The iFanboy Letter Column – 06/20/2008

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday means it’s the last work day before a well deserved weekend. For others, Friday is the day you fly to one of the hottest place in the United States on very little-to-no sleep.-

At iFanboy, Friday means it’s letter column time.

You write. We answer. Very simple.

As always, if you want to have your e-mail read on the any of our shows or answered here, keep them coming —

I read that the Thor and Captain America movies are the upcoming movies that Marvel wants to make. Who do you think should play them in a live-action movie and why? What would you like to see in the movie and which storyline would you think would work for their origin story?


Indeed it seems like there’s some sort of development going on for these movies, yet as always, I am always skeptical until things actually start shooting. Much like in this post from a little ways back, I am also weary of the idea that they can, and very likely will overdo it. There’s a place in Manhattan who make my favorite cupcakes in the world, and if I’m ever in the neighborhood, I buy some, but there is a limit, and it is possible to go too far, and eventually, I will get sick of cupcakes. I think this is especially possible if they start churning out Marvel superhero movies with too much frequency. We saw it in 2004, when the bandwagon had a few too many hop ons, and for me, less is always more. That being said, you’ve asked a casting question. I am, quite admittedly, absolutely horrible at the casting game. I mean, I can’t cast a fishing line. Yet I have opinions on comics and film, so it seems only fair that I would make an attempt, right? And since it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll get Robert Downey Jr. to play all these characters, we’ll have to pick someone else.

Okay, Captain America is up first. You need someone who’s youthful enough, but also classically timeless. He needs to be able to say really corny shit, but without sounding that way, a skill whose only real master is Harrison Ford. Part of me pictures a young, bulked up Robert Redford, but he’s not really up for the part these days, so I’ve got to go with someone else. The thing is, I’ve searched long and hard, and I’m just not sure. I think it would almost need to be an unknown, as anyone else would carry too much baggage, at least in my mind. But I’m picky. I do know that of all the big names being bandied about, Matt Damon (wrong face), Brad Pitt (just no), and Paul Walker (can’t actually act), my favorite, while perhaps being too old, is Aaron Eckhart.

Then there’s Thor. Thor is easier, because there’s more lenience in his interpretation, in my opinion. Yet, he’s difficult, because he has to be a giant, long haired Norse god. Now, on the street, I see guys who kind of look the part more frequently than you’d think, yet I live in New York City, and they’re usually morons, crazy people, or your garden variety NYC gym-rat douchebag. Everybody always says wrestlers like Triple H, but wrestlers simply can’t act, and were one cast, I very likely wouldn’t go. I realize Duane Johnson is sort of an exception to the rule, but still, you get my point. My favorite so far is Karl Urban, but he’s only 6’1″. He’d have to benefit from some real good special effects, but he’s certainly used to that type of movie. The thing is, his role as Eomer in The Lord of the Rings sort of already saw him do a Norse style warrior, so maybe he wouldn’t be interested. Then again, he did appear in the so-horrible-looking-I-couldn’t-finish-the-trailer Pathfinder, so maybe he’s scrounging.

I’m sure others can do better than me, so let’s hear it down in the comments.

Josh Flanagan


A few years ago (maybe seven or eight) I started to really, really like Superman, a character that had never drawn my attention before. This grew to the point that, right now, Supes is my favorite superhero, and one of my favorite characters overall (comics, literature, movies…). However, I know relatively little about ol’ Kal-El, have never really followed his regular series, and don’t generally like the post-Crisis “powered-down” Superman. I don’t know, actually, why I like this character so much.

Has this ever happened to any of you? Have you ever found yourselves interested/in love with a character you don’t know much about? That you like for the “concept” or “idea” behind them, without having delved deeply into their stories?

Also: of you three, who would win in a fight? (Feel free to make a video show episode out of this one…).

Leonel from Porto Alegre, Brazil

First off, Brazil! How cool is that? I love Brazil and the scenes in the beginning of the Hulk that took place in Brazil were my favorite part of the movie, so thanks for writing in Leonel!

