Superheroes Who Deserve A Hollywood Reboot
It's high time some of our favourite superheroes got a Hollywood reboot. Plus, our picks for which actor should score the coveted big screen role.
Superhero movies have retaken Hollywood over the last few years, with franchise reboots of Spiderman, Batman and The Avengers—including offshoots starring Iron Man, Thor and Captain America—finally figuring out how to do the comic book genre justice. It’s easy to forget just how long superheroes were stuck in the dark ages, though, as studios treated them and their fans with little respect.
Remember George Clooney as Batman? Ben Affleck as Daredevil? The half-baked Catwoman and Elektra villain spinoffs? While studios have been happy to cash in on moviegoers’ fascination with superhero flicks, none of the productions seemed to take the title characters or their stories very seriously.
Then something changed. Sin City, the black-as-an-oil-slick 2005 adaptation of Frank Miller’s classic graphic novel—as well as the mammoth success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins—showed audiences craved deep characters and engaging stories, even in big budget blockbusters.
Now that quality comic book movies are in vogue in Hollywood, it’s high time some of our favourite heroes got the proper cinematic treatments they deserve.
There is arguably no darker comic book character than Frank Castle, aka The Punisher. After his family is killed in mob violence, Castle goes vigilante, seeking out criminals and subjecting them to extreme violence in the name of justice.
Tom Jane took on the role in 2004 after the 1989 Dolph Lundgren-starring debacle went straight to video. Despite raking over US$54 million, the film was poorly received by critics and fans alike. Hollywood learned nothing from the experience, however, taking another, even less successful swipe at the franchise in 2008.
A complex hero like The Punisher is ripe for a reboot, and according to IMDB there could be one in the works. We’d love to see Tom Hardy (Bane from The Dark Knight Rises) or Joel Edgerton (Zero Dark Thirty) play the lead.
It’s hard to believe we’ve never seen a Wonder Woman movie in a theatre. Seriously! Apparently folks in Hollywood have been trying to get a film made since 2001—Joss Whedon was attached as writer for a time, though he left the project when he felt he couldn’t quite do justice to her origin story—but haven’t built enough momentum to get a production off the ground.
Though her background has been tweaked over the years, most of the important points have remained: Wonder Woman, aka Princess Diana of Themyscira, came from a tribe of Amazon women and was blessed with superpowers by the gods of Greek mythology. She uses these powers to fight for justice and peace, and stands as an icon of feminist ideals in a male-dominated genre.
The most recent news is Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) hopes to make a Wonder Woman film with Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks in the lead—we couldn’t think of a better casting choice.
It'll be hard to distance the Daredevil name from the 2003 theatrical mess it spawned. That film had a talented cast, including Ben Affleck and future wife Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell and the late Michael Clarke Duncan, but Affleck as the lead—this was during his Gigli days, remember—doomed the film from the start.
Matt Murdock's path to becoming Daredevil began as a child, when he was blinded by radioactive waste that in turn heightened his other senses. Murdock used his newfound abilities while training in martial arts and, after his father was murdered by mobsters, took to fighting crime as a lawyer by day and as Daredevil by night.
Daredevil is supposed to be a cocky and carefree when in superhero mode—hence the nickname, "The Man Without Fear"—but as plain old Matt Murdock, he’s as mild-mannered as Clark Kent. Who else but Joseph Gordon Levitt could be trusted to give equal weight to each facet of Daredevil without being either too goofy or too mopey?
It's hard to believe for one of DC Comics' most popular characters, but, much like Wonder Woman, The Flash has never had a proper cinematic treatment. A Hollywood team has been working on a script since 2004, but evidently their hero’s trademark speed hasn't inspired them to pick up the pace.
There are multiple versions of The Flash—the most prominent, Barry Allen, was actually inspired the Flash comics he read as a kid. Allen had a tough life: his father was successfully framed for his mother’s murder, driving Barry to study science in an effort to prove his father’s innocence. A lab accident caused by lightning gave him his super-speed, which, obviously, he used to fight crime.
The Flash is a role that requires a both intellectual intensity and physicality, both qualities that emerging actor Chadwick Boseman (42) brings to the screen. Purists will argue that The Flash isn’t supposed to be black, but the new comic book Spiderman is Hispanic, so why not? Sure, colours matter in comics, but race shouldn’t.