5) Mark Ruffalo
It was third time’s a charm for Marvel when they finally found an actor who nailed the part of Bruce Banner/The Hulk in The Avengers. After two so-so interpretations courtesy of Eric Bana and Edward Norton in Hulk and The Incredible Hulk, Mark Ruffalo perfectly pitched Dr. Banner’s nervous energy that masks a great anger.
Fans have taken Ruffalo to heart so much that now it seems a distant memory that many people were at first sceptical at the actor’s casting. The reason for this was that the actor had never made such a huge blockbuster movie before and he certainly hadn’t played a comic book hero, as he was mostly known for his parts in indie films like The Kids Are All Right and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Ruffalo knocked it out the park, though. In fact, the positive reaction to his take on the character has probably left the likes of Bana and Norton green with envy.
4) Michael Keaton
In 1989, Batman was still largely seen by the general populace as the campy figure of fun played by Adam West in the 60s TV show. For the upcoming Tim Burton movie, they wanted a Batman who was a fierce dramatic presence, someone you could really take seriously. Understandably, then, many were enraged when it was announced that Michael Keaton – a man known for his wacky comedy roles – had been cast.
Warner Bros. received no less than 50,000 letters of complaint (letters, mind you, this was before emails) over the casting – even Batman creator Bob Kane disliked the decision.
However, all of those fans quietened down when the film arrived and Keaton played The Dark Knight completely against type: he cut a silent, brooding figure rather than the zany, fast-talking performance he gave in, say, Beetlejuice.
Nearly three decades later and Keaton still has many ardent fans who claim he remains the greatest on-screen Batman.