In May, DC fans everywhere rejoiced when the head of the Arrowverse, Greg Berlanti, confirmed rumors that he was working on a Booster Gold feature film. This gave many critics of the young DCEU a glimmer of hope, as the beloved character provides an opportunity for a lighter tone while keeping the high stakes intact. Given Berlanti’s track record, most feel that this character is finally in good hands. Of course, the next natural step is to wonder about casting.
Booster Gold is a former athlete known as Michael Jon Carter. With the help of his robot friend Skeets, Booster Gold traveled back in time to become the hero he never was in his present. He’s often described as a cocky and shameless self-promoter who is focused on glory, but he’s been known to embrace his heroic nature from time to time. This type of character seems apropos in the current media climate. Humor is a key element to his personality, and that’s a balance that not every actor can pull off. The following is a list of 15 actors who could potentially play Booster Gold based on looks, ability, and general persona. That said, we couldn’t resist including bonus suggestions for the voice of his robo-life partner Skeets.
15. Andy Samberg
While Andy Samberg proved that he has comedic sensibilities on Saturday Night Live, this year’s Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping showed that he can carry a movie. Connor4Real was essentially what Booster Gold would be if he were a modern day musician or celebrity; a self-obsessed, social-media driven narcissist who lacks self-awareness. You know BG would tweet constantly, over-share, and post videos of himself doing pretty much anything and everything. Booster does not need to be handsome, but he does need to think he is.
It is easy to imagine Samberg flashing that toothy grin for an endorsement as he is distracted from the mayhem happening right behind him. It could be a lot of fun watching Samberg scrambling to avoid paradoxes or being fascinated with our century’s antiquated technology and junk food. Samber also has experience playing a goofy heroic type on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Plus, he would look great behind those shades.
14. Bradley Cooper
He’s got the looks, he’s got the comedic timing, and his charm is undeniable. Out of anyone on this list, Bradley Cooper is probably the easiest one to imagine being the face of his own brand one day because you simply cannot look away. His acting chops cannot be denied and it may take someone with that level of skill to give Booster Gold the depth he needs in order to be sympathetic. He can play cocky like he did in The A-Team but also complex and vulnerable as he did in The Silver Linings Playbook. If this guy breathed life into a CGI Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy, he can surely accomplish a similar feat with an egocentric time traveler. Unfortunately, fitting Booster Gold into his schedule may prove to be the biggest challenge for this Oscar nominee, but as the project seems to be in the right hands now maybe he could be tempted.
13. Eric Christian Olsen
Based solely on looks, Eric Christian Olsen may be hard to beat for this role. That said, he is no slouch in the acting department and has a surprising amount of range. He can play cocky and oblivious as he did when he guest starred on Community as well as goofy and oafish as displayed in Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. Combine those with his role as a LAPD officer in NCIS: LA, tweak them slightly, and you have your Booster Gold. Based on these performances, it seems Olsen knows when restraint is appropriate and when it is time to go a little crazy. Smug and arrogant seems to be no problem for him either.
Unfortunately, many people are not that familiar with him yet, so it may be tough to get people into the theater when he is headlining the film. If his charm and charisma is handled properly in the marketing, then we could be looking at a new star in the making.
12. Garret Dillahunt
Garret Dillahunt is one of those people who everyone recognizes and likes, but who is hard to identify. He can be serious and threatening as he did in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the final season of Justified. That said, he’s played supporting roles in comedies like The Mindy Project but has proven that he can carry a comedy for a long period of time, as he did in Raising Hope. Between his good looks and talent, it is shocking that Dillahunt hasn’t already moved into a leading man role, and this may be his opportunity. Another skill he possesses is the ability to stand back and let others have the spotlight for a moment. Many of the most successful film and television comedies in recent years have had strong supporting casts (see: Ant-Man) that steal the show. We could see Dillahunt being perfectly comfortable with that.
