How many times have you been hung up on what might have been? The same goes for Marvel movies, where a role can make a career out of nowhere. Their films are so lucrative even established actors want a slice of it. But that doesn’t mean we get to have our preferred option included in their films.
Well, if you happen to be good at Photoshop, you could’ve simply edited a picture of your favorite actor and cast them in a movie of your liking. There’s something known as fancasting where those adept at Photoshop skills edit pictures out to tell others of their interpretation of a character. It’s quite a popular practice with many people making their own fancast lists and having others make an edit to see what the actor would have looked like.
It’s fun to think of but everyone’s opinion is bound to differ. One might think the original actor for the role is the best we got, while someone else might argue another actor would’ve been the better choice. When it comes to superhero movies there’s not always the look that matters, there’s also their acting ability. Film studios are more than capable of designing a look for an actor that fits the hero they’re playing. But if the person’s ability is top notch it might not matter if they look the part or not.
Here’s a list of fancastings better or worse than the movies.
20 Thumbs Down: Alice Eve As Emma Frost
Alice Eve is no doubt a talented actress. It’s not a well-known fact she’s English rather than American, but she pulls off the accent well enough to fool most people. To top it off, she is undoubtedly a very beautiful woman. This would make her seem a viable candidate for the role of Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class, but we would have to place her in the negative pile for this list. The reason for this would have to be the battle between January Jones (the actress who did portray Emma Frost), and Eve’s ability to remain expressionless.
Emma Frost had a rough exterior, both literally and in personality, and Alice Eve just hasn’t demonstrated such stiff-lipped acting ability.
The above edit doesn’t do much to convince us either, blurring out Eve’s facial expression while the coat is just crudely edited over her body.
19 Thumbs Up: Emily Blunt As Black Widow
Talk about perfect casting meets perfect fan photoshop. This picture, edited by imperioavis, showcases Emily Blunt in all Black Widow glory. Admittedly it’s Scarlett Johansson rocking that Black Widow figure, but it looks darn near perfect with Blunt’s likeness.
Emily Blunt is a fantastic actress who has shown her skill in varying movies such as the horror flick Wind Chill or the comedy The Five Year Engagement. She was superb in Edge of Tomorrow, which should stamp in her contender-ship as Black Widow. Although it’s next to impossible to imagine anyone other than Scarlet Johansson as Black Widow now, Blunt taking up the role would raise little no arguments. She is of the appropriate age whose acting skills could rival Johansson’s when matched against one another.
18 Thumbs Down: Rashida Jones As The Wasp
Ant-Man was more of a comedy than a superhero movie. The film was riddled with laughs all over, leaving the rest of the room for its action. It’s not a jab at the movie because it made the formula work. Due to the comedic nature of the film, fans figured the role of Wasp should also go to a comedic actress much like Ant-Man went to comedian Paul Rudd. Jones, however, would have brought too much comedy on the plate.
She is adept at the jokes, but her physicality wouldn’t be up to the mark as the role demanded.
In the above picture, we find an attempt to make a close likeness to the Wasp character from the comics. But it’ll take more than a couple of wings and makeshift antenna to convince us.
17 Thumbs Up: Adam Scott As Ant-Man
Now here’s an actor who you knew might have been the perfect casting before seeing the above picture. Adam Scott is one of those actors who can play a straight man well in a comedy, while also having the talent to be the comedic one himself. He would’ve been ideal for the role of Ant-Man.
Paul Rudd has made the role his own, but Adam Scott has a better look for the character. It helps he himself is short enough to convince in the role. The edit seen here isn’t the best you’d see out there but it does an effective job to make us wonder what Scott would’ve been like. Funnily enough, the edit also sees a miniature size of Scott’s Ant-Man on Hawkeye’s hand to illustrate how well he’d have looked in tiny form as well.
16 Thumbs Down: Gary Sinise As Wolverine
Quite the opposite of what the ideal fan casting should look like, this picture is laughable at best. It’s a good thing the editor’s identity is not known for their editing skills would be brought in question. Then again, this might just be intentioned to be a joke in the first place.
Gary Sinise, best known for his lead role in CSI: New York, was in fact in earlier talks to star as Wolverine back in 2000!
Within that context the existence of this picture makes more sense. While Sinise would’ve undoubtedly looked more up to the mark had he been cast, he just doesn’t have that mean streak required to portray Wolverine. It’s also difficult to imagine him all bulked up like Hugh Jackman. The hair is an abomination of its own, too.
15 Thumbs Up: Brad Pitt As Cable
The role of Cable in Deadpool 2 required an older actor, preferably well-known. Eventually, Josh Brolin was cast. However, Brolin is already the warlord Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. Therefore, Brad Pitt would’ve been a more appropriate choice.
