Whether you discovered Arrow one day browsing Netflix or watched the first episode air live on CW back in 2012, one thing is for sure, you always got excited for the emergence of a new character in the Arrowverse. With every announcement of future heroes and villains debuting on the collection of shows CW has created, fans eagerly speculate as to who might be chosen to take on the role. Many will believe that the fan casting they made in their head sometimes would have been better than the actual casting fans received. Do not worry, you are not alone in this and for that reason here is a list of some fan castings from around the web that fans wish had been the case.
However, here are a few house rules for this list. First, this is a mix-matched list of castings from all over the web and some from our own contributors at ScreenRant. Second, the list is meant to be fantasy; obviously some of these casting choices may not have been practical (it does not mean you cannot dream). Finally, this list is for all the Arrowverse, so no character is safe from our fan fever. With that, let us dive into this dream list of what-could-have-been. Here are 25 Arrowverse Fan Castings Better Than What We Got.
25 Oscar Isaac as Captain Cold
Oscar Isaac swallows every scene he is in. He commands the audience's attention and delivers his lines in such a way that fans immediately flock to him. These traits would have made Isaac perfect for the role of Captain Cold. Wentworth Miller did in fact grow into a fan favorite, and even showed up on Legends of Tomorrow, so Isaac would just have expanded on the character. Captain Cold was a well-written character and that contributed to his popularity. With Isaac taking the role, that popularity would have skyrocketed past expectations.
There are not many well-liked actors who could take an anti-hero like Captain Cold and make him a fan favorite. Wentworth Miller did that when he took the role, but Isaac definitely would have been even better.
24 Dan Stevens as Reverse Flash
Sometimes actors just have the right look and Dan Stevens has the right look to play Reverse Flash. By “right look” that means he has a punchable villain face. Granted, Stevens lacks the smart science look that the show went for in casting Tom Cavanagh, but many fans would lstill ove to see this version of Reverse Flash standing face to face with Grant Gustin’s Flash. The aesthetic of the two would be too dynamic to ignore.
If only the series had taken the villain in a different direction, then this casting could have been possible.
However, Reverse Flash has not disappointed fans too much to this point in the series.
Fan art by Bosslogic.
23 Tom Welling as Superman
Okay, if the Smallville theme song did not come to your mind when you saw this name, then something is wrong with you. Tom Welling was a wonderful Superman and fans loved watching him grow into the role. He proved he could handle the red cape and spandex, and the nostalgia of Smallville crossing over into the Arrowverse would have been an immense boost. When fans heard Supergirl was going to debut Superman, Welling was a popular name on the internet. He had the charisma and confidence that Superman needs to have and audiences would have felt as if they knew his back story. It was a no-brainer.
Instead, viewers got Tyler Hoechlin as the Man of Steel. A residual thud hit the fan base, and many would argue that Supergirl is still recovering from the choice.
22 Oprah Winfrey as Amanda Waller
Oprah Winfrey has the talent to pull off the role, as at this point, audiences have seen her act and they know her range. Plus, everything Oprah is involved in gets a boost in viewership, which is something every show should want. However, the one drawback is Amanda Waller is not always likeable and most of the time she is considered cold and distant. So, not everyone would like to see Oprah take on that part, but most fans can admit that Oprah would take ahold of this role and bring it to a new level.
Amanda Waller feels like a tiny footnote in the history of the Arrowverse at this point, but if the casting had been as strong as Oprah, that would not have been the case.
21 Ron Perlman as Deathstroke
Sometimes you just go out of the box with your ideal casting choice. Ron Perlman as Deathstroke comes way out of left field and would change the nature of the character entirely. Still, fans of the comics have seen an older Deathstroke and the character worked out well. So there could have easily be a scenario where 68 year-old Perlman took the role. The man is extremely powerful and no nonsense, so he would have delivered a perfect Deathstroke. Not to mention he would have felt even more unbeatable, and even a tad bit scary.
Perlman is familiar to comic book movie fans and seeing him as Deathstroke would have been a dream come true. His entrance into comic book television would have worked perfectly as this battered and broken contract killer.