10. Owen Wilson
While he may be getting a little long in the tooth, Owen Wilson’s wavy golden locks make him a must-have on this list. That said, his approach to Booster Gold may be a bit different than that of the other members of this list as it may be much more laid back at times. He does both relaxed and anxious very well, each of which could be the public and private faces of Booster Gold respectively. The oblivious arrogance he exudes in the Zoolander movies could be balanced out by a secret self-loathing, like with his melancholy character in The Royal Tennenbaums. And you know his friends would not be able to resist cameos. So looking at the total package: an aging, blond athlete who secretly hates himself but cannot stop himself from being cocky when the cameras turn on. That sounds like Booster Gold to us.
11. Garrett Hudlund
While many people may not be familiar with his recent work, Garrett Hedlund was on the verge of breaking out for quite some time. He began landing roles in big budget films a mere month after he move to LA and started acting. Unfortunately, a lot of of his films were not as well-received as he may have hoped. After strong genre performances that gave him some genre cred in Tron: Legacy and Eragon, he gained attention for more serious films such as Inside Llewyn Davis and Unbroken. Additionally, he truly rivals most of the other members of this list in looks and physicality. He is fully committed to his roles, having gained 30 pounds of muscle for his role in Troy. While Hedlund hasn’t done much comedy, he has shown that he can shoulder the burden of a film being built around him as he took leading roles very early in his career.
9. Damon Wayans Jr.
In the world today, colorblind casting is not only a political issue, but a necessity. While looking like the comic book counterpart is a plus, today’s filmmakers are now more rightfully concerned with the actor embodying the essence of the character as opposed to the physical characteristics. Keeping this in mind, Damon Wayans Jr. could make Booster Gold a defining role. In addition to being naturally funny in both speech and movement, he can strike the delicate balance of arrogance and sympathy that is necessary for a character like Booster Gold when headlining his own film. Some outings have been stronger than others for Wayans Jr., but roles like Happy Endings‘s Brad show that the right material, and especially the right chemistry, can propel him into the stratosphere of comedy talent. Witnessing Wayans’s high-pitched scream at the initial sight of a disaster before composing himself would be worth the price of admission.
8. Zach Braff
While not exactly the first person that comes to mind when thinking of superhero properties, Braff was on the cusp of stardom for a brief period following the success of Scrubs and Garden State, and he is due for a comeback. He is clearly aware of the role emotion plays in both acting and writing. No one can deny his ability to make Dr. John Dorian lovable and he showed he can lead a television show for many seasons. Scrubs also wavered back and forth in tone constantly, which is a characteristic that the Booster Gold movie may also have. Could this be the first superhero movie with cut-away gags?
He is likable, but can also pull off the annoying foresight that Booster Gold would most likely have with his knowledge of the future. Braff is the kind of guy you want to take care of– until he says something to piss you off, which also describes how many people feel about Booster Gold.
7. Jason Sudeikis
We have seen Jason Sudeikis play smug in movies like Hall Pass and Horrible Bosses but somehow, we still manage to like him through all of that. He conveys a sense of entitlement that people just seem to be okay with and want to watch play out. When he flashes those pearly whites, you can’t help but smile, even when he is a jerk. That is a characteristic that would serve him well in the role of Booster Gold. He is good-looking but not to the point where it would be intimidating. It is easy to imagine Sudeikis getting frustrated when things do not go his way, and then laughing it off before trying to smoothly race to the rescue. The ability to make the audience like a character that isn’t always that likable would be an important part of establishing Booster Gold, and this is something with which Sudeikis has already had success.
6. Bill Hader
Let’s be honest, Bill Hader is a talented comedian who can play almost anyone and transform his body with far less makeup than most actors. He also has the ability to tone things down a bit when necessary (see Trainwreck) and is a seriously underrated dramatic performer (see The Skeleton Twins). Specifically, he can play both the joker as well as the straight man, and has the ability to find comedy in almost any situation. He is so versatile that he could most likely adjust and evolve as the script and character do. Looking at his career, he makes very interesting and deliberate choices. He also seems like the type of guy that is easy to root for and that audiences would want to see succeed. This could be an exciting new direction for an actor on the verge. One could even imagine him committing fully to the part and going through a physical Pratt-esque metamorphosis.
