This is something I've thought about often and before there was even a contest. So, I haven't read anyone else's article on the recasting of the Avengers because I want my choices to be as organic and original to me as they can possibly be. I don't want to be accused of stealing ideas or whatever, everything in this article is 100% my feelings on how to not only recast but reorganize the Avengers on film.
I'll explain how I will be doing this, I'm going to recast each individual Avenger while simultaneously discussing how I would reorganize their solo film and how they should rank next to each other in the Avengers film.
Let's get started:
1. Steve Rogers aka Captain America
Captain America's movie should have been the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain America is almost as iconic as Superman. He is a symbol of national patriotism and made his first appearance in Captain America Comics #1 in December of 1940 (about four and a half years before WWII came to an end officially).
As you can see, by the imagery of our not-so-dear-old-friend Hitler being punched in the face by our favorite, flag-bearing superhero, that era of comics really defines the story of Captain America.
This theme, although touched upon briefly in Captain America: The First Avenger, was not always present. Now, I get that Marvel Studios are making more "light-hearted" movies with their characters, but I feel that the fearful and hopeless atmosphere that seemed to be looming over the world during WWII should have been present. I feel like the action should be gritty and rough, the battles that were only shown in a brief compilation-style scene, should have been present.
We needed to have seen Captain America experiencing the after-effects and stresses of fighting such a horrific war and not only that, but seeing some more of the guilt that Captain America may have experienced as he watched men weaker than he, only because of their lack of super-soldier serum, die or become so injured that they cannot stay on the battlefield.
I'm not saying that it needs to have been gory and bloody or that it needed to feel like you were watching Saving Private Ryan, but the grit and the darkness that enveloped the world at that time should have been a running theme.
Sticking with that theme, I'm going to choose someone who seems a little more believable for that timeline (not knocking on Chris Evans, his Cap is amazing). And I have chosen:
The reason I chose John Krasinski is because I was rooting for him long before Chris Evans was announced to play the part. I think Krasinski has the look of someone who fits in well in a period other than our own modern world we thrive in today, I think its his boyish features that add to that.
Obviously the man could buff up and get to the point to where he could have that amazing Captain America build and power.
Before moving, on I have to say that it should be Cap's film that comes first in the MCU as he is the leader of the Avengers (or should be) and his natural, characteristic leadership should be developed early on, but not the point that he seems boring, dry, or emotionless. He needs to be the kind of guy you can stand behind and root for, the guy who comes out screen and it makes you shift in your seat to pay closer attention.
2. Tony Stark aka Iron Man
People may not be familiar with this, but Iron Man or rather, Tony Stark is a much more broken character in the comic books than he is in the movies. Since Iron Man wasn't always an A-list superhero, the movies were able to take some liberties with the character's personality and thus made him the cocky and narcissistic...
...that we know him to be today.
But what if Marvel Studios had chosen to make their on-screen Iron Man resemble more of the comic book Iron Man? Well, I can tell you that films would have been a lot darker, or at least the last two should have been. The first film pretty much could have stayed the same.
The one thing though that I wish they'd touched on more was Tony's alcoholism. This was only briefly alluded to in the movies but was a huge part of Tony's character in comic book form. Some people may not feel that this part of the story was necessary to Tony on film, but it should be. Why do we love superheroes so much, especially Marvel superheroes? Because they are reflections of us and they provide stories of struggle that some of us may have gone through or know someone who is going through.
With that in mind, you need to cast someone who is likable on-screen but can convey that since of brokenness whenever no one is watching them. With that in mind, I've chosen:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an amazing actor. I've seen the man nail action, drama, and comedy which is pretty much all of the components needed to rebuilding a good Tony Stark.
What works is that you naturally just like Joseph when he's on film, he's the kind of guy that grabs your attention. He's charming, not bad looking, and can definitely deliver a sarcastic quip successfully without coming off awkward.
He makes you believe in his performance and you want to see that, especially with the struggles that Tony often faces. You hate that he's going through that kind of stuff yet you keep rooting for him to pull it together and come out on top in the end.
Plus, I think it helps that the man is only a year younger than John Krasinski because, in my mind, it puts them more on an even playing field to work off each other, sort of yin and yang.
3. Bruce Banner aka the Hulk
Tony Stark isn't the only broken member of the team, actually, no one can be as broken as Bruce Banner is. I couldn't even begin to imagine how hard it would be to constantly have to be watching your heart rate and trying not to get too excited or especially too angry (I can get easily irritated).
