The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been around for ten years and it will probably be around for a good while longer. Many have tried to copy Marvel's Cinematic Universe formula, yet thus far none have succeeded. But, what is it that makes the MCU great? It stands to reason that Marvel Studios has to get a lot of things just right to maintain their almost flawless record. Indeed, outstanding writing, entertaining action sequences, and hilarious comedy make watching an MCU movie a thrilling experience. However, there's one thing that the MCU does far better than most other superhero movies, including other Marvel movies outside the MCU, and that's characters. Developing and portraying relatable, likable and intriguing characters is of paramount importance and casting the right actor plays an important role in getting the character right.
The MCU almost always gets it right. That being said, there are still some casting decisions the fans would like to change. The same goes for other non-MCU Marvel films. Some are shining examples of genius casting decisions, while others are begging to be re-cast. Over the years, fans have created tons of fanart depicting their dream cast for countless Marvel films. In some other cases, artists like BossLogic expressed their boundless creativity with fun crossover and mashup ideas that somehow ended up looking better than the real thing. Either way, fan-casting tends to produce some very interesting concepts. So, today we're taking a look at some of our favorite and least favorite Marvel fan-casting fanart.
20 BETTER: DONALD GLOVER AS MILES MORALES
In 2010, Donald Glover campaigned for the role of Spider-Man in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man. The actor wanted to portray the Miles Morales version of the web-crawler, but Sony decided to go in a different direction. Thus, the role of Peter Parker ended up in the hands of Andrew Garfield.
When it was announced that Spidey would be getting an MCU reboot many had hoped that Miles Morales would finally come to the big screen, preferably portrayed by Donald Glover. In the end, the role Glover got to play in Spider-Man: Homecoming was Miles’ uncle. On the bright side, we’ll always have BossLogic’s fanart to remind us how awesome Glover looks in a Spidey suit.
19 WORSE: JENSEN ACKLES AS CAPTAIN AMERICA
Before Chris Evans was cast as Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, tons of actors expressed interest in the part. Supernatural star Jensen Ackles was among those who auditioned for the role of Steve Rogers. When he didn’t get it, Marvel offered him the role of Hawkeye, which he turned down.
Clearly, Ackles had his heart set on playing the Cap. Some fans also thought Ackles would make a fine Captain America and some even created fanart of the actor in the star-spangled man costume. Here’s Dahlia Sheng’s take on Jensen Ackles as Captain America. While Ackles does look cool, we’re still Team Evans.
18 BETTER: SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR AS PHOENIX
What if the X-Men franchise happened in the 1990s? Or, what if the 1990s X-Men: The Animated Series got a live-action adaptation? Well, BossLogic has a pretty good idea what that could have looked like. He did some pretty amazing fan-casting fanart pieces, including the one you see above. Back in the 1990s, Sarah Michelle Gellar was one of the biggest TV stars thanks to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
So, it should come as no surprise that BossLogic decided to cast her in his 1990s X-Men movie. In his version, Sarah Michelle Gellar plays Phoenix, and we have to admit that's something we wouldn’t mind seeing on the screen.
17 WORSE: SCOTT EASTWOOD AS WOLVERINE
Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine is so iconic that it’s impossible to even picture anyone else in his place. And to think that Jackman almost didn’t play the clawed mutant. The role had originally gone to Dougray Scott, but he had to back out of the deal due to scheduling issues. Fox then turned to Jackman and the rest, as they say, is history.
Over the years, fans have created interesting fan-casting art for Wolverine, including this piece by BossLogic. The artist chose Scott Eastwood, possibly for an MCU X-Men reboot. While Eastwood does seem like a solid pick, we’re not sure he’d be able to outshine Jackman.
16 BETTER: WINONA RYDER AS MYSTIQUE
In the original X-Men trilogy, Mystique was portrayed by Rebecca Romijn, who received a lot of praise for her work. However, when Jennifer Lawrence took over the part in X-Men: First Class, reactions were mixed. If you aren’t a big fan of one, or either, of the two performances you probably have your own ideas about who should play Mystique.
BossLogic did an interesting crossover collection titled "Stranger X-Men" where he cast Stranger Things actors as X-Men and the result is awesome as always. Winona Ryder, who portrays Joyce on Stranger Things, became Mystique and now we can’t help but wish this was real.
15 WORSE: ARMIE HAMMER AS CYCLOPS
The internet seems to be really intent on casting Armie Hammer in a superhero movie. So far, the actor has been rumored for numerous roles including Batman, Green Lantern and Shazam. He has also debunked all of the superhero movie rumors and stated that he isn’t a big fan of modern superhero films. Yet, the fans apparently want to see him in spandex.
