How To Make A JLA Movie, Part 2

…And we’re back!

The Story So Far: Last time on Crisis on Earth-T, John talked about what he wanted to see in a JLA movie. But just as he was about to reveal who he’d cast, John realized how long his column was getting, and that he’d better wrap it up for the day. So here we are with our JLA Roll Call!

Before we start, a quick recap of my rules:

  1. Every character is cast fresh, with no actors repeating from previous live-action DC adaptations.
  2. Casting is limited to present-day, currently working actors.
  3. No actors playing major roles in the MCU.

Note: I’ve listed the actors’ current ages for reference, and you’ll notice that several of them are a bit older than typical fan choices. That’s because I picked most these folks four and a half years ago, but what the heck, they all still look good for their ages. Besides, Robert Downey Jr. is 51 and Hugh Jackman is 48. If both of them can still be considered viable superheroes, I figure that my guys can sneak in under the wire.

Superman – Matt Bomer (age: 39)

Superman Matt Bomer JLA

White Collar and Magic Mike star Matt Bomer has an interesting history with the Man of Steel. Back in the early 2000s, he was the first choice to play Superman for a J.J. Abrams-scripted film called Superman: Flyby. Prospective directors included McG and Brett Ratner. It was to be the first of a planned trilogy, and Abrams’ script made some strange breaks from the established Superman lore (Lex Luthor was a CIA agent revealed to be a secret Kryptonian, and Krypton doesn’t blow up). Bomer beat out Paul Walker and Brendan Fraser for the part, and actually screen-tested in costume with Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Interestingly, future Supermen Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill were both also among the actors who screen-tested. The Superman: Flyby movie eventually fell apart due to budget concerns, and the project was ultimately shelved in favor of Superman Returns.

Bomer’s got that All-American look that you need for Superman. He did an excellent job with all of the action scenes he had to do on Chuck as superspy Bryce Larkin, and he’s even played the Man of Steel in some Japanese commercials and in the animated feature Superman Unbound. Beef him up a bit and we’ve got our Superman.

Batman – Jon Hamm (age: 46)

Batman Jon Hamm JLA

This one is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. Hamm is smart, a damn good actor, has a deep, commanding voice, can brood like nobody’s business, and he really looks like Bruce Wayne.

I’d like to see Batman played in much the same way that Grant Morrison used him during his JLA run — He’s the chessmaster who’s always two moves ahead, so much so that he can even make his teammates uneasy at times. When the League needs stealth or a foolproof plan, he’s the guy they call.

Hamm has confessed that he’s been up for a few superhero parts in the past (without naming which characters), but he’s glad he said no to them now. Personally, I think it’s a shame he never got to play the Dark Knight. He would have been a natural.

Wonder Woman – Jaimie Alexander (age: 33)

Wonder Woman Jaimie Alexander JLA

Blindspot star Jaimie Alexander played Sif in the Thor movies and she’s been talked up ever since to play the Amazing Amazon. It’s easy to see why. She’s a good actress, she can handle herself in action scenes, and she’s statuesque and drop-dead gorgeous besides. Sounds like Wonder Woman to me.

I see Diana as being both a team powerhouse and the team morale officer — She’s the peacekeeper, both inside the group and out. Every one in the group looks up to her and strives to follow her example. If there’s a peaceful solution to be found, she’s the one to find it, but if there isn’t one… Watch out.

Flash – Neil Patrick Harris (age: 43)

Flash Neil Patrick Harris JLA

It’s a crying shame that NPH hasn’t been cast to play a superhero yet. He’s handsome, charming, funny and in great shape. I think he’s perfect for midwest science nerd Barry Allen. Plus, he’s already voiced Barry in the animated feature Justice League: The New Frontier, so (pardon the pun) he’ll be right up to speed.

Green Lantern – Bradley Cooper (age: 42)

Green Lantern Bradley Cooper JLA

Like Matt Bomer as Superman, Bradley Cooper came within a hair’s breadth of actually snagging this role. Cooper was one of the finalists for the part of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern when they made the GL movie in 2011, and he should’ve been the pick as far as I’m concerned. I like Ryan Reynolds, but he’s much better suited for roles like Deadpool or the Wally West Flash.

