The Avengers is made up of a pretty solidly cast group of heroes. I mean, let's face it, Robert Downey Jr. is iconic as Tony Stark, Chris Evans has brilliantly made Captain America relevant (just think about that one for a second), Mark Ruffalo has wowed everyone with his Bruce Banner/Hulk despite being several actors take up the mantle before him, Chris Hemsworth plays Thor the way everyone wants to a tee, Scarlett Johansson plays a Black Widow that really catches the eye yet has a nice depth to her, and Jeremy Renner has only had about 20 minutes of screen time where he's actually Hawkeye and not Loki's puppet (all tangled in his strings).
But while they are all pretty great in their roles, there is always a new angle to approach a character from, and I'm going to hit that angle by going to their roots in comics.
1) Tony Stark - Brad Pitt
In the comics, Tony Stark is much less of the humorous and charismatic playboy than Robert Downey Jr. may have led you to believe. In fact, he's much more of a broken down alcoholic filled with regret and constantly trying to make amends for his previous mistakes by being a superhero. Sure, some of that has carried across into the first Iron Man film, but Brad Pitt is my man for showcasing that side of the character fully. He definitely has the ability to pull of being a billionaire, 'True Romance' showed he has the alcoholism down, and his versatility as an actor is what makes him so renowned. I have every confidence that despite age (he's hardly older than RDJ) he could easily blow us away with a more sombre and downtrodden Tony Stark. And if that fails he can always just smile at us until his beauty melts everyone's hearts.
2) Steve Rogers - Ben McKenzie
Ben McKenzie is an incredible actor still waiting for his big breakout role, and this would make it for him. In the comics Cap has often been shown as a bit less of a boy scout and more of a tough as nails soldier constantly fighting evil to the point of it being unhealthy for his psyche. So if McKenzie's Jim Gordon from Gotham is anything to go on, he was born to play that version of the Captain. He's still inspirational, he's still upstanding, but he's more obsessed, which is a direction we've seen the show hint at more than once. And the best thing about being this version of Cap is that Ben probably wouldn't even have to smile.
3) Thor Odinson - Richard Armitage
Armitage has a history of playing characters with that little bit of charm that Thor has. Not to mention that he has the looks for it if you simply dump long blonde hair on his head. He has played a vast wealth of characters throughout his impressive TV career and made a great appearance as Thorin Oakenshield in the Hobbit trilogy recently. He's also no stranger to playing characters with a bit of old fashioned Shakespearian style class similar to Thor, having had a role in Robin Hood and two MacBeth productions. So my pick is for Thorin to take the "in"... out.
4) Bruce Banner - Dane DeHaan
No stranger to comic-book movies after being one of the few redeeming qualities of the Amazing Spider-Man 2, Dane DeHaan is small, wiry and an absolutely fantastic character actor. To be able to contend with Mark Ruffalo we need to go one step further into the paranoia and have a Bruce Banner who virtually has everything-ophobia. We need to see the Hulk as his greatest fear forcing him to be constantly scared, twitchy and reclusive. And DeHaan has proved his acting chops on multiple counts in Chronicle, In Treatment and The Place Beyond the Pines to name just a few. Let's give the guy a shot at the big time shall we?
5) Natalia "Natasha" Romanov - Sharni Vinson
This is my wildcard of the group. Sharni Vinson is an Australian actress who has always been on the outskirts of being a big time action star. She was incredible in 'You're Next' as a completely psychotic and bloody home defender, she starred in the surprisingly good Step-Up 3, and has proved her action ability in the delightfully insane Bait. She could play up the "super" in the super-spy as well, as we've seen in the comics how Black Widow is genuinely superhuman, and I'd like to have that emphasized more in order to give us an incredibly adept killing machine on top of her mysterious past. And Sharni Vinson is my pick to show us that.
6) Clint Barton - Karl Urban
Matt Fraction's Hawkeye is my definitive version take on the character. It gets at what really makes the character awesome and builds on that, emphasizing his sarcasm, wit and steadfastness. Karl Urban is a guy with all of that: his cutting humor is possibly the best thing about the new Star Trek films, his action chops have been on display in Red and Bourne and the guy's no stranger to comic-book films having been the titular character of Dredd, which was absolutely awesome. I'd watch Karl Urban in petty much anything, but I know I'd love to see him as Clint Barton. Also, it would be a shame to put one of the world's greatest superhero chins to waste.
Bonus Round: Nick Fury - Josh Brolin
Yeah, I know this guy is playing Thanos, and I'm sure he'll be great, but I want to see the tough, hardened Nick Fury that's been shown with the Howling Commandos and other such stories. I'm a massive fan of the more hands-on warrior style Nick Fury and that's a role that Josh Brolin could play all day every day and never have me get tired of it. Do I even need to go through this guy's wealth of films? Well, rest assured that he can play the tough guy, it's something he's shown time and time again in films like No Country for Old Men, Gangster Squad and American Gangster to name just a few. So if Sam L. Jackson ever feels like quitting, we know Marvel has this guys number.
So that was my version of the Avengers, I hope you enjoyed reading it. If not, well, just don't say anything and allow me to live in blissful ignorance. Do you agree with m choices? Let us know what you thought in the comments and until next time guys, enjoy your lives!