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April 14 2010

Assembling Joss Whedon's Avengers. MTV's Splash Page has a bit of fun casting the rest of the Avengers with Whedon alum. There's similar sort of articles over at Movieline, Television Without Pity and SFX.

Note: we are obliged to run this type of feature everytime Joss has a new project.

Ooh I liked the Tudyk Dushku idea...but I still want SMG in there somewhere! She could play all the characters!!
I expect we're still waiting for the definite "done deal" for the new category to appear, right?
Not bad choices for those roles. There are plenty of notable absences (The Dr. Horrible/HIMYM axis...) but there are only a finite number of avengers. Joss has "assembled" more talent over the years than the Avengers have, which is kinda scary in a good way.
* Hank Pym - Nathan Fillion. You need someone that can do smart, cocky, and yet be very physical. I think his talents in jackassery (technical term) are not necessary for Hawkeye. Plus, Hawkeye is too minor of a character for a series of only a few movies (although he is one of my favorites).

* Wasp - Kristen Bell. She can do the right mix of snark and smarts. She has even lobbied for the role.

Those are all the founding members.

If I were going to add more Avengers (which I think would be a mistake given the limited hours they'll get with these characters), I'd add (in sequels):

Vision: David Hyde Pierce voice, Motion Capture/CGI with someone else.

Wonderman: This is a role for David Boreanaz.
How about some Enver?
Also, they can feel free (given recent Marvel continuity) to pull in Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, the new Spiderman, etc... and I kind of expect that there will be a major crossover event movie to 'end' this era of Superhero crossover movies for Marvel.
I don't think they can pull in Wolverine or Spiderman because of the way the Spiderman, X-Men and Wolverine movies franchises are licensed. A few years back Marvel made their own movie production company and basically licensed their previously unlicensed characters to themselves. Ironman was the first movie, new Hulk was the second, and the upcoming Thor, Captain America and potentially Ant-Man movies are also under the Marvel movie production company so the Avengers will likely have Thor, Ironman (Potentially War Machine), Hulk, Captain America, Ant-man, Wasp, and Nick Fury.

There needs to be some Ultron & Fin Fang Foom.
Licenses expire or can be bought back. It isn't a situation where 'can't' is the right word. It is just a bit more difficult to pull off. Eventually, Marvel is going to get all of that stuff back if it keeps making movies.
I'm sorry to brust everyone's bubble, but this is going to be a train-wreck. It has bomb wriiten all over it. Too many charaters, too many Hollywood egos, and not nearly enough people willing to watch a Super Hero team up movie, especialy since will be coming out in like 2012 when people will no dount be getting sick of comicbook movies. And I'm honestly not knocking comicbook fans, I know alot of people love them, and that's cool, but I just don't see enough people getting exited about this. Mister Whedon, stay away from this one.
The Great Gonzo, I'm not sure you're aware that comic book movies are one of the biggest moneymakers in Hollywood. We've had comic book movies since the 1960s, so I doubt that people are going to get sick of them now, plus, really? Not nearly enough people want to watch a super hero team movie? This isn't something someone made up in their basement - this is one of the most legendary comic book series ever created.

In short, YES there will be A LOT of people excited about this.
I suspect I won't be very popular for suggesting this. I like Whedon actors a great deal, though I have never minced words about the fact that while I thought SMG was perfect as Buffy, I do not think she's actually that great of an actor. Likewise, I liked Eliza as Faith, but I wasn't too impressed with Dollhouse, and I just don't think she's got a lot of range. Certainly, an actor such as Olivia Williams brings a lot more to the table than certain others.

There's a lot of pressure and a lot of money riding on "The Avengers" because it's part of a franchise. Joss would be essentially buying into a franchise that needs a lot of care. We saw what happened with "Alien: Resurrection" - a lot of fans hated it because it was a departure from what they felt was the proper tone and care given to the previous movies. We can't have something like that happen with "The Avengers" in which people who have a solid understanding of the story and have seen the individual movies whose characters comprise this one are upset about the direction and tone.

