Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses!
The vast majority of human beings will never cast anyone in anything, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hold opinions about who should (and shouldn’t) play some beloved character in the next blockbuster iteration of that character’s franchise. Recently, I’ve engaged in a bit of fantasy casting for the Justice League movie, the next Fantastic Four movie, and the next next Amazing Spider-Man movie. In an effort to get ahead of my editors on any future fantasy-casting assignments — and a simultaneous effort to recreate the Great We-Totally-Said-Elizabeth-Banks-as-Effie-Trinket Casting Call of 2010 — I’ve taken it upon myself to very carefully consider name everyone who should be cast in everything. The list begins now. No repeats.
Dr. Strange: Benedict Cumberbatch. I know, I know: Cumberbatch should play every role in everything. But he should specifically play the role of the egotistical surgeon who falls from grace and turns into the earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. This casting would have the side bonus of moving us one step closer to a Cumberstrange vs. Hiddloki movie.
Young Han Solo: For the planned spin-off centering around the smuggler scoundrel, the obvious thing to do would be to cast for the magazine cover with a rippled-abs leading man. Bad move. Handsome as he was, Harrison Ford’s best contribution to the Star Wars universe was his no-bull integrity: The sense that he was cooler than all the spaceships and cool aliens and magic space-monks combined. Tye Sheridan has spent his teen years playing variations of tough-soulful American youth in The Tree of Life, Mud, and Joe. Just 17, he already looks like somebody who’s been through something and can laugh at anything. Cast him in the spin-off and get straight to the Nar Shadaa stuff, pronto.
Daredevil: On Friday Night Lights, Scott Porter turned his character’s infirmity into a strength. His Jason Street always seemed to be overflowing with energy, moved by some higher power: He’d be perfect for Matt Murdock, the blind superhero, in Marvel’s Netflix series.
Lara Croft in the next Tomb Raider: Right now is the time to bet big on Emilia Clarke. Terminator already has her. Tomb Raider positively requires her.
Jesse Custer in Preacher: Jacob Pitts has spent five seasons of Justified stealing every single scene they give Marshall Tim. I say let him take center stage in the part of the god-hunting ex-minister in AMC’s.
The Klingon Villain in Star Trek III: No more human villains. No more boring Romulans. They could try to create a whole new alien species, but “creating something totally new” doesn’t seem to be the MO of the Star Trek reboot series. I say go big with a Klingon villain. Give to to a performer who’s frequently in the Oscar conversation, and who has shown that they can let loose on ripe material: Cast Jessica Chastain as a Klingon warrior woman hell-bent on destroying the Federation. The casting of a femme fatale would have the added benefit of setting up some blazing-hot enemy-chemistry with Chris Pine’s Kirk.
Luke Cage: Terry Crews is just a bit too old, and The Rock is just a bit too famous/busy. But Boris Kodjoe’s been doing great work in slop (the last couple (Resident Evils.) Give him the badass New York City strongman and watch him rock out.
The Amazing Spider-Man Vulture: Needs to be a weird old man. Like, the fact that he has wings needs to be the least weird thing about him. Cast Christopher Walken and let him get funky.
Amazing Doctor Octopus: Donald Glover didn’t get to be Spider-Man. But his nerdy charisma would make an ideal foil for Garfield’s Peter Parker. Yes, he’s much younger than the classic mad-scientist version of the character. But Amazing is already becoming a bit of a youth-group version of the Spider-Man mythology anyhow.
Amazing Venom: You want somebody who’s basically Peter Parker except older, more ambitious, more driven, and quite possibly a little crazy. Someone who gives the vibe of being both powerful and totally weak: A kingpin who’s also a vicious drug addict. Rescue Aaron Paul from a lifetime of Need for Speed sequels and let him play Bizarro Spider-Man in the Venom movie.
Jacen and Jaina Solo: Of course, I have no idea if Star Wars: Episode VII will actually feature the book-canon son and daughter of Han and Leia. But if it did, their roles should be played by Miles Teller and Jane Levy, respectively.
The Next Bond Villain: The Mikkelsen brothers. (UPDATE: To clarify, Mads would play Le Chiffre — who faked his death in Casino Royale — and Lars would play his brother, Le Liffre.)
Iron Fist: Charlie Hunnam. And his bizarre American accent would finally make sense, since Iron Fist was raised in a fantasy-city alternate-dimension or whatever. (I love Iron Fist, but that doesn’t mean I understand half of his origin.)
Jessica Jones: Amy Acker. No question.
Young Boba Fett: Nobody. Fett wears his helmet the whole time. He barely ever talks: When he does, pay Clint Eastwood a million dollars per word.
The Bad Guy In The Next Bourne Movie: Enough of this endless parade of white dudes in suits! Send Bourne or Cross or whoever eastward and have him face off against Ken Watanabe.
Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse: Voice of Ron Perlman.
Darkseid: Voice of Ian McShane.
Doran Martell on Game of Thrones: No spoilers for non-readers, but this guy is old and doesn’t get out much. John Hurt: Join all the other British actors and come to Westeros already.
Thanos in the Marvel Movies: Needs to be someone who can believably play “near-immortal pure-nihilistic omniscience” and also “naive kid in love with the wrong girl.” Joaquin Phoenix or bust.
The Thirteenth Doctor: Rose Leslie.
The Fourteenth Doctor: Ben Whishaw.
The Fifteenth Doctor: Lennie James.
The Sixteenth Doctor: Prince George of Cambridge.
The Black Panther: David Oyelowo. Really, David Oyelowo should be in all these roles. But specifically the Panther.
Catwoman: Wasn’t Jena Malone great in Catching Fire? And doesn’t she seem way more capable of playing Selina Kyle’s hard edges than the good-but-too-glam Anne Hathaway? Cast her in Batman vs. Superman 2 or whatever.
Supergirl: Margot Robbie will need a comeback after the Tarzan movie. She’ll be ready just in time for Batman vs. Superman 3 or whatever.
Kang the Conqueror in Avengers Forever: Oh hell, can I just say Benedict Cumberbatch again?