It’s interesting that you had that sort of reaction to Superman, because I know exactly what you’re talking about and it involves a DC comics character as well. Much like attraction to other people (be it girls or guys depending on your preference), I find that sometimes we are attracted to comics characters for reasons that are beyond understanding. I’ve recently taken a pretty big beating for my loyalty to The Flash from DC Comics, but the reason why I’m so loyal to him is because of the same sort of attraction you experienced with Superman. When I was having a comics renaissance in the late 90s, I found myself being drawn to The Flash. I knew the general concept of the character (he can run fast), but I didn’t know about the legacy of the character (Jay to Barry to Wally to Bart) or any of the background that has been added (The Speed Force, characters like Max Mercury etc). But there was something about that costume, about the way I had seen him drawn (by the late great Mike Wieringo) that held a constant draw for me to the character, until I finally dove in andI haven’t looked back. Now this attraction led to me delving deeply into the character, and now I think I’m pretty well read on him and his years of existence, but even with all this knowledge I do have, I’m constantly fascinated by stories I haven’t read or the prospect of new (and hopefully better) stories.

As for your last question, why does everyone always want to see us fight? I understand that we’re into comics and there is a lot of violence and fighting, but that doesn’t mean we have to fight. Hell, Josh and Conor are my best friends, I hope we never fight. That said, I’m pretty sure Josh would go down easily, and I’m not sure I can hold my own against Conor…

Ron Richards

I need to read war stories (if only Mr. Lark could draw one in the near future, these [Battle of the] Bulge pages in Captain America are stunning !!!) the problem is I already own and read all the Garth Ennis issues by Vertigo, and Azzarello’s Sgt. Rock stuff.

I’d like to buy the old Sgt. Rock series, but I think they’re not collected yet and/or are unaffordable here in France.

Is The ‘Nam series from the 80’s good ?

Nicolas, l’homme sans peur, French iFanbase President

Bon jour! It’s always nice to hear from the French iFanbase!

So you want war comics, eh? Well, there aren’t a ton of them out there, but they exist if you know where to look. You’ve read all of Garth Ennis’ War Stories, but what about 303 from Avatar? There was also the exciting news out of Wizard World Philadelphia that Ennis will be writing a new series of War Stories for Dynamite Entertainment, so you and I both have something to look forward to there.

More recently there was Joe Kubert’s Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy mini-series, and The Other Side, Jason Aaron’s Vietnam mini from Vertigo. I read The Prophecy and it was a nice little mini told by the legendary Kubert. Not great, but certainly not bad. It was a fun read. I haven’t read The Other Side yet.

This month, Mark Millar and Tony Harris have War Heroes coming from Image Comics.

As for The ‘Nam, Marvel Comics’ series about Vietnam which ran from 1986 to 1993, I can’t speak with authority as to its quality. I never collected it myself, but one of my best friends growing up did and I would occasionally read his copies whenever a cover caught my eye. I enjoyed it back then, but of course I was like 10-12 years old at the time. I wonder how it would read now.

An out-of-the-box suggestion would be the classic Marvel series G.I. Joe — at least the first 50 issues or so. Even though G.I. Joe was an over-the-top, hyper realistic, almost super hero-ish take on the war, it featured many flashbacks to Vietnam and contained the occasional realistic was element. It’s a bit more fantastical than the other books listed, but you never know.

Conor Kilpatrick


  1. I love all you guys, but Conor wins in the cage match.

  2. The casting of Capt. America needs to be done similar to the way the original Superman Christopher Reeves was cast (and similarly the current Superman although not as good as Chris) Marvel studios needs to find an actor that few people have seen, but has incredible acting potential. When an audience looks at Cap on the big screen they need to see only Captain America, the actor cant have the baggage of other characters following them and distrcting the audiance. I know there are some actors out there who are so talented that they can accomplish this, regardless of past roles but they are few and far between. I want to see the creation of a completely original Captain America one i can look at and only see that character….

  3. If your crazy josh, then crazy loves company becuase im right there with you

  4. "Go down easily?" 

    Oh, you might see a fight yet.

  5. I’m just gonna throw this out there: Josh Hartnett as Captain America.

  6. Harnett’s a "whispers and squinting equals drama" kind of actor.  I don’t look at him, and want to follow him into battle.  Remember him in Black Hawk Down?  But Eric Bana…him I’d follow into battle.

    So that sounded like I have a thing for him, didn’t it?

  7. Damn, I thought he was a little younger… but, Brad Beyer would make a great Cap.  (Stanley from Jericho).

  8. A little bit Josh, yeah. Ok another out there guy. Depending on how he is in the Dragonball movie, I’m gonna tentatively nominate Justin Chatwin.

