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Six Superhero Castings that were Prematurely Despised

So the news of Ben Affleck donning Batman’s cowl has come and gone, but it at least gave me an idea for an article that might tide me over until Halloween season.

Below, in chronological order, are six superhero castings that were prematurely despised.

Michael Keaton - Batman (1989)


Tim Burton had just released Beetlejuice, establishing him as a fresh new director who had a keen eye for style and darkness. When he cast Beetlejuice star, and comic actor, Michael Keaton to play the brooding Dark Knight in his upcoming film…oh, how the fanboys freaked out. So much so, in fact, that they sent a petition to Warner Bros. insisting that they recast.

Of course, once the film opened, the fanboys were silenced. Yes, they were more fascinated by Nicholson’s Joker, but it wouldn’t be unfair to say that a lot of die-hard Batman fans were impressed by Keaton’s darker Batman and tortured Bruce Wayne. So much so, that he came back for a sequel.

Hugh Jackman - X-Men (2000)


Let’s be honest: even before the X-Men exploded on the silver screen, Wolverine was always the fan favorite. So when big-name actors like Keanu Reeves and Russell Crowe were in talks to wield the adamantium claws, fans got excited. 

However, Bryan Singer ultimate cast Broadway actor Hugh Jackman in the role. Up until that point, Hugh Jackman was best known for playing Curly in the musical Oklahoma! And, because fanboys are terrible people, they immediately freaked out, assuming that Jackman was gay. And heaven forbid a gay actor play a badass superhero (cough Ian McKellen cough).

However, thirteen years and six films later, nobody can even think of anyone else playing Wolvie.

Robert Downey Jr. - Iron Man (2008)


Talk about a comeback story. Robert Downey Jr. had a fun early career, earning himself a Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in the 1992 biopic.

However, he soon became an enormous Hollywood failure, turning to an insane amount of drugs, and spending more than a little while in jail.

When he was cast as Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man, fanboys didn’t know what to even do. Those who didn’t say “Who’s he?” were furious. Why would you cast a pathetic has-been as your lead man in a blockbuster that’s supposed to rival The Dark Knight?

Fast-forward to today, and just the thought of Downey Jr. handing the Iron Man armor to another actor makes those same fanboys cry.

Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight (2008)


This is the ultimate fanboy mistake. I’d never seen a bigger backlash in the history of my life since this casting news was announced oh so many years ago. Just click here to see a fraction of what the internet had to say about “this gay cowboy” filling Joker’s psychotic shoes.

Now, six years later, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t think Ledger completely nailed it. From collectibles to T-shirts to tattoos to cosplays, I dare say that Ledger’s Joker has become the most famous interpretation of the Clown Prince of Crime. 

I’m trying really hard to resist saying a “Who had the last laugh” pun…

Murk Ruffalo - The Avengers (2012)


The Incredible Hulk had what fans considered the perfect Bruce Banner in Edward Norton. However, after some financial disputes, Marvel replaced Norton with Ruffalo, much to the chagrin of fans. True, most of the complaints had to do with the continuity that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was so proud of, but other fans were simply pissed because they liked Norton better. He was, after all, a much bigger star than whoever the hell this Ruffalo guy was.

Then The Avengers actually happened. And Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/Hulk completely stole the show. Oops.

Anne Hathaway - The Dark Knight Rises (2012)


Catwoman is a sexy femme fatale cat burglar. After sex icons Julie Newmar and Michelle Pfeiffer completely conquered the role, fanboys were curious to see who would don the skin tight catsuit in Nolan’s universe. Some people even hoped for Megan Fox. Oh.

So when former Disney starlet Anne Hathaway was cast, horny fanboys were furious. “We can’t jerk off to The Princess Diaries!” they all insisted, completely ignoring Hathaways other, more mature roles in films such as Rachel Getting Married.

Then she finally hit the big screen, completely stealing the show from Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, playing a sulty, seductive anti-heroine who bears absolutely no resemblance to Mia Thermopolis. Truly incredible. Almost as if both Mia and Selina Kyle were…*gasp*…characters she was playing!


