Robert Downey, Jr. is Tony Stark. Chris Evans is Steve Rogers. Scarlett Johansson is Natasha Romanoff. It’s difficult for most people to disassociate these actors from their Marvel roles. That’s not really a bad thing, is it? You want an actor or actress who truly immerses themselves into the role and becomes one with the character they are portraying. However, no matter how much I love the casting choices for the Avengers, I can’t help but wonder “What if?” What if Marvel Studios had decided to cast other actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Who would be able to take up the mantles? Here are some possibilities.
6. Josh Hartnett as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Josh Hartnett is one of the many underrated actors in Hollywood right now. He’s been in a few enjoyable films such as 30 Days of Night, Halloween: H20, The Black Dahlia, and Black Hawk Down. He’s currently playing Ethan Lawrence Talbot (also known as The Wolf Man) on Penny Dreadful. I can’t pinpoint the exact reason, but I think Hartnett would just look great with a bow and arrow. Maybe it’s because he plays a sharpshooter in Penny Dreadful? Or maybe he just has more confidence in his performances? I could be wrong, but it always seems like Jeremy Renner has this uneasy presence whenever he’s on-screen. It’s an anomaly I can’t explain. Renner just doesn’t seem like he knows what he’s doing half the time. Give Hartnett a shot and see if he could pull it off.
5. Brad Pitt as Thor
Brad Pitt is on the older side, I’ll admit. The character of Thor has always been envisioned as a young, brash, slightly cocky warrior with a constant thirst for battle. Chris Hemsworth captures that character pretty well, but that doesn’t mean that someone else can’t fill the role, especially if we’re searching for an older Thor. Pitt has a wide range of acting abilities and has never really suffered from type-casting. You can watch him in Inglorious Basterds as one personality, and then check him out in Meet Joe Black as another. Then, turn on Fight Club and see yet another completely different persona. Long ago, I loathed Pitt because I considered him just some “pretty-boy” actor who was all looks and no talent. Then I watched GOOD movies and saw that he’s actually an amazing and diverse actor. He may be old, but if you give him a decent training regimen and a little bit of time, he could very well bulk up to Thor-like levels.
4. Milla Jovovich as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
I’ve been saying this for years: I think Milla Jovovich would’ve been a better Black Widow than Johansson. Get out your pitchforks! I don’t care if it’s an unpopular opinion. A common response I’ve gotten when I expressed this opinion is that Milla “isn’t hot enough”. Forgive me for choosing someone based on acting talents instead of looks, right? Johansson is fine in the role, and she’s quickly established herself as a bad-ass actress, but Jovovich just seems like a better fit. She’s demonstrated her ability to kick a lot of ass on-screen (Resident Evil and The Fifth Element), and she’s shown that she can be funny (Zoolander), which seems to be a necessity to fit in with the Avengers and the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe.