When it comes to movie casting, art often imitates life. However, in this age of fancasts, there are plenty of other times when life imitates art.
Choosing an actor to portray a beloved character may be up to people who are part of the filming process, but that doesn’t mean that those involved never take some inspiration from fans. The success of superhero films hinges on several factors, including, story, acting, and direction. Another vital piece of the puzzle is, of course, the actors who are cast in these beloved roles.
Comic book readers may be a nit-picky bunch, they are also among the most passionate fans out there. They eagerly await every piece of news regarding their favorite adaptations and hope against hope that the movies will do the source material justice. There are few disappointments equal to watching something you love be completely destroyed in the jump from page to screen.
These images were lovingly crafted by fans and while most of these castings will never become a reality, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun to witness the actors’ transformations from stars to champions. We think that these artists did an incredible job and we’re certain that you will too.
Here are 20 Amazing A-Listers Reimagined as Superheroes.
20 John Boyega as Blade
Wesley Snipes may not want anyone else tackling the role of Blade, but this piece by BossLogic makes a pretty convincing case for John Boyega to takeover as the Daywalker.
Boyega has been the subject of more than one superhero fancast, including Green Lantern, John Stewart.
When recently questioned about the possibility, he was certainly amenable to portraying a superhero.
However, when asked to chose between Marvel and DC, the actor admitted that it would be a difficult decision.
Boyega is, of course, best known as Finn from the recent Star Wars films, although his new movie, Pacific Rim: Uprising, opened this month. Whether or not he has a future in superhero movies remains to be seen, but at least we know that he’s open to it.
19 Kristen Bell as Harley Quinn
Although she has developed a rather extensive resume, for some of us, Kristen Bell will always be Veronica Mars. However, for at least the last ten years, she has been fan cast as another awesome character: Dr. Harleen Quinzel, aka Harley Quinn.
Fans have been clamoring for the actress to play the Joker’s paramour since the Christopher Nolan era of Batman movies. This particular piece was created by RogueAfrica, but there are plenty more out there with similar subject matter.
Of course, Margot Robbie absolutely nailed it in Suicide Squad. The film had its share of problems, but she was not one of them.
Although Bell will never be the DCEU’s Harley, this image gives some insight into what she would have looked like as the character.
18 Charlie Hunnam as Green Arrow
This is another fancast that has sort of taken on a life of its own in recent years. Stephen Amell may have the small screen covered, but pretty much since the launch of the DCEU fans have lobbied rather passionately for Charlie Hunnam to play Oliver Queen on the big screen. In this piece by Ilver Safin, the Sons of Anarchy star certainly looks the part.
Although the actor initially was very against the idea of portraying a superhero, last year saw him soften on the subject. An interviewer explained the similarities between Hunnam and Queen, as well as the fact that it would be a dream come true for fans. He responded by saying, “Well then, c'mon DC, what's up?! Gimme a call, I'm here!”
17 Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor
Before Jesse Eisenberg was cast as Superman’s arch nemesis, many names were bandied about by fans. Of all of the potential choices, one that really seemed to stick was Bryan Cranston. However, despite claims that the Breaking Bad star was up for the part of Lex Luthor, the actor claimed that this was never a real possibility - although he would’ve been interested.
The plot thickens though, because Zack Snyder has since stated that Cranston was considered for the role.
While Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice was an incredibly divisive film, there was one thing that fans pretty much universally agreed on: Eisenberg, while a fine actor in his own right, wasn’t much of a Lex Luthor. It’s interesting to consider what could have been, had Cranston been chosen instead.
16 Beyoncé as Spider-Woman
Although the rest of these were fancast images created by artists, this one is simply Beyoncé in her amazing Halloween costume. It’s the casting that no one knew that they wanted until they saw it. Seriously, you’re considering the possibility right now, aren’t you?
We know that Beyoncé can act and she’s obviously got the attitude piece of the superhero puzzle nailed.
While Peter Parker has had three different actors portray him since 2002, we have yet to see Spider-Woman or even Spider-Girl enter the picture at all. Perhaps Jessica Drew will make an appearance on Jessica Jones eventually. They spent a decent amount of time together in the comics. If she does, we think that Beyoncé would be an inspired choice to play her.
15 Idris Elba as John Stewart
We know that Idris Elba has been playing Heimdall in the MCU, but he would hardly be the only actor to portray a character for both companies. The actor has made it clear that he doesn’t exactly love the superhero life, but that seems to have changed with Ragnarok.
Perhaps Elba would eventually be open to jumping from Asgard to outer space.
This piece by poumap is pretty compelling evidence that the next Green Lantern should be John Stewart and that Elba is the best man for the job. Even though it will likely never happen, that doesn’t change the fact that fans have been hoping for it to for quite some time. Let’s be real, though, Elba is fancast in basically everything - with good reason.
