Top 10 Actors Who Don't Look ANYTHING Like Their Comic Book Characters!
Written by Josh Schasny
Actors who play superheroes in movies but look nothing like the artists' depiction of the characters in the comic books. WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Actors Who Don't Look Anything Like The Comic Book Characters! But which actor will take the top spot?
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We know a couple of casting agents who should probably be fired. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Actors Who Look Nothing Like Their Comic Book Characters.
For this list, we will be looking at the iffy casting choices of actors in roles that received widespread criticism for their lack of similarity to their comic book counterparts. While some performances may be bad, we are looking more at the overall choice in comparison to the source material and not only on acting ability. Note that both heroes and villains are fair game.
#10: Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider
Leave it to Nicolas Cage to turn something frightening into something funny. This action-movie star brought a wide range of bizarre inspirations to his character Johnny Blaze not once, but twice in the two “Ghost Rider” films. Cage indeed made the character his own, but he did much to fans’ disappointment, as he lacked the control and calculation of a stunt performer. He also appears more as a genuine psycho bent on making his foes laugh at him. Criticized for an uneven performance, Cage’s version of Johnny Blaze has been looked down on by fans of the series. Then again, maybe he shouldn’t have taken acting lessons from snakes for the role…
“Ghost Rider” franchise (2007-2012)
#9: Jennifer Garner as Elektra Natchios
Sometimes the studio makes the same mistake twice. Buying into her recent celebrity in the TV series “Alias,” Jennifer Garner was cast as the master martial artist/assassin and love interest for the “Daredevil” adaptation in 2003. Although noted by critics for her stylish approach to the role and her acting, fans instead complained that Garner lacked the carefree recklessness that Frank Miller had given her in the comics, which also made her an object of Daredevil’s desire. Fans also took issue with Garner’s obvious non-Greek appearance, clashing with her character’s origins and the lack of red satin - in the first film anyway. The studios, however, didn’t seem to mind the backlash and cast Garner as Elektra again in the 2005 self-titled spinoff, which further cemented these criticisms.
“Daredevil” (2003) & “Elektra” (2005)
#8: Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze
Sometimes even looking the part can go horribly wrong. When it came down to casting the role of the insane super scientist Mr. Freeze, Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed physically imposing enough for the role. Alas, then we saw his silly costume… Intended to be menacing, the character turned into a walking joke with a suit that seems more like a glam rock outfit than a cryogenic life support device. Mix that with clunky dialogue made mostly of awful ice-related puns and this was a role that Batman fans soon wished to forget.
“Batman & Robin” (1997)
#7: Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm / The Human Torch
Josh Trank had good intentions with his reboot of the disastrous “Fantastic Four” franchise from the previous decade by casting an ethnically diverse team of superheroes. Abandoning the source material and stating that he wanted to root his film in today’s demographics, Trank’s decision to cast Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm was not a bad play at all. However, it became a controversial topic once fans learned that Kate Mara, a white actress, would be cast as Johnny Storm’s sister, Sue Storm. Although the movie’s plot explained the racial difference between the siblings, the casting choice added to needless plot complexities that were only one of the many problems that led to this film’s failure.
#6: Keanu Reeves as John Constantine
In what sounds like a case of Hollywood execs not even glancing at the source material, Francis Lawrence’s adaptation of Alan Moore’s gritty paranormal detective series, “Hellblazer,” ran into immediate fan troubles with the casting of Keanu Reeves as the John Constantine. Far from the original blond-haired character with similar features to the pop star Sting, Reeves also lacked the characteristic charm and genuine compassion Constantine has for humanity. Instead opting for gritty, middle-finger-giving cold-heartedness, this depiction of the obscure hero was a flop with many fans of the “Hellblazer” series. You would have though the producers would’ve better for this one, as Constantine had been steadily appearing in comics for a good 20 years before the film’s release – despite this, the adaptation did go on to gross over $230 million at the box office.
#5: Seth Rogen as Britt Reid / The Green Hornet
Fresh off recent fame from various Judd Apatow-produced comedies, Seth Rogen’s choice to portray the playboy-cum-masked vigilante, The Green Hornet, may have seemed good on paper, but modernizing the Depression-era hero is where the casting decision went wrong. Co-written by Rogen and directed by Michel Gondry, “The Green Hornet” took the well-to-do Britt Reid character and transformed him into a spoiled slacker with no respect for his legacy. Adding to this unfortunate re-appropriation were critics who bashed Rogen’s performance, calling it underwhelming and above all, miscast. The actor has since cited the nightmarish conditions of making the movie and admitted to being unprepared to deal with the blockbuster approach to filmmaking, emphatically stating that no sequel will ever be made.
“The Green Hornet” (2011)
#4: Jason Momoa as Aquaman
The comic book version of Aquaman has had very few changes to his appearance over the last 75 years. For almost his entire comic book carrier, Aquaman, aka Arthur Curry was the stereotypical super pale short blonde haired adonis. That is until the appearance of Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman in the 2016 film “Batman v Superman”. Don’t get us wrong, we are really excited to see more of Mamoa’s Arthur Curry on the big screen, but diehard fans of the character, there are literally dozens of them, are rather upset as Mamoa looks absolutely nothing like any version of Aquaman we’ve ever seen. Not even that god awful ‘manly’ 90’s version.
DC Cinematic Universe
#3: Halle Berry as Patience Phillips / Catwoman
Forget about not looking the part, how about not even having the same character name! Among many flaws found in Pitof’s disastrous “Catwoman” film, casting Halle Berry was not necessarily the problem. It was, however, a huge insult to the DC icon to remove any association whatsoever to her origin. In this 2004 box-office bomb, Berry does not play Selina Kyle, but rather Patience Phillips, a graphic designer for a cosmetic company, instead of the wily cat burglar of her namesake from the “Batman” franchise. Although Berry did bring the curvaceous flexibility and sass to the character, she was so far flung from the original that she does not even remotely resemble the classic comic bad girl.
#2: Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor
The epic team-up of the “Batman” and “Superman” franchises was bound to happen sometime, especially in the era of gritty reboots. Fans knew Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman” was in trouble when the jittery Jesse Eisenberg was cast as Lex Luthor, however. Sporting long hair and resorting to childish antics, like leaving jars of urine on politicians’ desks, Eisenberg’s performance and look were a far cry away from the psychotic corporate mastermind that is Lex Luthor. Although we did get to see Eisenberg as Luthor in his bald-headed glory towards the end of the film, it was too little too late.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)
Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable, or in this case dishonorable, mentions:
- George Clooney as Bruce Wayne / Batman
“Batman & Robin” (1997)
- Taylor Kitsch as Remy LeBeau / Gambit
“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009)
- Oscar Isaac as En Sabah Nur / Apocalypse
“X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016)
#1: Topher Grace as Eddie Brock / Venom
Comic book fans eagerly awaited “Spider-Man 3” when they heard Venom would appear. Those fan dreams were shattered when they learned that Topher Grace, known for playing the spindly geekish Eric Foreman on “That ‘70s Show,” was going to play the role of Spider-Man’s most iconic foe, the bodybuilder-turned-monster Eddie Brock. Almost the polar opposite of Brock’s character model, this casting choice was made even more perplexing with the casting of the more similar-looking Thomas Haden Church as Sandman instead of Venom. This left many wondering if anyone in Hollywood had ever even picked up a comic book before.
“Spider-Man 3” (2007)