Earlier this week, Mark Millar revealed that he was courting The Hangover's Bradley Cooper, one of Hollywood's most in-demand actors, for the role of Johnny Bolt in a potential film adaptation of Millar and Leinil F. Yu's Supercrooks, the story of a group of supervillains who come out of retirement for one last big job.
"I am literally calling up his guys tomorrow and want to secure him as Johnny Bolt." wrote Millar on his blog. "It's about TIME he did a super-movie and having him as a likeable super-villain in a super-heist flick sounds about perfect."
We couldn't agree more--but in case Johnny Bolt doesn't end up working out, here are ten comic book roles we think Cooper could nail.
The Joker demands a new interpretation every time we see him; the fact that both Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger put their own marks so indelibly on those performances, and both of them gained tremendous acclaim for them, says something about the character's range of possibilities, but to bring in another actor to play it like Ledger or Nicholson would be a death sentence. Cooper could bring a whole different sensibility to the Clown Prince of Crime--that of a dangerous sociopath whose smile is always just ready to crack.
Smarmy, dangerous and with an edge of humor? That's pretty much Bradley Cooper all over! Maxwell Lord would be a great role for Cooper because he could start good and transition to the dark side over the course of a filim or two, remaining a fascinating character all along. Somebody get him in the Justice League movie!
Cooper was at one point a fan-favorite to play Captain America--but US Agent is Captain America, with a few more years on him and a bit more of an edge. Sounds about right for Cooper, who can still look like the All-American Kid while having some fun with the not-quite-apple pie role.
A lot of fans thought this was a job for Nathan Fillion, who then essentially assured us he wouldn't/couldn't do it. But Cooper has a similar sensibility, and a similar ability to toggle back and forth between the serious and the snark with no warning. This one's a little different from the rest of the ideas on the list for a big, obvious reason: it's currently being cast.
Once again, here you could run into a little bit of an age problem, but to land an A-list actor for a superhero nobody's ever heard of could be a huge boon and make the whole thing worthwhile. And once again, he's got the kind of smarmy charm, humor and screen presence to pull off a character who's a good guy at the end of the day, but a little questionable along the way. He could play Booster like Limitless.
Of course, with a TV series in development at Syfy, the chances of seeing Michael Jon Carter show up in a movie anytime soon ar basically zero.
Okay, so this one would have to go the other day--maybe wait five or six years so that Cooper can look the right age--but Gary Callahan, better known as "The Smiler," who was the President for most of Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson's run on Transmetropolitan, seems to have Cooper's name all over it.
This one would be a far cry from the comics, where he looked a bit like Uncle Ben, but for some reason I always saw a film version of Spider-Man's meta-mentor as being a bit younger, more relatable and charismatic. It would lend to one of the things that J.M. Straczynski did with Ezekiel's character in the comics, where it was sometimes unclear whether he was really helping or more of a devilish character, telling Peter what he wanted/needed to hear.
The updated, younger, more stylish version of Alan Scott seen in the New 52 could be a great way for DC to both reach out to the homosexual community and distance themselves from the stink of Ryan Reynolds's unsuccessful Green Lantern film. Could the Earth 2 star be headed for a stint on the Earth 1 Justice League? If so, Cooper would be a good choice to take on the gig.
This one almost happened--and when it did, it seemed so perfect that it's hard to look at the role and not see the potential in an actor like Cooper taking it on.
Come on--you want to mess up that pretty face every bit as bad as I do, don't you?