strange like that

Comics to Film and the Complaining That Goes With It

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine


Oh the madness that is casting a comic book based film! Recently, we had two uproars from fans. The first was the announcement that Anne Hathaway was cast as Selina Kyle (mind you, the press release said nothing about Catwoman) in the next Batman film. The second is Henry Cavill as Superman.

It seems we go through this every time. It’s so rare that a casting decision is embraced by the fans when it comes to their beloved comic heroes. My question is, is it that Hollywood really casts the wrong people so frequently? Or is it that comic book fans are too choosy.

I think it goes without saying that no one actor is going to satisfy everyone. There will always be a group that complains. However, I think there should be more of a willingness to let physical appearances slide a little in comparison to acting prowess. Sure, Hugh Jackman isn’t as short and burly as Wolverine appears in the comics. But, who is? Danny DeVito? What Jackman lacks in mirroring the physical appearance of Wolverine, he makes up for with his performance. I really can’t imagine anyone else in that role now.

When I heard Edward Norton was going to be cast in “The Hulk”, I thought there was no way it was going to work. I just didn’t see him as Bruce Banner. I was wrong, and he was amazing. A lot of people whined about Heath Ledger as the Joker, and we’ve all seen how that turned out.

The bottom line is that there should be allowances by the fans when it comes to casting. Should someone who’s three feet tall play Beast? No. However, have some small measure of flexibility. I know we all want our fantasy dream team to grace the screen and fill the shoes of the characters we love, but until we’re all Hollywood movie makers, it’s not going to happen. You can scream and complain until you’re blue in the face. It’s not going to change things.

Let’s also look at the reality of the movie business. It’s precisely that: a business. The studios are out to make a commercially viable film, and with luck, turn it into a franchise. You may know the ins and outs of the characters, but the movie going public at large may not be that familiar. Studios have to make films accessible to the widest group of moviegoers they can. Without that income, they won’t be able to make any films in the first place.

Also, let’s not forget that even in the comic book world, origin stories and characters evolve and change. It’s a fluid world where very few things are locked in forever. Characters die, come back, become younger or older, change to villains, etc. Even a film that is true to a comic to a fault is going to catch flack from those who wanted to see the alternate story told.

It’s okay to not like a movie. It’s fine if you think it’s drivel or screws everything up. The brilliant part is that it doesn’t change a damn thing about the story you adore. You can still go back and read what you fell in love with in the first place. Plus, chances are, there’ll be another reboot in a few years you can complain about, too.


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