A lot can be undone by improper casting - it would be a shame for "The Avengers" to be cast using a process that amounted to who was BFF with the director. I'm not saying Joss would do this, but it seems that a lot of fans ascribe a lot of credit to certain actors even if it would be abundantly clear that they were not right for the role.
People have been wanting to see a big superhero team-up movie for years. Look at how long Warner Bros has been trying to get it done(batman vs superman, JLA)? If this is done right it will be the culmination of almost a decade of superhero movies, come on! I just wish Marvel had the rights to Spider-Man and X-men so we could go bonanzas with other superhero team ups. Secret Wars demands a film adaption.
The Ninja Report, luckily Joss and Marvel won't pay any attention whatsoever to who the fans want cast in the available roles. Nothing to worry about. :)
I didn't know if it was worth starting a new post about, but movieline has done a similar article "Which Joss Whedon Characters Resemble Members of The Avengers?"
Wow, as much as I love those actors, that sounds like some awful casting.

And as long as Thor and Captain America don't tank, I'd say Avengers is guaranteed a certain measure of success. Sequels often get bigger box office, and this movie will function as a sequel to three different franchises (four if the Hulk appears) to create a film that will undoubtedly burst with action and spectacular effects.
Seriously, and I'm not kiddng here: although I think Joss would be well-advised to stay away from the sort of stunt casting his fans always want to see, Morena Baccarin would make a wonderful Scarlet Witch.
Thanks emmy, I added that to the entry.

Sequels often get bigger box office

I'm hoping for Joss to do West Coast Avengers and Great Lakes Avengers after the first Avengers movie.
Actually considering how many people cycle through or are affiliated with the Avengers jclemens, Joss probably could-- if he really wanted to or there were any chance of them showing up in a movie-- find a role for every single actor he's worked with before and liked.

(Beth Grant/Muffin Buffalo/Sparkle Motion mother/lady from Speed as Madame Web! Never mind the fact I think that she's a Spider-Man character!)

I do like the MTV article though for actually finding generally plausible matches that remotely stand scrutiny! Aly Hannigan thematically did Hulk out a few times but I doubt that casting would stand if they need to replace Norton. That twisted relationship between Alpha and Echo was pretty interesting baggage to bring to a Scarlet Witch/Quiksilver team up, even if I'd rather not necessarily see her turn up in such a potentially prominent role. (Maybe Black Cat like they originally rumored for one of the Spider-Man movies?)

I'm not sure it really counts as "stunt casting" though so much as like how certain people just always bring each other along. Like the Depp/Burton/Carter trifecta.

Actually the only instance of stunt casting coming to mind for Marvel movies is like Sam Jackson as Nick Fury since that was more or less sheer perfection given the Ultimate version of the character was modeled on him. Or comic books in general, like Richard Pryor in whichever Superman movie he showed up in. Or maybe Hal Sparks in Spider-Man 2? Comedians and musicians in general?

I do wonder how this crossover stuff works though. Like because of video games I used to just always assume the Kingpin was a Spider-Man villain but he ended up in Daredevil instead. The New Avengers line up is pretty much well out though.
@Simon - Great Lakes Avengers? PMSL. Well I'm fine with that so long as Felicia plays Squirrel Girl.
Who is this Amy Ackerman?
Maybe they were thinking of Malin Akerman who would also make a good Wasp but was already in Watchmen.
Ninja Reprot. Yes, I'm aware that they are big money right now, that's the problem. Between now and then we'll see (and have seen) every comic the studios can get their grubby little hands on turned into movie, to cash in on the trend. (wheather they are good or not be damned.) So there's a good chance that burn-out will be setting in by then. And we're not talking about a superhero movie, were' talking about a bunch of heros crammed into one movie. That's gonna be a hard sell for the public: look at Spiderman and X-men, the more heros and villains they crammed into a sequel the harder it was to follow, and the less it was liked. And again we're talking about the characters being played by diffrent stars who all think THEY are the star, and everyone else is the suporting cast.

Again, this isn't a dis on anybody, just my opinion.

[ edited by The Great Gonzo on 2010-04-14 20:43 ]
Theres no reason why a movie can't have several leading actors and be sucessful. A little movie called Ocean's Eleven proved that. And Avengers will have the benefit of the public already being introduced to all these characters in a previous movie.