14 Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as John Constantine
Ilver Safin created this piece casting Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as John Constantine and we can all probably agree that this would be a pretty great idea.
The Game of Thrones star already has experience playing a character who exists in a moral gray area and he obviously has the look down. Jaime Lannister and John Constantine may live in different worlds, but they have a fair amount in common as well. Both have a sort of code of honor, despite the fact that they are often giving into the worst parts of themselves.
We love Matt Ryan as Constantine in DC’s television universe, but should the DCEU ever give him a new big screen adaptation, they should keep Coster-Waldau in mind. He will, after all, be out of a job soon.
13 Jared Padalecki as Nightwing and Jensen Ackles as Red Hood
The fact that Jared Padalecki and his onscreen Supernatural brother, Jensen Ackles, were both fancast as former Robins is undeniably awesome. These pieces also come from BossLogic, and we think that Padalecki and Ackles look perfect as Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, respectively.
Aside from their looks, both actors definitely have the acting chops to portray these beloved characters.
There is a Nightwing film in the works and, for his part, Padalecki is game. When a Screen Rant writer reached out to him on Twitter, the actor responded, saying, “I’ve always wanted to…” Now we just need to convince Ackles.
These guys are great onscreen partners and have been for the past thirteen years. We’d love to see them suit up and continue to work together as superheroes.
12 Natalie Dormer as Captain Marvel
We know that Natalie Dormer has already appeared as a different character in Captain America: The First Avenger and that Brie Larson has already been cast as Captain Marvel. That doesn’t make Natalie Dormer look any less impressive in this piece by Tanyshe4ka.
The actress is known for her work on projects such as Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games franchise. She has shown impressive dramatic range and it didn’t take long for the internet to decide that she would be an excellent addition to the MCU.
There is a lot fan art out there to suggest that fans were pretty into the idea. We’re sure that Larson is going to be spot on as Carol Danvers - Marvel has an eye for casting - but Dormer would’ve certainly been a fine choice as well.
11 Amber Heard as Thor
Of course, we know that Amber Heard is set to reprise her role as Mera when Aquaman drops later this year. Even still, this piece by Josh McMahon is pretty incredible. He actually reimagined all the Avengers as women - don’t worry, we’ll get to the others. His choices for each hero are rather inspired. He obviously knew that Heard was capable of playing a comic book character before the DCEU did.
It is entirely plausible that eventually the movies will take further inspiration from the comics and bring a female Thor into the mix. There is a possibility that Chris Hemsworth’s Asgardian won’t make it through Infinity War. We know Heard can’t be the next Thor, but that doesn’t mean that his successor can’t be a woman.
10 Michael Fassbender as Two-Face
Michael Fassbender is charismatic, talented, and extremely handsome. These qualities make him a perfect choice to portray Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face.
Aaron Eckhart did a great job playing the Batman villain in the Nolan films. However, the character will likely return to the big screen someday and this poster makes a strong case for Fassbender to step into that two-tone suit.
Sure, these days the actor has his hands full playing another complex character: Magneto. He managed to make the Master of Magnetism incredibly sympathetic, despite his more villainous tendencies.
Although that casting makes Fassbender an unlikely candidate - he likely wouldn’t want to jump from one superhero franchise to another - there’s no denying that he has both the looks and acting chops to expertly pull off such a part.
9 Alison Brie as Captain America
Here is another one from Josh McMahon and we can all agree that Alison Brie looks every bit the hero Steve Rogers does. The actress was once best known for her role in Community, but recently impressed viewers with her turn as a female wrestler in Netflix’s Glow - if you’ve not seen it yet, it’s long past time to move it up in your queue.
Captain America is the most likely character not to make it to the end of Infinity War alive, leaving the door open for Bucky or Sam Wilson to take up the mantle in Rogers’s stead. A less popular theory is that Agent 13 could be the next one to don his red, white, and blues.
Brie is most likely tied up with Glow, but let’s remember that Cap doesn’t necessarily need to be a man.
8 Anna Kendrick as Squirrel Girl
We know that Milana Vayntrub - Kevin’s ex-girlfriend Sloan from This is Us - has already been tapped to play Doreen Green in Marvel’s upcoming New Warriors series, set to air on Freeform later this year. However, before she got the part, Anna Kendrick was the fan favorite choice to play Squirrel Girl.
This piece by BossLogic makes it clear why fans lobbied so hard for her to get the role.
It started when Kendrick expressed interest in playing Doreen Green. After that, it didn’t take long for the fan art to start appearing and for the internet to be completely sold on the idea.
Marvel has a proven track record with brilliant casting, so we’ll trust them that Vayntrub is the woman for the job. Still, Kendrick looks pretty perfect here.