I think it’s important to have Green Lantern in the JLA film, because more than any other character, he represents the “Just Imagine” spirit of the group. GL should be utterly fearless, and the guy in the League who never says die. He should be all over the big effects sequences. Think about it — Green Lantern can create anything with that ring. He’s a hero who’s limited only by his imagination. And Cooper just plain exudes the cocky-but-likeable vibe that Hal Jordan should have.

Aquaman – Michael Fassbender (age: 39)

Aquaman Michael Fassbender JLA

Fassbender was pretty great as Magneto in the X-Men movies, and I’d love to see him in a straight-up heroic role. He’s handsome and regal, and I can easily see him as the King of the Seven Seas. Give him the blonde Nordic look he had in Prometheus and we’re all set.

Mera – Alexandra Daddario (age 31)

Mera Alexandra Daddario JLA

Mera isn’t a Justice League member, but since Amber Heard is playing her in Snyder’s movie, I figured what the hell, I’ll throw her into mine as well. It’d be neat to see her in few scenes. And even though I think Heard looks great in the role, I’m pretty happy with my casting, too. With her sea blue eyes and killer curves, True Detective and Baywatch star Alexandra Daddario is a Nick Cardy woman come to life (And yeah, I know the art I used is Ivan Reis, not Nick Cardy. Sorry. it’s tough to find good high-res scans of Cardy’s stuff online).

Black Canary – Yvonne Strahovski (age: 34)

Black Canary Yvonne Strahovski JLA

Strahovski’s been my choice for Black Canary ever since the first season of Chuck. Anyone who’s seen that show knows that she’s great at the action scenes, and her traffic-stopping good looks don’t hurt. Black Canary gives the League more female representation, and it’s good to have another non-powered, earthbound hero to team up with Batman. And speaking of earthbound heroes…

Green Arrow – Charlie Hunnam (age: 36)

Green Arrow Charlie Hunnam JLA

Green Arrow is a hero who makes it into the JLA just by personality alone. GA is the smartass, the malcontent, and the conscience of the League, all rolled into one. At any given moment, he’s probably upset with someone else in the group, and he’s not shy about letting them know. And yet, for all of his bitching and bellyaching, he’s one of the guys who will always get the job done. Add in his passionate but volatile romance with the Black Canary, and you’ve got loads of story potential.

I’ll be honest. Arrow‘s Stephen Amell is a decent actor, but I’ve never really been able to buy him as Green Arrow. The guy on TV is so serious and mopey. He’s nothing like the sarcastic, cocky, and lusty guy I fell in love with from the comics. And, most damning for an Emerald Archer portrayer, his goatee game is pretty weak. Sons of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam has been a fan-favorite for Ollie Queen for a while, and with his good looks and blond beard, it’s easy to see why. Regrettably, he’s recently stated that he has no interest in the part. Thankfully, I’m not bound by reality.

Hawkman – Joe Manganiello (age: 40)

Hawkman Joe Manganiello JLA

If we’re going to have Green Arrow, we’re going to need a Hawkman for him to feud with. Hawkman is the ultra-serious space cop who always pushes the League to do better. And since he and Green Arrow don’t see eye-to-eye on anything, fireworks happen whenever these two are in the same room together.

Physique has to play a major part of this casting, since Hawkman would spend most of the movie with his shirt off, not to mention having a big enough frame to wear those gigantic wings. Manganiello is 6’5” and is in spectacular shape. I honestly have my doubts about Hawkman ever working in live-action (let’s face it, all of the attempts we’ve had so far have ended up looking pretty goofy), but if anyone could pull it off, Manganiello could.

Hawkgirl – Olivia Wilde (age: 33)

Hawkgirl Olivia Wilde JLA

Olivia Wilde is another one of those people who’s so gorgeous I’m amazed she hasn’t played a superhero yet. She has the sort of lithe figure that would look great taking flight, and she’s great at playing people who don’t take any shit. I’m seeing Hawkgirl as having the same sort of tough spirit as the Bruce Timm version from the Justice League cartoon — She’s the girl next door who turns into Wolverine in combat. Wilde can pull off both sides of that with ease.

