Have you ever wondered what a movie about the Avengers would have been like if it were made around the time the characters debuted? Mind you, I am not talking about a shitty or campy movie as the times would have purveyed, but a serious[ish] hypothetical, impossible movie. To be clear, this is based on the story and team from the 2012 film, not the comics, so no Ant-Man or Wasp. Yet. I haven't quite worked all of the kinks out yet, but I humbly present to you, the Avengers.
Steve Rogers/Captain America- Henry Fonda
Seriously, who better to play America's charismatic hero? Fonda oozes the Americanism that Rogers has, not the gluttony or corruption of power, but the sense of duty to their country, from anything as minute to voting (Fondy was a bleeding heart admirer of FDR) to serving their country. Also, here's this quote:
He also enjoyed drawing. Fonda was active in the Boy Scouts of America; Teichmann reports that he reached the rank of Eagle Scout. When he was about fourteen, his father took him to observe a lynching, from the window of his father's plant, of a young black man accused of rape. This enraged the young Fonda and he kept a keen awareness of prejudice for his entire adult life.
Fonda was in his 60s in the eponymous decade, however his age really didn't show, as evident in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). The movie showed Fonda had the physicality, and looks, to be Rogers. Even from a young age, Fonda had the seasoned wisdom of a man seventy years out of his time. In regards to the WWII aspect of the character, the concept of someone being frozen for twenty years was still enough of a new concept to hold up to the flame in the 1960s.
Tony Stark/Iron Man- Peter Sellers
Sellers. Peter Sellers. The Mustache, the eyebrows. We can already see that he resembles this guy. But it is my duty as a cinemaphile to analyze my decision more deeply. Chiefly among my reasoning are the Pink Panther series and Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece Dr. Strangelove: Or how I learned to Stop Worrying About the Bomb (1964). In the both examples, he displays his expert satirical wit and cynicism, as well as dramatic undertones (Strangelove). In the latter, he plays three main characters, all to separate comedic and dramatic effect. Bumbling and incompetent U.S. President Merkin Muffely, the eccentric and eponymous mad scientist/former Nazi Dr. Strangelove, and the only sane character in the entire movie, British Group Captain Lionel Mandrake. Sellers demonstrates the ability to easily play the typical millionaire*-playboy-genius-philanthropist American in satirical, or even pseudo-serious light. Any action required for the role could easily be done by a stunt double.
Sellers relationship with Fonda would be near perfect. Fonda, the righteous idealist, vs Sellers' satirical, cynical wit would be exactly like that of Evans and Downey. Sellers could easily play the disrespect for authority and over-confidence. However, we would never really know with Sellers how deep his satire was going, which is excellent for such a perplexing character. He might be playing the role seriously further down, he might make fun of the kind of archetype Stark comes from. Or, he might be making fun of the entire genre of Super hero movies, which he probably would be.
Thor- Clint Eastwood
This ideas is bound to bring some reactions, but I care as much as Eastwood does about reception to his jokes. Look that up. In the 1960s, Eastwood's star was on the rise, appearing in Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy (1964-1966) as the Laconic, archetype-creating Man With No Name. Eastwood had previously garnered some fame in a supporting role on the 1950s western T.V. series Rawhide, but it was not until the trilogy that he was a true star. This was before T.V. and film were considered comparable mediums, mind you. At this point in his career, Eastwood was at about the same level of fame as Hemsworth when he first donned the cape. Eastwood makes an excellent Thor for multiple reasons. Tall, rugged and raw looking, incredibly muscular. His chiseled and stubble-d face work well with long hair. Among the features necessary for the Asgardian God, the 6-foot 4 Clint can look like a badass in a poncho, so image him in the cape. As a character, Eastwood is perfect too. Eastwood plays a somewhat-menacing stranger who doesn't like to talk much. He makes his own decisions for his own benefit, but in the end still helps the innocent. He doesn't have time for ramroddery and dicking around, and he can express this violently. His isolationism and individuality can easily be played off to the humor of lack-of-social-understanding that Hemsworth employed. At times, Eastwood's characters employ a subtle, undeniable and irrefutably humanizing humor. His banter with Tuco, and even a scene where he pets a stray kitten casually (Really) minutes before preparing a fight. Point is, Eastwood plays, a tough, badass, man's man who is a traditional fighting force, like our dear hammerhead. His respect for authority is in a unique place, where he is not quite a rebel, but does not trust the likes of purported authority figures such as FondAmerica. By far one of his best non-directorial, and my personal favorite film[s], Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) epitomizes his ability to play the Thunder god. Which brings me to...
Hulk/Bruce Banner- Hulk
Tuco the ugly. Now hear me out. Clint's co-star was a method actor, and one of the finest around. Take a look not only at his role as Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez (the Ugly) in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but his larger body of work as well. His mastery off facial features as are friend the rat is essential to the Banner persona. In a few seconds, even with no sound, you could tell when this man was about to Hulk out. Watching the movie you can pick up on exactly what Tuco is thinking or about to do, and you see his feeling. Wallach could play the sincere humility of Banner, as well as his constant fear of his own power. As Tuco, and several other characters, Wallach went from unassuming to terrifying, viscous, and yet at the same time, entirely sympathetic, and even loveable, in seconds. He had a command of his craft and from my understanding not one time in his career did he give it less than 100%. Physically, he seems o be very Ruffalo-ish, which is good. He has the eyebrows and the brutish, yet calming features of the man who becomes the Hulk.
