25 Worst Miscasts in Comic Book Movie History

In the first true comic book film, Superman, Christopher Reeve was the perfect casting choice, to the point where he'll forever be associated with The Man of Steel. Since then, we’ve had a few more actors that represented the characters very well, but others have not been so successful. Here's the 25 absolute worst.

25 Worst Miscasts in Comic Book Movie History
Brian VanHooker
Turtle with Lemonade Productions

25. Tyler Mane as Sabretooth

The cunning, vicious, animalistic Sabretooth is reduced to little more than a growling moron in the first X-Men film. The casting of Tyler Mane instead of a real actor showed that the film-makers had little regard for this character. They also made other really terrible choices for Sabretooth, like the really strange eyebrows, his ability to roar exactly like a lion, and let’s not forget his corny "You owe me a scream" line. The only reason he isn't higher on the list is because most of what's wrong with Sabretooth wasn't Mane's fault.

24. Ioan Gruffudd as Mr. Fantastic

Now, I know Mr. Fantastic isn't the most exciting person to play, but I still think we could've done better than Ioan Gruffudd's lifeless portrayal in "Fantastic 4". The performance is flat and boring. He does seem smart, but not brilliant in the way I would expect Reed Richards to be. And, he just seemed too young for the part, I know he was younger in the earlier comics, but like Iron man, Mr. Fantastic has evolved into a hero who needs to be older.

23. Ben Affleck as Daredevil

So, the producers of "Daredevil" went to Matt Damon to play blind attorney/vigilante hero Matthew Murdock, he said no, but that his friend Ben is free and could use the work and they said okay. At least that's kinda-sorta what happened. Anyway, Ben Affleck's Daredevil is about as flat as most of his other roles. I appreciate his love and dedication to the character, but that doesn't mean he was the right person to play him.

22. Anna Paquin as Rogue

I don't assign much guilt to Anna Paquin for this, she did a fine job in all three X-Men films, but the character in those movies is not Rogue. The role of the young female that Wolverine feels an obligation to protect has been filled by two females in the comic books, at first it was Kitty Pride and later it was Jubilee, and it was their story and personality that was used for Paquin's Rogue. The only thing this Rogue had in common with her comic book counterpart was her power to absorb other's powers. I didn't mind them dropping her flying and super strength for the film, but the original Rogue was, at first, a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and Anna Paquin's rogue seemed like she was fresh out of the Girl Scouts.

21. Terrence Howard as James Rhodes

So far, Marvel has done an excellent job with casting the movies they're producing themselves. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Samuel L. Jackson were all great choices. The only exception to that so far has been Terrence Howard as James Rhodes in "Iron Man." His Rhodey seemed too skinny and soft-spoken to be the commanding, ruthless military man who would become War Machine. We know Howard can play tough, and apparently Jon Favreau directed him true to the comics, but it seems he just chose not to listen and did it his own way. At least Marvel corrected his casting for "Iron Man 2" with Don Cheadle, who was still a bit small, but had a great handle on the character.

20. January Jones as Emma Frost

Not that she had a lot to work with, but January Jones as Emma Frost in "X-Men: First Class" was definitely a low point of a surprisingly good film. She gave a flat, completely uninteresting performance for one of Marvel's most layered females(not that she wears many layers!). Her absolutely forgettable performance makes one wonder if she's capable of playing anything outside of Betty Draper.

19. Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy

Now, I'm not the biggest Poison Ivy fan anyway, I think she's one of the worst Batman villains there are, but I do know she's supposed to be the sexiest eco-terrorist who ever lived, and that she's absolutely irresistible. I'm sorry, but I don't think Uma Thurman is the sexiest woman alive and her neon-red horn hair certainly didn't help. I don't know, maybe all a mediocre character deserves is a mediocre actress.

18. Jennifer Garner as Elektra

Jennifer Garner was just the wrong person to portray Elektra, plain and simple. It's not that she played the part terribly, because she didn't, but the exotic, Greek badass ninja came off as the all-American girl-next-door. She's sexy, and in the right shape for Elektra, but she wasn't tough or dangerous or any of the things Elektra should be. And why someone thought she warranted her own film is beyond me.