Atom – Patrick Wilson (age: 43)

Atom Patrick Wilson JLA

Wilson did an impressive job as Nite-Owl in the Watchmen movie and he just missed being a part of Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, so I say it’s time to give him a shot at a size-changing superhero of his own. His intelligence would be a great fit for physicist Ray Palmer, and Wilson would be equally at home teaching a college class or going sub-atomic.

And last but not least…

Starman – Jason Schwartzman (age 36)

Starman Jason Schwartzman JLA

Like I said above, I think an outsider’s perspective on the JLA is important. And I think that Starman Jack Knight could fill that role very nicely. Starman’s name is an iconic one with a long history in the DC Universe, he has an interesting weapon in the Cosmic Staff, and Jack Knight has a unique outlook as a second-generation hero who’s not entirely sure he wants the job. As an audience surrogate, he could have that same “I can’t believe I’m here. It’s like being asked to jam with the Beatles” attitude that made Kyle Rayner work so well in Grant Morrison’s JLA run. And I think that his plainclothes, do-it-yourself hipster look would provide a nice contrast with the sleeker costumed members of the JLA.

I wasn’t sure who to cast as Jack Knight at first. He can’t be a traditional leading man type. He’s got to have a bit of quirkiness that makes you say, “What the heck is he doing here?” Back in the 90s, I would’ve cast John Cusack in a heartbeat, but he’s aged out of the role now, especially if you’re positioning Jack as a younger, less-experienced hero. But then I saw a Starman fan cast that had Rushmore and Bored to Death star Jason Schwartzman as Jack Knight, and I thought, “Hey, that’s not bad.” So Jason Schwartzman it is.

With Schwartzman as Starman, that brings us up to an even 12 members of the JLA (and a cameo appearance by Daddario as Mera). That’s certainly plenty for one movie, but I’m personally not happy with this lineup in terms of diversity. When you think about it in terms of the variety of places they’re from, it’s not bad, but still… it’s a lot of white faces. And I wouldn’t mind having another woman in the group, either. Soooo, let’s add one more person to the group, someone with cool powers, a history with the League, and loads of untapped potential:

Vixen – Gina Torres (age 47)

Vixen Gina Torres JLA

Yeah… 47. I couldn’t believe it, either.

Anyway, Firefly star Gina Torres has experience with Vixen, having voiced the character on Justice League Unlimited. And c’mon, who could see that picture of her and not cast her in the role?

I’m not going to pretend that that 100% fixes the problem, but it’s better than nothing. I’m very tempted to get Black Lightning and/or John Stewart into the group as well, but 15 Leaguers is really pushing it, and honestly, I don’t have any idea who I’d cast as either of them at this point. If any of you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

So that’s my fantasy JLA movie! What do you think? Am I totally off-base? Got any better ideas for casting? And would you folks like me to do something like this again? Let me know in the comments! But I’m pretty happy with how this one’s turned out. I’ve searched around the internet and I haven’t found any ideas for a JLA film that I like nearly as muc–

…You know what? I take back everything I just said. I think they should just go with this version.

See you next week!

42 Comments

  1. tomfitz1

    I pretty much agree with all your choices, except for Starman – I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be a better choice for Jack Knight, but that’s just me.

    Gina Torres, damn, I wouldn’t believe she’s 47 either. 37, maybe, but not 47.

    1. True story; Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the OTHER guy I was considering for Jack Knight. I felt like Schwartzman was quirkier & a little less mainstream, and that’s what tipped it in his favor.

      But if somebody wanted to do a STARMAN movie or TV show with JGL, I wouldn’t mind that a bit.

      And it’s possible that that Gina Torres photo is a few years old, but probably not too many. But even if it is, DAAAAAAAMN.

  2. M-Wolverine

    Of course, the first thing that happens is “how do we make a franchise with a bunch of 40 year olds?” rather than “how do we make a good movie?” Because for a lot of these you’re inside my head.

    Superman- I’ve been regretting Matt Bomer not getting cast as Superman for ages. Look at the guy. He’s the most Superman-y since Chris Reeve. And he doesn’t look 39 at all so he could play him for awhile.

    Batman – Back in the day I think Alex Ross said Hamm should be Captain America, and I liked that. This may be better.

    Wonder Woman – I’m still confused how she didn’t get cast as Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was one of the better things about BvS, but look at her. She IS a Wonder Woman drawing come to life.

