Weirdest Superhero Castings That Worked Out Great


  • Casting choices for superhero roles often face backlash from fans, but they can prove the doubters wrong and deliver fantastic results.
  • Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine initially faced criticism, but he ultimately became an iconic interpretation of the character for over two decades.
  • Michael Keaton’s casting as Batman was met with skepticism due to his comedic background, but he went on to deliver a great portrayal and reprised the role successfully years later.

Playing a superhero in live-action has many challenges. There are strict diets that actors need to follow, dangerous stunts to perform, and many fans of the original comic book versions of the characters to please. Some superheroes have existed for so long that almost everyone has an idea of how that character should be portrayed. This fact can sometimes make it difficult for some directors to bring a new interpretation of a superhero to the big screen.


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One of the first things that a director needs to think about when bringing a comic book character to life is what actor will play the part. These directors already have a vision of how their characters will be portrayed in their movies. Unfortunately, the fans do not, which has led to a lot of polarizing casting choices throughout the years. Thankfully, most fans are often proven wrong and the results are fantastic.

5 Robert Pattinson

Batman in The Batman (2022)

twilight-robert-pattinson-kristen-stewart-1200 Cropped

  • Appearances: The Batman (2022)

The Twilight franchise was a huge success in the late ’00s. These young adult movies focused on a romance between a vampire, Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson, and a human. The series was a big hit with teenage girls, despite the cringe-inducing dialogue and acting performances. Unfortunately, this allowed the young actor to be typecast as the sparkling vampire for almost a decade. This made it even more confusing for movie fans when Warner Bros. announced that Pattinson would be suiting up to play Batman in Matt Reeves’ darker take on the character.

While a lot of fans felt that they had every right to take to social media and express their outrage at this casting decision, there was a solid case behind this casting decision. Robert Pattinson has grown exponentially as a performer since his Twilight days, but great movies like The Lighthouse and Good Time didn’t have wide enough appeal for audiences who only remembered his turn as Edward Cullen. Fortunately, fans got to see Pattinson’s acting ability on full display in The Batman, and there are few people left who doubt this casting choice.

4 Hugh Jackman

An Unknown Casting Becomes Immortalized As The One & Only Wolverine


  • Appearances: X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), X-Men: First Class (2011), The Wolverine (2013), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Logan (2017), Deadpool 3 (2024)

Hugh Jackman is currently one of the biggest movie stars in the world, and that status only came from playing the superhero, Wolverine, in the early 2000s. However, there was a time when the actor wasn’t a household name. Jackman started his acting career as a stage actor who appeared in many musicals as a singer and dancer. This all changed, though, when it was announced that Hugh Jackman would be playing the gruff mutant, Wolverine, in not only the first X-Men movie but Jackman’s first-ever movie role.


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As expected, many X-Men fans took to the web to express their disgust, as Hugh Jackman was over six feet tall when Wolverine was known for being under five feet. Also, the actor’s pedigree on the musical stage did not leave fans feeling confident that he could reliably be an action star. The movie was a success, however, largely in part due to Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Logan, and history was made. Jackman has successfully played Wolverine for over two decades now, and cinema-goers were even excited to hear that he would be returning as the character for Deadpool 3.

3 Michael Keaton

Batman in Batman (1989), Batman Returns, & The Flash (2022)

Beetlejuice Michael Keaton

  • Appearances: Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), The Flash (2023)

Comic book movies were not mainstream media in the 80s like they are today. Most people who didn’t read comics only knew Batman from the campy TV show from the 60s, and that interpretation wasn’t beloved by fans. That is why everyone was excited to hear that Tim Burton would be directing a more serious movie based on the character. However, this excitement soon died down when the studio announced that Michael Keaton would be starring as Batman.


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It seems strange now, but Michael Keaton was only known at the time as more of a comedic actor, thanks to movies like Beetlejuice and Mr Mom. Therefore, many fans assumed that the new movie was going to be just as silly as the old TV show. The internet wasn’t big back then, so some fans resorted to writing to the studio and newspapers to announce their views on the matter. Little did people know that Michael Keaton would go on to portray a great Batman and that audiences would be happy to see him reprise the role forty years later in The Flash.

2 Ben Affleck as Batman

Rom-Com Actor Turned Dark Knight


  • Appearances: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Justice League (2017), Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021), The Flash (2023)

When Warner Bros came to SDCC in 2013 and announced that the sequel to Man of Steel would see Superman and Batman face off, there was only one question on fans’ minds. Who would be playing Batman? Speculation ran wild on fan-casting, or if Christian Bale would return. People took to social media, explaining why the next Batman should be played by John Hamm, Karl Urban, or Josh Brolin. However, none of these fans guessed who would actually be given the role. Ben Affleck is an actor who was mostly known for being a rom-com star and heart-throb before 2013, so the reception to this news was less than kind. People took to the web to post their reservations, and it seemed that the DCEU was doomed from this point on.

Although Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was not met kindly by movie-goers, many who saw the movie agreed that Ben Affleck’s Batman was one of the best parts of the film. The DCEU would continue to struggle after this release, many fans were now in full support of Affleck in the role. There was even fan outrage when he eventually stepped away from the role for good in 2018.

1 Heath Ledger as The Joker

Skepticism Led To A Posthumous Academy Award

Heath Ledger's Joker, The Dark Knight

  • Appearance: The Dark Knight (2008)

The first of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, Batman Begins, ended on a cliffhanger teasing the arrival of The Joker in the sequel. Once again, fans of the hero began to speculate on who would play the iconic clown, but nobody would anticipate the reveal of Heath Ledger in the role. Ledger wasn’t viewed as a bad actor at the time, but he was mostly associated with teen movies at the time, despite appearing in the dramatic movie, Brokeback Mountain. Therefore, many fans were upset by the choice, and the initial photos of Ledger in costume did not help matters.


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Then the movie, The Dark Knight, was released in cinemas. To this day, it is still talked about as one of the best superhero movies in history, and that is largely due to the stellar performance given by Heath Ledger as The Joker. His performance was so good, in fact, that Heath Ledger even received a posthumous Academy Award for his supporting role the following year.

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