Let’s face it – when it comes to current comic book movies, DC are still playing catch up against their biggest rivals, Marvel Studios. And if you ask me, it’s all down to their casting choices. So far, Marvel has made some pretty impressive decisions with their major heroes. Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Chris Evans as Captain America remain highlights.
But when it comes to getting the right man for the job, DC doesn’t exactly have the same track record.
We take a look back at some of their worst casting decisions… and can’t help asking ‘why?’
Shaquille O’Neal – Steel
Perhaps one of the weirdest casting decisions ever made, basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal starred in a low-budget adaptation of DC’s Steel. Creating a super-suit to combat the threat of gang-related crime utilising armaments he had been responsible for creating, Shaq has the unfortunate ability to completely destroy any acting credibility he may have had within mere minutes of screen time.
Hailed as one of the worst comic book movies ever made, this abomination should never have happened… and while Shaq remains a basketball legend, we’d really rather pretend that none of this ever happened.
Arnold Schwarzenegger – Mr Freeze
I have to admit, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Batman’s coolest villain, Mr Freeze. There’s just something about his scientific background and sleek, almost B-Movie look that really appeals to my sci-fi tendencies. And after the astounding (and heart-breaking) Heart of Ice episode of Batman: The Animated Series it’s safe to say I was a firm fan.
Now, imagine my absolute horror when in 1997, Warner Bros. decided to take this thoroughly interesting DC villain and hand the role to none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s often regarded as one of the worst films ever made, and Batman & Robin reduced Mr Freeze to a mess of silver body paint and an oversized gun.
Halle Berry – Catwoman
Let’s start this one by mentioning that ‘Catwoman’ is one of the most pointless comic book movies ever made… and pays the heroine of the film itself a real disservice. Bumped off by her own bosses in one of the most humiliating screen ‘deaths’ of all time, Halle Berry found herself blasted out of a drain after being drowned in what I can only hope is industrial waste.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment is that Catwoman takes absolutely zero cues from her comic book counterpart and is, in fact, an entirely different character. Take that, 64 years of comic book stories!
But at least Halle Berry can’t mess it up, right?
What we actually get is a Catwoman who flings around bad puns like a young, female Roger Moore while actually starting to act like a cat. And with an outfit that looks like it’s straight out of a BDSM catalogue, you have to wonder why Halle Berry agreed to this in the first place. And let’s face it – she’s not a patch on Michelle Pfeiffer or Anne Hathaway.
George Clooney – Batman
Easily one of DC’s worst movies, we head back to Batman & Robin for our final (and incredibly awful) casting choice – George Clooney as Batman. It’s certainly one of the most infamous comic book movies of all time and is often blamed for killing the Batman franchise before it was rebooted with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.
But surely it’s not all Clooney’s fault?
Actually, no… it really isn’t. The entire film was a mess from start to finish, including rubberised bat nipples and awkward rubber codpieces as well as a host of villains straight out of an early-90s Halloween party. But Clooney wasn’t exactly a saving grace either. The script was certainly terrible, but his performance left a lot to be desired. At least the planned sequel was quickly scrapped.
What do you think of DC’s poor casting choices? Are there any we missed out? Let us know in the comments below…