Well, since it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen on the big screen, some artists have taken matters into their own hands. Erathrim cast Armie Hammer as Cyclops – his pick for the MCU version of the X-Men. Honestly, we just don’t see it. But, what do you think?
14 BETTER: LUPITA NYONG’O AS STORM
Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o joined the MCU in 2018 when she appeared in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. Nyong’o portrayed Nakia, a former member of Dora Milaje, member of the War Dogs, and T’Challa 's love interest. Unsurprisingly, Nyong’o was absolutely amazing as Nakia and we can’t wait to see her again.
However, some fans have suggested Nyong’o for a different Marvel role. Precisely, that of Storm in the X-Men. Artist bittermarch even created this amazing piece of fan-casting fanart depicting Nyong’o as Storm. Thus far, Storm has been played by Halle Berry and Alexandra Shipp, but we’d sure love to see Nyong’o’s take on the character.
13 WORSE: KEIRA KNIGHTLEY AS DOMINO
In Deadpool 2 we got to meet Domino. Portrayed by Zazie Beetz, Domino was one of the heroes recruited by Deadpool for his totally-not-derivative and most-importantly-not-sexist team, the X-Force. With her interesting superpower or non-superpower, depending on whom you ask, Domino was able to create some pretty epic moments.
Her take on the character was creative, fresh and above all fun. She was, in fact, one of the best parts of the film. However, if it was up to Salman A Al Mohammadi, the role would have gone to Kiera Knightley and Domino would have probably been a much different character.
12 BETTER: ALEXANDRA DADDARIO AS ROGUE
Rogue in the X-Men franchise was portrayed by Anna Paquin. The actress has been playing the character since the first X-Men movie and made her last appearance as Rogue in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Unfortunately, Rogue wasn’t quite given a proper chance to shine in any of the films she’s appeared in. As a result, many have mixed feelings about Paquin’s portrayal of the character.
Artist Stuart Cooper thought that Percy Jackson’s actress Alexandra Daddario would be a good fit for the role of Rogue and we agree. Stuart’s concept looks amazing and we’d love to see this happen in the MCU.
11 WORSE: TOM HARDY AS WOLVERINE
Tom Hardy is no stranger to superhero movies. In 2012, he portrayed Bane in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and more recently he took on the role of Venom in Sony’s 2018 film of the same name. On top of that, Hardy has also been rumored for Doctor Strange and Apocalypse, and he dropped out of Suicide Squad in which he was set to play Rick Flag.
Hardy has also been rumored for the role of Wolverine if and when Marvel decides to reboot the X-Men. Artist Ted Kim created a pretty cool Tom Hardy version of Wolverine. It’s a great piece of fan art, no doubt about it, but we’re not sure Hardy would be a better choice than the legendary Hugh Jackman.
10 BETTER: JOE KEERY AS GAMBIT
Stranger Things’ Steve Harrington went from the most hated character in season one to the most beloved character in season two, and all thanks to exemplary character development. Now, we can’t wait for season three to see he is up to. Until that moment comes, as always, we have fanart.
BossLogic’s “Stranger X-Men” turned up some pretty amazing pieces and Joe Keery, aka Steve Harrington, re-imagined as Gambit is one of the best. Aside from that horrible brief appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Gambit has been absent from the big screen. Though Channing Tatum has been cast as the Cajun, we wouldn’t mind seeing Joe Keery in the role instead.
9 WORSE: KELLAN LUTZ AS VENOM
Kellan Lutz once mentioned that he would like to play Venom in a Spider-Man movie and that was more than enough to start rumors that the actor was up for the part in Sony’s 2018 film. Of course, these turned out to be nothing more than rumors and the role went to Tom Hardy. But, in case you wanted to see what Kellan Lutz would look like as Venom, BossLogic has got you covered.
Even though Lutz doesn’t look half-bad as Venom, he’s just not a big enough name to carry such a big budget production. He’s most known for playing Emmett Cullen in the Twilight Saga and Hercules in the 2014 disaster known as The Legend of Hercules.
8 BETTER: VIN DIESEL AS BLACK BOLT
Marvel’s Inhumans had the worst reception of all Marvel shows. A good portion of criticism came at the expense of the cast and especially towards Anson Mount, who portrayed Black Bolt. Both fans and critics were of the opinion that Anson simply wasn’t able to communicate anything through facial expressions alone, leading many to wonder if a different actor would have done a better job.