    Flash – as long as they let him play it fairly straight I think this is good casting. The need to make Barry the jokey young one (basically Wally) is all sorts of annoying.

    GL – another one that I can’t figure out how they didn’t get right the first time. Considering the movie, maybe a good thing not to waste it. But cocky Hal Jordan with hidden depth? This guy.

    Aquaman – this is one I had never thought of, but boy, you need someone to convince you he can be King, and not feel Aquaman is silly, this guy can do it.

    Mera- I don’t know that we need Mera, but we do need Alexandra Daddario. I’m still not sure how she hasn’t played a Superhero yet. SHE could be Wonder Woman. And I can never believe she’s 31. So Wonder Girl. Or really, she should be Zatanna. No one will complain about that costume looking silly with her in it. (Though Smallville Serinda Swan did it great too, but did just get picked up as Medusa…DC/WB’s loss, Marvel’s gain).

    Black Canary- Probably my favorite for Captain Marvel. But they did a fine job there, so another who has needed to be a Superhero for a long time. And considering her (career) stature, maybe better to be a second stringer like BC. (I’m realizing Trumbull has magnificent taste in women).

    GA- I hadn’t thought of this one, but I hadn’t really thought of anybody else either. So I’m good with this. The problem with Arrow GA is he’s not Green Arrow. He’s really the Batman show they wanted to do but weren’t allowed to. The even have a Bat-Family, Bat-villains, etc. And really, after the last couple of weeks, I’m not entirely sure they’re not doing a Vigilante TV show, with Vigilante as a guest start to pseudo-Vigilante.

    Hawkman – He does seem to make a better Hawkman than a Deathstroke, no? Though not like that pic…he has to have the hairy chest. Not because I care how Joe looks, but how Hawkman looks. Have I put too much though into Hawkman’s chest hairs? Probably.

    Hawkgirl – another person asking to be a super heroine. This one? I don’t know. More recent more exotic Hawkgirl, sure. Traditional…maybe. But I’m not sure who else she could play. (For either company). But she should play someone. As long as they give Hawkgirl more chest hair. Wait, what?

    Atom – He was my favorite to play Hank Pym when we thought it’d be a younger Hank. So this has a bit of that funny what could have been, and is a good fit. You can especially believe he’d end up with a wife who goes psycho. (Note: Don’t ever do this movies, TV, anything, ever). Though being in Watchman it may be a stretch that he hasn’t been in any other DC movies. It may not be Earth-1 type continuity, but it’s a DC picture. The other Marvel people were definitely not major characters, but this one might push the rules a little bit. But that’s OK. As an aside, TV’s Atom would make a great Blue Beetle. I’m 99% sure they wanted him to be Blue Beetle, because he’s a goofy tech corporation head, but couldn’t use him because, uh, movies?, maybe someday.

    Hmmm…Starman over Firestorm and the other “young” heroes? I’m not sure. Great casting for him, but I’m not sure. I’ll abstain on this one.

    Vixen- I don’t care how old she is either. Gina Torres needs to be a superhero too. I’m ready for the big screen to bring out the animal side of her.

    But why would any of this ever happen when we can have Emo-Hipster Flash instead?

      1. M-Wolverine

        Yes, I mean former Superman Routh. I mean, it couldn’t be more clear they were going to do Ted Kord (Kord Industries, tinkers, dorky) and had the rug pulled out from them by WB when they thought they maybe might make a Blue and Gold movie. So they found someone else and stuck him in. Because Palmer was a professor, not an industrialist. And Routh’s character’s personality is as much like Atom as Arrow is to Green Arrow. I mean, he’s likable either way, it’s just obvious what their original plans had to be.

        1. Le Messor

          I actually thought The Atom was Dean Cain for a while (when I hadn’t seen much Legends Of Tomorrow). 🙂

          I’d honestly never picked up on the differences – but I know Marvel better than DC, and didn’t realise Atom was a professor. (I must have known that at some point.)

          Plus, they already have a professor on Legends Of Tomorrow.

    1. Of course, the first thing that happens is “how do we make a franchise with a bunch of 40 year olds?” rather than “how do we make a good movie?” Because for a lot of these you’re inside my head.

      Yeah, these real-life actors have this unfortunate tendency to age one year for every year that passes. I think it’s going to be REALLY interesting in the next few years of the MCU as guys like Downey start to age out of their roles. Will they recast or just write out the characters for a while?