5. Nathan Fillion
Here’s an entry that exists because Booster Gold is a comic book movie and we nerds love us some Fillion. He has the geek cred and we want him in everything. While on the older end of the spectrum, Fillion has always embraced the geek culture and would be this character’s greatest ambassador. The fact that he is aging and may be a bit past his prime may actually work to his advantage when portraying the character. It would be a totally valid approach to have Booster be an aging ladies’ man who still thinks of himself like a 25-year-old. Part of his arc could be him finding humility in his limitations, which would lead him to true heroism. Based on some set pics from Guardians of the Galaxy 2, rumors are swirling that he will be playing Wonder Man in the MCU, but if anyone can straddle the DC and Marvel fence and have it be accepted by fans, it’s Captain Mal.
4. Alan Tudyk
One good turn deserves another! Alan Tudyk is one of the few remaining “character actors” working today in the true definition of the word. Whether it is an off-the-wall role like Dutch Transformers or something a bit more low-key like on Firefly, Tudyk is a chameleon. He disappears into his role, which has led him to do many motion capture roles in movies like I Robot and the upcoming Rogue One. He has already dipped his toe into the DC world by voicing Oliver Queen in the gone-too-soon Young Justice and it’s time that he makes the leap into live action. His new role on NBC’s Powerless might make this dream slightly more difficult, but the Booster Gold film apparently will not be part of the the current DCEU continuity. Given his vast amount of credits, ability and versatility are not of the slightest concern. Championing the geek culture for quite some time, there is no doubt that Tudyk has earned his place on stage with the other DC heroes.
3. John Krasinski
Being one of the final candidates for the MCU’s Captain America, John Krasinski has been circling superhero projects for quite some time. He has gone so far as to mention that he would still love to become part of the Marvel family. After the success of Deadpool, DC is no doubt looking for the opportunity to emulate that success by bringing an obscure comedic comic book character to the big screen, and Booster Gold may fit that bill. Looking specifically at the reception of Deadpool, this may be a chance that Krazinski could not pass up. Furthermore, many people have suggested a mockumentary style format for the Booster Gold film, and Krazinski is no stranger to that. It may be hard to get past his nice-guy charm, but if he plays that as his public face, it could make the private Booster that much more entertaining. He is easy to love, but the difficulty may come when he tries to portray the less likable aspects of Booster’s personality.
2. Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris is nothing if not an entertainer. As an actor, singer, and dancer, he’s almost impossible to dislike. Additionally, he has gained a lot of attention for being one of the first successful gay actors to excel in a traditionally masculine even after coming out. This is just a testament to his ability to connect with the audience. He made Barney Stinson a lovable yet arrogant character on How I Met Your Mother, even though he did many despicable and unlikable things. Who else does this sound like? Change the obsession with women to fame and you have your Booster Gold. During the final seasons of HIMYM, Harris’s character went through a redemptive arc, not dissimilar to one that could possibly be included in a Booster Gold movie. NPH is due to step into a leading man role, and he has both the commitment and talent to make Booster Gold a rich and complex character.
1. Glenn Howerton
As many now know, Howerton was actually the first runner up for the role of Star-Lord that ultimately went to Chris Pratt. When looking at the two characters, they have a lot in common. Both are light and comedic, but can be serious when necessary. Furthermore, Howerton looks the part and, if his role as the despicable Dennis in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia shows us anything, he can make arrogance into an art. Something unique about Howerton, though, is that he has a subtle ability to be totally oblivious to his arrogance. He thinks he is great and does not understand why everyone else doesn’t agree. Every word that he speaks oozes a lack of self-awareness, but he can also tone it down a bit for roles like that he played in The Mindy Project and House of Lies. It stands to reason that Howerton would be looking for another comic book role to make his own, and his time may be now. If nothing else, he has proven that he can pull off the spandex.
His Skeets: Charlie Day
We will keep you updated on Booster Gold as developments continue. Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters,Wonder Woman will arrive on June 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.