  9. what about matthew mcconaughey as cap? i know that there’s some baggage, but he seems the part

  10. I think I have this one nailed folks… Michael Trucco (Samuel Anders on BSG) for Captain America.

  11. Oooh, Michael Trucco…. good call. Like that guy.

     And who says wrestlers can’t act? Obviously you didn’t see Hulk Hogan in "No Holds Barred." That’s pure cinematic gold. Or not.

  12. I believe that I was the first one to pick Karl Urban for Thor Mr. Flanagan! 😉 

  13. My vote is Will Ferrell for Thor ("Great Odin’s Raven!") & Steve Carell as Cap, and don’t give the two stars scripts — just let them improv the whole thing.

    My thinking is that they ruin 3/4 of comic movies anyway, so at least these ones would be funny.

  14. I don’t think there really are any actors of the appropriate age group that could pull off Cap. The problem is that actors like Hartnett and Bana don’t really have the gravitas to be Cap. When the announcement for Downey to play Stark went out I could almost instantly see him in the role, the witty, quipy, snarky banter from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang could easily be used to make Stark, and I could see that. But when I hear suggestions like Damon and Pitt, they just dont make sense. I think people leap too quickly at actors with buzz cuts and strong chins. You guys did the "cast the avengers giveaway" thing wayy back in the earlier episodes of the show, and for Cap no one could really nail down a modern actor that fits what Cap is. The best suggestion i think from that contest was Steve McQueen. That guy’s got gravitas. But thats the problem, i keep finding myself thinking about who could play Cap and saying things like "A younger" or "If he were still alive". I don’t know if there actually are any actors out there in the right age range that could really really nail it like Downey did. But then again Stark doesnt carry anything close to the weight that the role of Cap does, so he didn’t need to be someone you wanted to follow. He just needed to have a shit-ton of charisma and charm.

  15. Ha….I just realised I’ve never thought of Thor as the goliath he really must be. Like I know he’s big but he must be Michael Clarke Duncan big. Maybe they could pull a gandalf with the hobbits or something.

  16. @Nicholas – I think there’s a Sgt. Rock Showcase available from DC. There’s also a variety of war-related Showcases (Showcase-i?) available. Check U.S. stores on-line (like In Stock Trades or Jim Hanley’s Universe!!! You’re welcome, guys).  For more of the espionage bent, try Ennis’ Fury Max mini or his Unknown Soldier mini from Vertigo.

    @Josh and the rest – I don’t think Triple H would make that horrible a Thor. I remember the guy from a brief SNL appearance years ago, and he certainly looked the Norse-god part, and he showed some semblance of acting talent. If they ever did a Bill Bixby-to-Lou Ferrigno kind of transformation, then he’d fit the part. Finding one guy to play both Don Blake and Thor is going to be almost impossible, unless they do the CGI thing with Thor, and if you ask me, that just would not work.

    As far as Cap goes – Mark Whalberg? Maybe? The guy has shown he can act (Boogie Nights, Three Kings) and he has the physique for it (ummm… Boogie Nights… not that I noticed or anything). He’s got that "I’m dumb enough not to treat this as funny" vibe about him that would fit right in with a comic movie.

  17. I know little to nothing about either Cap or Thor, except roughly who they are and what they look like, but Eric Bana as Cap is a very intriguing idea. Especially when Marvel gets round to making The Most Expensive Film In History (aka: Avengers). Old Hulk and new Hulk? And if the rumours about Hulk being the bad guy in the Avengers movie are true (lazy, lazy idea if it is), then Bana’d get to fight himself! Oh, the conundrum, it hurts the brain!

    Marvel, just take a quick look at Iron Man and Incredible Hulk. Both big hits, yes? And both starred character actors not known for this genre. So obviously the solution is Simon Pegg for Cap and Nick Frost as Thor, with Edgar Wright directing Avengers after Ant-Man. 🙂

  18. I like Karl Urban as Thor, but I guess I’ve never thought of Thor as some hulking, big guy because he’s always been drawn to be about the same size as everyone else.  I’ll be honest though, my interest in a Thor movie is pretty low, as I’ve never really found the character to be all that interesting.

    As for Cap, they need to go with an unknown here and then surround him with AAA talent.  I think most of the male stars out there that could pull off the role are way too old, and I can’t think of anyone youn enough that would act the role like they weren’t on the OC or something like that.  We’ll just have to see how it plays out.  Most likely, they’ll give it to some fifty year old guy.

