Justice League Casting 2: The Legion Of Doom

About a month ago, I wrote my ultimate casting of the Justice League movie. The basic fact of the matter is that I am not all that great at current actors and actresses. I have gotten to the point where the youngest age of most actors that I know is around 40. If they are younger than that, I knew them as child stars and they got older without my permission. When I originally wrote the casting for the Justice League, I was going to write an entire section for the Legion of Doom. However, when I got through the Justice League, I had honestly felt like I had a full enough article. I decided that I would write a sequel with the bad guys ‘only if there was significant interest.’ Then the Avengers movie came out and the Justice League casting articles broke the all time record for the site as far as hits. I would call it ‘significant interest.’ So, after the latest article, I had to settle on a few rules. For it to be the same movie, the casting had to work in the same time frame. Further more, I limited myself to not using any of the same actors from the last time. If they are in the same movie, no one gets to go all Peter Sellers. Ironically, I am not actually going to use Peter Sellers. Here we go with casting the Legion of Doom.

Gorilla Grodd – Grodd is a gorilla as well as a super genius. This means that Grodd has to be larger than life and sound completely diabolical. Keep in mind, this is the 1970s and CGI is not an option. This means that you need a man in a gorilla suit. For Grodd, we kind of have to go a Darth Vader route. We need a man in a Gorilla suit and a voice that sounds like a diabolical Gorilla. The man in the Gorilla suit would be none other than Lou Ferrigno. No one would do a hulking Gorilla suit quite the justice of …well.. The Incredible Hulk. The voice would be provided by Maurice Evans. Not only was Evans a masterful Shakespearean actor back in the day, he is also known to modern audiences as Dr. Zaus in the sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes. Evans voice plus Ferrigno’s physique and something approaching Apes make-up would have made Grodd both formidable as well as cinematic.

The Joker – This is one I have argued to anyone who would listen for years. In my mind, there is only one truly perfect Joker. It wasn’t Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger either. The perfect actor for the Joker is none other than the multi talented Tim Curry. From the smile to the attitude to the daring that turned Frank N. Furter into a cross dressing legend. Curry can go from charming to evil on a dime. Curry could pull off the smile, the purple suit, and every facet of the character like no one else. I think that Curry would make a classic Joker in the mold that Bob Kane and Bill Finger intended. The is just a luscious sinister quality to the whole idea.

Lex Luthor – This one was a slam dunk to me even when I was a child. The fact that he never did the role was even a bit of a perplexing thing while he was still alive. The perfect Lex Luthor would have undoubtedly (to me at least) been Telly Savalas. Savalas, from his bald dome to his custom made shoes, was every bit the modern Luthor. Savalas was absolutely capable of being thr ruthless business mogul hard ass bent on Superman’s destruction. This was also a guy who voiced in a Go-Bots movie. There were not lines so ridiculous that Savalas could not deliver completely effectively. Just a shame we never saw this on film.

Darkseid – Honestly, who am I to argue with the King? I found a fascinating piece of trivia a little while back that Jack Kirby based the ruler of Apokolips on none other than Jack Palance. It was the piece of information that started me down this entire dark path. Kirby also thought of Richard Nixon as an inspiration as well. Sticking with Palance, the surly regality that Shane could have given to this role makes it to intriguing to have never happened. All the more tempting is that Palance was actually a villainous mobster in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman. Someone should have fitted this man with red eyes and beams to match. Just imagine Palance’s gravely voice any time you look at Darkseid and the character will never be the same again.

Sinestro – If you ever look at Sinestro in the comics, you are dealing with a slightly odd presence. OK, you are dealing with a very odd presence. Even more, there is sort of a spindly dangerous hyena quality to Sinestro’s mannerisms as well as movement. This requires a special person to pull the whole thing off. For the record, that person was not Mark Strong. That person is actually film director as well as sometimes actor John Waters. The native of Baltimore with the pencil thin mustache. Waters just always seemed a bit sinister and dangerous to me. In addition, all you would have to do with the 1970’s John Waters to make him in to Sinestro is well… paint him purple.

Scarecrow – The classic Scarecrow was a mixture of dangerous, rail thin, and had a really unique bone structure. For the record, you would also need someone that could actually act. I did actually like the casting of Cillian Murphy as a modern Johnathan Crane in Batman Begins. The classic Scarecrow though would be Michael Berryman. Berryman has made a career cashing in on his unique looks and bone structure. If you can’t place the name, then once you see Michael Berryman, its almost impossible to … unsee Michael Berryman. I was first introduced to Berryman when he played Pluto in Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes. His career from there is mostly smaller roles, but once you know what you are looking for, you can always find Berryman in a film. Berryman dressed as a walking Scarecrow would give the character an element of fear that the character really deserves.

Cheetah – Basically, for this, you would need a woman that could wear a skin tight cat suit and convince you she was part feline. Its not really a difficult fantasy to pull off when looking through hot women of the 1970s and 1980s but the character does need to be done right. For my money, I would take the somewhat forgotten Maud Adams. Adams was mostly known as a Bond girl and was the lead in Octopussy. Maybe it was just me, but I never forgot the effect that a properly dolled up Maud Adams could have on the senses. Adams was actually in The Man With the Golden Gun, Octopussy. as well as A View To A Kill. She would have made it into my movie as well.

A few of the others that occurred to me were Richard Rountree as Black Manta, Robin Williams as The Toyman, and the Fabulous Moolah as Giganta. I also had what I felt would be the intriguing idea of a younger Robert DeNiro as the anti-Superman Bizarro. Those are just a few thoughts that never really made it off of the drawing board as it were. At any rate, feel free to comment and share your views.


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