Pitt is hilarious when the time calls for it a la Fight Club. He would’ve been an instant attraction for cinema goers, and it’s easy to imagine him having great chemistry with Ryan Reynolds. What’s more, he looks amazing as Cable in this fan edit. The right kind of star power would’ve been brought to the role, and it would have been intriguing to see what Pitt could’ve have done with the character. Besides, just looking at this picture whets the appetite for a peek at the potential for entertainment that this version of Cable would’ve brought.
14 Thumbs Down: Matt Smith As Daredevil
This edit isn’t the best and is slightly amusing to consider, but it does get you thinking. Matt Smith was one of the best Doctor Who actors ever with his role as the Eleventh Doctor. Most doubted his ability upon first glimpse of the actor for the role, but he proved his detractors wrong.
Proving critics wrong for the Daredevil would be an entirely different ball game, though.
Smith can be dark when the need arrives. But facially he just doesn’t have the Matt Murdock look. Even the above picture highlights how out of place he would have seemed in the role. It would certainly have been an interesting choice to have him cast, but ultimately no one would get used to it in the long-run.
13 Thumbs Up: Anne Hathaway As Black Cat
Had Spider-Man 4 been commissioned we could have seen this fan casting as a reality. Hathaway was in early negotiations to play the character in the now-canceled movie, but even then the matter was up in the air. She had been termed ‘too expensive’ by executives and the appearance of Black Cat in Spider-Man 4 was not a certainty.
But just this slight glimpse of what could have been shows what a shame it is we never saw her in the role. This edit doesn’t showcase any of the Black Cat’s supposed costumed appearance, but the mask painted on Hathaway’s face is enough to see her bring the character to life. The hairstyle matches her perfectly as well. Given the fact she’s an Oscar winner, there’s no doubt her performance would have been up to the mark.
12 Thumbs Down: Jensen Ackles As Captain America
As far as Photoshop skills go, this picture is the absolute winner. None of the other edits come close to this one. Jensen Ackles looks stupendous here as Captain America. Even the expression seen here can be said to portray the angst Steve Rogers feel trapped in the modern world.
Suffice to say, Dahlia Sheng deserves all the credit for a job well done. However, this picture still lands in the rejected category.
That would be due to no fault of Dahlia Sheng, but of her choice of actor. Jensen Ackles is best known to play no-nonsense hardened characters. And his acting skills couldn’t convincingly give us the sensitive side of Steve Rogers. He is more suited to playing fast-talking maverick types with a penchant for trouble.
11 Thumbs Up: Hugh Laurie As Doctor Strange
Credit to the user @e_raw_c, who sent in this picture, because it does an awesome job at relaying the missed opportunity to cast Hugh Laurie for the role of Doctor Strange. Laurie was magnificent as the bitter doctor is the series House MD, bagging home much critical acclaim and awards. He was so good in his portrayal as an American that many weren’t even aware he was English.
It’s a pity we never got to see him as Doctor Strange. Laurie would have perfectly captured the angst Strange was in during the early part of the movie where he found his inner self. He has the comedic timing and dry humor to pull off the lighter scenes. If Doctor Strange had been released a decade earlier, we could have seen the character charm us much earlier than he did.
10 Thumbs Down: Johnny Depp As The Incredible Hulk
Thank the Lord we never got to see this happening. In earlier times, specifically 2002, big names were considered to cast in the film Hulk. One of these was Johnny Depp, who is known for playing a wide range of characters in various get-ups. However, almost all of his strange characters were kooky for the most part while Hulk requires the actor play the part of a reluctant hero fighting his darkest side.
Depp may have made Hulk one of his eccentric characters we would have loved to hate.
After all, who takes Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka, or the Mad Hatter seriously? Bruce Banner’s struggle is meant to be somber, and Depp’s over the top nature may have distracted us greatly. This never would’ve worked.
9 Thumbs Up: John Malkovich As The Vulture
We finally got to see the Vulture on screen in Spider-Man: Homecoming played by Michael Keaton. Keaton was one of the few villains in the Marvel universe to attract some fans as most of its antagonists are largely forgettable. Had John Malkovich taken up the role as rumored in Spider-Man 4, we would have had an earlier, also memorable Vulture.
As seen in Johnny English, Malkovich is certainly adept at stretching his acting range if one were to compare his preface from Con Air. He would have blended both maliciousness and comedy for the role of Vulture as is standard for Marvel movies. This edit isn’t all that great, but the editor Anthony Garick does provide us with a picture of what John Malkovich might have looked like in the role.
8 Thumbs Down: Neil Patrick Harris As NightCrawler
There was a time, during the heyday of How I Met Your Mother, that its cast were all doing amazing in Hollywood. At the time it would’ve been exciting to have seen Neil Patrick Harris as a superhero, but ever since the awful finale for How I Met Your Mother, it cast members’ popularity has diminished.
There’s also this laughable picture of Neil Patrick Harris imagined as Nightcrawler.
Some random picture of his has been edited blue with yellow eyes over the comic book version of the character. It does nothing other than make one chuckle at the Photoshop skills, while it was already hard to believe Harris as Nightcrawler in the first place. Although Alan Cumming isn’t one you’d consider as superhero-worthy, he does have more acting range than Neil Patrick Harris.