20 Brock Lesnar as Killer Croc
This is a double fan casting that would have been better than what we got. Instead of the beast of a human that is Brock Lesnar, fans got King Shark. Needless to say that arc in The Flash would have been ten times better with Lesnar as a half-crocodile, half-human monster. Lesnar has not shown he can act all that well, but that is what makes this role perfect for him. All Lesnar would have to do is be intimidating and large. He does that on a regular basis.
Have you seen this man fight in the octagon? Picture him locking up Grant Gustin in a submission. Now, picture the same thing, but put Lesnar in crocodile makeup. The point has been made.
19 Chloe Grace Moretz as Batgirl
Chloe Grace Moretz feels like she was born to play this role. This is not a diss to Ruby Rose. Rose should be a wonderful casting choice, but Moretz matches the character in so many ways that it's hard to deny she was a better choice. She has the same ability to display the spunk Rose was chosen for and her role in Kick Ass has proven she can, well, do what the title says. She just seems to fit more into what the Arrowverse has led fans to expect style-wise.
Moretz has the range to fill the character more dynamically than what will likely happen with Rose. Again, the casting choice was not bad, but Moretz was definitely what the fans wanted in the role.
18 Kevin Bacon as Reverse Flash
Kevin Bacon can take any role he wants. Sadly, he did not take this role. Eobard Thawne is a creepy genius and a puppet master. The way Thawne pulled the strings of the entire team during the first season was compelling and fans would agree that giving Bacon that role would have been an exclamation point to that storyline. Bacon can play both hero and villain in shows and could have easily shifted from helpful Harrison Wells to spiteful Eobard Thawne.
Bacon is in high demand, but if he had taken on this role, viewers would have appreciated the plot twist to the first season in new ways.
17 Alden Ehrenreich as Superman
Regardless of whether you liked Alden Ehrenreich in Solo: A Star Wars Story, he could nail the role of Superman in the Arrowverse. Ehrenreich is great in small doses. The way he approaches characters with such a bare bones structure can feel one note, but if a viewer does not see him in every episode, his acting approach works much better. Ehrenreich would have felt trusted and like a reliable golden boy there to help when he can. Not to mention he would have way more authentic charisma than Tyler Hoechlin.
There is a Earth out there where this fan-casting does happen and that Earth also has Big Belly Burgers too, so maybe scientists should figure out how to get us there soon.
16 Millie Bobby Brown as Raven
Fans will give Teagan Croft a chance to show us this was the right casting choice, but fans know this role fit Millie Bobby Brown. Brown has the proven talent and the aura of the character. Now, some may argue that she wouldn’t be separating herself from Eleven on Stranger Things, but that is simply not true. Both characters have powers, but the story behind those powers are different. Raven has a whole different range of emotion than Brown’s character on Stranger Things and, therefore, she would have a chance to show a different side of her talent. Plus, no nose bleeds!
At the same, Croft might not be a bad casting decision. The jury is still out. However, the fans are certainly right that in a dream scenario Millie Bobby Brown would have filled this role perfectly.
15 Armie Hammer as Green Arrow
Stephen Amell is mostly loved by fans and this fan casting isn't looking to diminish all the work he's done in the role. However, that doesn't mean Armie Hammer wouldn't have provided a lot in the role. Hammer displays the confidence and sass fans want out of the character. Hammer would keep Green Arrow from falling into the serious, no nonsense approach Amell tends to move towards. Fans want to see Green Arrow be able to have fun at times and Hammer could have delivered the needed relief from the heavier moments in the show.
This is a big hindsight pick, but Hammer might have brought a more accurate approach to the role, in terms of how he appears in the comics, even if the choice was never likely to happen.
14 Lance Reddick as Martian Manhunter
Lance Reddick may not come to many fans mind when they picture who should play J’onn J’onzz, but his roles in The Wire and John Wick proved he has the demeanor to capture the Manhunter’s essence. Reddick can play the straight face alien nature of J’onzz while still standing out in a good way. His portrayal of the character would not feel derivative or lackluster, which might bring a lot to the role. Martian Manhunter needs to have the right delivery to be respected and that is where Reddick would shine.
Reddick would have felt out-of-this-world, but also strangely of it, which captures J’onzz perfectly.
Art by Kyomusha.
