When I saw this contest, I knew that anything I tried to do with modern actors would be pretty much cliche by now, so I decided to do something different. I decided to cast the Avengers if the first film had been made in the 50's or 60's. This is not casting the roster from the Silver Age comics, but rather casting from that period in time. I'll get right to it! Starting with Captain America. I hope you enjoy! (By the way, I'll be writing this as if they were still alive and at the age to play the specific roles.)
CAPTAIN AMERICA/STEVE ROGERS: Steve McQueen
This guy was the action hero of the fifties and sixties. For one, he is an amazing actor, and has played a soldier multiple times (Great Escape, anyone?). He would bring a presence, and a name, that was synonymous with tough, funny, and serious. Something else to notice about him is that even though he is an action star, his acting was not stale.
IRON MAN/TONY STARK: Gregory Peck
If that's not Tony Stark, I don't know what is. He honestly looks more Stark than RDJ here. Just look at that goatee! Peck is such a class act (if you've never seen Roman Holiday, or any of his other films, go watch them), and can have that snarky, super-ego that Stark is known for. He also is no stranger to more action-packed films, and would be able to slip into a role that would require a tank missile or two.
THE HULK/BRUCE BANNER: Anthony Perkins
Before you flip out, he's not here to murder you in your shower. While I don't think that these two are equal in skill (Perkins being much better), I think Cillian Murphy when I see this guy. I see a nervous, brainy character, with a very unique form of psychosis. Ringing any bells? Perkins would bring both acting prowess, and the right feel to the character in order to make a very believable Banner.
Where, do you ask, is the "Hulk"? Well, I'm being a little anachronistic here and saying that they can just CGI the Hulk. And yes, I just made that a verb. You're welcome, world.
Nope, this just in, CGI is commonly used as a verb, and I live under a rock. This is why I only cast with old people.
BLACK WIDOW/NATASHA ROMANOV: Lucille Ball
A comedic actress? You say. Now, yes, The I Love Lucy star was known for her zany character and shenanigans on-stage, but, here she is as a serious super-spy. Why? Because though Lucy was comedic, she is an amazing actress. She has class, and the red hair. Black Widow is in a way like a female James Bond (at least in the classiness and skill), and Ball would be one to play that. This is probably my one off the wall choice, but it would work.
THOR ODINSON: Chuck Connors
At 6'6", Connors certainly has the build for the God of Thunder. And, having played the Rifleman, he would be used to serious roles. While not as famous as some of the others here, he still is very good, and would do the part justice.
HAWKEYE/CLINT BARTON: James Garner
Strong, tall, good looking: James Garner is classic American male. Now, that may have just sounded really stupid, but he sort of embodied masculinity and gentlemanly behavior back in the day. His dry wit would be perfect for Barton, whose retorts can be as sharp as his arrows. Another notable thing about Garner is that he is completely comfortable playing in an ensemble film. Another Great Escape star, in which he played a lead, but amongst many others, he would work well with our Cap, Steve McQueen.
NICK FURY: Sean Connery
He's James Bond. The end. In all seriousness though, Connery's acting is unparalleled, and he was the super-spy. If you remember, Fury was also white back then, and while I love Jackson's Fury, and think that no one currently could do it as well, I just want to see Sean Connery in an Avengers film.
LOKI LAUFEYSON: Lawrence Olivier
Considered to be one of the best actors of all time, Olivier has the Shakespearean style to play our favorite villain, and, just look at that face! Again, he has the acting chops, and the name. That's about all I can say with this guy.
AGENT PHIL COULSON: Cary Grant
My personal favorite film star, Cary would be a touch older by this film. If you think that he's just a comedy guy, watch the movie that this picture is from (North by Northwest,) or my personal favorite, Charade. He can play a serious, almost spy sort of character, and has the comedic timing to be amazingly funny, much like our current Coulson, Clark Gregg.
*Edit* In talking with my father on this article, we came to the realization that Henry Mancini should write the score for this film. If you are unfamiliar with him, he wrote the music for Peter Gunn, Charade, the Pink Panther movies, and many others. His jazz style is instantly recognizable, and he could easily be considered the Hans Zimmer of his day.
Well, I hope that you've enjoyed this article, and now wish that Marvel had done films back then. When I look at this cast, I feel like the film would be more like a spy/action flick than the modern films we've seen. At any rate, this is one stellar cast in my opinion. If you think of anyone else you'd rather see in this list (remember, we're talking 50's and 60's) let me know in the comments!