5 Actors Who Caused FAN RAGE When Cast As Superheroes

Posted on: August 23rd, 2013

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Poor Ben Affleck. No matter how many Oscars he wins, or how much of a nice guy he seems to be, people just don’t seem to tire of beating him with a stick. He’s been slowly and emphatically climbing his way back to the top of the cinematic A-list ever since the spectacular career low point that was Gigli, and now all that hard work has been undone by one announcement: He’s Warner Bros new Batman.





Admittedly, the Oscars were for writing and directing, not acting, but no-one can deny that he’s been proving himself over and over again as an actor in the last few years. And he was never really bad. He was just in bad films. No-one blames the failure of Daredevil on him – in fact, he was one of the film’s few saving graces.

Personally, the idea of Affleck as an older, experienced Batman who’s been doing this shit for a lot longer than Henry Cavill’s Supes is pretty exciting. And his is hardly the first Batman casting to create a fandom shitstorm. Back when Tim Burton cast Michael Keaton as Batman, Warner Bros received 50,000 letters of complaint – proof that fans were loud and opinionated even before the birth of social media. The Beetlejuice joker just wasn’t serious or heroic enough for Batman. Christian Bale’s skinny, British Batman didn’t provoke a hell of a lot more love. And, on the voice actor side of things, can you imagine the reaction when Mark Hamill was initially cast as the voice of the Joker? Try reading Joker dialogue in anyone else’s voice now.

Here’s five pieces of comic book casting that set the internet into a blaze of outraged fan entitlement – and left us all eating our words.


5. Robert Downey Jnr – Iron Man





He might have been getting his career back on track with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Zodiac, but when Robert Downey Jnr was cast as Iron Man, he was still mostly known for doing his body weight in drugs and spending time in the custody of the state. His Oscar nomination was a very distant memory. And this was the guy to play Iron Man?


The internet was alight with comments including:

 “Frak that sucks.”

“Falling off the (band) wagon.”

“Hate it.”


Of course, Robert Downey Jnr is now one of the most famous people on the planet, and his charismatic performance as Tony Stark – which was at least 50% responsible for the immense charm of that film – essentially made the Marvel Cinematic Universe a viable prospect. The whole nerd community breathed a sigh of relief when he recently signed on for more Avengers movies.


4. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine





Why the hell was a 6’2” Aussie cast as comic books’ most famous short-arse Canuck? The fans were even more incandescent with rage when it emerged that he was at the time appearing as Curly in Oklahoma!. Nothing says ‘berserker rage’ like a tap dancing interlude, after all.

Fans went into the movie determined to hate it. The costumes were all wrong. Wolverine was all wrong. The film was going to be dreadful. (Apart from Picard as Professor X – we could all agree that that was going to be awesome) But from his first cage-fighting appearance, and his first snarling snikt, the fans were silenced. And by the time he dropped his first “bub” in the final act, who wasn’t a convert?

With his seventh appearance as Logan looming, an Oscar nomination under his belt and an all-singing-all-dancing Oscar host job on his resume, it’s now hard to imagine that there was ever a time when the world didn’t know who Hugh Jackman was. In his own (sung) words: “I’M WOLVERIIIIINNNNEEEE!”

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Author Info

I'm a script writer and film maker who also writes for @starburst_mag and @badhaven. Occassionally I sleep, too.

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  • Comicfan90

    Although I still dislike Heath as Joker, the performance he gave as a “villain” was pretty good. But I’d just like to remind you that the Joker isn’t a superhero and shouldn’t be listed on here in the first place anyway. I agree with the rest of the cast choices on here though. I think Ben Affleck will do a descent job playing the new Batman, defintley better than Christain Fail to me, I’m sorry but he was laughable every time he talked in that deep throat cancer like voice.