Truth be told it would take alot of f-ups for this NOT to be a hit movie. They could've put anyone on this movie, as long as it has the flash, bang and whiz and is respectable to the source material then people will show up. But adding Joss to the mix makes this more than just a summer blockbuster. This movie might actually have a heart! and interesting dialogue after he rewrites it. People have been saying that the public will get tired of comic book movies since Daredevil, Elektra, Punisher, and all those other movies in the mid 00's flopped but The Dark Knight and Ironman certainly proved that if the movie is intelligent AND entertaining then people will turn up. In droves. It has nothing to do with it being a comic book movie, and everything to do with people just wanting to see a good movie. I trust that Joss will deliver.

[ edited by eddy on 2010-04-14 20:50 ]
There is only "one" actor I want to see in this movie, and who needs this job more than any other actor in Hollywood - Alexis Denisof!
As for the rest of the casting, I really don't care who Joss picks.
TWOP also having a bit of fun here with their dream Whedonverse Avengers cast.
Id DIE of happiness, if Amy Acker was is this!! <3333
Marvel isn't free to use any character in any film. There are certain licensing deals with Fox and Sony for the X-Characters and Spidy characters.

The question about whether Scarlet Witch could appear in an Avenger movie came up before, and it looks like both the rights to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are owned by Fox as part of the 200+ X-Characters in that deal, so they would not be able to be in an Avengers movie. It's possible they could be part of the X-Men: First Class movie since once of the captive mutants in Wolverine: Origins was supposed to be Pietro.

While I suppose licensing could be purchased back, it would be expensive when there are plenty of other characters they could use for free.

And heck yeah to a Great Lakes Avengers movie!
Hey, come on, this movie is Joss's equivalent to JJ Abrams' Star Trek. And if Abrams can load his epic down with bit parts for character actors from all of his past projects (Greg Grunberg, Victor Garber, etc), there's no reason why Joss can't do the same.
I can see it now:

Alexis Denisof... IS Quicksilver! Summer Glau IS Mockingbird! OR: Summer Glau IS Spider-Woman, Sarah Michelle Gellar IS Mockingbird! Eliza Dushku IS Tigra! Gina Torres IS She-Hulk! Michelle Trachtenberg IS Songbird! (Hey, she's going to be an Avenger sometime, per "Avengers Forever".) Vincent Kartheser IS Justice! Sean Mahar IS Namor the Sub-Mariner! Chiwetel Ejiofor IS the Black Panther! Adam Baldwin IS Hercules!

Actually, the more I think about most of these, the farther my tongue gets out of my cheek...
Right now, FOX and Sony really don't want to give the rights to their Marvel licenses back to Disney. Fox is making new Daredevil and Fantastic Four movies, not necessarily because they even want to, but they know that if they don't, then the rights will revert to Marvel/Disney.

I'm sure that there is a price that they would be willing to sell certain properties or characters back to Disney, but I would also imagine that the price is quite high.
I think Michelle Trachenberg could probably be Giant Girl from Young Avengers. It'd even be a little (well big) Buffy nod, even if lots of people do think Cassie is also sort of the annoying brat of the cast... Heck, maybe her Gossip Girl experience would even be enough for her to play Hawkingbird/replacement Hawkeye and Michelle could get a proper shot at being a badass.

I really would want Gina Torres as Monica Rambeau though since at some point she was a leader of the Avengers and she'd make the cast less white and more female in one fell swoop. Plus she'd be set up for any Marvel Diva or NEXTWAVE spinoffs.

As for Spider-Woman actresses... There were something like seven Spider-Women but I'm rather torn between the fact she's apparently English so there's a shot for Olivia Williams to be shoved into a role, the fact she vaguely makes me think of Morena when she's in costume, and in civilian garb she either looks like Dushku in terms of clothing or Amy Acker depending on artist. Unless I'm thinking of Jessica Jones?
Whomever they get to play Henry Pym and Janet Van Dyne need to be able to play more than one version of themselves, since not only does Pym become the manic, paranoiac, wife-slapping Yellowjacket, but Ultron should use the same actor's voice. Likewise, Janet will be echoed in the voice of Jocasta. So I'm gonna say Alan Tudyk for Pym and Amy Acker as Van Dyne would work nicely. I suppose that means whomever they get to be Vision should also play Wonder Man, but I can't think of someone who could fit those both just now. Except maybe Nathan Fillion.