So just as we got someone who can show off the brokenness in Tony Stark, we need someone who can show off the brokenness in Bruce Banner.
The movie, itself, wouldn't have to be much different, I liked the Incredible Hulk and honestly feel that it was a little underrated. But for the sake of recasting (and assuming that means not keeping Edward Norton either), I chose:
Jake Gyllenhaal is another one of those actors who is really good at portraying the emotionally broken characters. Despite being another actor who can play a broken role like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, he just seems more tragic and that's largely in part because of the roles he's played.
But I think he has not only the acting skill but the look for a good Bruce Banner, he's a nice-looking dude but he's kind of got this vibe to him where you could see him playing a pushover, that emotionally worn character and that's what makes him a perfect choice for Bruce Banner.
4. Hank Pym aka Ant-Man
"WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! Aaron, Hank Pym wasn't part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe before the Avengers came out, he hasn't even made his appearance yet this year!"
Yeah, see, I know that he hasn't been in the MCU yet, at least not till we see Michael Douglas in this year's Ant-Man movie, but I it says it right there in the title along with the words "recasting" and "reorganizing" I also included "re-imagining". So, that's what I'm doing, I'm doing some re-imagining.
Hank Pym was one of the original founders of the Avengers in the comics and I still think that that should be true to an extent. This movie would be a break from the streak of movies heading right up into the Avengers. This movie would be the inbetweequel of Captain America and The Avengers.
Well, I like the idea of what they are doing later this year, how Hank is older and invented some of this awesome technology early on in life. The movie would serve as a sort of sequel to the Captain America movie above. It would largely star Hank Pym as the main character along with Janet Van Dyne and would also feature other characters from Captain America's movie like Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, and I would even throw in a few appearances of a younger, two-eyed Nick Fury.
But I think that a lot of the ideaologies of Hank Pym collaborating with characters like Carter and Stark should be the original stirrings of the Avengers idea. Nick Fury would be in on some of these discussion, although he'd be much younger and he'd carry this passion on till we seen the Avengers film.
It would also serve as a prequel to the Avengers because it would be the first movie to mention the Avengers directly. It would be the first movie in the Marvel franchise to confirm that there would be an Avengers along the way. All the other movies prior to and after would merely have small easter eggs alluding to it.
But we would need someone who could play the scientist/superhero and I think we should get someone who could pull off the role well and I've chosen:
I chose Nathan because he was another one of those actors who was rumored for the part of Hank Pym in an Ant-Man movie before it was announced that Pym would be older and that Paul Rudd would be playing the lead as Scott Lang's version of Ant-Man.
I like Nathan though and he needs to be given a superhero role and I thought that the fan-casting of him as Ant-Man was perfect. He too struggled with his own demons and maybe that could be touched upon in the movies as he has a relationship struggle with Janet Van Dyne.
Speaking of Janet Van Dyne aka the Wasp, we need to establish her as well since she, too, is a founding member of the Avengers.
I haven't read much of her character but from what I've seen, she seems like the kind of person that is abundantly sweet. I think this "sweetness" would be welcome in a world where females like Black Widow tend to be more tough. The thing about Hank and Janet, I think it should be important to the story that they don't start off with the intentions of being superheroes, things just sort of go that way. I think when things sort of getting more stressful, lives are being lost, and the price of what it is to be a hero begin to take its toll, that's when the issues between Hank and Janet begin. I don't think it should ever get physical the way it did in the comics.
I do think there needs to be a moment of hurt between the two characters. So that's something I took into account as well when casting Janet. It needs to be someone who has that seemingly sweet personality but can also play that broken, traumatized character very well.
So with that in mind, who would I cast for Janet Van Dyne? I pick:
Jennifer is a great actress in everything I've seen her in and I've heard enormous praise about her other films that I've not seen (nor will see). I think she would make a good counter-part to Nathan Fillion's Hank Pym.
But moving back to look at the Ant-Man movie as a whole. The idea of this movie would be the build-up to the Avengers and the initiative would be led by PYm. But after a drunken rage sends him off the deep-end and the physical aggression against his wife, the Avengers initiative would be put on hold and Pym would get low. There would be a moment of redemption and forgiveness between he and Janet but there would be no Avengers in his prime of life. There would also be mention of his work on the frustratingly unsuccessful Ultron desings (an allusion to the upcoming villain).
The dream of the Avengers would not be lost to Nick Fury though...
