Marvel vs DC Movie Casting: Who Is Taking the Bigger Risks?

Published 1 year ago by , Updated January 17th, 2014 at 12:24 pm,

DC vs Marvel Movies Casts Casting Rumors Marvel vs DC Movie Casting: Who Is Taking the Bigger Risks?

It’s been something of a surprising year on the comic book movie front. Back at this time in 2013 none of us could have predicted that Batman and Superman would have a summer movie to rival Marvel’s Avengers 2 in 2015, or that Avengers 2 would be all about a killer robot named Ultron, let alone big-twist casting announcements like Ben Affleck as the new Batman and James Spader playing said killer robot.

Indeed, “casting” has been the main theme of the last 365 days in superhero movie news, with both Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment taking some big risks on unconventional actor picks to help catapult some obscure and/or big risk films to box office success. From Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel voicing a warrior raccoon and tree alien in Guardians of the Galaxy (respectively), to the controversy of BatAffleck and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman – to the more recent news of Paul Rudd splitting Ant-Man duties with Michael Douglas… We’re asking: Which studio is taking the wilder casting risks right now?



There’s a poll on the last page if you just want to get your vote on and start arguing in the comments. Otherwise, we’ll discuss the films individually in order of release date, according to These Rules:

  1. We are only discussing the big 2 (DCE and Marvel Studios). If we had to get into crazy casting decisions that third-party studios like Sony (Spider-Man) or Fox (X-Men) make, this whole discussion would go off the rails.
  2. We are only discussing CONFIRMED casting announcements. Again, if we opened the door to all the rumors, it’d be a doorway to madness.
  3. We are only discussing CONFIRMED movies. We’ll try to update if anything new breaks – but for now, Justice League is off the table.

At the end of the discussion, we’ll pool our findings for an overall verdict on which studio is taking the bigger risks. CLICK HERE if you just want the final verdict.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America 2 Official Still Photo Chris Evans Robert Redford 570x276 Marvel vs DC Movie Casting: Who Is Taking the Bigger Risks?

Release date: April 4, 2014

NEW ADDITIONS: Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp

RISK ASSESSMENTCaptain America 2 is on pretty solid ground. For this political-thriller superhero sequel, Marvel added an additional splash of color to their universe (Mackie), added some recent standout character actors in supporting roles (Grillo from The Greyand VanCamp from ABC’s Revenge), as well as a heavyweight icon (Redford). Pretty smart.

With Chris Evans, ScarJo and Sam Jackson also coming back to add their star power to the mix, the Winter Soldier cast is poised to lure in any and all demographics on the chart.

OVERALL RISKLow – This is the one superhero film where nobody’s really complaining about casting. That’s a milestone of some kind.


NEXT PAGE: Space Squads & New Avengers


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  1. I wouldn’t say that DC is taking more risks with casting. I would say that the characters of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are far and away riskier to cast, simply from an intrinsic standpoint. Michael Douglass as Hank Pym? The average movie goers reaction is “Hank who?…Oh, there’s an Ant-man? Never heard of him.” Not quite the same as WW (understatement). Hank Pym is about as well known as Etta Candy.

    I like Marvel’s casting choices a lot more and I think they are making a lot of creative and even risky choices. Don’t really like the DC casting choices at all (but I’ll wait and see). However, the “Trinity” is simply more difficult to cast. They are ingrained in our consciousness, and except for Bats, their faces and physiques are exposed (unlike say, Spider-man for example).

    • +1

  2. Very fair read. Especially comeing from Mr. Kofi Outlaw, who strikes me as more of a DC person with all the rumor articles he’s been doing. How about a comparison between Marvel superhero films, this time including Fox and Sony bets.

  3. Right now, the more compelling brand is DC. They are the ones where currently the sky is the limit with what they can do, while basically all Marvel can do is re-hash what they have already done and continue to add characters.

    Sure, Marvel has been the cinema king the past few years… but currently all the excitement and attention right now belongs to DC, and they don’t even have a film coming out this year!

    That shouldn’t come as a shock either: You have the first on screen meeting of “the big 2″ with Batman vs Superman, the big screen debut of Wonder Woman with whispers of Justice League to boot.

    You can cry “rushing” all you want. WB/DC doesn’t have to take the same approach as Marvel/Disney to be successful.

    I like the idea of these characters appearing more organically as it relates to the story rather than having a formula that says they are all separate until it’s time for the team up film.

    • Actually I like how it’s being done. We’ve already had Batman so it makes more sense to just have him already being Batman in this new film and Wonder Woman being in the film already sounds good and means you can introduce the core three members of the Justice League,

      All this leading towards a Justice League movie. Although I don’t agree that Marvel is re-hasing, the new Captain America is going into a whole new genre, Iron Man 3 took a twist on an old storyline and then there’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, two films which are massive risks.

      I think we’re going to see great things from both Marvel and DC from here on out.

      • Agreed

      • You are absolutely right about re-hashing when regarding Guardians of the Galaxy. To that I will concede that I am wrong.

        I meant in terms of the Avengers. We’ve seen those characters and that movie already.