  19. hey Josh, thanks for answering my Thor/Cap movie question but couldn’t you include my sig like with the other questions so i get some credit? lol…

  20. Whoops!  Fixed.

  21. PymSlap (@alaska_nebraska) says:

    @Dan . . . I think Mark Wahlberg would rock as Captain America! My dream for The Avengers is to see it directed by Peter Jackson, not just because he’s a slave to the source material, but because he can envision something appropriately titanic. I want to see Thor cutting a swath through dozens of Kree soldiers, like Sauron did!

    By the Crimson Bands of Cryotak! IMDb lists Guillermo del Toro as announced to direct a Doctor Strange movie. The awesomeness of the new Hellboy trailer hushed up all the teens at the Incredible Hulk.

  22. I think you can’t make Thor TOO big because then when you want even bigger threats for him like Skurge, Creel, and the Wrecking Crew; then you’re out of luck unless you go CGI, which is kind of wonky if you’re trying to depict realistic-looking people.  I think Karl Urban is a fine choice and I’ve been running the ‘Karl Urban should be Thor" banner for a while.

     As far as Cap goes, I’d go with Barry Pepper (the sniper in Saving Private Ryan) but he’s getting too old.  Maybe James Badge Dale (from the Departed and Chase Edmunds from 24) could do but I haven’t seen him in enough to really judge.  Aaron Eckhardt would be a good choice though.

  23. Peter Jackson is a slave to source material?  Have you read the Lord of the Rings?

    While, I do appreciate his films… I think they are amazing and well told, there are staggering significant differences between the books and films.  He’s an incredible film maker, an amazing storyteller and great at interpreting and fleshing out a story… but he is not a slave to the source material.

  24. @Josh- cupcakes: do you mean magnolia or buttercup bake shop?

  25. Buttercup!  (But I’m not sure if that’s just because it’s closer.)

  26. Me too! I think they’re both pretty much the same thing. I knew someone who worked at buttecup and she said there were two chefs who had a falling out and split with the same recipe. In the end, Buttercup has less lines.

  27. Nicolas,

     There are these great collections of UK War comics that are 700+ pages.  They are collected War Picture Library, Battle Picture Library, and Commando and there are at least 8 volumes out with more coming out later this year.  They can be found on Amazon UK and on Forbidden Planet International.  If you look up the title Unleash Hell on Amazon UK, it will recommend the other volumes within the listing.  I have a couple of these and they will keep you busy for awhile. 

    With the DC Showcases Sgt. Rock Volume 1 is out.  Volume 2 will be out later this year.  There are also Showcases of Haunted Tank (2 volumes) Unknown Soldier (1 volume) and War That Time Forgot (1 volume). 

     There is also the Mammoth Book of War Comics which is another large volume with various writers.


  28. Hey Josh, you know wrestling is fake, right?  That means they’re acting.  HHH has had a lot of practice and has the schnooz of a Norseman.

  29. Wrestling acting and movie acting are very different though as any Hulk Hogan movie or that one movie with Cena will tell you.  Acting takes some subtlety and range, where most wrestlers’ acting consists entirely of unsubtle anger and egotism.

  30. If they cast an wrestler as Thor I will have top be forced to go see that movie.

  31. Man, I love Michael Trucco, but I think he’s make a pretty horrible blonde.

    Maybe they should cast Katee Sackhoff.  I’d see that movie.  Think outside the box! 

  32. The Other Side is a great piece of work by Jason Aaron, it got me reading his other stuff.

    As far as the casting situation goes. Josh Halloway, aka Sawyer from TV’s Lost would make an either good Captain America, or a great Thor.

    It could go either way for me. Even though everyone says he should play Gambit. But really, when are they ever gonna make a movie with Gambit in it? 

  33. @benbugenig  Gambit is in the Wolverine: Origins movie, and he’s being played by Taylor Kitsch, who was on the show "Friday Night Lights."

  34. Don’t forget that Triple H was in blade trinity and i think he did a decent job plus certainly the rock (dwayne johnson) has became a big movie star from being a wrestler.

  35. I think the Rock is a major exception, but still just an exception to the general standing.  Triple H in Blade Trinity, eh, I didn’t think he was very good in it at all.

  36. There is also a difference between passable acting and having to carry a movie.  A big difference.

  37. No one mentioned in this thread can play Captain America. Certainly no one in WWE or TNA.

    The issues I read of ‘Nam were good.