- Release Date
- April 26th
After 10 years and 21 films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had its fair share of castings and recastings. While some are seen as perfect choices for their superhero counterparts, others seem to raise more questions in their depictions. Here are our choices for the top five best and worst casting choices in the MCU.
(WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW)
WORST – Christopher Eccleston as Malekith
While this film itself was atrocious in nearly every aspect, one of the major reasons was the character of Malekith and his depiction. In the comics, this dark elf is supposed to fall more in line with the joking and mischievous ways of Loki, but instead becomes a stoic, murderous alien. It is obvious that the writers wanted to avoid him being too similar to Loki, considering how beloved he is, and instead made him into something more reminiscent of Ronan the Accuser. Unfortunately, it didn’t work and Eccelston’s bland performance brought nothing extra to an already doomed character.
BEST – Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
In the past 15 years we have had three live action Peter Parkers. Tobey Maguire brought the naivety and clumsiness, but none of the snarky comments or appropriate age. Andrew Garfield managed to bring some of what Maguire lacked, but in doing so lost some of the clumsiness or strength of the character. Thankfully the third times the charm as Holland ends up being the perfect blend of both. He looks like a high schooler, he feels powerful, but naive and above all he is still learning to control his powers and impulses. Expect him to be a key part of the MCU post-Endgame.
WORST – Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
The first of a few controversial choices on this list is Renner’s Hawkeye. While this could be attributed by the abysmal writing of Whedon in creating a closed off caricature of a great comic hero, Renner was always an odd choice for this character. He isn’t the right amount of smug or charismatic and instead feels like another typical army rat turned special ops soldier. This is most likely due to Renner’s filmography, but it makes it difficult to really feel him in this character. That may change with the appearance of Ronin in Endgame, but all signs point to unlikely.
BEST – Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
One of the more obvious choices is the addition of Chris Evans to the MCU as Captain America. He embodies everything one would imagine when trying to cast this iconic hero. Not only does he have the physique and charisma, but he also has the emotional and moral resolve needed for this deeply conflicted character. He even brings comedy when it is needed making him the perfect straight man and leader of the Avengers.
WORST – Natalie Portman as Jane Foster
The addition of Portman as Jane Foster seemed entirely unnecessary in the grand scope of the MCU other than to have a forced romantic interest for Thor. She does nothing in terms of her own character development or help in his plot progression (shown by his best film being the one she is not a part of). It is that paired with the emotionless, dull performance by Portman whose unforgettable in every scene that makes her a hard pass for this unneeded character.
BEST – Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter
While she isn’t one of the major players in the MCU, Atwell’s Peggy Carter proved to be a force. Not only was she a scene stealer in Captain America: The First Avenger, but her performance that blended action, wit and emotion was so strong that she managed to get her own spin-off series. Unfortunately, it was cancelled too soon, but Atwell’s performance brought a much needed, strong female presence to the MCU.
WORST – Scarlet Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
Another controversial choice is the only female in the original Avengers. Johansson is not a bad actress by any means, but she always seemed a bit out of place in this character. Aside from her performance in Winter Soldier, the most non-superhero story of her appearances, she has fallen flat and almost disappeared when paired with larger ensembles. This character has such a complicated backstory and could have proved to be one of the best foils for the Avengers, but instead is reduced to a love interest and quippy one-liner sidekick thanks in part to Johansson’s continuously reserved portrayals.
BEST – Tom Hiddleston as Loki
This is probably one of the most obvious choices for this list as Tom Hiddleston’s Loki made a defining impact on the MCU. As a strong Shakespearean actor, Hiddleston manages to bring that experience to this character. He also brings the sarcasm, cunning, charm and conflict needed for this character who is constantly back and forth with his inner demons. It is no wonder that Marvel continued to bring Loki back in some form or another being not only their best villain for many years, but also one of their best casting decisions to date.
WORST – Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
And the last worst casting decision is that of Elizabeth Olsen. This is a very questionable decision because not only does this character have really no sense of emotion, character development or impact until the final moments of Infinity War, but she also goes as far as having a terrible Russian accent to none at all. Obviously that was a choice by Feige or the Russos to cut Olsen’s ridiculous accent, but it still lives on in her earlier performances making us question why she was ever picked in the first place.
BEST – Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Finally the last top casting decision is of course the man who started this entire universe. No other person could fill these shoes and suit of armor quite like Robert Downey Junior. Not only does he handle the action of Iron Man well, but he brings the perfect blend of moral struggle, sarcastic demeanor and reckless behaviour to this deeply-layered character. Without him there is no MCU.
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