Open Forum Friday: Should Fans Have a Say in the Casting of Their Favourite Franchises?

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the full fury of the internet rain down on Hollywood after fans reacted harshly to the casting announcements for the upcoming Man of Steel sequel and the Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation. As always, there have been plenty of angry tweets and blog posts, fan petitions and even talk of boycotting the upcoming films, even though ultimately we know that none of this will really make a difference. But should it? In this day and age, many fans feel a sense of ownership over the things that they love and they want to help shape them creatively. Since they are the ones responsible for its popularity, shouldn’t they have some input?

The obvious problem with this argument is that fans can’t always be trusted to make the right creative decisions. From the casting of Daniel Craig as James Bond to Heath Ledger as the Joker, there are so many examples where a casting choice that was initially shunned actually turned out to be great. On the flip side, there aren’t many examples where the fans actually turned out to be right… maybe Jack Reacher? Still, like it or not, if studios want to avoid negative publicity, they usually need to play nice with fans on some level. What do you think? Are fans too quick to judge when it comes to casting choices? Do they have a misplaced sense of entitlement or do they deserve to have a say? Should studios pay more attention to what fans want or is that just design by committee? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.

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  • RicardoMantalban

    ….no

  • kent88

    Absolutely not.

    Nothing else to say really.

  • PlanBFromOuterSpace

    Short answer: No. A) Maybe the actors the “fans” want have no fucking interest in the project to begin with, and B) the entire cast of “Firefly” can’t be in EVERYTHING.

  • Boris Badenov

    Your readers will say no, anyone who frequents a comic book website would say yes. Unfortunately for them they’re 1% of the targeted demographic and even if they protest they’ll still see the movie.

  • Isildur_of_Numenor

    That would be disastrous. I can already imagine the heated debates among fans on who should star in what, taking votes over and over again, and then picking DiCaprio to play The Joker in Superman vs. Batman. Urgh.

  • PlanBFromOuterSpace

    No, they’d never pick DiCaprio, because y’see, to the group that’s going to bitch and moan the hardest, he’s still just that guy from “Titanic”, never mind the fact that he’s done a good dozen movies or so in the nearly two decades since then that appeal to more than teenage girls. Oh, you can tell them that they’re good, that he’s done ALL kinds of stuff they might like, but I worked in a comic store long enough to the know that the fanboy set doesn’t give a shit unless there’s a spaceship, dragon, or Norman Reedus in it. And like I mentioned with DiCaprio, their reasons for holding grudges are hilariously outdated. And as I’ve mentioned to folks many times before, rule one of Internet criticism is that everything is the worst thing ever until it’s the best thing ever, and then deny, deny, deny the first part ever happened.

  • Cuntmgee

    No.

  • ProCynic

    Probably my post will vanish like a few others I’ve posted on Film Junk..But sorry SEAN, Jack Reacher fans were not correct, have you ever read the books?! Jack Reacher is of freakish proportions and in the real world he would stick out like a sore thumb! Fans, go FYS, what would they know?!

  • PlanBFromOuterSpace

    I’ve never read the books, but from what I heard at the time surrounding Cruise’s casting, the book version of Reacher seemed like a Schwarzenegger type. Is that right? How fucking boring would that be? Of course he could just take dudes apart, where’s the fun in that? Jack Reacher + That kind of guy = Half the action movies I’ve seen from the 80’s.

  • Sean

    If any of your posts have been deleted, it was because they were marked as spam. I wouldn’t delete a post just because you disagree with me. You’re more than welcome to do exactly that! If you can think of any of the ones that got deleted, I can look through the spam folder and try to find them.

    As for Jack Reacher, I’ll admit it’s not a great example, but it’s the only one I can think of. I thought the movie was decent but I definitely don’t think Tom Cruise was right for the role. I don’t remember reading many positive reviews of him specifically in that movie. But I don’t know that the fans had anyone better in mind.

  • DrewNugent

    What kind of world would this be if they did? Not much of one at all…

  • from horse to horse

    fans, as crazy as they might look to us regular crazies (cinefiles) do have an influence, by no means neglijable. fact.

    should common sense be a factor in blabla. yes. is it? not atm.

    this is why i like the fans to be there shouting, it’s a good thing.

  • Isildur_of_Numenor

    I just saw a “top 5 actors who should play The Joker in Superman vs. Batman” on a website and DiCaprio was one of them. And as far as I’m concerned I don’t think that’s a good idea. But the world would be a shittier place for sure if the fans would have a saying.

  • Steve Kroodsma

    Of course they should. The fans do have ownership of these properties.

    I’m joking, of course. As with book adaptations, fan complaints of casting, plot detail, etc. are probably some of the least interesting drivel one can spout off. Batman isn’t a sacred role. If Clooney and Val Kilmer can do it, give Affleck a go.

