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Committed: Infographic Survey Results – Best & Worst Super Hero / Villain Movie Casting

Below are the results of last week’s survey and thank you all for taking part, I do know how silly it was but I had fun designing the results. Overall the votes were kind of an avalanche, (I guess you know what you like), and the only interesting thing I’d note is how divided opinions were on who the worst superhero casting was, it seems like everyone has someone they love to hate! (Click the image to enlarge.)



Nicely designed! You couldn’t have chosen a more damning picture of Grace as Venom. It’s good to see that my votes were similar to the rest of the gang for once. I’d love to see the full results, too!

No surprises there.

Nitpicks aside, thanks for putting this together. Could we see the list of how the voting played out, to see where everyone ranked? Or at least the lists of the closed survey to see who these top 3’s beat out?

Captain Haddock

June 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm

This was a lot of fun, the only thing where I seemed to by and large differ from the crowd was worst villains. For instance, I was a lot more forgiving of Topher Grace for a terribly written role than others were, it seems.

Alfred Molina and Willem Dafoe weren’t even on the ballot for best villain casting.

Robert Downey Jnr played a great Robert Downey Jnr in Iron Man 1, 2, and 3, and the Avengers. He didn’t play anyone remotely resembling Tony Stark/ Iron Man. He’s a charismatic actor but he rarely plays anyone outside of his own persona.

Chris Evans was a much more convincing Steve Rogers/ Captain America, & Johnny Storm.
Chris Hemsworth was a much more convincing Thor.
Michael Keaton/ Christian Bale were a much more convincing Batman.

Alfred Molina and William Dafoe were also able to portray their characters as equally well as those who won “best villain.” I’d also put Michelle Pfiefer as Catwoman up there as well.

Has the internet gotten over Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin? A decade ago everyone was seething over the fact a black actor played a white character. I always found that silly as Kingpin’s defining physical characteristic is that he’s huge, not that he’s white.

While I mostly agree with the best casting choices I still see “worst” casting as more of a missed opportunity. Well, maybe Nick Cage never would have made a great Ghost Rider but I don’t think it is impossible to Imagine Halle Berry doing a great, sexy Catwoman in a better movie. Same with Jullian McMahon. He could pull off the hubris and megalomania of Dr. Doom in a better film. Just remember when Heath Ledger was the worst casting choice ever made but the stars (pun definitely not intended) aligned and there he is at the top of the list.

oz the malefic

June 25, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Scoob, I have to disagree on one point you made. Keaton played a great Bruce Wayne, Bale played a great Batman

What about whoever John Shea played in Generation X? He did a great Lex in Adventures of Lois`s cans and Clark, but that role was horrid.

“Bale played a great Batman”

Bale played a great Patti and/or Selma and maybe a decent Wicked Witch of the West. Batman, though? Arnold’s Mr. Freeze had a better voice for the part! If they wanted Bale so much, they should have at least dubbed in Kevin Conroy whenever the cowl was donned. Even Adam West sounded more menacing than Bale’s old lady voice.

Marvel would probably not be as huge as it is now if RDJ hadn’t been cast as Tony Stark. The character had never been an obnoxious motormouth before, but who cares? Nobody cared about Stark before anyway. His defining trait was drinking.

What makes Downey the best is that he didn’t just bring a character to life, he improved him. Giving Tony Stark that wry sense of humor and devil-may-care attitude made him more likeable and helped distinguish him from Bruce Wayne.

Keaton is far and away my favorite Bruce Wayne. I liked Bale’s Batman in the first movie, but by the second his Cookie Monster voice for Batman already sounded ridiculous to me. And of course his Bruce Wayne is a cipher, because those movies are very much of the “Bruce is the mask, Batman is the reality” school.

No one could have made Mr. Freeze’s dialog work.

Shame that January Jones as Emma Frost wasn’t included in the worst lists.

Nobody has ever played a great Batman.

The best Bruce Wayne? A lot easier. Nearly everybody has done a decent job as Bruce Wayne.

Funny that 98% of complaints about Bale are about the voice, here and in the poll about the best Batman. It must be the only actor that is lambasted exclusively for one detail, probably not of the actor’s choice.

Pretty good choices, but in my humble opinion, Christopher Reeve is the best superhero casting choice. Remember that Christopher had to put on TWO performances: one as the nerdy and awkward Clark Kent and the heroic Superman. That takes chops to make us believe that he really was two different people.

