The 13 Best Comics Movie & TV Casting Choices Ever

When the actor matches the hero — or villain — perfectly.

13th Dimension contributor Van Sias was so bowled over by Iwan Rheon’s casting as Maximus the Mad that he couldn’t help but put together a list of the best comics casting choices ever. While my list might look different — Heath Ledger would be on there — there’s a lot here to chew over. Dig it. — Dan


There are few things that can generate feelings of excitement or “what in the …?” levels of bewilderment for a comic-book fan than a casting announcement for a superhero-themed TV show or movie. We just want the powers that be to get it right when it comes to our favorite characters, from looks to attitude.

For instance, the recent news that came out of Iwan Rheon of Game of Thrones infamy being tapped to play Maximus the Mad on The Inhumans TV series is as good as it gets.

Here are 13 examples of perfect portrayals, from heroes to villains to supporting acts, in no particular order:

Iwan Rheon as Maximus the Mad. I’d be really surprised if after The Inhumans begins airing, you don’t start hearing buzz about a Maximus spin-off. Maximus is dangerous and conniving, characteristics Rheon perfectly embodied as Ramsay Bolton. He’ll have to tone it down some as Black Bolt’s brother, but he’ll have mental powers at his disposal to compensate. Actually, that might make him turn up the crazy. Regardless, I can’t wait!

Chris Evans as the Human Torch. Sure, those Fantastic Four movies of the aughts might be panned, but you can’t have any complaints about Evans’ job as the Torch. Johnny Storm is every imaginable synonym for cocky and Evans nailed them all.

Chris Evans as Captain America. “Wait, the dude who played the Torch is gonna play Cap?” I asked myself years ago. “How is that going to work?” Of course, we know the two would never have to worry about meeting because of studio rights craziness, but Steve Rogers is as earnest as Johnny Storm is brash: What did Marvel see in Evans to convince them he could flip the script like that? Whatever it was, they got it right: He exudes the strength and compassion of the shield slinger.

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. The whole game changed with RDJ stepping into Tony Stark’s designer suits and suits of armor. The Academy Award nominee captures the swagger and determination—and sometimes jerkiness—of Stark perfectly.

Jon Bernthal as the Punisher. Bernthal brought a level of humanity to Frank Castle that hadn’t been seen fully in his prior on-screen incarnations, which helps to offset the fact that he can be brutal as all get-out.

Christopher Reeve as Superman. Reeve’s Clark Kent was a bumbling, lovable goofball who no one would ever think could be the Man of Steel. I mean, I was fooled! (Kidding, of course.) As Superman, he radiated confidence, while maintaining that Boy Scout image.

Patrick Stewart as Professor X. You want someone decisive, wise and compassionate in the role, and Stewart brought all those traits to the table. In Logan, he taps into a vulnerable side we hadn’t witnessed yet.

Elodie Yung as Elektra. Admittedly, I haven’t seen Yung’s other work, but I know she had everything I’d look for in an Elektra: exotic, dangerous and most importantly, an accent! (Attn.: Jennifer Garner).

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. Reynolds dipped his toe into the superhero-movie pool twice before, with an earlier version of the Merc With a Mouth in Wolverine: Origins and with his much-maligned portrayal as the title character in Green Lantern. With 2016’s Deadpool, though, he captured every bit of Wade Wilson’s zany persona, even earning a Golden Globe nomination in the process.

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. Decades later, it’s still Carter that’s been the definitive portrayal of Princess Diana. That role carries a lot of weight with it, and she accurately showed a woman shouldn’t have to take a backseat to any man.

Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. Tough and tender, and a real go-getter: That’s Lois Lane in a nutshell. Through the original line of Superman movies, Kidder brought all three of those qualities forward in her portrayal of the Daily Planet’s ace reporter.

J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. Sure, his hair might’ve been a little bit goofy and he didn’t get a ton of screen time, but didn’t Simmons—with that Oscar-winning tenor to his voice and attitude—sound just like you imagined JJJ would, yelling “Parker!!!” across the newsroom? It’ll be interesting to see him as Commissioner Gordon in his next superhero-themed role.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. We haven’t seen everything Gadot’s going to bring out in this role, but what has come across in Batman v. Superman, and the Wonder Woman and Justice League trailers reflects the Amazon Warrior that’s been portrayed in the comics for years now.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Great list. Though I would have added Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner and Chadwick Boseman as The Black Panther.

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  2. Great list…and I would have to add Frank Gorshin’s The Riddler. He threw down the gauntlet for the rest of the Rogues Gallery in 1966. 🙂

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