Five Fan Casting Campaigns--And Whether They Could Happen

Matt Damon as Robin

With unsubstantiated rumors that Bryan Cranston has been cast as Lex Luthor in Man of Steel's Batman-flavored sequel clogging up the Internet this week, we started thinking back to other, similar recent conversations.

Whenever there's a new comic book movie announced, there's a brief period of time before casting is finished when fans and entertainment journalists hurry to try and figure out who's going to get the jobs before they're filled.

Once in a while, though, one of those rumors or bits of speculation rings so true with fans that they seem to agree in truly impressive numbers that the rumor ought to be true. It's why the Cranston thing has become so omnipresent: a lot of fans wanted to hear it, so when someone told them it was true, they got invested.

But it's not the first time. What are some other rumors/fantasies that have taken on a life of their own? Well, keeping it limited just to the recent past...!

Bryan CranstonBryan Cranston as Lex Luthor

So here's the Cliff's Notes version: Latino Review reported that he was a prime contender for the part. Coinciding as it did with the return of Breaking Bad, it got headlines and lots of attention, so it wasn't long before sites were trying to get a confirmation.

Cosmic Booknews ran the story that he was already signed on although other supposed DC Cinematic Universe exclusives such as Matt Damon being considered for Aquaman that accompanied the Cranston story made it seem suspicious.

End of the day? It could very well be true--but if it is, the story that everyone's linking to probably had no impact on it.

Nick Frost as Ben Grimm

This one hardly counts, really, because it's more the actor and his friends who want it to happen than anything else. Still worth mentioning, because it's one of those casting bits like Donald Glover as Spider-Man (see below) that fans are either ecstatic about or totally repulsed by.

Nathan Fillion Flashpoint_GreenLanternNathan Fillion as Ant-Man (or Green Lantern)

Fillion is, of course, one of those guys who seems to have a small fan movement get behind him every time there's just about any superhero who needs to be cast--but the two most persistent ones are Ant-Man and Green Lantern.

He's a physical fit for the version of Hal Jordan that we saw between Emerald Dawn in 1991 and when Geoff Johns took over, and he's got that same smarmy humor as Ryan Reynolds without the baggage of...well, being Ryan Reynolds.

He's also played Hal in animated movies more than once - something that only reinforced for fans that he's the right guy (even if he recently admitted that he was wrong for Batman).

He's also stopped JUST short of denying that he'll do Ant-Man or any other Marvel Studios movie, telling fans and reporters that he'd not be able to do it while Castle is still happening.

Clark Gregg (or Vin Diesel) as The Vision

There was a period in time when everybody figured that the way to bring back Agent Phil Coulson was to make him The Vision in the Avengers sequel. It got to be such a movement on the part of fans that there came a lot of conversation about whether Marvel would be willing to do it; you got things like a fan who sculpted a bust of the character using Gregg's face as a guide.

Of course, now that Coulson is back and didn't need any help from cybernetics, that seems out the window.

Also out of the question, it seems? Vin Diesel as the Vision, since he's playing Groot.

donald-glover-as-spideyDonald Glover as Spider-Man

This one got some traction in the mainstream media because Glover would have been a race-swapped version of one of the most iconic characters in comicdom. That there was a vocal group advocating for him to get the gig totally shocked a media establishment who don't care about comics that aren't already movies and had never heard the name "Miles Morales" before.

The hitch? Miles will probably never make it into the movies--Peter is too well-known and there are too many stories of his to mine. It's telling that even the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, which is named after Miles's book, features Peter. And, no, it's not likely we'll get a non-white Peter Parker anytime soon, because (among other reasons) doing so would completely overtake the film.


Plus, Spider-Man is a young hero. Glover is already on the outer rim of what would be an acceptable age for Spidey, and it will be another five years, minimum, before Andrew Garfield is done and they're casting a new wall-crawler.

Most importantly of course, Glover couldn't be in the Marvel Universe because Abed is Batman.