I think, for all intents and purposes of The Avengers storyline, that Thor should be the last film before leading The Avengers' release. This is due to the fact that the villain, Loki, plays such a huge part in both Thor and The Avengers, it would be nice to have the cliffhanger of whatever happened to Loki answered in the next installment of the Marvel franchise.
But I think that the film should be much more destructive than we saw in the 2011 version. Instead of just a small town in New Mexico having a few cars and a gas station blow up that the destrucive power of the Destroyer should have been demonstrated on the very public streets of New York City.
The fight would involve Thor, the Warriors Three, and Sif fighitng against an invading Loki and the Destroyer. Ultimately, the movie would end with Loki fleeing back to Asgard with Thor right on his tail where the final fight we see in the film would take place. Loki would be cast off as he was originally and the day would be saved.
The actor for Thor would have to have a good European look to him, couldn't just be some random blonde schmuck, it needs to be someone that could be intimidating to all those around him. Chris Hemsworth does well, but for the sake of recasting, I chose:
Charlie is another one of those actors who I naturally just like when they come on screen. He's a great actor and someone I've wanted to see take up the role of a superhero movie. He was at one time rumored to be WB's choice for the Flash (still would have been mine compared to who they got) but I think Charlie would make a great Thor.
He's got a menacing glare but at the same time can pull off that character with the big heart. He can be intimidating but he can also make one feel safe depending on the role he's in. This is important for Thor, the strong protector, the future King of Asgard.
Plus, standing at 6'1, he's only two inches shorter than Chris Hemsworth which still puts him at a very good height to play the Asgardian. And one more thing that I would change between Chris' version and Charlie's: I'd make Charlie grow a thick beard for the role, just always felt like that huge beard the character had in the Ultimate comics was more than fitting.
6. [The Rest of] The Avengers
Now that we have our core group, we need to cast the rest of the Avengers (Nick Fury, Hawkeye, and Black Widow).
- Nick Fury
First things first when dealing with the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., we need a man who is intelligent and someone who can be tough. Nick Fury needs to be played by someone who is the sort of actor you just don't mess with. So who would make a good Nick Fury? We've all had Samuel L. Jackson in our minds since Nick Fury's appearance in the first issue of the Ultimates over 10 years ago.
Well, the actor that I chose, who I think would play a perfect Nick Fury is:
Fishburne is an amazing actor who, I feel, doesn't get enough attention. He's so intelligent and has become quite the capable fighter thanks to the training that he and the rest of the cast of the Matrix had to go through so many years ago. He would be a different Nick Fury than what we're used to, but I think that he would be quite welcome to take the role by many fans.
- Clint Barton aka Hawkeye
As for Hawkeye, we need someone who can really pull the attention of the audience so as to allow him a moment to shine among the roster of super-soldiers, iron-suited billionaires, gods, and monsters. The actor needs to be charming as well, someone who can deliver a quick quip at a moment's notice. For that, I chose:
Once again, I'm a huge fan of Jensen Ackles and think he is great in Supernatural. For a long time, I've been wanting to see him rise through the ranks of Hollywood and become a big-movie actor and preferably in a superhero role. I think he is just an amazing actor, he's funny, charming, and tough when he needs to be.
- Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow
Last up is Black Widow. I think Scarlett Johansson does a fine enough job. But I like things to sometimes be as authentic as possible. I would like an actual Russian actress to play the part, but unfortunately, that's not who I had picked out, so I went over a few countries to Germany and grabbed an actress from there.
She's tough, she's pretty, and I could definitely see her pulling off a good depiction of Black Widow, all she would have to do is adjust her German accent for a nice Russian accent...because, for all intents and purposes, I've always felt that Black Widow should have a Russian accent in the movies. There's two reasons for this. 1. It would add or show better, the diversity of the team and 2. her last name is ROMANOFF! But that's just my opinion.
Well, I've given you my reason I chose the actress below so I guess I should just tell you who it is:
Many will recognize the actress from her role in Man of Steel as she was one of the characters who stole the spotlight a few times with her awesome fighting. I also have watched her in the horror/sci-fi film Pandorum which I thought was really good.
Antje showed how tough she can be but as you can see in the pic above, she can also be charming and graceful. She'd be a perfect cast for Black Widow.
Well, there you have it, my fan re-cast of the Avengers along with a plethora of other information that no one asked for. I hope you enjoyed it, I'm sure there will be many people who disagree with me just as I'm sure there are those who don't disagree or at least see from my perspective.
So, what do you guys think? Who would you re-cast in the Avengers and for what reason? Share in the comments section below!