    In summation, comic book fans are retarded. Sorry Greg.

  • Donal

    Ridiculous.

    Do I get to tell Aston Villa football club who to name in their starting line-up each week?

    No, because I am not qualified to do so.

    I can get as fanboyish as the next person about messrs Whedon, Sorkin or PTA but it’s self-absorbed twaddle to suggest fans should have a say in casting motion pictures.

    Period.

  • Gerry

    Of course they shouldn’t. There’s a long list of second choice actors
    who turned out great, from Alec Guiness in Bridge On The River Kwai
    to Viggo Mortensen in the Lord Of The Rings films.

    Fans might know a franchise but they have no idea of a film’s context e.g.
    Heath Ledger’s joker was a metaphor for Al Quaeda in a film heavy
    with political subtext, which couldn’t have been predicted after the
    out and out comic book film that was Batman Begins.

    Hollywood actors and stars might appear in some silly or trivial films but lots
    of them are fine actors able to turn in a good performance as a comic
    book character, or whatever.

    The only variable guaranteed to produce a decent film is the script. Fans
    choice to play a role allied with brilliant actors and the best
    director in the world equalls a shitty comic book movie if the script
    is shitty.

    Sadly present day Hollywood doesn’t value screenwriting hence the endless
    stream of mediocre films, comic book or otherwise.

  • Bas

    No, Reacher is not described as a bodybuilder-type (i.e. bulky, stocky, etc. like Arnold), more just like a tall (but unassuming instead of macho) dude. I think Cruise did a great job with the part. In the books, the character’s prowess always comes (kind of unbelievably, like ProCynic pointed out) as a surprise to his adversaries. Cruise makes that surprise more believable and also manages to convince you he has the strentgh of the much taller character from the book.

  • Goldie_Hawn_Golden_Shower

    The way Hollywood has turned out lately, I’d say yes in a big fucking way. If Hollywood is run by a bunch of fat degenerate fucks who spends all their time on forums bitching about movies and toys, the industry would completely go back to the Golden age of cinema. Am I right you fat fucks???

  • Steve Kroodsma

    Isn’t fan pandering something most people hate? How would that scenario generate anything but 2.5 hour fan service?
    We would be getting only movies in the vein of Patton Oswalt’s Parks and Rec fillabuster. And if you actually think a Star Wars/Avengers crossover is a good idea, then YOU SIR are the fat fuck.

  • Jason Andrew Wendleton

    No. I think that reason movies are so bad today is because Hollywood is pandering to the lowest common denominator. If we start having American Idol-style casting we’ll get movies that are just as good as the albums made by American Idol winners (read:terrible). Fans complained about Heath Ledger, look how that turned out.

  • when horse goes to town

    no. they just don’t care about the script. AND the have no good writers, to boot. also, pushing money in viral promoting, like never before. hype over hype, even though they know it’s crap.

    fans should say their piece just like we do. how much does that count? almost nothing

    it’s a fake subject, the real issue is hollywood itself and the morbid stage it has reached.

  • horse goes wild

    i think we don’t like the fanboys because they’re a very noisy tight unit. i think out input on these matters is ignored, while theirs are not. however, if they succeed in changing the batman’s casting, it’s a victory for all. i do root for them, no matter what.

    hey, any influence [over these rich fat fucks] is commendable and should be applauded

    PS
    there is no doubt, affleck AIN’T NO heath ledger! what are you people on ffs

  • mark

    The scariest thing about the new batman is that its “superman + batman”…. wtf seriously? Together, batman and superman? What kind of villain is good enough for both? The whole project is going to suck, no wonder Brolin passed on this

  • Jr

    Even if there are people with time machines who have gone forward, seen the movie and come back to tell us that he sucks in the part, it’s still just their opinion. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to just wait to see the end result.

  • Jr

    Also, no, fans shouldn’t have a say. If fans want a say, they should become screenwriters, producers or directors. I’m a huge comic book fan and these characters have been a part of my life for, well, most of my life but I still understand that I have no say in what becomes of them, that every person in the movies and comics has a different creative take on the characters and that ultimately money needs to be made.

  • Jr

    Not true, I frequent comic book websites and actual comic book stores and I don’t agree with this.

  • Indianamcclain

    If they did Michael Keaton wouldn’t have been Batman, so no.

  • La Menthe

    You didn’t get that he was being sarcastic? Even when he referred to the crowd that wants more power to the fans as “fat fucks”?

  • wayne_posh

    Read a comic some time.

  • mark

    The only good comic with both would be DKR, otherwise the mashups are terrible. DC universe on the big screen is a joke.