      The need to make Barry the jokey young one (basically Wally) is all sorts of annoying.

      Agreed. Barry’s the cool but still slightly uptight midwestern guy.

      I don’t know that we need Mera, but we do need Alexandra Daddario.

      Hellz to the yeah. I’m probably going to see the Baywatch movie because she’s in it. (And I like the Rock and Zac Efron, too. Sue me. Efron’s ANOTHER guy who should play a superhero, BTW. He’s handsome, charismatic, and in unbelievable shape. Seriously, do a Google Image Search on him. Dude is CUT. I came THIS CLOSE to suggesting he should be Nightwing.)

      But Alexandra Daddario… With those eyes and her round face, she’s a TOTAL Nick Cardy woman come to life. She’s just stupefying.

      (I’m realizing Trumbull has magnificent taste in women).

      Why, thank you very much. Tell your cute female friends! 🙂

      As an aside, TV’s Atom would make a great Blue Beetle.

      For the Ted Kord Blue Beetle, my current choice is Olivia Wilde’s fiance, Jason Sudekis. I just need to find a young Ted McGinley-type to play Booster Gold opposite him.

      1. M-Wolverine

        If you’re going that far into comedy for Beetle, then Owen Wilson seems like the type. But then I’ve thought once he got past his GL prime Nathan Fillion would make a good Booster. He could even cross our Flash and give each other funny looks. (Though I don’t want to think what Beetle’s going to do when he runs into Hawkgirl. Props, Jason!) Though really if you cast Fillion you might as well go all out and make Alan Tudyk Beetle. Then they can all hang out with Vixen.

  3. Le Messor

    Batman – Jon Hamm
    Any relation to Sam Hamm, who wrote the script to Batman (1989)? 🙂

    Wonder Woman – Jaimie Alexander
    She really does look the part, doesn’t she?
    I’ve always wanted Lucy Lawless, though. I mean, she looks the part, has the gravitas, can act, can fly, and if they ever want her to date Superman – look at her initials!
    … also, I’m given to understand she has some sort of experience with the warrior princess type, but that may be just a rumour.

    It’s a crying shame that NPH hasn’t been cast to play a superhero yet… he’s already voiced Barry
    Doesn’t that mean he has been cast to play a superhero? Not live action, but he has!
    Not to mention a villain – Dr. Horrible!

    Green Lantern – Bradley Cooper
    Okay, I got a little hung up when you mentioned Sif above, but decided she wasn’t major… but Cooper definitely has played a major Marvel character.
    Or was there another, unwritten rule, about live action face-time?

    Arrow‘s Stephen Amell is a decent actor, but I’ve never really been able to buy him as Green Arrow. The guy on TV is so serious and mopey.
    Not to mention the way he looks at people through his chin.
    But I imagine the serious and mopey part is more direction than acting.

    Olivia Wilde … has the sort of lithe figure
    I was just thinking she looks too skinny. Somebody give her a sammich, stat!
    (I thought the same about Gal Gadot at first, but apparently she got the sammich.)

    1. M-Wolverine

      I was trying to think who Wilde would be a good fit for, anywhere, and it’s amazing how there are more redhead superheroines than there are brunettes. But someone to go with her exotic looks, but not someone who is traditionally all about the curves (Catwoman). I thought a realistic Tigra might work, because a cat-lady shouldn’t have a huge chest anyway, but trying to figure out how to do that costume just seems impossible. I guess she could just wear clothes, but then then she just looks like Frasier Beast with hair sticking out of her shirt.

      So the more I thought about it, it’s because who she should be has already been used and cast- she probably should have been the Scarlet Witch. She comes from the era of women in comics with at least semi-normal bodies, and particularly those early appearances she’s got the eyebrow thing going to make her look more foreign. And I think we can agree that, while not super bad, no one thinks Elizabeth Olsen is Marvel’s greatest casting coup.

    2. Batman – Jon Hamm
      Any relation to Sam Hamm, who wrote the script to Batman (1989)?

      You know, I don’t know. I’ve never heard that before, but it’s certainly a neat idea!

      … also, I’m given to understand she has some sort of experience with the warrior princess type, but that may be just a rumour.

