Six Of The Greatest Comic Book Movie Casting Decisions

This week has seen the first major casting announcement for Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League: Part 1’, with Oscar-winner JK Simmons taking on the role of Batman’s long-time ally Commissioner Jim Gordon.

The news got us thinking about the very best comic book movie casting  
decisions, and how Simmons already ranks among them. He was the best part of Sam Raimi’s 'Spider-Man’ trilogy, and now he gets the chance to steal  
the show all over again.

So we’ve made our list of six of the best superhero movie casting  
decisions, starting with Simmons’s manic portrayal of the Daily Bugle’s  
editor in chief.

JK Simmons - J. Jonah Jameson

Jameson is a great opportunity for an actor to really chew some scenery,  
and that’s precisely what Simmons did in the three 'Spider-Man’ movies  
starring Tobey Maguire in the title role.

As Peter Parker’s boss and Spidey’s most staunch critic, Simmons provides  
wonderful comic relief, proving no performance is too over the top when it comes to comic book adaptations. In fact, Simmons’ performances are among the very best in the superhero genre and it’s a shame he won’t get to  
reprise the role in next year’s reboot.  

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Robert Downey Jr - Tony Stark / Iron Man

There’s a reason Robert Downey Jr gets the biggest pay checks in the Marvel  
Cinematic Universe (MCU) - he’s one of the two people most responsible for  
its prolonged success, alongside Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.  

Downey Jr has often embodied the character of Tony Stark, but the  
comparisons were apparent long before the success. The actor’s rockstar  
lifestyle - prior to his reform and the career resurgance he has Marvel to  
thank for - made him a great fit, but a risky proposition for a studio  
making its very first feature.

Heath Ledger - The Joker

The Joker will always be a role put under a great deal of scrutiny. That was true before Ledger was controversially given the part, but it’s especially true following his Oscar-winning performance as the Clown Prince of Crime in Christopher Nolan’s 'The Dark Knight’.

Many hated the idea of pretty-boy Ledger playing such a dark and twisted character, but he proved each and every nay-sayer wrong, providing an iconic performance for the ages.

Chloë Grace Moretz - Hit Girl

Only 11 years of age when 'Kick Ass’ was made, Chloë Grace Moretz stole the show in Matthew Vaughn’s bloody, violent and irreverent comic book  
adaptation.

Casting someone as a foul-mouthed and screwed-up, pre-teen killer is  
something a director doesn’t want to get wrong, and Vaughn absolutely did  
not. Moretz is now a star big enough to be scrapping with Kim Kardashian on  
Twitter
.  

Mark Ruffalo - Bruce Banner / The Hulk

Prior to Mark Ruffalo getting the job, Eric Bana and Edward Norton both had a crack at playing Marvel’s green giant. Both did well, but not so well that they were invited back. Enter Ruffalo, who proved the perfect fit for the one of Marvel’s most iconic heroes.

Joss Whedon’s excellent 'Avengers Assemble’ script helped give us a Hulk that finally worked on the big screen, and while Ruffalo did perform as him, he truly succeeded because of his portayal of Banner. Ruffalo’s laid back acting style juxtaposed brilliantly with The Hulk’s rage.

Patrick Stewart - Professor X

In casting British screen and stage legend Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier, Bryan Singer and his team nailed it on the first attempt. He brings a quiet dignity, authority and depth to a character that brings together heroes of every ilk.

James McAvoy has been good as a younger version of the character in more recent films, but it is hard to imagine anybody will ever be as good as Stewart.

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Picture Credits: Marvel Studios / Sony Pictures / 20th Century Fox / Warner Bros / Universal.