        • We’ve seen the characters but this is a new story, sure it’ll be based on the original story with Ultron but we’ve seen in the past that Marvel Studios are not afraid to change plot details to bring something different from the comics.

          Then there’s Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch and the whole question on how Marvel will handle them given they can’t use their mutant backstories.

          • @JamesF- Yeah I was laughing at that ‘Dr. Mindbender’ dude when he made that comment and was wondering what he hell was he talking about. So by his account any ‘Avengers’ film we see from now on will b a ra-hash, despite the fact that we will be seeing great villains like ‘Ultron’ & ‘Thanos that will bring new challenges, dynamics and complex storylines, hell and any other CBM that gets a sequel to will be a re-hash as well LMAO. Come on now guy lol.

            • Yeah, I realize now that was a pretty dumb way of putting it.

              I was just referring to Batman/Superman being the next “new, big, never-done-before-thing.”

              I am well aware and very excited that we are getting new stories with new characters with future Avenger installments.

              • Don’t get me wrong though I’m still extremely excited to see what DC has in store for us although I am hoping the newest title ISN’T called Superman Vs Batman.

          • I think Marvel is obviously going to just go the route of ‘Scarlet Witch’ & ‘Quicksilver’s’ Avengers history and probably based them on their on their ‘Inhumans’ connection. As far as that guy saying the same characters for AOU well duh, that’s a stupid thing to say. With any sequel to a CB you’re going to see the same characters with new additions along the way of course.

            • Yeap, I’m thinking Inhumans and I keep pushing that theory in my posts. I’m still wondering if any of that will show up in Agents of SHIELD.

        • And we’re going to see more of the Avengers in the future fortunately, I’m looking forward to seeing how the team evolves through new members, enemies, and challenges.

    • Not really fair to say that DC is getting all the “excitement and attention…”

      Marvel has Agents of Shield on t.v. which is getting lots of attention (negative and positive) My parents watch AoS and don’t watch arrow.

      DC has Arrow. I don’t know anyone personally or any one I’m around that watches Arrow. Although I know it is really popular. Im about to give season 1 a go.

      The difference is AoS is on a network (ABC) that is watched by mainstream general public / families.

      When I told my dad (who is in his 60s and grew up with comics) about Ant-man, he was really excited.

      My opinion is that both are pretty even as for excitement and attention. It all comes down to the people you know and what they’ve heard of. It’s all bias…

      • It’s not really bias at all. The WB/DC announcements receive national media attention (Batfleck, Gal Gadot) whereas the Marvel/Disney announcements, do not.

        • National media attention from announcements are cool and all, but you still have to perform at the box office which is a whole different story. Talking about a movie is one thing, but going to spend your money on it is another thing.

        • ^^^^ To clarify, *ahem*

          I’m stating my argument for why the buzz right now is on the next DC product. Not saying that makes them better for it or Marvel worse for it.

          Still, the “new, big, never-done-before-thing” is the big screen meet-up of the big two. It’s freakin’ history being made people, c’mon!

          (If you bring up BO dollars, you are not a real fan. You are a quasi-tard who above all else is interested in internet bragging rights over the quality of the product.)

          **Also, after learning my lesson to proof read around here before posting**

          In terms of comic book movies, the next “new, big, never-done-before-thing” is actually GotG, not BvS. Something which I am definitely rooting for… even if it’s not what I had originally hoped when I first heard about Guardians:


          This is me realizing that Days of Future Past is actually the TRUE “new, big, never-done-thing”

          I give.

          Glad to be a fan. ;)

          • That certainly doesn’t mean it’s what your most excited for and it doesn’t have to be, not to be out of line but you don’t have to base what excites you by what the majority of us are into (although I’m sorry for talking down to you if you got that already).

            Personally I think there’s this silly thing in comic books and indeed in a lot of geek culture where you need to pick one or the other. Marvel OR DC, Playstation OR Xbox and so on when there’s nothing to say we can’t enjoy both. I’m more of a marvel fan but I’ve seen every DC film so far and I don’t plan on stopping. (Personally Man of Steel was great although I didn’t like how it was told by flashbacks that made the story feel out of place).

      • Well Joe, your parents have bad taste.

        • @ Chase…
          Making a personal attack on someone’s family for no reason isn’t called for. I never said a bad thing about any DC or Marvel show in my above post and you come out with “Well Joe, your parents have bad taste.” Doesn’t make you look like a jerk at all does it?…

          My parents are in their 60′s. You think they are really going to watch CW? A channel with shows like Supernatural, The Tomorrow People, The Originals, The Carrie Diaries, Beauty and the Beast, The Vampire diaries, etc? Probably not. Like most people, my parents pick certain shows and continue to follow those shows. They don’t have that much time in their very busy lives (even with DVR) to try too many new shows.

          the stuff on CW is generally not that popular with their demographic. Its more popular with the age group 15-35. You know what is popular with my parents demographic? (those in 50′s and up) Shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX,…basic cable t.v… My parents are watching basic cable shows like NCIS, Blacklist, Person Interest, Elementary, Almost Human, Tonight Show, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0, Agents of SHIELD, etc. Many of those shows are considered great shows.

