10 Riskiest Superhero Movie Castings Which Paid Off

1. Heath Ledger - The Joker

Avengers Endgame Tony Stark
Warner Bros.

Considered the quintessential superhero performance of all time, and one of the greatest performances of all time, it was incredible to think that there was a massive backlash to the Australian heartthrob being cast as Batman's ultimate enemy.

However, it was for these very reasons that Heath was considered a strange choice for the role - as not only his previous film roles but the actor himself seemed the antithesis of the Joker.

Ledger was also very much in the shadow of Jack Nicholson's classic performance in 1989's Batman which, despite basically being Jack Nicholson playing the same neurotic character he normally does, was considered the quintessential Joker performance.

However, Ledger's dedication to the role won over even the most jaded critic and cynical fanboy with his extreme method acting which allowed him to inhabit the character like no one had before (or since). His performance even achieved the seemingly impossible of being nominated and then winning an Oscar (sadly, posthumously) for a superhero film, a feat which has only been replicated with Joaquin Phoenix's later portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime.

Contributor

An avid cinephile, love Trainspotting (the film, not the hobby), like watching bad films ironically (The Room, Cats) and hate my over-reliance on brackets (they’re handy for a quick aside though).