Comic Book Casting: The INVINCIBLE Movie

Hollywood is taking full advantage of the heroes and heroics on display from Marvel and DC, but it’s time they take advantage at a modern hero — you know, one that isn’t as old as your parents. Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker’s Invincible seems the ideal candidate given the potent characters and didn’t-see-it-coming ending to the first story-arc. While the translation from comic-to-television was fast for The Walking Dead, I can see how an Invincible project might be a tough one to finance given the special effects. But it can be done, it should be done, and here’s how I’d do it.

The Concept:

It’s not hard to see how the first issues of Invincible could easily be translated into a movie. A teenage boy who’s the son of the world’s preeminent super-hero finds out he has powers and can join in the family business. Hijinx ensue as he tries to get the hang of it, and then he’s thrown into a tailspin when it’s revealed his father is secretly plotting the takeover of Earth and only he can stop him. Flesh it out with Invincible‘s grade-A supporting cast and you’ve got a movie.

While some people might lean for this to be an animated film (and believe me, I’d love to see Cory Walker’s dynamic style on the big screen), I feel that audiences and Hollywood suits still aren’t ready for an animated film to go bloody the way Invincible does — and I wouldn’t want to see them cut that to make the grade for an animated film. Instead, I’d pitch this as a hero movie that starts off Spider-Man and goes all Hancock on you. Showing that contrast is important, and keeping the big reveal underwraps (that means not showing it in the trailers, Hollywood!) could make this a gripping movie.

The Director:

Directing this is a big challenge — how do you mix a coming-of-age drama with some rated-R heroics? For this, I’d pick one man uniquely suited for that — Peter Berg. Berg’s the man behind both the critically acclaimed TV series Friday Night Lights and action movies like the previously mentioned Hancock, as well as buddy-movie The Rundown. I’d love for him to mix the teen drama of Mark Grayson and other teen heroes struggling to find themselves while also living in the shadow of the world’s most popular hero.

The Cast:

Invincible – Anton Yelchin: Casting a hero — a teenage one at that — can be a tough business. For this outing, I’d place my money on Anton Yelchin. The Russian-born actor has shown his acting chops in Fierce People and Charlie Bartlett while also his ability to work in special effects blockbusters like Star Trek and Terminator Salvation. Don’t doubt him for the mess that was Fright Night, Yelchin can be an ideal teen hero.

Omni-Man – Clive Owen: Although some might say Tom Selleck would be a better choice, Clive Owen is by far the best man for this role. Owen’s versatility bouncing between action movies, dramas and even romance show a real breadth that not many people can pull off. Plus he wears a mean mustache.

Debbie Grayson – Mary Louise-Parker: Debbie needs to be more than just a stock character acting as Invincible’s mom and Omni-Man’s wife. Weeds‘ MaryLouise-Parker could be all that and more, especially if the movie bears out sequels.

Cecil Stedman – Terry O’Quinn: This advisoral (and sometimes adversarial) figure needs an actor who can split hairs when it comes to a layered performance. I’d bet money Lost’s Terry Quinn could deliver this in spades.

Atom Eve – Molly Quinn: Although she’s a more experienced super-hero than Invincible when he starts, Atom Eve also evolves to be Mark’s anchor to a normal teenage life. Castle‘s Molly Quinn could provide an innocence and also a spunkiness to off-set some of the gruesome moments of the first arc.

Rexplode – Robert Sheehan: Sheehan is tailor-made to be a not-so-friendly rival for Invincible for the affections of Atom Eve, and also be grade-A comic relief.


  1. Jeez, with a mustache, Clive Owen looks eerily like Nick Cage.

  2. Good choices, love the choice for Rexplode, not sure how much I agree with the casting for Invincible himself, but I can’t actually think of anyone else. Molly Quinn would be great as Atom Eve, but I think Magda Apanowicz from Caprica and Kyle XY would also fill those shoes quite well.

  3. Isn’t Mark’s mum asian? Ipso facto, Mark, half asian?

  4. I think you meant Clive Warren

  5. I think I’m the only person on the planet who does not see the appeal in Cory Walker, especially when Ryan Ottley exists, Walker’s style is so lazy and it’s hard to tell humans apart, just me I suppose

    • Well, on the other hand, it’s not like you’re constantly besieged by Cory Walker work because comic book editors can’t get enough of him. I can only think of a handful of comics he’s done.

    • I enjoy them both. It’s not an either or situation

    • Suppose so, I know arts an art form so it’s all subjective, I just feel like there are other artists that work harder that could have really elivated a book like Invincible in the beginning since I almost dropped it in the first few issues, but I suppose the book is great where it is now, so I’ll shut the hell up

    • I’m not willing to concede that Walker doesn’t work hard enough. I think he’s a fine storyteller.

    • You like what you like. If Walkers not your thing, so it be.
      But I can’t let go of his style being “lazy”. It’s not like the more lines somebody uses, the more work he puts in his art. It’s a common misconception. A clean art style is as hard, if not harder, to pull of than rendering the shit out of something.

  6. I totally agree with Robert Sheehan being Rexplode. He’s proven to be quite an actor in Misfits.

  7. who drew that piece with Mark’s mom? I don’t remember that at all

    also, clive owen has a double chin now? crazy

  8. Wow, I really like the choices you’ve made here.

    Given the success of The Walking Dead on AMC, Invincible must be in development somewhere, right? Have there been any announcements about a feature film?

  9. I really miss Robert Sheehan on Misfits. The show is still great. But he was hilarious on it.

  10. Chris, you know I usually love your dream casting columns, but you really knocked it out of the park with this one. Maybe it’s just because our taste in actors lines up incredibly well, but you have gone and made the perfect Invincible movie for me. I think Yelchin is one of the most under appreciated young actors in Hollywood right now and Sheenan definitely needs some bigger roles. That guy is gonna be a star one day. Terry O’Quinn as Stedmam is unbelievably perfect.

  11. Jeffrey Dean Morgan must play Omni-Man. No discussion required. I realize it’s off-type since the character doesn’t die at any point (so far), but he is perfect for the role. It would totally make up for Watchmen and anyway, the dude can rock a mustache like no other.

  12. I’d only see this movie if Battle Beast was in it.

  13. I’m Going to go with Jospeh Gordon Levitt as Invincible. Sorry if someone else said this already.

    • WAY too old!

    • I’m not seeing it. Mark is a really genuine, very enthusiastic guy. I’m not sure if I’ve seen that from JGL. I like him as an actor, but don’t think he’s a great fit for Mark. I would however, like him to play one of the Viltrumites just so I can see him with a fabulous mustache.

  14. I’m kinda with all these choices! Call their agents. Let’s get this done!

  15. Great. Now I am thinking about RexSplode and I am all depressed and it isn’t even 7:00 in the morning yet. Thanks a bunch.