Last week, news broke that Warner Bros. is developing a feature film featuring Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, one of the great buddy duos in mainstream superhero comics.
As someone who's written extensively about Booster Gold over the course of the last decade or so, I provided my opinions as to some of the character's best solo stories.
That was comparably easy to actually thinking about who might be best to play the Corporate Crusader in a feature film. One of the biggest problems is that so many great candidates are, frankly, a bit too old to convincingly play someone who is just a few years removed from a college football scandal -- a key part of Booster's origin story.
He's a tough character to cast; what version of the character are they going for? Do you focus on his comedic chops, or on the fact that you have to find somebody who can do the action scenes, fill out the suit and convincingly look like a college football player? Do you go for somebody with a proven track record or somebody who's young enough to plausibly play that origin story? There are a lot of variables with the character and most of the time when you see somebody and say "He'd be perfect...!" the moment has passed before you even finish the thought. There are only so many Chris Pratts in the world.
Arguably the biggest problem with casting a role like this is that it feels like you're better off with an unknown who really captures the feel of the source material -- but Booster isn't Superman, he isn't Spider-Man. It's likely it would be difficult to sell Warner Bros. on that strategy.
So -- who should play the Greatest Hero You've Never Heard Of? Damned if I know, but here are some of the more intriguing ideas that I've either had, or heard around the Internet. In no particular order.
We have to include him in this list, since he's a fanboy favorite and since he recently indicated that he feels Booster Gold is in his wheelhouse.
“I think I could take a pretty good crack at Booster Gold,” said Fillion. “That’s kind of my niche… show-offy, vain. I think I could handle that…not too bright.”
The problem here is just his age. He's got the snark, the smile, the smugness...but his time as a headlining superhero might have passed him by before the superhero craze truly took over Hollywood.prevnext
Here's another guy who's probably too old to play Booster in a feature film, but a couple of years ago when Syfy was developing a TV series based on Booster, here's what we had to say when we fantasy-cast him in the role:
James Roday, the star of the long-running USA Network show Psych, may have put on a few pounds and a half-dozen years since that show began, but his acerbic delivery and ability to transition seamlessly from comedy to drama makes him an ideal choice for a character like Booster, whose character demands a healthy dose of both.
Roday has recently starred in a superhero-themed episode of Psych, and an early episode revolved around the two central characters solving a murder at a comic book convention, so he's no stranger to the comics community and the unique demands they can place on the people acting in its sphere--hell, the Psych cast have been fixtures at the San Diego Comic Con for a few years now, always to warm reception, and so he's already an invited guest in the genre TV jungle.prevnext
Yes, I think Awesome would be...well, awesome...in the role. Here, again, age is not on his side...but at least he looks much younger than he is, and as a physical trainer it's unlikely that his physical condition is going to deteriorate soon.
He's also the guy on this list that just LOOKS the part the most. He's the all-American boy...so much so that he was even rumored to have been considered for the role of Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger before the part went to Chris Evans.prevnext
Let's just get this out there: This is a virtual impossibility.
Gosling is rumored for basically every major role that comes around in Hollywood these days, and has reportedly flirted with superheroes a few times. It's never happened, but if it does, it seems unlikely that it will be somebody like Booster, who doesn't have the same kind of cultural awareness that Gosling himself does outside of comics.
That said, he's got the chops to do the comedic, the dramatic and the action. He's got the looks. And relative to most of the names that have bounced around for Booster, he's not too old at 34.prevnext
Another young star whose name comes up in almost everything, Hedlund is an intriguing choice, but he's a bit "grittier" than the pretty-boy looks that many people look for when casting Booster.
That doesn't disqualify him, though; we can see (above) how he fills out a super-suit and how he cleans up -- something that certainly seems like a solid match for Booster.
And he's got a name. Realistically that's likely a necessity (this is the studio that wanted Affleck for Batman, Leto for Joker and Will Smith for freaking Deathstroke after all).prevnext
With The Hunger Games wrapping up and presumably a big hole opening in his schedule, how much would it twist around fanboy heads if Thor's brother migrated to the DC Universe and we had a Hemsworth on each the Justice League and the Avengers?
Even if it wasn't worth it just for that, we've seen that Hemsworth can manage himself in both action and drama, and stand up to the pressures and the physical demands of a big action franchise.
He also damn straight looks like he could have been a college footbal player recently.
Like so many people on this list, the biggest problem is that he isn't quite blonde enough...but that's something that traditionally hasn't been a big concern for the studios when casting superhero roles.prevnext
This one would have the potential for disastrous backlash among the fans, but I think he could pull it off. The biggest challenge would be making sure that the script played to his strengths.
He's a bit stringy for Booster, which is admittedly a big issue, but obviously he could bulk up, not unlike what Chris Hemsworth and Henry Cavill have done. That said, Timberlake has the boyish looks, the humorous side and the ability to convincingly play somebody who skates by on looks and ends up on billboards within a few weeks of making his big, public first appearance.
He's also had great onscreen chemistry in Ben Affleck in the otherwise forgettable Runner Runner, and given that Booster Gold and Batman have one of the more interesting -- and sometimes contentious -- relationships in Justice League history, that could be a fun thing to explore down the road.prevnext
Damn...he'd be kind of perfect, actually.
Hansen has already had an appearance on one of the CW comic book shows -- albeit the only one NOT produced by Greg Berlanti in Rob Thomas's iZombie. Best known for his roles in Thomas's Veronica Mars and Party Down, his comedic chops and his looks are dead-on.0comments
The biggest challenge for Hansen might be proving that he can do the Chris Pratt thing of transforming acclaimed comedic performances into a leading role in what ultimately will be a drama with a sense of humor. That, and putting on some muscle.
But...wow. I might have talked myself into Hansen.prev