13 Aaron Taylor Johnson as Nightwing
Nightwing/Dick Grayson needs to be tough, but he also needs to be snarky. He isn’t quite Damian Wayne on the immaturity scale, but he needs to have moments of insecurity, while still feeling like a leader. Aaron Taylor Johnson would fill all those demands easily. He has played heroes with a little edge and fans know he can act with range. So, when fans proposed this casting choice it left many people wishing it had come true. Brenton Thwaites will be a good Robin and not many fans are worried about that. Fans just wanted Nightwing to be in Titans and Johnson fit the character design.
Now, this is a bit of a tricky casting, since it hasn't been confirmed that Titans will be part of the Arrowverse, but there are plenty of rumors surrounding it, so we decided to include this one!
Art by seid-a-th.
12 Harrison Ford as Golden Age Flash
Harrison Ford will be remembered in all our hearts as Han Solo and Indiana Jones, but that does not mean he could not have joined The Flash cast as Jay Garrick. Ford has all the grit and wisecracking delivery to be the guiding force behind Barry Allen’s growth as a speedster. His acting chomps and reverence across many fandoms would have given heft to the early seasons of the show, and a Harrison Ford Flash would have just looked awesome, too. Seriously, just picture that costume for a moment.
Now, this is not to say John Wesley Shipp did a terrible job of playing Golden Age Flash. Instead, putting Ford on this list is just saying he would have been the ideal actor to fill this role.
11 Naveen Andrews as Ras ah Ghul
Ra’s ah Ghul is hard to cast. Matt Nable did not feel like that much of a villain when he took on the character in season three of Arrow. So, it feels as if fans had the right call in casting Naveen Andrews as the villain. Ra’s ah Ghul is confident and precise, while his demeanor resembles that of an unshakable force. That kind of heavy-handed threat within such a reserved character role is hard to take on, but Andrews has plenty of experience. His roles on Sense8 and Lost definitely exhibit the fact he can handle such a task.
It is hard to get a villain just right, but Andrews knows what it takes to get the role just right. If this casting had been the case, season three of Arrow would have been much better all around.
10 Ansel Elgort as Flash
Ansel Elgort showed audiences he could go fast in Baby Driver and that left an impression on Arrowverse fans. Many began to wonder if Elgort would have been a better casting than Grant Gustin and the points are valid. Though he's often terrific and loved by fans, Gustin can feel a bit melodramatic in the role. Elgort would likely bring a more refined demeanor. Elgort would have carried a swagger that Flash does not necessarily have at the moment, but, to be fair, some fans do not want that in the hero.
All in all, Gustin has performed well as The Flash. Suggesting Elgort for this entry is more so saying that he would have bring a different kind of Barry Allen than what fans got. That version of Allen is better in some ways, but he would have his drawbacks.
9 Ralph Fiennes as The Thinker
The Thinker was a big time villain in season four of The Flash. His arc had weight and the plot fixed a lot of the trouble that fans were starting to see in the series. Still, fans could not help but wonder what actor would have been the absolute ideal choice for the role. Enter Ralph Fiennes. Fiennes plays villains effortlessly, as he just has the right temperament to play them. The rational, calm, confined nature of the Cliff DeVoe would fit perfectly with Fiennes' skill-set.
Neil Sandilands felt like he was doing his best Ralph Fiennes impression when he played The Thinker. It worked, but fans would certainly prefer the real thing.
8 Benedict Cumberbatch as Malcolm Merlyn
Benedict Cumberbatch can do whatever he wants. He has fans from across a variety of different fandoms, so it makes sense that Cumberbatch would be attached to Malcolm Merlyn by fans. Merlyn feels like the villain who can do it all. He is sauve and confident, but never boastful. He keeps collected for the most part, but when he loses his temper, he becomes incredibly scary. So, it seems as if fans had the right idea when they pictured Cumberbatch for the role.
Cumberbatch is far too busy to have ever played Malcolm Merlyn, but John Barrowman was an ideal casting in the end. Still, Cumberbatch would have pushed the characters to a higher level.