Iron Man was just Tony Stark in an armored suit, but he was still Tony Stark: cocky, brash, funny, intelligent. No real stretch, you know?

Good infographic, though.

Funny thing about Michael Clarke Duncan is that he wasn’t even the first black actor to play the Kingpin. Roscoe Lee Brown had voiced Fisk in lots of animated shows for years.

Would be good to see the proportion of voters for each. I imagine there was a lot more consensus on the best superhero casting than on the others.

For me, Reeves as Superman is totemic. His Superman is as definitive as any comic interpretation, and I can’t say that for many other superhero films. I could possibly say it for Downey’s Stark (my number 2 choice), as the comics have had no choice but to follow his charasmatic lead, and the entire Marvel movie franchise is based around the guy.

My number three was Hemsworth. Excellent Thor. Xavier was good casting, but almost too obvious.

Can’t remember who I voted for on the worst heroes list, though I think Keanu was among them. Still feel Berry’s Storm should have been an option.

Hiddleston’s Loki is fantastic. I’m a big fan of Loki too, as he’s been handled very well in so any comics, and Hiddleston does great work in the role. I also voted for Stamp I think, but I can’t remember who else. I know I was torn between Hathaway’s Catwoman and Pfeiffer’s, as they were both great in different ways.

Ledger did a great job as the Joker, even if it’s not my favourite interpretation of the character.

Don’t think anyone can argue with Schwarzenegger as Freeze being the worst villain casting. Oy.

Manolis Vamvounis

June 26, 2014 at 7:25 am

Arny as Mr Freeze was the best Casting of the Agees. CBR readers are on crack :)

No Nicholson for the Joker? No question Ledger is #1, but Nicholson’s Joker is clear #2.

For me the best superhero movie casting ever is JK Simmons as J Jonah Jameson. I agree with all the ones listed above though. I’m rather surprised that Patrick Stewart beat out Hugh Jackman.

Good shout on JK Simmons. Not sure whether he’d be considered a hero or villain though.

J. Jonah Jameson: Hero or Menace? :)

Oh and I like the presentation.

If they had an entry for Best Cast Secondary Characters, JK Simmons would easily top it. Amy Adams as Lois Lane would come in second and Jackie Cooper as Perry White would come in third.

Best villain casting should go to Jack Nicholson as the Joker.

You all need to cheell ouuwt. Zis is just a vittle list made my comic-book girly-men. You all need to go on ice and take ze cheell peell.

-Arnold Freezenegger

For worst casting, I would include Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm. Don’t have to see the movie to know that it’s just not gonna work.

Chuck M.......odzinski

June 26, 2014 at 9:28 am

Bob Kane (Batman’s creater, as if you didn’t know) himself said, after he saw The Shining, “If we ever do a Batman movie, we have to get Jack Nicholson to be the Joker. The character he played is the Joker.”

Yeah I like the overall layout of this. I just wish who are the other in the Top Ten? Also, Very surprised Patrick Stewart made it in the list, but it is deserved.

Agree with what everyone says about the Batman actors. What they need is someone with a deep voice to being with, and he “acts” Bruce Wayne. It’d be a lot easier to lighten the tone and speech pattern than it is to rough the voice up. Conroy has been the only one to be able to pull off the voice.

I’m not sure Stark had much of a distinctive personality in the comics other than he was really smart and cool. And I think, for whatever reason, being really smart in movies seems to be hard to pull off (see the Fantastic Four movies). I mean, most actors aren’t exactly super high IQ to begin with, but RDJ at least can appear to be the smartest guy in the room. Which as they lost a bit in the comics of the idea that being a Billionaire playboy is kinda cool, the guy who thought he was smarter than everyone and could do an Armor Wars or Civil War is certainly in line with the movies.

BDaly’s votes sound like they were eerily close to mine, down to the fact that now I’ve lost my list I can’t remember who the 3rd bad guy I voted for was. I think I had Wolverine instead of Professor X (or Thor in this case) because I think that’s one of those really hard rolls to pull off, and he came as close as possible without being really short too. Professor X was as perfect of casting as you could imagine at this time, but he’ll always be Yul Brenner to me. ;-) Though I really wanted to vote for Chris Evans too.

@Carlos- the scary part is that may only be the 4th worst casting in the movie.

And Ben Herman wins the Internet today.


June 26, 2014 at 10:34 am

lol i just love Berry’s photo! that summarizes the movie in a pic!