17. Dolph Lundgren as The Punisher

Forgot about this one, didn't you? Well, Dolph Lundgren's Punisher was so bad no one would blame you for blocking it out of your memory. Outside of the thrown together plot and the fact that for some inexplicable reason Punisher chose to live in the sewer like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Lundgren's Punisher was a hollow performance and every scene where he was supposed to be angry came off as completely forced. Even the scene where Frank Castle's family is murdered seems somehow empty. People got upset because there was no skull on his chest, but there were many more reasons to hate this Punisher film.

16. Chris O'Donnell as Robin

"Boo-hoo, I became an orphan at age thirty, please take care of me Batman!" Bottom line here was that Chris O'Donnell was just too old to play Robin. Now, maybe the producers had a problem with Batman taking an eleven-year-old boy and having him fight thugs and murderers on the streets of Gotham, but that is the character, and the idea of a grown man becoming Bruce Wayne's ward was just silly. Chris O'Donnell as Robin was almost as bad as Val Kilmer as Batman.

15. Val Kilmer as Batman

Speaking of which… Supposedly, Bob Kane, the creator of Batman, said Kilmer was the best Batman. Now, he died before "Batman Begins," so I like to think he would've changed his mind, but, I'll admit, up until "Batman Forever," Kilmer looked the most like Batman should (even with bat-nipples), but he was just so wooden as both Batman and Bruce Wayne it didn't matter. He had no torment, no anger, no inner demons and no personality.

14. Topher Grace as Venom

Even with putting on some muscle, Topher Grace was way too skinny to play Venom, which I would forgive if his performance was somehow great, which it definitely wasn't. Venom is supposed to be scary and I think if Topher Grace pointed a bazooka at my head he still wouldn't be intimidating. Now, he's hardly the worst part of "Spider-Man 3," I leave that distinction for Sam Raimi, but the Venom from that film fulfills absolutely nothing of what I wanted to see from Spidey's best villain.

13. Halle Berry as Storm

This was just a bad choice all around. The only thing worse than having a Storm who wasn't from Africa was having Halle Berry try really hard to do some sort of accent in the first X-Men film. She would then, inexplicably, drop her accent in the sequels, but nobody minded because it was so bad the first time around. In addition to being a poor casting choice, she just didn't seem to try that hard and complained about doing X-Men at all; only in the last few years has she said she'd come back and that just seems to be because she isn't getting much work. Oh, and let's not forget "What happens to a toad when it gets struck by lightning?"

12. Robert Swenson as Bane

Poor Bane, it seems that just because he is big, Joel Schumacher assumed he was stupid too (God forbid he read a single comic book). Bane was made to be a formidable opponent to Batman both physically and intellectually, but in "Batman and Robin" he can't even speak, he just groans and breaks things. He's green too, for some unknown reason. I'm just glad that Bane got a second chance with Tom Hardy’s amazing, frightening performance.

11. Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl

I'm including Alicia Silverstone's Batgirl in here because every other cast member of "Batman & Robin" is included and I didn't want to leave her out (and it's not like she was any better than the rest).

10. Jessica Alba as Invisible Woman

I'll admit that Jessica Alba's Invisible Woman was not the train wreck I thought it'd be, but she was still a terrible choice. It seems FOX just wanted to cast the hot flavor-of-the-week rather than pick the person most suited for the role. It makes you wonder if the movie was made two years later if Megan Fox would've been Sue Storm. Alba carried none of the weight and intelligence that Dr. Sue Storm, a research scientist and probably the heart of the Fantastic 4, needed. The real reason why Alba was picked was made clear in both films when they found contrived reasons to get her naked.

9. Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face

Rather than the complex, conflicted duality of Harvey Dent, Tommy Lee Jones gave us a cackling, coin-flipping cartoon character. One of the biggest mysteries of "Batman Forever" is why they chose to skip Two-Face's origin story, which is, by far, the best Batman villain origin, and tell Riddler's tale of being a Bruce Wayne stalker instead. Forget the silly half zoot suit and the annoying Sugar & Spice, the clearest example that this movie gives that the filmmakers didn't care about this character was when Two-Face keeps flipping the coin until it lands on tails so he can kill Batman. Two-Face doesn't root for an outcome, the whole point of the coin is to show that the conflict of good vs. evil is trivial.

