The Flash; the Scarlet Speedster; the Fastest Man Alive. DC has once again given the title to Barry Allen for the time being, but every gathering of DC’s greatest heroes has required a man or woman blessed with superspeed.
We’ve put realistic options above outlandish ‘dream-casting’ in determining our list, based on the apparent tone and direction that Warner Bros. is taking with their superhero films.
Here are our picks for 5 Actors Who Could Play The Flash in Justice League.
Australian-born Liam McIntyre may not be a name or face everyone will recognize, but fans of Starz’s Spartacus: Vengeance know that the titular star (and self-professed ‘nerd’) definitely deserves more credit than he’s receiving.
From a visual standpoint, McIntyre fits the demands: blonde hair, blue eyes, and at 6’2″ is imposing enough to not just sell a crippling punch, but convey the strength and authority of a slave-turned-freedom fighter.
Despite the dark and gruesome tone of Spartacus, McIntyre has shown himself to be the kind of extroverted glad-hander with the fan community that both Barry Allen and Warner Bros. will need to get fans on board, and excited.
While his resume isn’t as long or glowing as other of our contenders, if Warner Bros. decides to go with a lesser-known actor, don’t be surprised if McIntyre’s name comes up.
A few years ago Joel Edgerton wasn’t well-known outside of Australia, but these days it’s hard to find a superhero movie that doesn’t have the actor rumored to be in consideration. To this point, however, he has yet to sign on the dotted line.
It’s Edgerton’s ability to build intriguing characters out of lacking scripts (see: The Thing) that holds the most promise – a skill capitalized on for Zero Dark Thirty (2012), using the actor’s brief role for most of their advertising.
With a standout lead performance in Warrior (2011) and upcoming roles alongside Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender in Jane Got a Gun (2013), and Leo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby (2013), Edgerton’s star is definitely on the rise.
If the filmmakers are looking to get the attention of discriminating moviegoers, not just mass audiences, Edgerton would fit the bill. Provided he doesn’t sign with Marvel first.
Chris Pine may have a lot on his plate at the moment – as Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ rebooted Star Trek, and now Jack Ryan – but Ryan Reynolds proved even the most sought-after stars can find time to suit up for superhero action.
Pine was in the running to play Hal Jordan before Reynolds snagged the role, but the qualities that made him an ideal Jordan also apply to Barry Allen – explaining the pair’s lasting friendship. WB shouldn’t miss out twice.
Since Reynolds snagged the emerald ring first, it seems fitting that Pine should be cast as The Flash – the hero many thought Reynolds was born to play – although as the reliable do-gooder Allen, instead of wisecracking Wally West.
Pine’s got the smarts to sell the athletic hero and hardworking scientist, while possessing enough humor (and star power) to get fans begging for a stand-alone movie.
His name has been brought up in Justice League discussion as the next Batman, but we can’t help but see Armie Hammer as a different League member. With a standout performance in The Social Network (2010) as spoiled socialites, we want to see what he could do with an actual good guy.
Hammer’s blockbuster-cred will be dispelled or proven with this summer’s The Lone Ranger (2013), portraying the titular blonde-haired, blue-eyed lawman begrudgingly embarking on a quest for justice as a masked vigilante.
The shades of Barry in Ranger Reid should already be clear (if you have doubts, watch the trailer), so a strong performance alongside Johnny Depp’s Tonto will prove he’s a leading man who can share a spotlight with big personalities.
Should DC and Warner Bros. choose to cast young, there’s no better choice than Hammer.
The similarities between the ‘gee-whiz’ personality and reluctant heroism of Night Owl (a.k.a. Dan Dreiberg) in Zack Snyder’s Watchmen and the wholesome nature of Barry Allen are clear to any comic fan. So in some ways, audiences have already seen Wilson tackle the subtler aspects of Allen’s character – as one of a troubled film’s bright spots.
He may not have the blonde locks, but Wilson has the right mix of likeability, good looks, and quiet humility that a big screen incarnation of Allen needs. Since he’s made a habit in his career of stealing scenes from established actors, Wilson has proven he can carry his own alongside the likes of Ryan Reynolds and Henry Cavill.
It’s too early to tell if DC and Warner Bros. will wish to take The Flash’s JL role and possible solo movie as seriously as Batman and Superman, but we’d bet Wilson could handle it, either way.
That concludes our list of actors that we feel could play the wholesome, shy, but ultimately devoted and fiercely loyal Barry Allen on screen. As past superhero films have proven, any actor can by made to look the part with an intense fitness plan and some CG assistance. But sporting a bow tie – that takes serious skill.
What are your hopes for a live-action take on The Flash? Do you agree with our picks, or have you been hoping to see another actor in the part?
Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.