It’s the first week of September, which means we’re approximately ten months away from the release of Avengers 4. Hardcore fans of the genre would have known the Avengers long before the 2012 MCU release of the first Avengers movie.
The Avengers are a fictional team of superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Stan Lee and JacLabelled, the team made its debut in The Avengers #1 in September 1963. Labeled “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”, the Avengers originally consisted of Ant-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and the Wasp. Ant-Man had become Giant-Man by issue #2. Captain America was discovered trapped in ice in issue #4, and joined the group after they revived him. A rotating roster of heroes in the Avengers team became a hallmark of the series, although one theme remained consistent – the Avengers fight the foes no single superhero can withstand.
When Marvel launched its cinematic universe with the release of Iron Man in 2008, they cast a group of actors who brought these iconic characters to life perfectly. Marvel’s 2012 Avengers looked like this:
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man:
A self-described genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist with an electromechanical suit of armor of his own invention.
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America:
A World War II veteran who was enhanced to the peak of human physicality by an experimental serum and frozen in suspended animation before waking up in the modern world.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor:
The crown prince of Asgard, from the Norse mythological deity of the same name.
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk:
A genius scientist who, because of exposure to gamma radiation, transforms into a monster when enraged or agitated.
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow:
A highly trained spy working for S.H.I.E.L.D.
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye:
A master archer working as an agent for S.H.I.E.L.D.
These actors have owned these characters and it’s understandably difficult to imagine anyone else in these roles.
But not everything is set in stone. At the time of casting other actors were given due consideration. Sebastian Stan was a potential Captain America, Liam Hemsworth was up for Thor and Edward Norton was The Hulk in the standalone movie for that character.
While we wait patiently for Avengers 4, here’s an alternate list of actors who could’ve done these characters justice (in their own way).
Tony Stark / Iron Man: Sebastian Stan
All round nice guy and human sunshine, Sebastian Stan has a reputation for being cast out of his personal comfort zone. And he definitely has the range for the role. To see what I mean go check out I,Tonya.
Steve Rogers / Captain America: Ryan Reynolds
“But Deadpool can’t be…” You’re all thinking it – I did too. Looking past his work on Deadpool, Reynolds did such great job of playing a sort-of-hero in the movie Self/less that he’d be the perfect actor to pick up the shield.
Thor: Chris Pine
Pine has all the physical attributes to be Thor of Asgard. Yes, there can be more than one “angel/pirate”. Chris Pine is a real talent and there’s a sort of poetic justice in swapping one Chris for another.
Bruce Banner / Hulk: Brandon Routh
One time Superman and current Legends of Tomorrow hero, Routh naturally has the quiet, timid vibe that Bruce Banner embodies. He also has experience playing a genius scientist on the CW’s Arrowverse. And the movie’s CGI team would take care of all the “Hulk smash” stuff.
Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow: Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon is so more than Legally Blonde’s Elle Woods. Everything she does is phenomenal (Big Little Lies, for instance). She would be equally epic as the Black Widow.
Clint Barton / Hawkeye: Stephen Amell
He already knows how to handle a bow and arrow. He also has that mysterious broody thing going on which is perfect for the role of Hawkeye.
Who would you cast as your Avengers?