I thought it only fitting to follow up the last two weeks’ posts on Captain Marvel and the “Marvel Family” with a post on the “Marvel Family” villains. Well, three of them, anyway, and it seems to me that these three are the primary villains in the “Marvel Family” rogues gallery, as it were.
I know what you’re thinking, and a good argument can be made that the wizard Shazam’s semi-demonic offspring, Lady Blaze and Lord Satanus, are major “Marvel Family” villains. But, other than being basically humanoid, they don’t have any regular human features. When they aren’t disguising themselves as humans or other beings, they just have a solid black face (and horns) with red- or yellow-glowing eyes. So, anyone with sufficient dramatic range could play them — even several people.
That said, I’m gonna stick to these three:
And, now, I’m going to partially contradict the reasoning I just gave above re Blaze & Satanus. Mister Mind is, as you probably know, a worm — one that is normally worm-size, too. How does one cast that? But, Mind is also a powerfully telepathic, mind-controlling, megalomaniacal alien from Venus and not to be underestimated. So, while the character’s body will have to be done with CGI, I think it is important to find the right voice/personality for him, much as they did for Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Generally speaking, Mind probably should sound quite confident, even pompous, and that would be reflected in the “voice” he uses when communicating with non-Venusians, either mentally or via the speaker-device he often wears. (For example, he would choose a voice that sounds commanding, not soft or weaselly.) I suppose there are a number of voice talents who have worked on genre animated series/movies that would do a great job. I don’t know that many, though I have heard clips of Eric Bauza and Greg Ellis voicing Mind. Still, I wanted to try to come up with regular actors who might be a good fit.
Here’s who I came up with:
I won’t get into their respective resumes, as I’m sure you know who they are and at least some of their work. Either Marsters or Grammer could provide a very upper-crusty (American or British) voice. (In fact, while looking for images of Mr. Mind, I came across someone else’s fan-cast of Grammer for the character; but, I swear, I thought of him independently!) Like Marsters, in addition to regular acting, Hamill has done a lot of genre voice work and is best known as “The Joker”. (He would have to do something very different for Mr. Mind, though.) I’m not really sure what I was thinking re Giamatti other than that he could really have fun with it.
Now, who in the world can we cast to play the stereotypical mad scientist, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, Sr.? (Note: In some versions, he was also Billy’s (and Mary’s) conniving and murderous uncle.) Since I hold to a pre-“52” vision, he has to be on the short side, fairly slim, maybe (but not necessarily) bald. It might even help if he was sort of goofy-looking.
While there are probably a few others who could do the role justice, the first person to come to my mind is Max Grodénchik (b.1952). If you are a fan of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, you remember him as the beloved Ferengi named “Rom” (among other characters). But, he has also appeared in other series. I think he could do a great job as Sivana. (Plus, we already know he looks “good” bald!) Another possibility is Jim Rash (~5’9″) of “Community”, plus many other things over the years. He’s a little young and a bit taller than I would prefer, but, if he doesn’t mind hunching over all the time, his slim build and bald pate work in his favor.
Black Adam (aka Teth-Adam) was the original person to serve as a super-powered champion with Marvel-like powers, though his were from Egyptian gods and not Shazam and the even more ancient gods he served. Serious personal tragedy led to Adam’s turning bad, and he is now the antithesis of the new champion, Captain Marvel. Adam is Marvel’s equal in strength, stamina, etc., but prone to arrogance, anger, and brutality. While he has allied with true heroes from time to time (including membership in the Justice Society of America), Black Adam is primarily a villain.
He has a tall, muscular physique like Captain Marvel (anywhere from 6′, 198 lbs., to 6’3″, 250 lbs.), so any actor to take on the role should be of a similar build. It would help if he had a swarthy complexion, since Adam is supposed to be from the Middle East (i.e., Egypt/Kahndaq). Age-wise, Adam is immortal but appears to be at least in his 30s but more often like a 40-something human.
The obvious and most often suggested person for this role is Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson (6’4″,b.1972), and I fully support his nomination. Apparently, as I write this, it is not entirely clear after all whether Johnson will be playing Captain Marvel or Black Adam in the upcoming live-action Shazam movie. I vote for the latter, because his appearance fits him much better. I also seem to remember Johnson saying he would prefer the darker role. Of course, he’ll need to grow out his hair a little (or wear a wig), but he definitely has the muscles.
I think Sasha Roiz (6’4″,b.1973) — “Caprica”, “Warehouse 13”, Pompeii, “Grimm” — has a look, as well as the needed height, that might lend itself to this role. He’s already in pretty good shape, but I’m sure he could bulk up to play Black Adam.
My third choice, though he is a little bit young and “pretty”, is Jason Momoa (6’4″,b.1979) of “Stargate: Atlantis” and “Game of Thrones” fame. He meets all of the physical criteria, plus (like Johnson) he has already played very physical characters, as well as quite dour and violent ones. He’s got muscles, but he could put on more, like he should have done for the Conan remake. Of course, if he is playing Aquaman as rumored — don’t get me started on this one –, he most likely will not be playing another major DC character, too. Still, if I had my way….
What sayest thou, loyal readers?
UPDATE 9/3/2014: Dwayne Johnson has now confirmed that he will be playing Black Adam and not Captain Marvel! Yesss!
* All ideas copyright Christopher Harris, 2013-2014.