7 Thumbs Up: Leonardo DiCaprio As Spider-Man
Yes, you’re probably laughing at the inclusion of this picture in the approval list, and for good reason too because the edit isn’t well done by any means. But Leonardo’s inclusion here has little to do with the picture.
Dicaprio is one of the most celebrated actors in recent memory. At the time of Spider-Man’s release in 2002, he was only about 27 and could have pulled off a high school student as he did in the same year in Catch Me If You Can. Tobey Maguire was almost perfect in the role but DiCaprio would’ve made it completely perfect. He has excelled in every part played. Be it comedy or thriller or action. However, he never took up a superhero role and the time was ripe for him to have given it a try.
6 Thumbs Down: Arnold Schwarzenegger As Doctor Octopus
There can be an argument made for this picture as it displays adept Photoshop skills by the editor. However, who could ever have taken Arnold Schwarzenegger seriously as Doctor Octopus? It’s a laughable suggestion in itself. Arnie isn’t a bad actor per se, but his accent would have made Doc Ock a joke.
We’ve already seen him taken on a baddie role as Mister Freeze in Batman & Robin, and people already laugh at the film whatever chance they get.
This picture has Arnold holding Spidey in his grasp, in all fairness it’s not a bad edit but the implication of Arnold in the role means we could never take it seriously. Kudos to whoever took the time to Photoshop this picture, but we suggest they pick someone more believable next time.
5 Thumbs Up: Jensen Ackles As Hawkeye
Now Ackles finds himself in the role best suited for him. It’s a little-known fact he was up in the running to bag the role of Hawkeye in The Avengers. However, his loyalty to the Supernatural fanbase meant he passed up the opportunity for a final audition to avoid any conflicts with filming for the show.
Had he taken up the part of the bowman, we would have seen him clad in this very get up. He is much younger than Jeremy Renner as well meaning we could’ve had Jensen in the role for many years to come. He would’ve brought the extra toughness to the part and had amazing chemistry with his partner in crime Black Widow. Ackles is also good with quips, Hawkeye would’ve had more of a sassy nature, that’s for sure.
4 Thumbs Down: Harvey Keitel As Wolverine
Justin Page has done awesome work here in making Harvey Keitel come to life as Wolverine. This isn’t so much Photoshop as it is original work but props to the illustrator. Keitel, though, finds himself on the wrong side of the lists as he has the unenviable job of going up against Hugh Jackman.
There’s no real competition when it comes to Wolverine, Jackman is just simply the best man for the job.
Add in the fact that Keitel has been overage for the part for decades now, and you’ve got justification as to why he would have never worked for the role. Harvey has also never been in the shape that requires of Wolverine, and it would’ve taken an astounding amount of physical training to convince people of him as Logan.
3 Thumbs Up: Jason Momoa As Drax The Destroyer
Considering the dominating physique of Jason Momoa it was a matter of when, not if, we would see the actor cast as a superhero. The man is the definition of a tough exterior, leaving little doubt he would’ve been superb as Drax the Destroyer.
Momoa found an equally sturdy character to portray in Aquaman. Yet if one has seen his mannerisms in interviews, they would know how much a goofball the guy is. Drax is all about comedy and Momoa would have been believable as a brute as well as a funny guy. This concept of him as Drax is a departure from we’ve seen Dave Bautista as, but is still interesting to ponder over. The developers would probably have differentiated in his appearance based on his personality.
2 Two Thumbs Down: Kevin Nash As Sabretooth
A true specimen is needed for the role of Sabretooth. The character rivals and exceeds to an extent, the brutality and physical presence of his brother Wolverine. The actors who portrayed him thus far have been up to the mark although Tyler Mane truly captured the look of the character.
Mane’s rival for this spot would be WCW wrestler Kevin Nash, who is even larger than Mane and in theory, would make a cool Sabretooth.
The problem is Nash’s acting ability, which he barely has. Other than grunting and growling he wouldn’t have offered much. The edit above is laughable as well. Nash’s head has simply been placed above the comic book character’s body. There’s not even an attempt on the editor’s part to make it slightly serious. If a more aggressive picture of Nash had been taken maybe we could have envisioned something.
1 Two Thumbs up: Tom Cruise As Iron Man
Oh, what could’ve been. Tom Cruise is the perennial action hero. Even in 2018, at the age of 56, he remains the most bankable star in the genre. There is no sign of him stopping nor of him aging for that matter. Thus, he would’ve been superb as Iron Man, a role he had been in negotiations for.
This Photoshop work isn’t the best, but Cruise could’ve been the best superhero. His role as Ethan Hunt is no short of a superhero in the Mission: Impossible movies. Just imagine the stunts he could’ve pulled off as Iron Man! Robert Downey Jr. still has no competition for the part, but in a different life, we would never have had any criticism for Tom Cruise as Iron Man.