Whether we like it or not, Warner Bros and DC Entertainment plan to make a boatload more films. While we've had some surprises like Gotham City Sirens, a Deadshot spin off, and most recently a Black Adam solo film there have been the usual suspects like Aquaman, the Batman, and of course Justice League 2 to keep fans excited.
Everyone has their opinion on who would make a great Batman or Superman or Joker or whatever. I've written a couple of articles giving my two cents on who would be great in a Batman film and a Justice League Dark film. Today, I'm going to throw out just some random thoughts on different characters that could appear throughout the DCEU. Let's dive right in, shall we?
EMMA ROBERTS as POISON IVY
There are a lot of beautiful young women out there in Hollywood and let's face it, that's sort of the number one quality one would be looking for with Poison Ivy. Ivy has to be the most beautiful, sexiest, deadliest woman in the room. Her whole reputation is built around trying to defeat men and allow plants to rule the world. While it would be easy to cast a Megan Fox, who is very attractive, but I think Ivy demands a certain gravitas that Fox couldn't provide. Ivy's not only beautiful, she's a genius. She doesn't even need to use her pheromones to trick men to do her bidding. She can manipulate them herself.
I think Roberts is an actor that could easily own any room she's in. Yes, Roberts is very beautiful but she's also very smart and has the ride shade of darkness in her that could make her a formidable opponent to Ben Affleck's Dark Knight. From Scream 4 to American Horror Story I have no doubt she would be an amazing Poison Ivy.
DIEGO LUNA as BANE
Bane is not only one of Batman's toughest opponents, he's also been a member of the Secret Six and the Suicide Squad. His intellect is rivaled only by Batman. He's a master strategist as well as fierce fighter. He came to Gotham with the sole purpose of wearing Batman down and beating him and he did exactly that. I'd love to see more of the classic Bane in an upcoming DCEU film and I think Luna would be a good fit.
Luna impressed the hell out of me during Rogue One. He had to play leader, follower, rebel, as well as a man willing to do anything to get the job done. I think Bane could showcase a little more than what we were given in Rogue One. Luna would have to be a leader and a rebel but also, if he were to be cast in a Suicide Squad sequel, he'd have to be a follower and a team player. He played that role well in Star Wars but with Bane he'd be able to have more of a reluctant antihero. I think he could definitely pull it off.
ANNA KENDRICK as BARBARA GORDON / BATGIRL
Here's a fact that will blow your mind - there hasn't been a live action Barbara Gordon/Batgirl since the 1960s Adam West Batman series. Think about it! There's been cartoons but the last time we got Batgirl in a live action Batman film was Batman and Robin and that was Barbara Wilson (for some reason).
The less said about it the better . . .
Barbara is one of the absolute best superheroes in all of comics. She was never Batman's sidekick. She started out a crimefighter in her own way, not trying to impress Batman or anyone else. She's a great fighter, brilliant detective, and believes in making Gotham City safe for everyone. When she was unable to be Batgirl, she became Oracle and became an invaluable member to the Justice League and heroes around the world. Once she was able to be Batgirl, she immediately took back to the streets of Gotham to keep her neighborhood safe. She's an inspiration to many young women and one of my personal favorite heroes.
Kendrick joked not too long ago about wanting to play Robin in the upcoming solo Batman film. While she would be a great Carrie Kelly, I personally think she'd be a much better Barbara Gordon. Kendrick has the right amount of spunk, attitude, and wit to stand up to not only Ben Affleck's Batman but JK Simmons' Jim Gordon. I think Batgirl is a strong enough character to anchor her own film, otherwise I'd love to see her debut in the Gotham City Sirens film fighting Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn. Kendrick definitely has my vote for Barbara Gordon.
Ok that's enough Bat-characters! Moving on!
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY as GREEN ARROW
At this point, it's sort of sacrilegious to think of any actor other than Stephen Amell playing the Green Arrow. However, since Ezra Miller was cast as the movie Flash, I think we've all been wondering when and if WB would cast someone as Green Arrow.
Truth be told, the Oliver Queen in the comics is a lot different than the one in Arrow. In the comics, Queen's mission is to sort of "stick it to the man." He embraces the Robin Hood role of stealing from the rich to give to the poor. In the comics, he's a loud mouth, right wing conservative, often butting heads with the other DC heroes. He tries to be the voice for the disenfranchised and needy. He works to make sure "the man" doesn't step on the "little guy." Truthfully, he's probably the hero we need to see most.
