To be clear: Warner Bros. is not making a Justice League International adaptation, and they probably never will. But in light of Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins confirming that JLI corporate baddie Max Lord is set to be played by Pedro Pascal in the upcoming WW 1984 (which, since we can’t get Event Horizon-era Sam Neill, fine), we thought it might be a good time to share our ongoing list of favorites to star in this dream project.
For the uninitiated, Justice League International began as a 1987 relaunch of Justice League, with co-writers Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis giving the series a comic angle bolstered by the imminently expressive art of Kevin Maguire. The big-name Justice Leaguers being used more seriously in other ongoing series, the creative team put together an unlikely crew of B- and C-listers (besides Batman, obviously) that would become iconic—and an oft-imitated debut cover (above). TV-VCR has long thought it would be a wonderful antidote to the dire trash Warner Bros. has increasingly tried to distance itself from with its DCEU, and this is who we want to see in it…
Guy Gardner – Sam Rockwell
Who can make an unbearable, loudmouthed asshole as semi-likable as Sam Rockwell? And who also looks a bad dye job away from being Guy Gardner to begin with? It’s an easy choice—both as Gardner and a Batman punching bag
Doctor Light – Constance Wu
No, she’s not Japanese like the Kimiyo Hoshi Doctor Light, but she’s a talented, rising comedy actress who looks quite a bit like Maguire’s imagining of her, so we’re taking it. And the mercurial Wu can take comfort in knowing that in the comics this character didn’t stick around that long anyway.
Batman – Jon Hamm
Long-ago talked about as a Superman contender, Jon Hamm is clearly better made to be a Batman frustrated with the idiots around him. Get real. This is the man you want as aging Batman, Affleck.
Martian Manhunter – Lance Reddick
Honestly, at 56 The Wire and Fringe star Lance Reddick may be too old to play the role in just green makeup, like so many Guardians of Galaxies. (Though someone obviously didn’t think the same about 55 year-old David Ogden Stiers for the role in the failed Justice League of America CBS pilot from 1997.) But we need that voice for the otherworldy J’onn J’onzz. With a little CGI, this can work. It has to work!
Black Canary – Olivia Wilde
She’s done the feathered blonde hair. She’s done the comedy. After the wonderful Booksmart, she can even direct this if she wants, so let’s just put a headband on her and call it a day, right? Surely, as a bonus, she could pull longtime partner Jason Sudeikis in for role in a later entry in this never-going-to-be-made franchise. Ralph Dibny perhaps?
Booster Gold – Armie Hammer
Though not initially a member of the JLI, Booster Gold—that glory-seeking, would-be celebrity from the future—quickly becomes a central player on the team, and Armie Hammer is perfect for the role. He already mastered the jackass-phony-hero-becomes-an-actual-hero bit in The Lone Ranger, after all. If you know of someone better to do a comedic take on a painfully-handsome blonde turd, please don’t tell anyone’s wives.
Doctor Fate – H. Jon Benjamin
We’re never going to show his face, so we just get the voice of Bob’s Burgers, Archer, et al. coming out of that helmet. It works, right? Nobody ever wants to actually see who’s talking like that, Arby’s.
Blue Beetle – Max Greenfield
So it turns out we’re not necessarily the first to suggest the New Girl star as Blue Beetle. But as for being a rich-guy doofus hunk, it’s hard to think of many better. A Greenfield-Hammer pairing seems a swell interpretation of JLI‘s beloved, central Blue-and-Gold buddy dynamic.
Mister Miracle – Steven Yeun
From Okja to Burning to Conan segments, Yeun is always great to see in things. Damned if he wouldn’t be a weirdly good Mister Miracle, too.
As for Shazam…
Fine… since we can’t get Lois & Clark-era Dean Cain, you can keep the job, Zachary Levi.