7 Jon Bernthal as Deathstroke
Jon Bernthal is the epitome of destruction as The Punisher. So, it is not hard to believe that he could nail the ruthless nature of Deathstroke. With Bernthal in the role, Deathstroke would have been more intimidating and his delivery would've given more weight to the lines. When a Bernthal character gets angry, you feel it as a viewer, so an angry Deathstroke played by Bernthal would have been super scary. Not to mention he would have looked awesome in that outfit.
Bernthal has been typecast into the kind of role that Deathstroke is, so its not a stretch to say he would have excelled in the role. Many fans easily made the connection and if Bernthal had emerged as a force in the industry just a few years earlier, the role may have been his.
6 Josh Hutcherson as Arsenal
Josh Hutcherson was in the spotlight when he appeared in Hunger Games, but since then, fans have wished he was more active. After watching the way Roy Harper was depicted by Colton Haynes, many viewers were left thinking their choices were better than what they saw. Hutcherson can play the sidekick well and his talent and professionalism would have matched Stephen Amell’s energy. Not to mention Hutcherson is no stranger to romance in his roles, so the arc with Speedy and Arsenal would have landed much better with someone else in the role.
Haynes has improved enough in guest appearances that it seems he is finally ready to come back to the Arrowverse full time, but the departure would not have been necessary for Hutcherson who would have solidified himself as an amazing tandem with Green Arrow.
5 Cobie Smulders as Alex Danvers
This entry is another example of how fans crave solidified actors to support a burgeoning series. Cobie Smulders is a veteran of the industry and her role in the Marvel movies shows she can do action with ease. Seeing her as Alex Danvers would have made a lot of sense. Smulders plays the confident professional well and Danvers can be dry when not played to the right tone. Hence what Smulders could have brought to the role. Not only would she bring a sense of familiarity to fans, but she would be more familiar with how to play Danvers in a way that would not exhaust viewers.
4 Stephan James as Kid Flash
Wally West was not supposed to be a nerd. When fans got their first look at Kid Flash played by Keiynan Lonsdale, they thought the character looked promising. Still some saw the problems coming and suggested Stephan James fit the character better. James played Jesse Owens in Race, so maybe it's because fans saw him running that they equated the two. Still, after Lonsdale began to stop appearing as Kid Flash, it showed that another actor may have been better suited for the role. James has more of a presence when he is in the scene and fans would have received his quips and one liners better.
Lonsdale may return to the role, but for now his absence has fans wishing the casting director had gone a different direction and that Stephan James had been cast instead.
3 James Franco as John Constantine
John Constantine has to have a certain look and while Matt Ryan did have that look, his depiction of John Constantine felt too clean at times. James Franco fills out that look in ways Ryan does not, although we're aware that Franco is a controversial figure in the industry. He often takes on softer characters with a well-to-do demeanor. Yet, the idea of him taking on a character like John Constantine seems indicative of how much Franco brings to every role. This role takes a lot of balance to bring to the screen the correct way and If Franco was brought on like fans dreamed about, then the John Constantine puzzle may have been solved.
2 Rob Lowe as The Atom
Rob Lowe is good with cheerful characters, like Chris Traeger on Parks and Recreation who left fans wishing for more tv appearances from him. With that in mind, Ray Palmer felt like the perfect role for Lowe. Lowe can play the confident, often cartoonish character to ideal taste. The Atom is often easy going and commanding in his stature, so Lowe could definitely fit the emotional range demanded by The Atom and fans could easily see him being the leader of the Legends of Tomorrow.
Brandon Routh as The Atom works, but he is not distinct enough to be used in other shows often. Lowe would give The Atom more popularity and he would have fit the role so well that it would lend itself to more guest appearances.
1 Jensen Ackles as Steel
Jensen Ackles has the kind of charisma that makes him number one on most superhero fans wanted list. Ackles has been a mainstay of Supernatural for years and that has left many fans wishing he would branch out and take on another role. Nate Heywood/Steel in the Arrowverse would have been a great fit. Heywood had an interesting character origin and Ackles would have lended a more sincere portrayal of that story. Not to mention his acting works well with partners, so his role on the Legends of Tomorrow would have been a better mix up to the personalities already on the team. Ultimately, the chance for this role would have accelerated the popularity of Steel and helped Ackles on his push towards bigger things.
Which of these did you most want to see? Let us know in the comments!