Part of the fun of any comic book's development into a film is playing the casting game. It can be a blast to sit around and speculate about this or that actor or actress that you can picture playing your favorite hero or villain. And heck, sometimes those dream castings work out and suddenly you're sitting in a theatere watching Picard battle Gandalf. But now and again, an announcement comes out that leaves the community scratching its collective, be-goateed head in confusion. "Why on earth would they cast so-so?" goes the usual question. While outside-the-box casting has the potential to backfire horribly, when it works it produces characters and performances that transcend the genre of "comic book movies". Here are five casting choices that made people do a double-take, but that ended up working perfectly.
1. Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus
In: Spider-Man 2 Oddball Because: Because who the heck is Alfred Molina? Molina spent much of his early career earning acclaim on the stage, or briefly stealing scenes in films by Paul Thomas Anderson or Jim Jarmusch. Sure he was great, but there was nothing to suggest that he could embody a larger-than-life villain in a mega-budget blockbuster. Prior to Spider-Man 2, Molinas biggest genre credential was getting stabbed in the face in the first ten minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark (to be fair, that is an AWESOME credential to have ). Why He Was Perfect: Spider-Man 2 represented director Sam Raimi throwing down the gauntlet. After playing ball with the studio for the original film, Raimi went all-out in the sequel, infusing the film with a pulpy, broad tone. Molina NAILS that tone, perfectly balancing Doc Ock between hyper-broad and incredibly soulful. While the FX techs gave Doc the ability to bound around NYC, its Molina whos terrifying as the monster and heart-breaking as the man. Best Moment: Doc arguing with his tentacles should be goofy and dumb, but with Molina its moving, freaky, and haunting.
Brendan Foley is a pop-culture omnivore which is a nice way of saying he has no taste. He has a passion for genre movies, TV shows, books and any and all media built around short people with hairy feet and magic rings. He has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Writing, which is a very nice way of saying that he's broke. You can follow/talk to/yell at him on Twitter at @TheTrueBrendanF.