And I've heard a certain Fantastic Four villain has graduated to becoming the baddie for the Avengers, and since the current FF franchise is broken (by which I mean it's not a Marvel Studios thing and it's going to be missing its Human Torch since he's becoming Captain America), I'd say a cameo via vid-screen of Reed Richards played by Alexis Denisof is required.

Also, and this is unrelated to the Avengers, I'll again say that Dichen needs to play Psylocke/Revanche at some point.
Latest gossip suggests that Olivia Munn will be playing The Wasp. I'd also like to see Ultron as the big bad.
They've been very mum about what Olivia's role in Iron Man 2.
SFX is joining the what if team with their latest artcile: If Joss Has To Assemble His Avengers
I added the Twop and SFX links to the entry, cheers :).
It would make sense to make Loki/Hulk the villain of Avengers. In the very first issue of the comic, Loki manipulates Thor (and accidentally other heroes) into seeing Hulk as a menace.
Joss Whedon tends to work with casts of characters - be they major or minor - that are fairly balanced in terms of gender. Given this precedence, and given that we have 3 confirmed male Avengers characters (Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America), one possible female Avengers character (Black Widow), and one possible male character (The Hulk) who will have already been previously established by the time Avengers comes out, the question, IMO, that needs to be asked is 'Which unused Avengers characters fit Joss's sensibilities and could hold their own alongside the five aforementioned characters?' I did some thinking, and came up with the following list of characters that I think Joss would be likely to use in fleshing out his roster, along with actors from his 'stable' that might fit each role:
Ms. Marvel - Almost all of the female characters from Joss' various projects represent a different reflection of his feminist sensibilities and viewpoints, and, even with Black Widow, the above-listed Avengers lineup is lacking characters who can truly serve this purpose. Ms. Marvel is one such character because her power and skill set allows her to represent what I'd like to call the 'Slayer female'/'tough, strong chick' archetype. She would also fit in well with Thor, Captain America, and/or Hulk, since they all mirror her - in terms of their powers and abilities - in some fashion. As for an actress from Whedon's 'stable' who might best fit the character, I personally think the role would be tailor-made for either Dichen Lachman or Eliza Dushku, even though the latter does not have blonde hair.
Dr. Hank Pym (Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Yellowjacket, etc.) - Given that Joss is such a diehard 'nerd', all of his projects tend to have at least one character who can serve as a representation of that aspect of his personality. Pym's background as a scientist makes him a perfect candidate to fill the role of 'nerd representation of Joss' in the film without feeling out of place. In terms of actors who might fit the role, both Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk come to mind immediately.
The Wasp - If Ms. Marvel represents the 'Slayer female' archetype and reflection of Joss' feminist senseabilities, The Wasp is, to me, a perfect representation of the 'vulnerable female' archetype that Joss tends to put into each of his projects in some fashion, even as the character simultaneously represents the primal archetype that was behind the creation of the character of Buffy Summers and the concept of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', which is that of the 'damsel in distress who isn't a damsel'. In terms of actresses who might be perfect for the role from Whedon's 'stable', the actresses who come to mind immediately for me are Summer Glau and Amy Acker.
Hawkeye - Joss tends to incorporate at least one character into all of his projects that represents the anti-hero archetype (Mal, Dr. Horrible, Angel, later Wesley), and Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and The Hulk don't entirely represent this archetype, so it would open the door for Joss to insert a character that does, and I think Hawkeye is the perfect candidate. In terms of actors who fit the role, both Adam Baldwin and James Marsters come to mind.

[ edited by DigificWriter on 2010-04-15 21:57 ]
See, not so much in this thread, but I keep hearing Nathan's name mentioned alongside Hawkeye, and I see how that works, and I'm all for more Fillion in anything, but shouldn't he be heading up Alpha Flight all things considered?

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