Dream Casting: Justice League International

Contributed by
Nov 17, 2017

Dream Casting is an imaginative look at the casting process of potential Hollywood projects based on comics and other media. This isn't just about what is being made; this is about what should be made, and who we think should be the stars.

Justice League just came out, which has me thinking about future possibilities for the DCEU. If you're a fan of DC Comics, you know that the big, cosmic, "best of the best" Justice League is only one of many versions of the team that exist in the DC Universe, sometimes simultaneously. I thought it would be fun to revisit one of the most popular incarnations of the League from the past and imagine a modern movie based on that version.

The Justice League created by writers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, alongside artist Kevin Maguire, is most commonly referred to as Justice League International, although that was only its name through part of the original run. It was a more comedic take on a superhero time, but the characters also had more depth than in most comics of the era. This Justice League was managed by Maxwell Lord, a corporate time who got them their international deal with the U.N.  It was often a larger league than we're used to, so I've cast quite a few parts.

I left out Batman and Captain Marvel/Shazam, since they're already part of or soon to join the DCEU, and I also left out the Mister Miracle characters, since I just did a version of them recently. But that still leaves plenty of interesting heroes who could add up to a fun movie that might even be better received by audiences who loved Thor: Ragnarok more than the somewhat more serious Justice League.

Will Arnett as Maxwell Lord

Most recent portrayals of Maxwell Lord make him a villain, but he was a lot more interesting in his days as the Justice League's manager. He was basically a corporate sleazebag, but he really was trying to do what was best for the League. Will Arnett (Arrested Development) always makes a great sleazebag, and also looks great in a suit.

Andre Braugher as J'onn J'onzz

This take on the Martian Manhunter is actually quite similar to the role Andre Braugher plays on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He's a no-nonsense guy, and more than a little intimidating, but he has a fatherly patience for the constant nonsense of those on his team.

Justin Timberlake as Booster Gold

Booster Gold is a sports star from the future who traveled to the present to become a superhero. He's a glory hound and doesn't always make the best choices, but you root for him anyway. Justin Timberlake has the looks, the comedic timing, and the star quality to pull off Booster Gold.

Donald Glover as Blue Beetle

This Blue Beetle, aka Ted Kord, is a science nerd who's also a bit of a goofball and becomes best friends with Booster Gold. Donald Glover (Atlanta) is incredibly funny and really ought to be playing a superhero by now, instead of just a bit-part out-of-costume Prowler in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Jake Johnson as Guy Gardner

I've recommended Jake Johnson (The New Girl) for Guy Gardner before, and I stand by it. He's perfect for playing the obnoxious jerk who you can still (maybe) root for as a superhero.

Natalie Dormer as Black Canary

Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) has a great combination of striking beauty with a real sense of stone-hard toughness. Basically, she's the ideal Black Canary.

John Cena as Captain Atom

I was rooting for WWE superstar John Cena to play the lead in Shazam, but he didn't get the part. He'd also be great as Captain Atom, the military superhero who's basically an ongoing nuclear reaction inside a metal skin. Cena can portray that military demeanor without losing his sense of humor.

Eiza González as Fire

Fire is a superhero who's also a professional model, but she defies stereotypes with her depth as a character. Eiza González (Baby Driver) certainly has the look for the part, and she's also a promising actress with plenty more to bring. Plus, just imagine how striking she'll look with green hair!

Alicia Vikander as Ice

Ice is a sweet and shy young woman who's also the exiled princess of a lost kingdom of Scandinavian ice people. If anybody can make that combination work as a believable character it's Ex Machina's Alicia Vikander.

Rusev as Rocket Red

Rocket Red is a Soviet super-soldier in a bulky Iron Man suit. You'd have to give him a Winter Soldier-style cryogenic backstory to keep the Soviet origin in the modern day, but it would be worth it to have WWE wrestler Rusev bragging about how great he is while decked out in a suit of red armor.

Taya Valkyrie as Power Girl

Taya Valkyrie (Lucha Underground) is the third professional wrestler I've put in this cast, but in my defense acting is a big part of wrestling, and Taya's no exception to that. She's a natural performer with charisma to spare, and she has the perfect look for Power Girl, who's basically Supergirl minus any sense of restraint.

Sofia Boutella as Doctor Fate

Doctor Fate was only female for a short time in the 1980s, but using that version will bring something more unique to a character who's basically DC's Doctor Strange. Sofia Boutella (The Mummy) specializes in strangeness, and she can cast a spell with the best of them.