      Yeah, I guess I broke my own rule there with the Sif thing, didn’t I? I guess I was forgetting about that because she’s not in the upcoming Thor movie, is she? I guess Blindspot was taking up too much of her time.

      Also mea culpa on the Bradley Cooper/Rocket Raccoon thing. TOTALLY slipped my mind because it was a voiceover part, but I think that gives us enough wiggle room. I basically had the MCU rule because I don’t think it’s likely that someone like Robert Downey Jr. or Scarlett Johansson will be doing any DC movies anytime soon.

      With Patrick Wilson in Watchmen… Well, that was a one time thing, and I doubt they’re getting that cast back together to cross them over in other DC movies. I still think of Watchmen as its own thing, even if DC doesn’t any more.

      Those are my justifications and I’m sticking to them. 🙂

      it’s amazing how there are more redhead superheroines than there are brunettes.

      I think it’s just because red is a more dynamic color that pops off the page better. That, or some artists have a thing for redheads.

      And I think we can agree that, while not super bad, no one thinks Elizabeth Olsen is Marvel’s greatest casting coup.

      As long as I get a socially-acceptable reason to stare at Elizabeth Olsen for two hours, I’m good with it. >;)

      1. M-Wolverine

        I don’t think Sif qualifies as a major character in the MCU, so I’ll allow it.

        And remember, this is not a choice to stare at Elizabeth Olsen for two hours or nothing. It’s a chance to stare at Elizabeth Olsen or Olivia Wilde.

        And I can get over the age difference pretty easily; it’s called denial. But in her case I can’t help think of the Olsen twins, then get reminded that she’s their YOUNGER sister.

        That and the weird back to back movie roles with Godzilla where they go from married to brother and sister. Too Ultimates for me. Save it for Star Wars.

        1. I don’t think Sif qualifies as a major character in the MCU, so I’ll allow it.

          Well, that’s big of ya, considering that my column is already written & everything. 😉

          And remember, this is not a choice to stare at Elizabeth Olsen for two hours or nothing. It’s a chance to stare at Elizabeth Olsen or Olivia Wilde.

          As much as this seems like one of those logical paradoxes Captain Kirk used to blow up malevolent computers on Star Trek, if given the choice (HA! Yeah, that’ll happen), I think I’d go with Ms. Olsen. She’s more the type I’m into, and she also reminds me of a girl I had a MASSIVE thing for a few years back (both her face and the timbre of her voice). So yeah, she’s purdy.

          Again, NEVER gonna happen, but it’s fun to have a pretend crush.

          1. Well, gee, I’ve certainly seen more Olivia Wilde movies (Tron, The Change-Up, Drinking Buddies…). I guess I’ve only seen Olsen in the Marvel films so far. So I suppose I’d pick Olsen just to familiarize myself with her career a bit more.

      2. Le Messor

        And yet, for all the red-heads in comics, few make it onscreen hair colour intact.

        As for Sif:
        I hadn’t heard she’s not in the next movie, but they’re your rules to break. Also, as discussed, not a major character.

    1. M-Wolverine

      Michael Ealy for Black Lightning. Maybe Morris Chestnut or DB Woodside for Stewart. Heck, Shermar Moore looks like a superhero. Any one of the Black guys they’ve run through on Agents of SHIELD. Heck, just cast David Oyelowo, he gets every role anyway.

      Boseman could have been available, because as great as he was, I still picture Baron Mordo as the Black Panther.

      The problem with Black Lightning, much like they say when they race swap a white character, is there really any reason he needs to be Black, other than it’s in his name? And Stewart…which version are we casting? Militant one, big screw up one, loving alien chick husband one, ex-army guy one? Could choose 4 different actors depending on how they were taking the character.

      1. Hmm… Just looked at those guys on Google to better connect their faces to their names, and I’m not sure if I’m seeing anyone who’s a perfect fit yet. I find that usually when the right actor comes along for a part, you usually have an immediate “YES! That’s IT!” reaction.

        The problem with Black Lightning, much like they say when they race swap a white character, is there really any reason he needs to be Black, other than it’s in his name?