      • You should really give Arrow a try. It is worth watching. In Season 1 his fighting style is really gritty, you’re deff going to enjoy it! You should watch it with your dad, he’ll be really into it.

    • well, until they actually start filming anything, this is STILL all speculation. in the past year wb/dc has announced, and moved, the “JL” film, and now superman/batman. they certainly have done a lot of schedule shuffling for 2 properties that havent even shot the 1st photograph yet. i think all the “excitement and attention” is just your own.
      i also have to say that the cosmos is the limit for marvel. they at least know how to plan, and execute, their CU. i also don’t see their films as a rehash. all the sequels of “The Avengers” have been totally different than their predecessors (like or not).
      i’m not bashing. I’m a fan of ALL comic book films regardless of comic company of origin.

      • @jeffro – (Applause) Finally some words of wisdom entering the fray, common sense was much needed here my friend, thanks for dropping some facts. I agree with everything you said.

  4. Now that the filming is going to start, there’s going to be confirmations coming up. Also, watch out for Comic Cons.

    This will be fun watching the crowd go wild.

    • And what a confirmation it was, pushing the next movie to 2016. WB certainly knows which buttons to push to drive fans wild.

  5. DC Comics is getting the most and we are getting there

  6. I think Antman is the riskier cast because they are changing his origin so much I don’t think it will do well. Guardian of the galaxy has an internet buzz but as far as mainstream attention there is none.

    But Superman and Batman are known worldwide and I like the approach they are taking I think it will be a huge success.

    • @Alexander L – You make a great point about GOTG having internet buzz but lacking mainstream attention, that’s why Marvel has to start stepping up to the plate and doing a much better job promoting the film. This isn’t ‘Cap’, ‘Spidey’ and ‘X-Men’ where their popularity sells itself, GOTG are not known by movie audiences yet. Marvel should have already released a trailer to the film, they better have one for it by the Super Bowl and a new one airing with “CA: TWS”. Like you said Marvel has done a great job creating internet buzz, but internet buzz alone does not translate into big box office, you need strong marketing and promoting as well. Movie audiences can’t get excited for a film if it’s not on their radar.

  7. I,m really more a DC guy in terms of the characers, but Marvel makes flms I like better. DC and Warners “grounded in realty” appoach for me takes away from the spectacle somewhat. To me they’re watered down and generic looking, made less than they could be. I saw DK, DKR,and MOS 1 time each with no real desire to see them again after seeing all the earlier films 7 t 14 times.The costumes are the biggest deal to me. It does’nt matter what Gadot looks like if the suit is all wrong anyway. I actually get more satisfaction ouf fan films online.

    • I totally agree with you about DC’s realistic approach to their characters. For Batman, I understand – wealthy guy with no superpowers takes on psychopaths and assassins. But Superman!?! C’mon! They couldn’t have done a better plot than General Zod and Superman’s humanity. And the costume thing is spot on. I can’t stand superhero movies with costumes that look nothing like its comic counterpart, i.e. Green Lantern.

  8. Not sure why would anybody think that Superman/Batman is a huge risk. If you are looking at it from a financial point of view, the name Batman and Superman will bring a crap load of people to the theaters, no matter who the actors are or how good/bad the script is. I’d be shocked if it doesn’t hit the billion dollar mark. For WB/DC it will be be a financial success.

    The only thing DC fans should hope is for the movie to be actually good and not something that’s horrible but still makes money. Transformers comes to mind as far as building a big movie franchise out mediocre stories.

    Marvel on the other hand are taking a huge risk introducing all these new characters. Ant-man? Rocket Raccoon? who the hell are these guys and why should I care is what most regular people who don’t read comics will think.

    • True, characters like Ant-Man and Rocket Raccoon are less well known than Batman and Superman, but the same thing was said for Iron Man. And no offence intended to DC (I personally loved the Nolan Batman series)but even I admit that they didn’t come close to beating Iron Man 3 at the box office. So don’t discount characters just because they might be less well known right now.

  9. You all eat poop

  10. How are you not reporting on the HUGE BvS news all over the internet yet SR?

    WB has pushed it back until 2016 apparently.

    • I just caught wind of it about an hour ago, pushed back to 2016 wow. I don’t they we’re ready to compete in 2015, summer of 2016 will be a little softer and easier to excel at.

      • They should release it on May 1, 2016 though. That’s a holiday. No work. Partly the reason why Iron Man 3 got a huge reaping from opening.

    • Because it is news that dropped at 10pm on a Fri night.

      We may be Internet peeps – but socially we’re pretty elite. We have stuff to do on a Fri night.

    • I was at a bar for my friend’s B-Day.

  11. Marvel is taken bigger risks. You can tell if Batman vs. Superman now been pushed back. I been saying it, how they were rushing that film. That’s WB. Typical on WB’s part to wanna release Batman vs. Superman same year as Antman. Antman I assume will do well but not as well two two titans from DC.

  12. I whant to See a movie marvel vs dc and i would like to See a movie with a lot of súper héroes including xmen , Spider-man together and more villans not 2 or 3 like 6 and finishing the movie and surprising the audience puting a xmen hero helping Spider-man that’s what I think