ByEd Looney, writer at
Native TEXAN! Love comics (and their presentations on TV / cinema), sports and my wife and kids. Particularly fond of both Marvel and DC.
Ed Looney
I'm a big fan of the old westerns... Roy Rogers and his Sons of the Pioneers singing "Cool Water"; John Wayne tearing through a bunch of bad guys to get to the damsel in distress; Little Joe Cartwright getting the snot kicked out of him before Hoss shows up and tosses all the bad guys into the watering trough outside the old saloon.

We got a million of 'em! And, for the most part, I set my cutoff date at 1970 'cuz I only wanted the "older" western heroes.

So, without further ado, my "recast" of the Avengers using olde time country boy western heroes!

Let's start with the Good Guys

Iron Man / Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr):

Wealthy, important and smart
Wealthy, important and smart

My choice would be Lee Majors (Heath Barkley in The Big Valley). Heath, like Tony, came in to a wealthy family who sought to do Good in the world. And, like Tony, never got to know his father (Heath was a bastard brought into the family well after the father had passed away). He was bright and imaginative and solved issues that arose in (and against) the family (team) in creative ways.

Paul Newman ... slick, intelligent, good-looking and resourceful (he has his own line of salad dressings!) would also be an awesome choice.

Black Widow / Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansson):

Physically strong... and, quite lovely
Physically strong... and, quite lovely

Yeah... Shirley MacLain (Two Mules for Sister Sarah) locks this one up. She don't
take nothin' from nodoby and she'll skin ya if'n ya don't get outta her way!

Almost put Debbie Reynolds here, but I have another role for her.

Hawkeye / Cling Barton (Jeremy Renner):

Straight and true
Straight and true

Chuck Connors: The Rifelman, is the natural for this role. You could also use Steve McQueen based on his amazing role as Tom Horn. I could also have used Clint Eastwood and he would have made my day, but I have a better role for him. Randolph Scott and Burt Lancaster were also straight-shooters.

Hulk / Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo):

Brilliant... and, has to look good in torn pants
Brilliant... and, has to look good in torn pants

A scientist... from the old west... hmmmm... Ross Martin played inventive genius Artemus Gordon on the old TV series Wild, Wild West. And, I loved him and his show.

But, I went with Terrance Hill (My Name is Nobody and the Trinity movie franchise). He cooked up some wicked ideas and creations in his movies. The best was, without his realizing it, letting Henry Fonda's character know about the splarkly pins on the saddlebags that each held several sticks of dynamite on the horses of the marauders who were threatening the town in which Nobody had gotten him stuck. Boom? My Name is Nobody is one of my all-time favorite movies!

Nobody ended up killing Fonda's character, by the way. You should see how.

Thor / uh... Thor? (Chris Hemsworth):

Bring me some Thunder!
Bring me some Thunder!

Tall, elegant, princely, powerful... John Wayne! No. Got a better role for Duke.
James Arness (Matt Dillon from Gun Smoke) would be a great Thor. His 6'7" frame was imposing and powerful. Chuck Connors was tall and had that powerful stare and square jaw. Randolph Scott? Gregory Peck?

There he is... Fess Parker! He played both Daniel Boone *and* Davy Crockett. He was tall at 6'6", strong and could swing a mean axe (meaning he'd probably figger out how to whack a bad guy with that hammer thingie). Plus, he could throw a tomahawk with the best of 'em.

Quicksilver / Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson):

Quicker'n a rattler!
Quicker'n a rattler!

Glen Campbell (the younger version from True Grit) fits here. A young Robert
Redford? Naw...

How about Glen's buddy from True Grit? Rick(y) Nelson would be the perfect
Quicksilver - and, he could sing, too!

But, I went with the icon himself: Audie Murphy - quickest gun in all of World War II.

Scarlet Witch / Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen):

A magical experience
A magical experience

Women didn't tend to rise to "lead roles" in old westerns, but Debbie Reynolds held her own as Lilith Prescott in How the West Was Won. Her youthful exuberance would play well as a crime fighting agent of goodiness.