I’d have thrown in Lynda Carter for good measure although it is a Movie poll. Can we have a TV-themed survey too?

Tom Hiddleston? Really? Why not Michael Fassbender??

I’d say Halle Berry wasn’t bad, it was the writing and costume that were bad. Her first spin on the motorcycle in the black outfit (not costume) would’ve been perfect for the whole movie – sexy but not stupid. I’d put her Catwoman as ‘wasted opportunity’ more than bad casting. Reeves as Constantine though… ugh. I’d also say the same for all but Chris Evans in the Fantastic Four movies – especially Alba as Sue Storm although that again might have been the writing (did she really have to be nude in both movies? Really?).

Hobo Joker is really, really overrated.

Kevin Conroy is far and away the best Batman AND Bruce Wayne. He was capable of both genuine emotion and artifice in both roles, which is to say that he could be (a) Bruce being genuine, or (b) Bruce playing the role of “Bruce”, or (c) Batman being genuine, or (d) Batman playing the role of “Batman”, depending on the character’s emotional state. That’s pretty damn impressive.

Of course, he was just doing voice work. But ironically, I’d say that of all the actors who’ve played Batman, the one who looks the most like the Batman from the comics is …Kevin Conroy (minus the goatee). It’s a shame he never got to wear the costume!

ooh I wish I got in on this when the voting was up, as it is a constant game my brother and I play – casting the Marvel Universe…

But luckily, the consensus seems to have pretty much been in line with what I would have said.

Being a huge Daredevil fan, someone asked about people getting over Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin… Personally, from the time I first saw that film, he was probably one of the best things about it. That and how they handled the radar sense… That movie could have been better if the tone and visual presentation was different… but I don’t think Ben Affleck nor Jennifer Garner were the right choices. Colin Farrell, now that I’ve gotten to know his work better, could have pulled off Bullseye under better direction… I’m just hoping the new one works out. Charlie Cox should be pretty solid… he’s got charm down and he can also be pretty ruthless [see Boardwalk Empire for both], just have to give him a good script and direction… D’onofrio… could go either way.

I think Chris Evans certainly deserves a little more props because he pulls off Steve Rogers/Cap very nicely, right down to the tone of voice (especially in Winter Soldier)… AND he was far and away the best thing about Fantastic Four… AND he was hilarious in Scott Pilgrim.

In addition, when looking at the X-Men films: Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler was excellent. Halle Berry as Storm? Snooze-fest.

And in the Batman debate:
Best Batman & Bruce Wayne – Kevin Conroy
Best Jim Gordon – Gary Oldman / Bryan Cranston (Batman: Year One)
Best Joker – Mark Hamill & Heath Ledger

But overall most inspired casting, I’d have to say casting Heath as Joker. Certainly an unexpected choice, and the way he delivered on taking the spirit of the character, but doing such a fresh take… still phenomenal.

The main problem with Berry’s Catwoman is that the movie is a pile of crap. She wasn’t the best choice but, given a good script, she could act, she was stunning and she was one of the “It girls” at the time. Funny thing, she would have been a good choice for the Fox in a faithful adaptation of Wanted and Jolie would have been excellent as Catwoman… in a different Catwoman movie. Because this one sucked then and still sucks now. The same happened with most of the other choices both good and bad. The quality of the movies influenced the viewers’ opinions so the worse the movie turned out the more it magnified every single detail that was “wrong” and the better the movie… If you’re honest with yourself you’ll see what I mean.

I should add that good casting can be very subjective. The characters are, more often than not, changed quite a bit during the adaptation process going through several phases and quite a few different hands.

No Val Kilmer or George Clooney on the list?

Iron man should of been 3rd. when he wears the suit , hes not acting anymore its all CGI. Superman C Reeves should of Taken BEST 1st. He wore a skin tight suit and was one of the BEST Actors in Movie History. while doing Superman it was all Acting , not like Iron man. please this new Generation need to check themselves, they know nothing but, DUMB . this list is nothing Superman takes 1st. all the way. no one has taken him out till this day.

What one could say looking at these results is that they are a little generation-biased (no Nicholson, Dafoe, Molina…) The fact that Reeve and Stamp roles (1978!) made such high ranks proves that they made a HUGE work with Superman/Clark Kent and Zod, and that Snyder has still a big job to do to even equal that movie, as flawed as it was.

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