Actors Who Will Ruin Their Upcoming Comic Book Movies

Superheroes carry a whole lot of baggage. Almost every notable hero has already endured dozens of epic stories and formative experiences by the time they're even considered for the big screen, and anyone really interested in seeing them in action will probably already have some idea about what to expect. So, what happens when movies start giving us characters who diverge so much from their comic counterparts that they're not even recognizable anymore? With so many upcoming comic book movies, how many actors are going to completely tank their properties? Turns out the answer is "a lot of them."

Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch is stuck in a weird tornado made of pomp and hype, which seems to make him and his fans believe that he is the infallible King of Acting. Comic nerds know that the best Stephen Strange is a weird, reclusive 50-something, complete with wrinkles formed over sleepless nights of existential contemplation, white temples, and a stage magician's moustache. Cumberbatch's face seems like it belongs to a small child, and doesn't seem like it could sprout a hair if his prim and proper life depended on it. It's not so much that Cumberbatch's accent might ruin the character as much as it'll be his dumb, baby-smooth face. He's just not old or humble enough yet. Johnny Depp's been looking a big ragged lately, so why not give him a chance?

Ezra Miller in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

It's very difficult to imagine how little Ezra Miller is going to fit into a Justice League full of grown-ups. Not only does the role definitively divide DC Comics movies from DC Comics television by casting a completely different actor as the Flash, but the kid isn't even 25 yet. He'll be acting against a 40-something Ben Affleck and a lineup who have all broken the 30-year mark. Miller's interviews also make him sound like a pseudo-intellectual, but the best Flash is one who acts fast, without overthinking his actions. A good Flash is one who accidentally destroys the universe by running too fast, not by thinking about the meaning of life and giving wordy interviews. If we're going with a young Flash, let's just stick with TV's Grant Gustin, who has actually grown on us.

Scarlett Johansson in Captain America: Civil War

No one will say it, but Black Widow is easily the weakest part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Johansson isn't helping the role very much. Fans have long complained that Black Widow hasn't really been given a whole lot of actual story, even after appearing in many Marvel films, and those complaints are pretty well-founded. Maybe Johansson's breathy, quiet delivery of her lines isn't really in line with the character of the remorseless super-spy, or maybe they're giving her great stuff to work with and she just can't spandex-backflip her way to a solid performance, but she really wouldn't be missed if she just sat out of the whole Civil War thing. We'd trade her for a She-Hulk any day. Or a sandwich, if we're looking for an even exchange.

Henry Cavill in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

We already know how Cavill will play Superman, because we've seen it in Man of Steel, but while he plays a fine flying Kryptonian, does he play a memorable one? It takes a lot of hard work to actually define Superman, whether you're a writer, an artist, or an actor, and very few have succeeded in creating a Superman who is more than just a generic strong guy with laser eyes. Unfortunately, it's hard to remember what Cavill actually did in Man of Steel, aside from walk around with his shirt off for a while because Zack Snyder wanted everyone to know that Cavill wasn't wearing rubber pecs. Real pecs don't make a good Superman, but great acting does.

Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad

Robbie hasn't been acting for very long, but the first big-screen portrayal of Harley Quinn is a big deal for geeks. Quinn took on a life of her own among fanboys as she began to show up in comics, video games, and way too much salacious fan art after first appearing as a supporting cartoon character. Harley comes burdened with more psychological fan-baggage than most, since admirers of the character either see her as a feminist icon who's escaped from an abusive relationship, or the perfect girlfriend who will love you without question. It seems unlikely that Robbie will be able to heft all of that weird entanglement for the character, so unless she can create her own brand on Harley, she'll just end up disappointing someone.

Olivia Munn in X-Men: Apocalypse

Munn is a TV host who somehow fell butt-backward into acting and writing a terrible autobiography. Munn's nerd schtick and constant misreading of cue cards on Attack of the Show! prompted producers to just dress her in skimpier clothing to keep viewers around until she finally left for nerdier pastures. It's bewildering that Munn can get work in any capacity that requires her to speak, but she'll be playing the British ninja Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse. Munn can't even get a basic sentence out without a flub, so it'll take some real magic to add an accent to the mix, if it's included at all. There are lots of reasons that Apocalypse may suck, but Munn is the first among them.

Jared Leto in Suicide Squad

This one may be hit or miss. Who would have thought that Heath Ledger would have played a role-defining Joker in The Dark Knight? No one, but it happened, and we're better for it. Early shots of Jared Leto as the Clown Prince of Crime aren't even recognizable as the pretty star, but the Insane Clown Posse-escapee look is a truly terrible modernization of the character, especially after Gotham just dropped a pretty solid Joker on us, along with a perfectly usable mythos to go along with him. Maybe the best Jokers are played by the people we expect to be the worst, just because of the Joker's natural unpredictability... or maybe that's just really optimistic thinking.