Elizabeth Montgomery (who also played a witch - Samantha Stevens in Bewitched - and also played Rose Cornelius in a Rawhide episode in 1963; Julie Crail in an episode of Wagon Train in 1959; and Ellen Wilson, a hired hand, in an episode of Cimarron City in 1958) could also play the role convincingly.

Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell):

Elegantly dangerous
Elegantly dangerous

Doris Day, although, not English, had the class and the presence to play this role. She would have kicked ass (she was Calamity Jane, after all!) and sang stories about it! Que Sera, Sera!

Vera Miles (who played in a number of westerns) was also classy enough, sophisticated enough and dramatic enough to carry an awesome role like this one.

(Former Agent) Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders):

Beautifully deadly... and, brilliant
Beautifully deadly... and, brilliant

Tall, stately, efficient - and gorgeous! Pour me a glass of Olivia de Havilland! I
also considered Claudette Colbert for the role as she fits almost as well!

Don't mess with either woman - you won't like the results.

Heimdall (Idris Elba):

All-seeing.  It's the eyes!
All-seeing. It's the eyes!

Tall... powerful... loyal... and, sees what no one else can see. Glenn Ford, while,
maybe, not all that tall, does carry a presence that demands respect and... those eyes! Piercing. Always glinting with a smile behind them... Terrance Hill also has the eyes... and, the charisma!

Terrance Hill it is!

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson):

Commanding... resourceful... committed
Commanding... resourceful... committed

This guy has to be wiley, brilliant, far-seeing and near-prescient in his ability to see what is coming - always prepared.

He'd probably look odd with an eye-patch, but Paul Newman would be the "man who pulled it all together" for the Avengers.

And, I wouldn't mind seeing William Holden in the role... I think he could rock that eye patch!

The Vision / Jarvis (Paul Bettany):

Silky smooth...
Silky smooth...

Who could be a good robot? Er... android? It would need to be a man with a very distinctive voice - one that resonates and is smooth.

Stuart Whitman comes to mind. But, the one I'd choose would have to be the indominatable Errol Flynn and his creamarie buttah enunciaytions.

Falcon / Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie):

Captivating... wild and free... er...
Captivating... wild and free... er...

This movie is 4 years too late, but Blazing Saddles' Cleavon Little just fits too well to ignore. He would inject a little comedy when needed, too!

Unfortunately, the list of black western actors is pretty slim. Historically, a number of black cowboys have gained prominence in the annals of history, but their representation in mainstream western films has not matched up in proportion.

War Machine / Col. "Rhodie" Rhodes (Don Cheadle):

Fighting for our country... and the flag!
Fighting for our country... and the flag!

Here is where I'd like to see Harry Belefonte. His commanding presence would be perfect in the role of an Air Force colonel and he and Lee Majors could chat for hours about how the role of technology would enhance everyone's lives.

Tyrone Power would also serve well as an Air Force officer.

Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård):

Deviously brilliant.  Smart, too!  Well...
Deviously brilliant. Smart, too! Well...

Maybe an older guy... lovable... absent-minded... lovable... brilliant... but, he has to be lovable... Did I mention lovable? We could go with Slim Pickens, Jack Elam, Keenan Wynn...

But, I want Ernest Borgnine! His intensity in his wanting to "do" stuff puts him at the top of the list for the role of Erik.

Voice of Hulk (Lou Ferrigno):

Yell it out, big guy!
Yell it out, big guy!

Went round and round with this one. I finally settled on Dan Blocker (Hoss Cartwright on Bonanza) to play the part. Love his intonation and, the big green guy would have a great western twang to his gravelly gurglings.

Lee Marvin's heavy, gravelly baritone would also work for me.

The Winter Soldier / Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan):

Loyalty triumphs over all
Loyalty triumphs over all

This one is probably the toughest of all of them. This guy has to be dark and brooding while, at the same time, fiercely loyal and sympathetic. Errol Flynn could do the loyal and sympathetic part, but dark and brooding? No way.

By default, I would put Dean Martin here. He saw his share of dark times... but... no...

Gimme... Robert Mitchum. Yeah. He could be dark. He could brood with the best of them. Burt Lancaster could, too. But, Mitchum is just so much a manly name they named a powerful deodorant after him! Well... maybe not him. But still...