7 Rooney Mara as Loki
This fancast may have gotten its start as a result of people pointing out that Rooney Mara and Tom Hiddleston kind of look alike, as evidenced by this Josh McMahon piece. She also has a history of playing dark and complicated characters, and Loki definitely falls into that category. He has taken many forms in the comics and one of them was indeed female, so it’s not like there is no precedent here.
Loki is one of many characters that could be in danger during Infinity War. However, the trickster has proven notoriously difficult to annihilate, so perhaps if that particular fate were to befall Loki during the thirrd Avengers installment, he could rise from the ashes in a different body.
Hiddleston would be a near impossible act to follow, so a female trickster played a two-time Academy Award nominee might be the way to go.
6 Patrick Stewart as Mr. Freeze
Batman & Robin is certainly the most maligned movie featuring the Caped Crusader. The film was jam packed with too many characters and not one of them was portrayed well. Even casting good actors could not save this movie. Some fans appreciate the campy take on the Dark Knight, but most have developed an enduring hatred for it.
One long standing rumor was that Patrick Stewart was originally up for the role of Victor Fries, aka Mr. Freeze, but that he was passed over for Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, director Joel Schumacher has been clear that Schwarzenegger was always the first choice.
There’s no denying, based on this piece, that Stewart would’ve been perfect.
It’s for the best, though, considering that he was also perfect for another role: Professor X.
5 Eliza Dushku as Catwoman
Multiple actresses have portrayed Catwoman on the big screen, with results ranging from incredible to terrible. Eliza Dushku voiced the feline felon in the animated feature, Batman: Year One, as well as the short film accompanying the DVD release.
Considering the amount of geek cred on the actress’s resume, plenty of fans feel that she would make an excellent Selina Kyle. Clearly, BossLogic agrees and created this piece to show fans what Dushku could look like in the role.
It’s unclear whether or not Gotham City Sirens is still happening, but either way, Catwoman is too important to the Bat’s mythology to be left out in the cold for long. Of course, there was never any indication that Dushku was being considered, but this piece makes for some compelling evidence that she should be.
4 Sandra Bullock as Iron Man
Another excellent piece by Josh McMahon, this photshop gives us some insight into what Sandra Bullock would look like as the Armored Avenger.
Sure, when Robert Downey Jr. eventually exits the MCU, his boots could be filled by Rhodey, Pepper, or even Shuri. The actor will be pretty irreplaceable, but there are some fairly great options.
Although Bullock will never portray Iron Man, there is no denying that she was rather inspired casting here.
The actress has been known to play a wide range of characters, and anyone who’s seen Gravity knows that she can portray a hero up against insurmountable odds. Just because we won’t ever see Bullock in the MCU doesn’t mean that we can’t imagine how much fun it would be if she was.
3 Neil Patrick Harris as The Riddler
This piece by Josh McMahon imagines what Neil Patrick Harris might look like as Edward Nigma, aka the Riddler. Not only has the actor previously expressed that he could be amenable to such a role, but there was actually a fan petition circulating to cast him.
If you weren’t already sold on the idea, this image proves that you probably should be.
Harris may be a beloved performer, but his time as Count Olaf in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events proves that he has no problem exploring his dark side. He has always shown tremendous range as an actor, whether it was playing Barney Stinson or Hedwig Robinson. We have no doubt that Harris could make Nigma a sympathetic character, but keep his delightful quirks intact.
2 Emma Stone as Poison Ivy
Emma Stone already joined the respected annals of Marvel Comics when she portrayed Gwen Stacey in the Amazing Spider-Man films. The movies themselves may have been rather divisive, but that had absolutely nothing to do with Stone’s performance.
While plenty of fans have cast the actress as Batgirl, this piece by BossLogic gives us a glimpse into what Emma Stone might look like as a villain rather than a hero.
Stone might not be the first choice that springs to mind when considering Pamela Isley, but this image provides strong evidence that she would be a great option. If Gotham City Sirens ever actually happened, just imagine Eliza Dushku, Emma Stone, and Margot Robbie tearing up Gotham together.
1 Emma Watson as Supergirl
It’s kind of surprising that there aren’t more fan casts involving Emma Watson as Kara Zor-El. Not only does she look the part, but she has already played a superhero of sorts as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise.
Melissa Benoist is the perfect TV Supergirl, but if the character is ever brought into the DCEU, Watson wouldn’t be a bad choice to portray the Girl of Steel.
Warner Bros. would most likely choose a more high-profile actress to bring Supergirl to the big screen and Watson certainly looks every bit the hero here. Sure, it’s entirely possible that the actress has no interest in playing a comic book character at all. Alas, we’ll just have to imagine what could have been.
What do you think about these celebrities reimagined as superheroes? Let us know in the comments!