        I’d say so, if for no other reason than to have a black character who isn’t self-consciously “street” in his dialect and /or background (“SWEET CHRISTMAS!”). When BL spoke like that, it was part of his disguise, IIRC. I like that Jefferson Pierce broke most of the predominant stereotypes of black heroes that existed in the 70s. Thanks to Tony Isabella for that.

        But y’know, I don’t know if “What if Black Lightning was white?” is a question we really need to ask.

        Stewart…which version are we casting? Militant one, big screw up one, loving alien chick husband one, ex-army guy one?

        Oh, I suppose either original architect that Denny O’Neil or Steve Englehart wrote or the cool ex-Marine in the JLU cartoon show. Those are the guys I think of when I think of John Stewart. The hotheaded guy from Cosmic Odyssey… pass. The blowing up a planet because he was too short-sighted never seemed in character for John to me. If Starlin had used his original choice of Guy Gardner, the plotline would have worked.

        1. M-Wolverine

          I certainly don’t think we need a white Jefferson Pierce…though how he never had a bad guy named White Lightning I’ll never know. But your whole reason for Black Lightning needing to be Black is that he doesn’t act Black (stereotypically). I think there’s a difference between something being inherent in a character that requires him to be of a certain race, and the need for representation that breaks stereotypes not inherent to that character. That is part of what makes him cool, but if you change him to white it doesn’t really change the character itself that much, just the meaning around it. But he’ll no, they shouldn’t change anything. The fact that he’s a teacher just adds to th coolness of all that too.

        2. frasersherman

          I actually amused myself years ago by coming up with the Earth-Two team “Man-Bat and the Insiders” that included “White Lightning” (“Shucks, long as ah talks like ah’s on the Beverly Hillbillies … nobody has the slightest suspicion that in reality I am Pierce Jefferson, Pulitzer Prize winning Southern literary author.”)

      2. Le Messor

        “The problem with Black Lightning, much like they say when they race swap a white character, is there really any reason he needs to be Black, other than it’s in his name?”

        It comes down to simple numbers. There aren’t a lot of roles for black people in Hollywood, so swapping one way works, swapping another doesn’t. That’s why he should be white —
        which leaves us with only black, Indian, American Indian, Asian, Polynesian… … …

        1. frasersherman

          And ‘is there any reason this character needs to be white’ gets into the assumption that being black has to be significant to the character–if race doesn’t play a role the casting (or writing in a comic) defaults to white.

          Regarding redheads in the other comment, they crop up a lot in fantasy fiction so it’s not just the visuals. One Y/A writer pointed out that based on statistics there should be as many gay characters in fantasy as there are redheads, but that’s not how it works out.

    2. M-Wolverine

      Oh, guys, it’s been right in front of our face the whole time. Terence Howard. We can cast them if they got fired, right? 😉 I mean, Edward Norton is still fair game, right? (At least for the follow up villain casting for the movie, right?)

      The other problem is most of the A list Black stars are overexposed from getting all the choice roles over and over, and there’s such great depth of underused second stringers, saying one is that much better than another is hard.

      1. The other problem is most of the A list Black stars are overexposed from getting all the choice roles over and over, and there’s such great depth of underused second stringers, saying one is that much better than another is hard.

        Yeah. If I was doing this for real, I’m sure I’d also look for unknowns who could blow us away. Who knew who Christopher Reeve, Lynda Carter, or Hugh Jackman were before they took on their superhero roles? Or Tom Holland? Heck, even Chris Evans wasn’t too known before he got Captain America.

        I’m sure that helps them get actors for cheaper, too. My JLA cast would be pretty damn expensive, but hey, why censor your fantasies?

        1. M-Wolverine

          What, no one knew the Human Torch?!?! 😀

          But yeah, Marvel built it on barely knowns, unknowns, washed up actors, and Samuel L. Jackson. But they cast people who FIT the roles.

          But who wants to do a casting call featuring actors who you have to give their IMDB links to know what they were in? That’s no fun.

        1. M-Wolverine

          Norton comes off as a guy who could be a super genius so he does Banner well. RDJ also does Stark well for the same reason. Who knows, they may both have double digit IQs but they can play the smartest guy in the room. None of that old Fox FF movie where they have to get to the second movie to stop acting like Reed Richards isn’t the smartest guy in the world.

          What they got right with Ruffalo is the old TV series feel where he actually dreads being the Hulk and wants to be rid of him.

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