8. Halle Berry as Catwoman

Halle Berry has the unique distinction of being on this list twice! Halle Berry plays Selina Kyle, oh, wait, no, it's Patience Phillips who becomes Catwoman. In this film, Patience is brought back to life by an Egyptian Mau cat, which is even sillier than Michelle Pfeiffer getting licked back to life by alley cats in "Batman Returns." To be fair, Halle Berry does try in this movie (more than she did as Storm), but her character is so shallow it makes no difference. Even her sexy outfit can't make this film watchable.

7. Seth Rogen as The Green Hornet

In "The Green Hornet" they took the dashing anti-hero from the comics and turned him into a chubby, giggling doofus. I know Rogen lost a bunch of weight for the role and put a lot of work into this film, but he was always going to be wrong for the part. I have yet to see much range in Seth Rogen's acting, making the Green Hornet just like every other character we've seen him play. Rather than get the movie this great character deserved, we got "Batman Gets Knocked Up."

6. George Clooney as Batman

Clooney was a terrible Batman, but one good thing that came out of his portrayal is that he so openly makes fun of "Batman & Robin" and his performance in it. He openly admitted it "was really shit" but I can't argue with the logic of why he accepted the role. His reason for saying yes to "Batman & Robin" was pretty much "wouldn't you want to be Batman?"

5. Taylor Kitsch as Gambit

Apparently, the reason why producers didn't want Gambit in the first three X-Men films was because his personality was too similar to Wolverine. I disagree with that, but, accepting that premise, why the hell would he belong in a movie that's got only Wolverine? And instead of going with Josh Holloway from "Lost" who had tremendous online support (and was perfect for the role), they chose pretty-boy Taylor Kitsch to play him. FOX showed utter disregard for this character all around, having Kitsch simply do a generic southern accent rather than his trademark Cajun, they didn't seem to understand his powers at all, and there was not a hint of the troubled loner persona that has made him a fan-favorite. As far as I'm concerned, we have yet to see Gambit done on film at all.

4. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze

Now, Arnold was an awful Mr. Freeze, but I'll admit that I find "Batman & Robin" more entertaining than "Batman Forever" and that's in large part due to Arnold Schwarzenegger. "Batman & Robin" is a cheesy movie, but it's fun to watch in the same way the old 60's TV show was. I loved "Ice to meet you!" and "My name is Freeze. Learn it well. For it's the chilling sound of your doom" and all his other one-liners. While "Forever" was stuck halfway between a serious movie and a joke, "Batman & Robin" is firmly aware that it's a joke, and I kind of like that.

3. Julian McMahon as Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom, possibly Marvel's coolest, most threatening villain is a shell of his comic book counterpart in 2005's "Fantastic 4." Doom is supposed to be dangerous, menacing, diabolical megalomaniac, but instead, we got a self-obsessed pretty-boy played by Julian McMahon. Some complained he was too handsome, but that makes no difference since he gets disfigured anyway. McMahon's problem was that he was not at all threatening as Dr. Doom. I really didn't even mind switching up the origin if the character came off better, but rather than a ruthless dictator, we got a depressed crybaby with more in common with Dorian Grey than Victor Von Doom.

2. Nicholas Cage as Ghost Rider

This is just one of about 500 examples of a movie Nicholas Cage should not have made in the last ten years. He turned Marvel's scariest anti-hero into a joke, complete with cheesy lines and vapid emotions. Nicholas Cage gives his usual, phoned-in acting presence in this film, shallow, silly and just plain boring. And, I'm sorry, but putting Nic Cage in a leather Jacket does not disguise the fact that he's pushing 50 and is completely burned out as an actor. Why the hell anyone wanted a sequel to this film is mind-boggling.

1. Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man

That's right, the number one spot goes to Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man! For an entire trilogy, moviegoers had to watch Maguire's whiney, sniveling Peter Parker complain about how hard it is to be Spider-Man. What amazed me most about Tobey was how many people defended his portrayal. Yes, Spider-Man is supposed to be geeky, but he eventually comes into his own. And yes, part of his story is the struggle of balancing life with being Spider-Man, but Spider-Man is unique in that he enjoys himself, he has fun, but instead of a wise-cracking Spidey, we got a mopey little wuss. And let's not forget how Spider-Man's best story, Venom, was ruined by Tobey's emo haircut and his stupid dance moves. I don't know about everyone else, but I left every Spider-Man movie feeling like I could beat the crap out of Spider-Man, and it just shouldn't be that way.

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