The discussion about Ben Affleck as Batman has died down a bit and I think most people are willing to at least give him a chance. He may be great in the role or he could wind up in the Hall of Shame. But, regardless of how he does, I doubt he’ll come close to being the worst-cast comic book character ever. He’d have to reeeeeeeaaaaaalllllllllyyyyyy stink it up to top some of the other duds that have hit the silver screen.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to compile a list of the worst castings in the world of superhero movies. I tried to weigh them without considering the quality of the film itself. I’d almost venture to say there have been more bad superhero movies than good, but that is a combination of writing, directing and so many other factors. But sometimes actors are picked simply because they are popular at the time, or the studio thinks they will draw an audience on name value alone, or who knows why?
So here are my picks and surprise! Ben’s not on the list! Not even for ‘Daredevil’! (Oh trust me, he was on the big list, but once I started whittling it down, there were so many worse than him!)
10. Nicholas Cage as Ghost Rider in ‘Ghost Rider’ and ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence’
I feel bad about this. Everyone knows Nicholas Cage is a massive comic fan. He named his son Kal-El for heaven’s sake and came so close to playing Superman. And his real name is Nicholas Coppola. The “Cage” came from Luke Cage. So I’m glad that he got to play a comic book super hero… twice! Too bad both movies stunk. In the first, he just sort of stalked around glowering at people, not registering an ounce of charisma or emotion. The movie kind of tanked, so I have no idea why they even made a second, but in that one, Cage– I suspect, not giving two f***s– hammed it up in a manner usually employed by actors playing villains! There was no scenery left after this production wrapped, as Cage chewed it all up.
9. Topher Grace as Venom in ‘Spider-Man 3’
That’s just a terrible idea from the get-go! Eddie Brock (Venom’s alter ego) is a massive mountain of a man. When the Venom symbiote takes him over, it just slides over his already bulky frame. Topher Grace is just too thin and weaselly to really embody the powerhouse villain. I really don’t see how anyone thought this was a good idea.
8. Halle Berry as Storm in ‘X-Men’, ‘X2: X-Men United’ and ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’
Halle Berry won an Oscar, so I can’t call her a bad actress. But damn, she’s bad in these movies! The moment I heard she’d been cast, I thought “That’s a terrible idea!” and I was right. She doesn’t have the gravitas that the comic book Storm exudes. Storm is regal. She’s a queen and is worshiped as a goddess. Halle Berry was once in ‘B.A.P.S.’ Her “accent” changed from scene to scene and do I even need to bring up the “Toad” thing? As good as the X-Men movies were… well, the first two… Berry was so bad she was distracting!
7. Halle Berry as Catwoman in ‘Catwoman’
Storm might have been uneven, but Halle’s turn as Catwoman is infamously bad! She attempted to mimic the mannerisms of a cat… I feel that that may be admirable, but it just comes off goofy. To be honest, EVERY. SINGLE. THING. about this movie blows, but what’s especially egregious is that this was Berry’s first film after winning an Academy Award! She could be doing Shakespeare or working with big name directors. Instead she made this kitty litter. Shame!
6. January Jones as Emma Frost in ‘X-Men: First Class’
January Jones is the worst. I can’t even sugar coat that. ‘Mad Men’ is one of my favorite shows, but every time stupid Betty Draper appears, I want to punch my TV into the next room. I have no idea how Jones has an acting career since she registers zero emotion and speaks in the same monotone all the time. I don’t know how she wound up in an X-Men movie either, other than maybe the casting director thought “Mad Men is really popular and wins lots of awards. Let’s get someone from that show in this movie!” They’d have been better off casting Jon Hamm in the role.
5. Julian McMahon as Doctor Doom in ‘Fantastic Four’ and ‘Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer’
Let’s be fair, these movies are riddled with flaws. But the biggest of which was taking grand Latverian dictator Victor Von Doom and turning him into… just some American dude. And on top of that, they changed his origin. Yeah, that’s not so much McMahon’s fault, but… he just wasn’t right. Not at all. This is another examples of just picking someone that had some name recognition, since ‘Nip/Tuck’ was on at the time and was critically acclaimed. He had no business being in this movie.
4. Sylvester Stallone as Judge Dredd in ‘Judge Dredd’
In the eighties, Stallone was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Heck, ‘Rocky’ was nominated for an Academy Award! But times change and the testosterone fueled shoot-’em-ups that he usually starred in fell out of favor. After the first ‘Batman’ movie, studios scrambled to get their own comic book movies into theaters and Stallone got sucked into starring alongside the deplorable Rob Schneider in this not-at-all faithful adaption of the ultra-violent British comic. You know how certain actors make a career out of just playing themselves? This.
3. David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury in ‘Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.’
Oh whoops! That’s not the picture I meant to post! Try this one instead:
The Hoff is just one of those dudes you really can’t even make fun of. He’s a terrible actor. He’s a terrible singer. And yet he falls ass-backwards into money and fame. He recently slammed Samuel L. Jackson’s (excellent) take on the same role. Let’s be honest, David Hasselhoff is the wrong casting for anything that doesn’t involve talking cars or red swimsuits.
2. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mister Freeze in ‘Batman & Robin’
Mister Freeze is normally depicted as being extremely thin. When it was announced that Mister Freeze would be the villain in ‘Batman & Robin’ most fans were pulling for Patrick Stewart to play the role. Instead, we got The Terminator. That’s close, right? Schwarzenegger has the same problem Stallone does. No matter the film, he’s just playing himself. I’m pretty sure this is why he retired from acting and went into politics.
1. Shaquille O’Neal as Steel in ‘Steel’
On the one hand, Steel is such a minor character, he’s lucky to have even gotten a movie. But even so, this was a disaster from the start. The only reason the movie got made is that the character was riding the wave of success of “The Death of Superman” comic book story. But then the movie omitted any mention of Superman. Also… Shaq is not an actor. For whatever reason, in the 90s, NBA players were being given movies (see also, Michael Jordan in ‘Space Jam’) despite not having any qualifications. No one is grabbing Ralph Fiennes and telling him to hit the court during March Madness… for a reason!
So yeah, I spared Affleck my wrath. Mrs. Affleck too, Jennifer Garner who sucked as supposedly GREEK Elektra twice. Nope, neither was as terrible as these other examples. While there have been several bad comic book movies, most times you can tell the makers were trying. In these cases, not so much. These cases are mostly stunt casting based solely on the actor’s name recognition.
Do you disagree? Who do you think deserves to be on this list? Leave a comment below!