Recasting the Avengers. That's an interesting challenge because we all know the current Avengers lineup, and for better or worse that's how we see them when we close our eyes at night and dream up what's next for the team. Nevertheless, let us dig into my cast list (All actors/actresses who were big in the 90's).
As much as I have enjoyed Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, my favorite embodiment of Nick Fury is the original leader of the Howling Commandos. He is the son of WWI Pilot Jack Fury, who during his time in WWII became a legendary hero
Nick Fury is one of those characters that is difficult to cast. You need grit, you need pent up anger, you need a persona of a bad-a** that would run into a burning building, but also would sit down at the bar and buy you a drink after a day of fighting Hydra. So, to go with my genre of 90's actors I went with one of my perennial favorites: Bruce Willis.
If you look at his movie career, it's littered with B.A. characters that could overcome anything that came his way (Die Hard, RED, Fifth Element, Looper, G.I. Joe: Retalliation, Armegeddon, The Jackal, Hostage, Mercury Rising, Tears of the Sun, Harts War, Striking Distance ... and the list goes on). If there's one actor that was big in the 90's that would draw in the audience it would have been him. He's also got the wisecracking wit that I associate with Nick Fury, look at his characters in RED and the Whole 9/10 Yards. I think overall, he would be a solid choice to play the grizzled war veteran. Go back and watch Tears of the Sun and you'll see his military presence and you'll see why I chose him in the first place.
Next up, is one of the key players in the Avengers. Billionaire. Playboy. Genius. Ego-maniac. Hero. Finding a replacement for Robert Downey Jr. is as difficult if not more-so than replacing Jackson's Nick Fury, because as far as I'm concerned Robert Downey Jr. IS Tony Stark. But, leaving him in my cast would defeat the whole purpose of recasting the team.
You're probably going to think I'm crazy for my casting choice, but before you do remember the timeline that I'm working with, the 1990's. So, without further ado I give you 1990's Iron Man: Russell Crowe.
Before you jump on me, Let me debunk your arguments.
Argument 1: He was only 'action' status was from Gladiator, and even then it was the movie, not the actor that made him an 'action' star.
Debunking 1: It is true that Crowe is known for his dramatic roles (A Beautiful Mind, Les Miserables, Cinderella Man, The Water Diviner, Winter's Tale) but look back at some of his action movies and I think you'll see what I see. (Broken City, Man with the Iron Fists, The Next Three Days, Robin Hood, Body of Lies, 3:10 to Yuma, Gladiator, The Insider).
Argument 2: He doesn't have the look, Tony Stark is youthful and vibrant, Crowe is not.
Debunking 2: Remember my time table. the 90's were nearly 20 years ago. Look him up as SID 6.7 in Virtuosity and you'll see the youthful Russell Crowe. And you'll see his embodiment of the egocentric genius as well.
Do you see where I'm going with this? I truly think that Russell Crowe of the 1990's could have pulled off Tony Stark, and done will with it.
Steve Rogers. The unlikely hero. The hero who almost wasn't until he was offered the opportunity to test a 'super-soldier' serum, and he became the living symbol of Freedom - Captain America. He's an icon, and once again a tough recast.
So continuing my 1990's casting, I'm going with a longshot here, but he's definitely been in quite a few movies that make he think he could handle the loyal soldier: Michael Biehn.
Some of you may not recognize the name, but if you grew up watching 80's and 90's movies like I did, you'll recognize his face.
Michael Biehn's first big role was as Kyle Reese in The Terminator (1984). ... Yeah, now you recognize him! Based on his role in Terminator, I know that he can play the soldier character. Follow that performance up with: Aliens, Navy Seals & The Rock and his role as loyal soldier was solidified in my mind. I think he would have been an interesting cast choice as Captain America. He's got the blonde/blue-eyed soldier look when he's cleaned up a bit.
Brainy scientist by day, moody green rage-monster by all the rest of the time. He's angry. He's beastly. He's strong, and he's the character that you just point and tell him to SMASH EVERYTHING!
Lou Ferrigno was the Hulk, Eric Bana was the Hulk, Edward Norton was the Hulk, Mark Ruffalo is the Hulk. So many castings and some were actually good (the latter 2 if you ask my opinion). So how to recast Hulk again is a quandry. I enjoyed Edward Norton's portrayal the best and he was technically a big name in the late 90's so he would fit my genre, but I'll keep looking for the sake of changing everybody. So my choice would be: Keanu Reeves.
I know. I know. Everybody hates his acting. I get it. It was a tough call for me to, but I think he can match the Bruce Banner persona. He can play the emotionally withdrawn, fractured personality with a psychological complex of fear and anger and fear of anger. Look at some of his characters from the 90's:
Bram Stoker's Dracula as Jonathan Harker: an intelligent lawyer who over time while with Dracula turns serious and somber. Also becomes fanatical while seeking the Count.
Chain Reaction as Eddie Kasalivich: an undergraduate student working for a scientific team, framed for a murder.
Devil's Advocate as Kevin Lomax: another lawyer who has in internal dilemma between what is right and what feels good.
I think he could pull off a Bruce Banner, he wouldn't be the Bruce Banner we've seen lately, but I think he'd be a mix of Ruffalo and Norton.
God of Thunder. Asgardian Prince with a high sense of absolute morals. Smart & compassionate, willing to continue fighting until death for a worthwhile cause. He is a skilled warrior and can fight hand-to-hand as well as using Mjolnir.
This is probably one of my more selfish casting calls. He's always been one of my favorites. I present the updated God of Thunder: Heath Ledger.
As shown by his portrayal of Joker in The Dark Knight, he has the capacity to embody a character. I think he could have gone far with his willingness to commit to a character, especially one like Thor.
As oddball as some of his characters have been in his short career, I think he could have brought a great deal to the God of Thunder. He has a similar tone to that of Hemsworth's version, and even has a similar stature.
BLACK WIDOW (NATALIE ROMANOVA)
Assassin. Femme Fatale. She's a secret wrapped in a mystery. Scarlett Johansson, in my opinion, was a great choice. Short of the lack of a Russian accent, I think she made a solid representation of who Black Widow is.
She is the toughest one to recast I think. There are very few actresses in the 90's that would be legitimate options to fill that spandex suit. But there's one that comes to my mind, so my Black Widow is: Sarah Michelle Gellar.
This casting call goes back to my days watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I almost used David Boreanaz as a casting choice for a different role, but I think if I'm going to pull from the TV, I'd rather use Gellar as my choice. You may scoff at the choice, but she was a kick butt actress but never really got off the ground in the mainstream movie scene. Buffy was her main role that made me choose her for the Black Widow role. I think with her experience killing vampires, she would do just fine as a Russian Femme Fatale.
So that's my 1990's recasting. Tell me what you all think