Now, we need to bring in the Bad Guys

Loki (Tom Hiddleston):

Maniacal... not necessarily evil, but chaotic
Maniacal... not necessarily evil, but chaotic

Wrangled (see what I did there?) with this one for a bit. I would love to see Dennis Hopper in this role... he could play the off-kilter better than just about anyone else.

Clint Eastwood always played a good guy - but, generally, a conflicted good guy. And, if you want C.H.A.R.I.S.M.A. for the role? Dirty Harry's your man!

Ultron (James Spader):

It's the voice!  The voice.........
It's the voice! The voice.........

No brainer: Yul Brynner gets the call. His voice has that baritone eeriness that would make the character (much like Spader). He would have been amazing.

Stuart Whitman's smooth tones would have been great, as well.

Ulyssess Klaw (Andy Serkis):

Efficient... and deadly
Efficient... and deadly

I have only one man for this job - Charles Bronson. He is the epitomy of getting things done the way he wants them done. Efficiently.

Another, Lee Van Cleef would devastate in the role.

And, to Wrap It All Up

Stanley Lieber / Ouatu / The Watcher (Stan Lee):

The  man!
The man!

I liked Henry Fonda for this role... And, he would be great for it.

I also liked Lloyd Bridges, Robert Young and Gary Cooper.

But, I went with Jimmy Stewart - a legend in the olden days of Hollywood who was everywhere in almost every type of movie you could imagine. He would be the perfect Stan Lee.

Dr. Cho (Claudia Kim):

Who is she, again?
Who is she, again?

I want Nancy Kwan to be in this role, but I don't find her in any westerns... Tsai Chin would be good, too... but, James Bond wasn't a western, either.

So, with the dearth of orientals in westerns, I'll go with Nancy Kwan, anyway. Bridge over the River Kwai had a western feel to it, at least.

Captain America / Steve Rogers (Chris Evans):

All-American guys
All-American guys

Who else? Marion Michael Morrison! All 6'4" of him. Yeah... that would be the birth name of one John Wayne.

If John Wayne didn't exist? Roy Rogers is very Captain America (and, has the right surname, to boot!) Michael Landon, James Garner, Steve McQueen and Randolph Scott were all-American heroes in their own right.

And, there are some other "Avengers" on the horizon!

Capt. Marvel / Carol Danvers (n/a):

Powerful lady... powerful actor
Powerful lady... powerful actor

Even with a shortage of women carrying movies, Lauren Bacall (Catherine Wyatt in North West Frontier) has the commanding presence to be an Air Force major and the verve to adventure as Captain Marvel!

Claudia Cardinale would also have the verve to bring respect to the role, but, who could pass up Lauren Bacall?

Ant-Man / Henry Pym (Michael Douglas):

The old mentor...  Been there.  Done that.
The old mentor... Been there. Done that.

The easy one, here, would be to plug in Michael's dad, Kirk Douglas, into the role. But, son was very unlike dad - not as gritty and far more elegant.

However, Lorne Greene? Yeah, he could do it. He had an era as a "leading man" and he ran the ranch on Bonanza as the father who mentored great sons.

I could see an older Henry Fonda in the role, too.

Ant-Man / Scott Lang (Paul Rudd):

Younger... slicker... focused.
Younger... slicker... focused.

Now, here's where a young Kirk Douglas would shine! He was always in trouble (in the movies, anyway) and always managed to get himself extracted from said trouble - if he didn't get himself killed, instead!

Robert Redford would also be a great choice. His role as the Sundance Kid (mentored by Paul Newman's Butch Cassidy) places him in contention.

Wasp / Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly):

Social.... butterfllies?  No.  More dangerous!
Social.... butterfllies? No. More dangerous!

Socialite, wealthy, adventurous, drop-dead gorgeous... Maureen O'Hara, of course!

There's also a young Barbara Stanwyck waiting in the wings (did I say that?).

Black Panther / T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman):


He would have to be classy, reserved, intelligent and sophisticated to be a Prince of Wakanda. He would have to be Sidney Poitier (Homer Smith in Lilies of the Field). His princely demeanor made the movie and would be perfect as a Wakandan prince.

Harry Belefonte would be equally as gracious and elegant in the part.


