Jordon Dumenil
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How a 1950s Justice League Movie Would Look

Fan-Casting Justice League Characters with Actors from the 1950s

Taking a look at some of the best the 1950s had to offer and how they would fit in a Batman movie.

The 1950s had some great talent that is respected and honored to this day. With such talent, one might wonder how these actors could have fared in modern-day roles and movies. Here is a list of some 1950s actors and the Justice League roles they were made to play.

Marlon Brando as Batman

Marlon Brando; Heartthrob and tough-guy

First, we will get it out of the way. Who will play the caped crusader? Marlon Brando probably has more credentials than anyone in the 50s to play Batman. He has the heartthrob reputation to help him play Bruce Wayne and the tough guy persona to aid him to fight crime as the Dark Knight. Additionally, his dark hair and chiseled features are straight out of a comic book. If this is not enough to convince you, his renowned acting abilities, which can be seen in movies like A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), The Wild Ones (1953), and On the Waterfront (1954) would work to create a Batman that no one would ever forget.

Steve Reeves as Superman

Steve Reeves; Arms of Steel

Steve Reeves was the definition of muscular in his time, even earning a Mr. America title, making him the best possible actor to portray the Man of Steel. Additionally, his dark hair, blue eyes, and good looks make him almost identical to the comic adaptation. For more proof, just watch Hercules (1958) and The Last Days of Pompeii (1959) to see why this behemoth was made to play the most iconic hero ever made.

Grace Kelly as Wonder Woman

Grace Kelly; A Hollywood Amazon

Grace Kelly is one of the most important actresses in Hollywood due to her major contribution in iconic movies such as Rear Window (1954), High Society (1956), and The Swan (1956). Grace Kelly portrayed some of the bravest female characters in film and was even a symbol of feminism during a time that women were mainly portrayed as damsels in distress, thus making her a great choice to play the Amazon princess, Wonder Woman.

Jerry Lewis as Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)

Jerry Lewis; Quirky But Still Cool

Hal Jordan is a superhero known for being a little bit quirky and bringing some humor to the rest of the Justice League's darker tone, so who better to play him than one of the 50s greatest comedy stars, Jerry Lewis? Although Jerry Lewis is known for his comedic roles like At War With the Army (1950), Sailor Beware (1952), and Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958), his charm and even his physical similarity to Green Lantern make him a perfect pick for the role.

Kirk Douglas as The Flash (Barry Allen)

Kirk Douglas; The Coolest Flash Ever

Flash is probably one of the coolest superheroes of all time, so who better to play him than Kirk Douglas? Kirk Douglas has pretty much only played some of the coolest and most likable characters in cinema history, thus making him a perfect match for the scarlet speedster. To prove just how awesome this actor can be, just watch The Vikings (1958) or Paths of Glory (1957).

Sidney Poitier as Martian Manhunter

Sidney Poitier; Cool, Calm and Collective

Sidney Poitier is probably one of the most important actors in the 1950s, not just because of his impact in film, but his impact and the inspiration he provided to minority audiences all across America, therefore making him perfect for the underestimated Martian Manhunter, who is known to be one of most powerful superheroes of all time. To add Sidney Poitier's calm and intelligent but intimidating demeanor as seen in movies like No Way Out (1950), The Defiant Ones (1958), and Edge of the City (1957) makes him perfect for the Martian.

Jeffrey Hunter as Nightwing

Jeffrey Hunter; That Nightwing Charm

It does not take much convincing to prove why Jeffrey Hunter would be a perfect Nightwing. His charm and his acting ability seen in his movies The Searchers (1956), and The Last Hurrah (1958) depict his likableness and his ability to play the Batman's sidekick.

Audrey Hepburn as Catwoman

Audrey Hepburn; Actress, Model and Icon

Catwoman is a unique character in comics and no one in the 1950s or arguably ever has the ability to play her as accurately as the iconic, unique personality, Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn has the slick, charming, flirtatious, and likable personality to play Catwoman and these characteristics can be seen in her films such as Roman Holiday (1953), Funny Face (1957), and Sabrina (1954).

James Dean as The Joker

James Dean; 1950s Heath Ledger

James Dean is not only one of the greatest actors of the 1950s but probably of all time. His level of acting and emotion he brings to the screen is perfect for playing the crown prince of crime, the Joker. Due to his untimely death, there is not a lot to go by, but the few movies he did play in are enough to prove his worth in playing this iconic character. Just look at Rebel Without a Cause (1955), East of Eden (1955) and Giant (1956).

Charlton Heston as Lex Luthor

Charlton Heston; Power 

There is nothing Lex Luthor wants or exhibits more than power which makes Charlton Heston the perfect actor to play him. Charlton Heston not only plays some of the most powerful leaders in movies history in films such as Ben Hur (1959), Touch of Evil (1958) and The Ten Commandments (1956) but also has a voice and persona that spews power, just like Luthor himself.

Gary Cooper as Deathstroke

Gary Cooper; Slick and badass

Gary Cooper is one of the slickest and most badass actors of the 1950s, which makes him perfect to play one of the most badass comic book characters ever, Slade Wilson A.K.A Deathstroke. Proof of some of Gary Cooper's slick demeanor? Then, look no further than High Noon (1952), Vera Cruz (1954), and Distant Drums (1951).

Jack Lemmon as Brainiac

Jack Lemmon; Humble Intelligence

Jack Lemmon is known for playing some pretty intelligent and aware characters which can be found in movies like Mister Roberts (1955) and It Should Happen to You (1954). His Oscar-winning acting ability makes him a great choice for the complicated and threatening villain, Brainiac. 

Montgomery Clift as Darkseid

Montgomery Clift; Who Else Can Rule The Universe

Darkseid has only one goal, to rule the universe, and on his quest he gets in legendary bouts with the Justice League. Therefore, an actor would have to be pretty intimidating to play him, hence Montgomery Clift. Montgomery Clift is one of the most intimidating actors of his time and portrays this Justice League crippling intimidation in movies like The Young Lions (1958), Lonely Hearts (1958) and I Confess (1953). 

In Conclusion...

The 1950s had some amazing talent, talent that could have even fit in with the current trend of superhero movies. To add to this, it almost seems like the 1950s may have actually been the ideal time to make a Justice League movie due to the stars who seemed to be born to play these roles. In the end, although this cast will never happen, it is fun to think what could have been one of the greatest superhero movie casts of all time.

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