    • kaki

      Excuse me? You dislike Ledger’s Joker? I have never heard that in my life. His performance as a villain, (not a “villain”), nothing shy of brilliant.
      Pretty good? No. Please tell me who could EVER do a better job representing the modern Joker? It doesn’t get better than Ledger’s performance. As for Christian Bale, his Batman was pretty stunning. As a man constantly in the public eye, and a man who probably has to speak to a lot of people on television, why wouldn’t he disguise his voice? He most definitely did NOT fail. He looked the part, he had all the personality attributes that Bruce has, and it was perfectly executed. Bale is as good as it gets. Plain and simple.

  • ThinkingRationally

    What about these 5

    1. George Clooney
    2. Ryan Renolds
    3. Tohper Grace
    4. Brandon Routh
    5. Nicolas Cage

    • Jen

      That’s essentially a re confirmation of the authors argument by saying here’s 5 feasible/infeasible actors who turned out shit. The point being don’t judge a book by its cover or a film at least until you’ve seen it. Well done missing the point

  • Aung San Win

    whatEVER doesn’t kill you SIMPLY makes you … … … stranger.

  • Troy

    Just one thing that really bugs me about this article. The abbreviation for junior is ‘Jr’. Not ‘Jnr’.


  • Uatu_Knows

    This article is all sorts of BS. Anybody that had the opinion that these actors would suck before they made movie, still has it with the exception of Ledger’s Joker. Skeptics couldn’t have seen that coming, because nobody knew what Joker Nolan was going for. Plus with as amazing a job he did, nobody has a problem eating crow on that one. That’s why this article has fake comments instead of quotes from people. Plus there is a difference between skeptics and outrage. Ben Aflleck is rage worthy.

    Why the hell would they cast someone where they have to spend a huge chunk of a Superman movie proving Ben Affleck can play Batman!? This movie is supposed to be about when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object and then an amazing friendship that comes out of it. These guys aren’t just Superman and Batman. They are Clark and Bruce. Affleck is 11 years senior to Cavill and he looks every day of it. How many people do you know with best friends 11 years older than them? Can you really even see Cavill and Affleck being good friends on screen or off? Then there is the JL problem. You are going to have a 45 year old man playing Batman at the start of the JL.

    Not to mention the JL was always about the founding members being a team, but Superman and Batman as the leaders. (Sometimes WW was on even footing) Superman was the obvious leader but Batman kept him grounded and was the moral voice of the team. Now you put Affleck in the mix and he will most likely be the oldest. By A LOT. And he will most likely be the most famous. Who do you think is in charge now?

    Let’s face it. Ben Affleck is an amazing writer, a great producer, and even now proven a great director. He’s a mediocre actor. Most importantly noting about him screams Bruce Wayne or Batman. For argument sake, Batman was the smartest and most cunning man on the planet in the DC universe. That’s how a guy with no super powers made it on to a super powered team. If you think Affleck can play that role, you’re an idiot. This was either an attempt to add star power to a movie that didn’t need it or somebody never saw Jersey Girl. There was an obstacle these movies didn’t need. Period. Maybe it comes out good. But you could have gotten good from anybody.

    Now you have an army of audience member waiting if not pulling for your failure. Thanks WB/DC. Way to piss off a bunch of people that were just starting to pull for you. That’s why I plan on hating on this movie every chance I get until I see different. Then I’ll be happy to say I was wrong. But that’s what you get when you cast someone like this. They knew what they were getting to or they wouldn’t have worked so hard hiding his name from the running. They deserve every bit of venom fans have until they prove us wrong. Good luck.

  • brine

    You have one shot to make this right. With the overall history of WB and comic films you have to be extremely careful in casting…or all the good will earned via TDK series will be destroyed. Ben was laughable as Daredevil…blame the script but he is like a log as an actor…like Keanu Reeves…regardless of what the film it is like he is playing the same character. The only way this could be worse would be if they had cast Orlando Bloom….They have taken a ‘must see movie event’ and already turned it into a ‘why bother’. Superman was a love or hate type of film and they needed a smart choice for Batman in this iconic match-up to take away all doubts…and this was not it…this will end up being on par with the Green Lantern…and this will derail the Justice League movie…