Honorable mention goes to Daniel Craig as James Bond, who everyone despised until Casino Royale skyrocketed to the top of 007 fans’ list of favorite films…after all, James Bond may as well be a freaking superhero…

Filed under batman ben affleck michael keaton wolverine hugh jackman robert downey jr iron man heath ledger the joker mark ruffalo bruce banner the hulk anne hathaway selina kyle catwoman james bond daniel craig

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One of my favorite pictures from motor city comic con 2013. This was my first con, and I really enjoyed seeing everybody’s costumes. A lot were really impressive. Anyways, I love this guy’s spidey suit. If you know him, please let him know this picture exists!

Hey, lookit, it’s me!
This really is an awesome picture. It looks like a totally badass cover to a Marvel Team-Up comic. 
Thanks for posting this, man! Your Iron Man armor was 50 different kinds of kick ass! Hope to see you at another future con!


One of my favorite pictures from motor city comic con 2013. This was my first con, and I really enjoyed seeing everybody’s costumes. A lot were really impressive. Anyways, I love this guy’s spidey suit. If you know him, please let him know this picture exists!

Hey, lookit, it’s me!

This really is an awesome picture. It looks like a totally badass cover to a Marvel Team-Up comic. 

Thanks for posting this, man! Your Iron Man armor was 50 different kinds of kick ass! Hope to see you at another future con!

Filed under motor city comic con iron man spider-man cosplay badass marvel team up

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DJC reviews: “Iron Man 3”

I don’t think I’ve ever been more torn about a movie than I currently am about Iron Man 3.


Look, I’m not going to waste time telling you about Iron Man, IM2, and The Avengers. You know the story so far: genius billionaire playboy, and part time superhero, Tony Stark has invented some awesome suits, and he saves the world when he’s not too wasted. He got roped into fighting some aliens in New York, and now his life has turned upside down. How Tony, a mere mortal, deals with the concept of gods, aliens, spies, and hulks is, more or less, the backbone of this film.

That being said, I’m forced to split the movie into two halves: Before Mandarin and After Mandarin. You’ll find out why in a moment.

The film opens a rather brilliant, if not exposition-heavy, flashback scene, where we’re introduced to two new important characters: scientists Maya Hensen (Rebecca Hall) and Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). While there are a lot of hilarious jokes and throwbacks in that opening flashback, it’s also a pretty crucial scene, as it shows how one man’s mistakes can create demons in others.


Once we get back to the present, we’re greeted with half of the best Iron Man movie ever made. Tony is constantly tinkering with his suits, to varied success and the usual hilarious one-liner, Happy (Jon Favreau) is now head of security at Stark Industries, and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is still proving to be a more responsible CEO than Stark in every way.

However, there’s a new threat looming: The Mandarin. He uses “suicide bombers” to completely decimate major American landmarks, and kill dozens of people in the process. The segments of the film that deal with The Mandarin’s televised threats are easily some of the darkest moments in any Marvel film, and it’s great to see the studio step out from the shadows in terms of real terrorist threats.


Unfortunately, Tony barely has time for The Mandarin. He’s too busy having panic attacks due to the events of The Avengers. He can’t sleep, he’s straining his relationship with Pepper, he’s barely able to be out in public; and this time, it’s not even his fault.

In fact, I’m going to take this time to say that Robert Downey Jr. blew it out of the park this time around. I dare say that this was his best outing as Tony Stark, conveying every necessary emotion with flawless nuance. He still has that classic Tony Stark narcissism and charm, but he also has nightmares and anxiety and deals with a great deal of loss in this film, and Downey Jr. plays it perfectly.


The attack on Tony’s house is as mind-blowing and nail-biting as I could’ve hoped, and our entire audience was on the edge of their seats as Tony plunged into the ocean within the rubble. Strangely enough, it’s the scenes following the attack that I really enjoyed. Tony finds himself armorless in a small Tennessee town, and he starts investigating a Mandarin attack-like explosion that occurred there years ago with the help of a precocious 10-year-old boy named Harley (Ty Simpkins). It’s these quieter moments between Tony and his new sidekick that really shined, ranging from hilarious to dark to downright emotional. I have no clue if Harley will return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe anytime soon, but I certainly loved the banter between him and Tony.


An armorless Iron Man may sound like a huge drag, but it allowed the film to go back to Tony’s roots as an inventor. Watching him buy practically everything at a hardware store, and then proceed to MacGyver an array of handmade weapons was a lot more satisfying than I originally thought it would be.

Unfortunately…this is where the “Before Mandarin” part of the movie ends, and the movie quickly goes downhill.

