Back before the unstoppable force of the Marvel Cinematic Universe became the biggest success story in Hollywood many of the actors in our favorite roles were not very well known. Robert Downey Jr., an actor now inextricably linked with Tony Stark, had his last great critical success with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Captain America, Chris Evans, himself hadn't had a big role since the flop of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Other than Samuel L. Jackson the cast for the MCU was fairly obscure before their (Super) Heroic rise. What if the members of the Avengers was recast today using actors of the relative same fame as those who were cast originally? This list will attempt to do just that.
Tony Stark/ Iron Man: Daniel Craig
Nobody is going to argue that it is unthinkable to cast anybody other than RDJ in the role of Tony Stark. I believe that if anybody else could play the billionaire/ playboy/ philanthropist, Daniel Craig could. The cocky suaveness he exhibits in his role as the young James Bond in Casino Royale and Skyfall, (Quantum of Solace should be stricken from the record) make him a very eligible candidate for the role of Iron Man.
Steve Rogers/ Captain America: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
For the Cap I decided to go for somebody who was complex and a favorite among the fan world. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, better known as Jamie Lannister/ The Kingslayer from Game of Thrones. In GoT Jamie is a reviled character by the majority of the audience right up until that bath scene where it is revealed ;
he killed the king in order to save the rest of King's Landing from being burned alive.
The Jamie in the show can be very noble and loyal at times and certainly sticks to his convictions. I think it would be interesting to see him in the situations that Cap finds himself in currently within the MCU.
Thor: Gwendoline Christie
I don't think anybody can argue that the MCU is a bit of a sausage fest. An interesting way to approach that particular problem would be to make Thor a female like the recent change in the comics. For this change I would cast Gwendoline Christie, also of Game of Thrones. As Brienne of Tarth, Christie makes for an imposing and amazing warrior. Her amazing 6' 3" stature would stack up nicely with the current actor's (Chris Hemsworth) 6' 2 3/4". She would make for an avenger that lives up to the legends of the vikings.
Nick Fury: Harrison Ford
Much like Tony Stark, I have a hard time envisioning anybody other than Samuel L. Jackson playing the director of S.H.E.I.L.D. If I had to make the choice I would choose Harrison Ford as the grizzled veteran. In many ways Ford and Jackson have the same kind of humor when it comes to these roles and similar acting styles so I don't see much changing with this recast.
Bruce Banner/Hulk: Jim Parsons
Mark Ruffalo is great as Bruce Banner, but I also liked Edward Norton's portrayal partially because of his physical stature. Jim Parsons would bring this back to Bruce, a skinny scientist who transforms into the giant green rage monster. Parsons' role as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory sets him up nicely for the role of a scientist, all be it a little less whiny than Sheldon. It would also be interesting (or maybe a little unsettling) for the special effects for Hulk use Parsons' face.
Black Widow: Summer Glau
Summer Glau is an actress that is recognizable by geeks everywhere for her many roles within that universe. Shows like Firefly, Terminator, and most recently Arrow have cemented her place in the geek anthology. All of those roles shared something in common; she kicked serious ass! I think that the Black Widow role would have gone to her originally had Whedon been involved in her initial appearance.
Hawkeye: Colin Farrell
Admittedly this is the recast I had the most trouble on. I could not think of an actor who would be okay with as little screen time as Hawkeye gets in the MCU. Ultimately I settled on Colin Farrell, mostly because if his role as Bullseye in Daredevil and I would be interested to see the crazy fan theories of the Dark Avengers becoming a story arc.
So there you have it my recast of The Avengers. It would certainly be a completely different world if the movies were made today with these actors instead. Feel free to comment your approval or disapproval, I would love to hear your thoughts!