I think McConaughey would be a great fit for the character. True, he's a bit older, but it's hard to think of another actor that could give Queen the range he needs to embody on film. McConaughey has given some powerhouse performances lately from Interstellar to Dallas Buyers Club. He's not just a pretty face, he's got plenty to offer as an actor. Plus, McConaughey is still in fantastic shape. And not that this is a requirement or anything but damn it if he doesn't LOOK just like that Green Arrow pic above!
C THOMAS HOWELL as EOBARD THAWNE / THE REVERSE FLASH
Eobard Thawne is one of DC's absolute best villains. A scientist from the future, he became obsessed with the Flash and wanted desperately to recreate the event that created the Flash. Once he accomplished that, he set out to travel through time and meet his hero. Upon learning that his hero was just an ordinary man named Barry Allen, Thawne kind of lost his mind. He became the Flash's greatest enemy. He went through time torturing Barry and eventually ended up killing Barry's mother! He's one sick mofo!
On TV, Tom Cavanagh and Matthew Letscher have played Thawne and in my opinion did the character justice. Letscher is currently on Legends of Tomorrow as part of the Legion of Doom. There's been no word yet if the Reverse Flash is going to make an appearance in the Flash movie or a Justice League film, but if he were I would cast Howell in a heartbeat. If you're wondering why, look no further than his guest appearances on Criminal Minds as The Reaper. The Reaper was a serial killer that loved to torture police. His last victim was Hotchner's wife before being beaten to death by Hotch himself. It was one of the best arcs Criminal Minds has ever done. I was hoping that when the Flash series was announced that Howell would be cast. After all, he does have some experience having played the Reverse Flash in the animated Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. Obviously, he was not cast but he still has my vote for a live action interpretation of the character.
JOHN BOYEGA as JOHN HENRY IRONS / STEEL
If there was ever an underrated, criminally underused character in DC's lineup it would definitely be Steel. Now that I think about it, he's a little bit like Luke Cage. He's a hard working, honest man that's looking to make his neighborhood safer. He was rescued by Superman once and decided to dedicate his life to being just like him. He took up the mantle of Steel after Superman's death at the hands of Doomsday. He was one of four men claiming to be the Man of Steel. However, after Superman returned, Irons decided to stick around and inspire his neighborhood just like Superman inspires the world.
Unfortunately, Steel hasn't been around in the comics much these days. There was an attempt to bring him back after the New 52 started but he didn't stick around. However, I think he's the right character to bring back and shake up the DCEU in a huge way. Like I said, I think he could be DC's answer to Luke Cage. A strong, hard working African American man that takes up the mantle of hero to protect his friends and family.
Now, I know what you're thinking. No one could ever possibly be better in the role than Shaq.
It's hard to believe he was not nominated for an Oscar . . .
In all seriousness, I think John Boyega is a hell of an actor and would be a great John Henry Irons. As Finn in The Force Awakens, Boyega made the choice to defect from the First Order and join with the Resistance. While he was clumsy at first, he quickly proved himself to be a hero by standing up to his former Stormtrooper friends and facing Kylo Ren on his own. Now that he's a little older, I'd love to see him in a future DCEU film inspired by Superman's death to defend Metropolis in his honor. That would be a great way to do a Man of Steel sequel now that I think about it . . . Hmmm . . .
OLIVIA WILDE as BARBARA MINERVA / THE CHEETAH
The Cheetah is one of Wonder Woman's enemies. However, she has something of a tragic past (as most comic book villains do). She started off as a friend to Wonder Woman. She was the first non-Amazon to learn their language to try and communicate with Diana. She also helped teach her English so that she could communicate better with her new allies. She became obsessed with mythology and adventure. On one of her expeditions, she discovers the Cult of Urzkartaga and is transformed into the Cheetah. Granted that's from the recent Wonder Woman Rebirth comics. However, her origin is always tied to Wonder Woman and gaining powers from some crazy Indiana Jones-esque adventure.
Olivia Wilde is not only one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood, she's also one of the most talented. During her run on House, M.D., she proved capable of handling comedy, drama, and everything in between. She was tough enough to stand up to House and his craziness but also dealt with her own personal demons. I have no doubt that she could easily slip into the complicated role of the Cheetah. Friend turned to enemy is one of the best arcs that a character can go through and I'd love to see her in a future Wonder Woman or Justice League film. Speaking of actors from House . . .