May I just say that, if you’re reading this review, you probably already know about how this movie treats The Mandarin. So let me just be perfectly clear: I have never, in my life, been more disappointed about a character reveal in any form of fiction than I was about The Mandarin’s. When it happened on-screen, I was slackjawed, and not in a good way. The entire tone of the film was literally ripped out from underneath me like a rug, and I kept thinking “There’s no way they’re doing this.” But they were. And it was horrible. Again, let me reiterate: I have never been more disappointed with anything in any film than I was with The Mandarin’s “true identity” reveal.


After that, I’m not joking, it felt like a different movie. Like the screenwriters, directors, and producers said “Look, we’re tired after making the first half of this movie so mind-blowingly good. Let’s just bullshit the rest of it.” And that’s exactly what they did. Plot lines that started off interested and mysterious quickly dived into “ridiculous” territory, characters like Killian and Hensen became either too ridiculous or completely forgotten about, and Iron Patriot (played by Don Cheadle at his best) was tragically underused.


The last half was a lot of explosions and silly action sequences, granted with every actor doing their best. Even through the ridiculousness of it all, I never felt like Downey Jr., Cheadle, or Pearce were ever about to turn around and wink at the camera. They were all playing it straight, which helped a bit. Unfortunately, not even the talented actors could save a crippled script.

The awesome footage of the Iron Legion coming to aid Tony and Rhodey that we all drooled over earlier? Yeah, I wish that had better context. It seemed like a very deus ex machina, “We need something epic to outdo The Avengers” thing thrown in to sell more action figures. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to summon those armors, especially when Tony made such a big deal about not having a suit to wear in the first half of the movie. Why didn’t he just summon one of these armors if he needed one to replace the dead Mark 42 so badly?


Not to say that the climax was terrible. The choreography was amazing, with Tony jumping in and out of suits, flying in every direction, and then ejecting from those suits, etc. It gets really busy, and it won’t be for everyone, but I certainly thought that it was fun. The very last bit with Pepper was also pretty cool.


The ending itself is sure to be one that everyone talks about. It had a sort of Dark Knight Rises feeling to it in the sense of finality. Will Robert Downey Jr. be coming back to the Marvel Universe? Or, more importantly, will Iron Man be back for Avengers 2? We’ll have to wait and see, but it certainly doesn’t look like it, which is a bit of a shame.

Ultimately, it felt like I was watching two different films last night, each only about an hour and a half long. The first film was awesome, capturing everything we wanted not just from a new Iron Man film, but from an action/sci-fi film, as well. The threat was real and terrifying, the characters were relateable and fun, and the story seemed to be going in a fantastic and suspenseful direction. The second movie was the exact opposite of those things. So if you’re OK with that, check out Iron Man 3.


Filed under iron man 3 iron man tony stark robert downey jr don cheadle iron patriot the mandarin guy pearce gwyneth paltrow marvel the avengers extremis may madness 2013

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Iron Man 3 comes out tomorrow, bringing the Armored Avenger who started it all back into the cinematic spotlight after sharing the screen with his super-powered pals last year.

Superhero films are a dime a dozen, but DJC loves the Iron Man flicks. If you’ve been living in Antarctica for the past six years, the video above will catch you up on Tony’s story so far. Also be sure to click the links below to read DJC’s reviews on Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and The Avengers. Then you’ll have no excuse but to go see Iron Man 3 tonight at midnight, like me!

DJC reviews Iron Man

DJC reviews Iron Man 2

DJC reviews The Avengers

Filed under iron man iron man 3 tony stark robert downey jr mandarin the avengers marvel

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Iron Man 3 Official Trailer Hits Hard

This looks dark. Like, really dark.

Which, really, should be no surprise to anyone, since the main baddie in IM3 is Shellhead’s most infamous villain, The Mandarin.He looks absolutely menacing, and I love how he’s actually wearing the rings! Still, I’m not a huge fan of Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin voice.

There have been some major upgrades to Tony’s suit, and I’m really digging them. Not a whole lot is shown, but you can tell Tony is really preparing himself for another full-scale invasion.

It also seems like Tony is also going to be paying the price for revealing his alter ego to the world. Yeah, Whiplash attacked him on a racetrack in IM2, but Mandarin (or someone else) is going after his house and loved ones this time around.

And that’s the biggest part of this trailer. The Hall of Armor blowing up, helicopters shooting missiles at his house, people grabbing Pepper and blowing up planes…this movie is gonna pack an emotional wallop.