Lorne Greene (Ben Cartwright) x
Dan Blocker (Eric "Hoss" Cartwright) x
Michael Landon (Little Joe Cartwright)
Pernell Roberts (Adam Cartwright)
Ray Teal (Sheriff Roy Coffee)
David Canary (Candy Canaday)

Gun Smoke

James Arness (Matt Dillon)
Milburn Stone (Doc)
Amanda Blake (Kitty)
Ken Curtis (Festus)
Dennis Weaver (Chester)
Burt Reynolds (Quint)

The Roy Rogers Show

Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers)
Dale Evans (Dale Evans Rogers)

The Rifleman

Chuck Connors (Lucas McCain) x
Johnny Crawford (Mark McCain)
Paul Fix (Marshal Mica Torrance)

Big Valley

Richard Long (Jarrod Barkley)
Peter Breck (Nick Barkley)
Lee Majors (Heath Barkley) x
Linda Evans (Audra Barkley)
Barbara Stanwyck (Victoria Barkley)

High Chaparral

Leif Erickson (Big John Cannon)
Cameron Mitchell (Buck Cannon)
Henry Darrow (Manolito Montoya)
Linda Cristal (Victoria Cannon)
Mark Slade (Billy Blue Cannon)

The Virginian

James Drury (The Virginian)
Doug McClure (Trampas)

Daniel Boone

Fess Parker (Daniel Boon)
Patricia Blair (Rebecca Boone)
Darby Hinton (Israel Boone)
Dal McKennon (Cincinnatus)

Davy Crockett

Fess Parker (Davy Crockett)
Buddy Ebsen (George Russel)

Wagon Train

Ward Bond (Maj. Seth Adams)
Robert Horton (Flint McCullough)
Terry Wilson (Bill Hawks)
Frank McGrath (Charlie Wooster)
John McIntire (Christopher Hale)


Clint Eastwood (Rowdy Yates) x
Paul Brinegar (Wishbone)
Eric Fleming (Gil Favor)
Steve Raines (Jim Quince)
Sheb Wooley (Pete Nolan)

Wild, Wild West

Robert Conrad (James T. West)
Ross Martin (Artemus Gordon)


Jack Kelly (Bart Maverick)
James Garner (Bret Maverick)
Roger Moore (Beauregarde Maverick)

Sky King

Kirby Grant (Sky King)
Gloria Winters (Penny King)


Clint Walker (Cheyenne Bodie)

Have Gun - Will Travel

Richard Boone (Paladin)

The Life and Times of Wyatt Earp

Hugh O'Brian (Wyatt Earp)


John Smith (Slim Sherman)
Robert Fuller (Jess Harper)


Philip Carey (Capt. Edward Parmalee)
Neville Brand (Reese Bennett)
Peter Brown (Chad Cooper)
William Smith (Joe Riley)

Cimarron Strip

Stuart Whitman (Marshall Jim Crown)

Wanted: Dead or Alive

Steve McQueen (Josh Randall)


John Wayne
Yul Brynner
Charles Bronson
Doris Day
Debbie Reynolds
Olivia de Havilland
Shirley MacLaine
Terrence Hill
Lauren Bacall (The Shootist)
Kirk Douglas
Maureen O'Hara
James Stewart
Glenn Ford
Paul Newman
Harry Belefonte
Robert Mitchum
Errol Flynn
Ernest Borgnine
Jimmy Dean
Glen Campbell
Eli Wallach
Lee Van Cleef
Henry Fonda
Jason Robards
Jack Elam
Keenan Wynn
Dean Martin
Dennis Hopper
Martha Hyer
Rick(y) Nelson
Burt Lancaster
Lee Marvin
Gary Cooper
Grace Kelly
Lloyd Bridges
James Coburn
Gregory Peck
Claudia Cardinale
William Holden
Tyrone Power
Randolph Scott
Robert Redford
Lee J. Cobb
Marlon Brando
Karl Malden
Rod Steiger
Claudette Colbert
Lloyd Bridges
Robert Young
Bud Spencer
Vera Miles
Slim Pickens

This article is my how I visualize these actors in these roles. Your vision of the actors or the roles may not match up with mine, but, that's ok, too.


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