As Banner, he would get along entirely well with Seller's witty Stark, much like the Downey/Ruffalo dynamic. And every minute onscreen with Eastwood would be a hoot. As Banner, there would be all sorts of facial expressions that would generate a laugh from fans, as Banner and the god sized each other up. The relationship they have in Good/Bad/Ugly is perfect for the friendship/rivalry/attempts to kill each other between Thor and Hulk. Now for the Hulk himself, since this movie is entirely hypothetical, we can presume that there would be a method for him to believably "Hulk out" and kick b-movie alien ass.
Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff- Claudia Cardinale
Hailing from the exotic Tunisia, much like the Russian spy, Cardinale has sultry, exotic, killer looks and flaming red hair. She keeps an intense gaze that indicates a troubled past, like that of the Red Room, but can quickly feign complacency as the Widow can. I feel an excellent Example was her role in (Yes, him again) Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). In the film, which co-stars Fonda, She plays [SPOILERS!] a former prostitute who has moved out west, hidden her past, and married into a happy family. When Frank (Fonda) kills her husband and step-children, she knows what she wants, and that something is revenge. She plays it out with violence and deadly sexuality, and it works well. She too, is a "monster", trying to hide her past. Although she played with him as a villain, I feel she would get along with the typical Fonda role of Cap. I feel they would have a similar dynamic to that of Evans and Johansson, however the major difference would be Fonda might play more of a mentor figure, which makes sense. Like the character's actual actress, she can be the one to hold a bickering team together, and held Jason Robards and Charles Bronson together in a similar fashion.
Hawkeye/Clint Barton- Steve McQueen
I'm not McQueen's biggest fan, but I admit it is foolish to dispute his coolness. McQueen already looks perfect for the role, and has the subtlety to be the odd one out. But more importantly, he himself was a man of hidden and sympathetic back story. Hawkeye had his family, but you know what McQueen had? Nothing. Instead, he would get basic supplies in bulk. Razors, toilet paper, etc. Everyone thought it weird, until they found out that he donated it to kids in need. Many times, he asked for it as part of his payment. I feel that McQueen is the kind of guy who could turn out to play a secret story that made the audience love him. He has the dashing action capabilities, as shown in The Great Escape (1963), Bullitt (1968), and The Magnificent Seven (1960) (The latter also starred Wallach). There's really not much more to say, this one's entirely a no-brainer.
Nick Fury- George C. Scott
George C. Scott as Nick Fury. History lesson: Nick Fury was originally white! In fact, the only reason that was changed was because the character was explicitly and specifically drawn after Samuel L. Jackson, which brings us to one of the reasons Scott is perfect for the super spy. Scott was crazy, but not in a clinical way, in a Samuel L. Jackson way. Scott was the well-respected actor who was a figure of controversy and took it in stride. He said things that were somewhat crazy, and did things that were somewhat crazy, and he was very shrewd about his roles. A lot of the time, he was yelling and being ecstatic, but at other times, such as in an interview, perhaps, he would express a calmer side, showing the artist inside the arsonist. Samuel L. is the same way, however, a white guy couldn't do this today. Archetypically, this kind of character really only works for an African American. The reasoning (if any) behind this is that [according to Hollywood] African Americans have a reason to be crazy and angry without raising the asylum-alarm. That reason seems to be a topic that Hollywood loves, slavery/racism/oppression. The white guy can't really act like this now because it doesn't make sense. The kind of sassy, but BAMF character doesn't come from the white background. But, to get back on track, Scott could do this because A.) There weren't many African-American actors at the time and B.) because he was great actor. But to continue, he was great at playing a military higher-up who could still kick ass. He played Patton, twice, and refused an Oscar for it, and he played General Turgidson in Strangelove alongside Sellers. In the aforementioned film, he attempted to avert nuclear annihilation in a similar fashion to a certain alien invasion, which brings us to...
Loki- Jim Morrison
While not known for film, Morrison not only studied it at UCLA but also did write and star in his own, HWY: An American Pastoral (1969). Lanky and otherworldly, yet irresistible to many, many women, Morrison looks like the god of tricks, through and through. Morrison was a deep, anti-authoritarian thinker. His complex and often untranslatable analogies and metaphors for humanity were complimented by his sly, mocking wit, and whatever he did, he made an example. Morrison was charismatic and cosmic, his philosophy attracted devoted followers and praising critics (Retroactively) alike. He made fun of the law and those who tried to put him down. In one famous instance, he was caught in the restroom before a concert making out with a fan, by a cop who was there to provide security. He did not recognize the poet, and they were told to stop, to which the Lizard King replied, "Eat it." The officer then told him, "Last chance." Morrison's reply, of course, was "Last chance to eat it." Morrison was then maced and ran backstage. Eventually, after Morrison had recovered, the officer apologized, saying that had he known it was Morrison, he would not have maced him. This angered Morrison further, and he went onto stage and started mocking the police in free-style poem. The audience was captivated. Morrison then became the first major musician ever arrested on stage. Now if that doesn't scream Loki I don't know what does. Now, remember that scene in Avengers where Thor and Loki meet in the forest at night and verbally fight? Imagine that with Morrison and Eastwood. Morrison would easily bounce off and mock the anger and reserve of Eastwood, just like Hemsworth and Hiddleston.
That's it for my first post, hope you guys enjoyed, Age of Ultron is coming up, and tell me what you thought below.