Just to prove how dire and dark this film’s gonna be, the trailer itself ends with Tony, alone in the snow, dragging his armor behind him. For those of you naysayers who thought Iron Man 2 was “too silly”, looks like Marvel’s been listening. This could be their greatest film yet.

Filed under iron man iron man 3 marvel robert downey jr ben kingsly the mandarin

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Iron Patriot sited on Iron Man 3 set!

Remember when Norman Osborne created the Dark Avengers, stole Stark’s tech, and became The Iron Patriot? Well, it looks like that suit is making an appearance in Iron Man’s next flick.

Though it will obviously have a different origin, since Norman Osborne is more in Spider-Man territory, and ol’ Web-Head is still owned by Sony.

Still, it’s extremely exciting seeing this red, white, and blue suit make it’s way to the big screen! 

…though I’m terrified to think what the Tony/Steve shippers will make of this >_<

Filed under iron man iron man 3 tony stark iron patriot norman osborne dark avengers marvel

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Steve reviews: THE AVENGERS!

At the time of this writing, I literally just got home from The Avengers. I’m still kinda shaking, but I’m going to try to keep the inner fanboy at bay while I write this review. It’s gonna be hard.

This is a spoiler-free review! However since the definition of the word “spoiler” is different to some people, I’m putting my entire review after the break:

Read more …

Filed under the avengers iron man captain america thor hawkeye black widow hulk nick fury mariah hill phil coulson agent coulson loki marvel stan lee bruce banner steve rogers tony stark natasha romanoff clint barton thanos

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Avengers Week! Steve reviews: Iron Man 2

Day 3 of Avengers Week! Getting sick of me yet? Too bad, because we’re talking about Iron Man 2!

A lot of people give this movie a ton of hate. Frankly, I’m not 100% sure why. I enjoyed it almost as much as the first one. Robert Downey Jr. still plays a hilariously badass Tony Stark, the relationship between Tony and Pepper is still really fun to watch, and adding Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, and Scarlett Johansson to the cast was a real treat.

Of course, you can’t talk about Iron Man 2 without bringing up the Don Cheadle fiasco. I really like that they handled the obvious casting change within Rhodey’s first lines (“I’m here, it’s me, let’s just get on with this.”), but…I’ll admit, I missed Terrance Howard. Cheadle had a likability about him, but he lacked a lot of what made Howard so perfect. Terrance had a very mature, yet laid back demeanor about him that I thought was missing in Cheadle’s performance, and I also thought Cheadle’s chemistry with Downey Jr. wasn’t as comfortable or fun to watch.

However, I did really enjoy Rourke’s Ivan Vanko/Whiplash. He was a very multi-layered villain who seemed to always be one-step ahead of everyone else. He has only two things he can trust: his bird and his brains. And watching him one-up everyone in the film was really satisfying. Seeing Mickey Rourke and Robert Downey Jr. share a multiple scenes together was a real treat, especially since they both recently bounced back from big career pitfalls. Plus, you could really see the fun Rourke was having on-screen.

I’ll never be able to say enough about Sam Rockwell. The man is one of the most tragically-underappreciated actors working today. He can play serious and dramatic roles, like Moon, and then jump right into a hilarious comedy like Galaxy Quest. Anything and everything I’ve seen him in has been amazing, and watching him play the kinda/sorta villain Justin Hammer was a blast.

Scarlett Johansson has red hair in this movie, and kicks ass wearing a skintight leather suit. Um…nuff said.

There are two huge scenes in this film that I simply drool over every time I watch them: the battle on the racetrack and the Iron Man/War Machine team-up. They are the pinnacle of what CGI and special effects are capable of these days, and I think watching Tony put on the Mark V “Suitcase Armor” is one of the most jaw-dropping and entertaining things I’ve seen in a superhero film in a long time.

This movie takes what was great about the first Iron Man flick and adds in some Avengers prequel goodness to expand on the Universe. Is it as good as the first one? No, but very few superhero movies are! I still think that Iron Man 2 is a phenomenal sequel to a nearly-flawless superhero movie.

Did I mention Scarlett Johansson was in it?

Filed under iron man iron man 2 the avengers robert downey jr gwyneth paltrow don cheadle scarlett johansson mickey rourke sam rockwell justin hammer whiplash war machine suitcase armor mark v black widow