, he brought with it a broadness that I suspect Howard wouldn't have; Howard's Rhodey was - to me, at least - more believable in his few scenes as a military man who would, if necessary, go against his best friend to follow orders if he genuinely believed it was for the greater good. It's a shame that he didn't get to follow through on the promise he showed in the first movie.
Again, there wasn't necessarily an explicit reboot of the Hulk between The Incredible Hulk and this year's Avengers - then again, there was so little backstory really revealed in Avengers, it could be an entirely different take on the character and a reboot between the two movies for all we know - but Norton's sincerity and intensity in the role of Bruce Banner was surprisingly enjoyable, and definitely more watchable than Eric Bana's, in Ang Lee's earlier Hulk. I do wish he'd gotten another bite at that particular apple, but I have to admit: If that was the cost to pay for getting Mark Ruffalo, I'm not sure it wasn't worth it.
Lazenby is, of course, "the forgotten Bond." In fact, he's so well known as "the forgotten Bond" that it seems a little ridiculous to call him forgotten, but ignoring that paradox, let's just accept that while he may not have been perfect as the idealized British secret agent James Bond, he was at least less self-satisfied and smarmy than Roger Moore who followed him in the role. More importantly, perhaps, On Her Majesty's Secret Service was a dramatically different (and better) type of movie than the Moore ones, and if more Lazenby would've meant more of that kind of Bond movie, it's difficult to think that we're not poorer for his being replaced in the role.
As much as the world should be grateful for Christopher Eccleston and Russell T. Davies resurrecting Doctor Who in 2005, there is a slight pang of curiosity over what McGann's Doctor - introduced in the 1996 TV pilot for an American version of the show that didn't get picked up, and officially part of canon - might've brought to the role, the series and the Whoniverse in general. While his sole appearance was hardly a highpoint for the series, there was nonetheless something appealing about his characterization of the Doctor, who seemed much more pro-active and playful than Ecceleston's eventual take on the character. Who knows - no pun intended - what McGann could've done with a longer run as everyone's favorite Time Lord?
Let's just admit this: Brandon Routh was screwed. Of all the things wrong with Superman Returns - and there are a lot of things wrong with that movie - Routh's performance as either Superman or Clark Kent was not one of them, and the idea that he'd end up tossed on the junk heap along with everything else from that movie in the push to reinvent Superman for a modern audience is kind of depressing. All it takes is a cursory watching of Returns and some imagination to find yourself wishing that he'd been given a real chance to show what he could've done as the Man of Steel, and a sadness that we'll never get to find out.