HUGH LAURIE as SINESTRO
Sinestro is definitely one of the absolute best characters in all of DC Comics. He started off as a Green Lantern. Soon, he was called the greatest Green Lantern given that his sector was considered the safest in the universe. However, after Hal Jordan became a Green Lantern, he discovered that Sinestro was actually imposing his will on his homeworld of Korugar. He was discharged from the Green Lantern Corps. It didn't take long for Sinestro to find a new source of power - the Yellow power of Fear. Eventually, he created the Sinestro Corps and went to war with the Green Lanterns. He believes his way is the right way and will stop at nothing until the universe kneels to him.
Say what you will about the Green Lantern film, but it's undeniable that Mark Strong was the best part about it with his pitch perfect take on Sinestro. While it's unlikely that he'll reprise his role in the upcoming Green Lantern Corps film, I think the character of Sinestro should still be included and Hugh Laurie would be perfect in the role. Throughout his run on House, Laurie demonstrated great comedic timing, powerful dramatic acting, and best of all his range as a tortured, lonely man. Granted, Sinestro is not at all like House, but I still think that with Laurie's talents, he could bring a lot to Sinestro. He'd have to be a leader, charming, malevolent, and most of all, committed. As wonderful a character as Sinestro is, he demands an actor that will bring him to life in a spectacular way. I think Laurie is more than qualified.
JOHN CENA as SHAZAM!
Shazam is one of DC's oldest and best characters. He's actually Billy Batson, an orphan boy granted the power of the gods by the Wizard. By yelling out Shazam, Billy is turned into an adult superhero capable of incredible feats such as super strength, flight, invulnerability, magic, and control over lightning. He's one of DC's best characters. He's true wish fulfillment for a kid. He's a little boy that can become an adult. But with that power is also the responsibility to protect the world from dark forces.
Ok so . . . JOHN CENA! Sorry, had to get that out of the way first. I actually saw this on a facebook post that my friend shared with me. At first we laughed at the idea of Cena as Shazam. But the more I thought about it, and after seeing his performance on Saturday Night Live, I started to think he'd actually be a good choice. First of all, the dude is BIG. His biceps are twice as big as my head. If he's going to go up against Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, then he's gonna have to bring the goods! Secondly, after seeing him on SNL and Trainwreck, I realized that he's actually got some talent as an actor. He's been in a few action films, but nothing that's really challenged him yet. There were scenes in Trainwreck that I found myself impressed with his acting. I think he would make a great Shazam, boy trapped in a man's body. Plus - who wouldn't want to see Cena and Johnson go head to head as Shazam vs Black Adam? Shut up and take my money!
BRYAN CRANSTON AS DARKSEID
Darkseid is one of DC Comics' most powerful villains. He's the ruler of Apokalips and has made it his mission to conquer the rest of the universe with the Anti Life Equation. In the New 52, his arrival was what brought the Justice League together. They were barely able to fight him off. In the last big Justice League story before Rebirth, Darkseid was killed by the Anti-Monitor only to be brought back to life as a baby. Presumably, he'll be an adult again soon and will start causing more trouble for the Justice League.
Of all the names I mentioned, I think this is my favorite suggestion. Who wouldn't want to see Walter White as a 10 foot tall alien god with the power to kill the Justice League? Granted, most of the work would be done in post production with CGI, but that didn't stop Joss Whedon from casting James Spader as Ultron! In that same vein, I think Cranston would be absolutely perfect as Darkseid. During Breaking Bad it was clear that his transition from Walter White to Heisenberg was careful and meticulous. In this case, he could start right away as the ultimate DC villain. His voice alone has enough gravitas and menace that he could make Batman and Superman shake in their boots. And that's what's needed from Darkseid. He's not afraid to take on the most powerful heroes on Earth. The odds are against them even when it's just Darkseid standing in front of them. I'd love to see Cranston staring down Superman and trading verbal blows with Batman. Just imagine that Heisenbergian perfomance! Oh my goodness! Someone call Cranston's agent!!
These are just a few suggestions I had thought of. I'm a pretty big fan of all these actors and even bigger fan of the characters I picked for them. I know the DCEU has had some rough patches so far, but I have high hopes for the future. With any luck, Warner Bros will continue to pick out some great talents. So far, the actors have not disappointed me and I don't expect that to change. Here's hoping to a bright and amazing DC future!
Till Next Time!
JJ - the Comic Junkie