In 2015, there was a rumor going around that Vin Diesel would be taking on the role of Black Bolt. Perhaps this would have been a better choice. Judging by Luke Mandie’s fanart, Vin Diesel would, at the very least, look awesome as Black Bolt.
7 WORSE: JASON STATHAM AS BULLSEYE
Daredevil season three introduced another iconic villain, Bullseye. Special Agent Benjamin Poindexter, aka the man who will go on to take up the name Bullseye, was portrayed by Wilson Bethel. Playing Dax was no easy feat considering the character’s unhinged nature and his chilling and tragic descent into madness. Hats off to Wilson Bethel for doing such an incredible job.
Bethel’s irresistible charisma and undeniable charm made Dax one of the show’s most interesting characters. But, had the role went to Jason Statham, as was rumored back in season two, we would have probably gotten only a weaker copy of Fisk. Still, if you wanted to know what Statham would look like as Bullseye, James Holland’s concept art should satisfy your curiosity.
6 BETTER: SADIE SINK AS EMMA FROST
Emma Frost, the diamond-skinned telepath, made her live-action debut in X-Men: First Class. Portrayed by January Jones, the White Queen failed to resonate with audiences, mostly due to Jones’ performance. Emma Frost was but a shadow of her comic book counterpart and that didn’t sit right with anyone.
Many fans can’t help but wonder if the character would have been better served had someone else been cast instead. Naturally, this led to a lot of different fan-casting ideas. Featured above is BossLogic’s take on Emma Frost, played by Stranger Things actress Sadie Sink. This looks great for a younger version of the character.
5 WORSE: HENRY CAVILL AS DOCTOR STRANGE
Henry Cavill, whom you may know as that guy who played that little-known DC Comics hero Superman, would probably be fit for a number of superhero roles what with his body and charming smile. A lot of fans have expressed the desire for Cavill to join the MCU and there are already lists of potential characters the actor could play.
Hyperion, Captain Britain, Wonder Man, and Hercules are all suitable roles for the Superman actor. However, Erathrim had a somewhat different idea. He decided to cast Henry Cavill as Doctor Strange. An odd choice and one that really doesn’t suit Cavill.
4 BETTER: CHARLIE HUNNAM AS HAWKEYE
We all know that Charlie Hunnam was one of the frontrunners for the role of Thor in the MCU, which ultimately ended up in the capable hands of Chris Hemsworth. We also know that fans have been casting the Sons of Anarchy star as the DCEU’s Emerald Archer for quite some time. However, Loreto Troyano decided to assign Hunnam the role of a different archer – Hawkeye to be precise.
Blue eyes, blonde hair, tall, handsome – there’s absolutely no question that Charlie Hunnam fits the bill. Perhaps even more so than Jeremy Runner who portrays Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
3 WORSE: NATALIE DORMER AS CAPTAIN MARVEL
Captain Marvel hits the theaters on March 8th, 2019 – oh what a peculiar coincidence – and we’re all dying to see MCU’s first female-led superhero film. Carol Danvers is portrayed by Brie Larson and, judging by the trailers, Marvel has once again nailed the casting. Before the role went to Larson the internet had a lot to say about who should get the part.
Natalie Dormer, depicted above in a Captain Marvel costume by Tatjana Walker, was a popular pick. While we have no doubt Dormer would have done the character justice, she already appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger as Private Lorraine. A small part for sure, but with a role as important as Captain Marvel, it is better to go with a fresh face.
2 BETTER: NATALIA DYER AS ROGUE
The cast of Stranger Things became superstars practically overnight. Netflix’s hit series premiered in 2016 and currently has two seasons with the third scheduled for 2019. Natalia Dyer portrays one of the main teenage characters on the show: Nancy Wheeler.
As part of his “Stranger X-Men” collection, BossLogic decided to re-imagine Natalia Dyer as Rogue. The result, as you can see, is absolutely amazing. If Marvel is planning to reboot the X-Men for the MCU, we hope they consider Natalia Dyer for Rogue because this looks too good to remain fanart. We need to see this happen for real.
1 WORSE: STEPHEN LANG AS CABLE
Stephen Lang has long been a fan-favorite for the role of Cable. However, when the time-traveling mutant finally made his live-action debut in Deadpool 2, the role went to non-other than Thanos himself, Josh Brolin. For the second time in 2018, Brolin delivered an outstanding performance. Intimidating and curt, his Cable was one of the best parts of the film and the mutant looked unbelievably comic book accurate.
It’s hard to imagine anyone still wishing that someone else had taken up the role of Cable instead of Brolin. Salman A Al Mohammadi’s fanart with Stephen Lang as Cable looks cool, but it doesn't make us wish it was for real.