The DC Extended Universe is pressing forward toward a new, and hopefully far brighter, future in the next few years. The superhero franchise aims to reinvent itself through films like the upcoming Black Adam, aligning its popularity with that of its competition, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Both of these two superhero cinematic universes are known for their casting choices, whether good or bad. While most of the actors behind DC’s iconic characters have been well-received in their roles, each could be suitably replaced by a similar actor from the MCU.
10/10 Lois Lane – Cobie Smulders
Lois Lane is an integral part of any universe of DC characters, not only as Superman’s primary love interest but also as an established reporter for the Daily Planet. Her investigative skills are unparalleled, making her a valuable asset to the heroes of her world. In the DCEU, she is portrayed by Amy Adams, who first appeared as the character in Man of Steel.
Cobie Smulders, the actress who has portrayed former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill in various installments of the MCU and in the upcoming Secret Invasion series, would be a perfect alternate casting for the famous reporter. Smulders has the perfect no-nonsense attitude that has become paramount to the character of Lois Lane and has proven herself to be capable of standing out, even while sharing the screen with major talent.
9/10 The Flash – Tom Holland
Barry Allen, a.k.a. the Flash, is the fastest man alive and an integral member of the Justice League. The character is portrayed by Ezra Miller who, despite recent controversies, is still set to play the superhero in next year’s The Flash, a film which promises to rewrite the current DCEU, setting the franchise up for future growth.
Tom Holland, coming off the success of No Way Home, the most lucrative Spider-Man film to date, would be a perfect Barry Allen for the DCEU. The current cinematic depiction of the character seems very heavily influenced by Holland’s version of Peter Parker and would be even more personable if played by the Spider-Man actor, who, as an added bonus, has a far less controversial record than Miller does.
8/10 Harley Quinn – Florence Pugh
Harley Quinn has become one of the most recognizable faces in the DCEU. Portrayed by Margot Robbie, the character has as many appearances as even Batman and Superman themselves, most recently in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. As such, the character is considered to be one of the most important characters in the sprawling superhero franchise.
Florence Pugh would be a perfect casting for Harley Quinn. As Yelena Belova, Pugh will be a cast member of the upcoming Thunderbolts film, which is expected to be Marvel’s take on a team similar to the Suicide Squad. And, with performances that have shown off her supreme acting skills, such as Midsommar and Lady Macbeth, Pugh could certainly pull off the Clown Princess of Crime.
7/10 The Joker – Andy Serkis
The Joker is by far the most iconic villain in the DC universe and has undergone several different adaptations in live-action. The DCEU’s current official Joker is portrayed by Jared Leto, who made his first and hitherto last canon appearance in 2016’s Suicide Squad, though the actor did return for the non-canon Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Though he recently joined DC as a decidedly different Batman character, Andy Serkis would be a terrific Joker if given the opportunity. The actor has already proven his ability at capturing unhinged characters through his performances as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and Ulysses Klaue Black Panther and would certainly blow fans away as the archnemesis of the Dark Knight.
6/10 Shazam – Ryan Reynolds
Zachary Levi’s childish superhero Shazam has proven to be one of the stablest characters in the franchise and could be a leader of the DCEU moving forward. With his upcoming appearance in Shazam! Fury of the Gods being one of the most highly-anticipated films in the DCEU’s near future, the future seems bright for his hilarious superhero.
Though not officially a part of the MCU yet, Ryan Reynolds is poised to join the franchise with Deadpool 3, where he plays a similarly comedic hero, albeit far raunchier than Shazam. Reynolds certainly has the comedic sensibilities to carry such a fun-loving hero and would make a great casting choice for the character.
5/10 Cyborg – Donald Glover
Cyborg has had a troubled history with the DCEU, mainly due to behind-the-scenes issues between actor Ray Fisher and Justice League director Joss Whedon. Despite the character’s popularity, there has been no announcement of any further appearances of Fisher as Cyborg in any future DCEU projects.
Donald Glover, who made a cameo in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Aaron Davis, would be the perfect star to bring the character of Cyborg to life once more on the big screen. Glover has a massive fan following that has often wished to see him take on a superhero role and would no doubt be ecstatic for the actor to be given a character with such a meaty backstory.
4/10 Aquaman – Chris Hemsworth
Jason Momoa’s Aquaman has been one of the few highlights of the DCEU. With the success of his first solo outing, the character is confirmed to be making his next appearance in 2023’s Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom, though the film, like several of DC’s upcoming projects, has been riddled with behind-the-scenes drama and controversy.
If recast, the MCU’s Chris Hemsworth would make a great choice to play Aquaman. Having portrayed the god of thunder Thor for over a decade, most recently in Thor: Love and Thunder, Hemsworth is well-versed at playing the manly testosterone-filled superhero. He also more closely resembles the comic book design of Aquaman, who is a far cry from Momoa’s version of the character.
3/10 Wonder Woman – Jaimie Alexander
Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince, a.k.a. Wonder Woman, is one of the most popular characters currently in the DCEU. Though audiences were not particularly impressed by Wonder Woman 1984, many fans are still eagerly anticipating Gadot’s next appearance in the franchise, which remains a mystery.
The MCU’s Lady Sif actress, Jaimie Alexander, recently made her return in Thor: Love and Thunder, but would also make for a terrific Wonder Woman if given the opportunity. Skilled at playing action-heavy roles, Alexander also happens to look the part of the comic book version of Wonder Woman, adding to the long list of reasons she would be perfect in the role.
2/10 Batman – Bradley Cooper
The DCEU has had a troubled history with its depiction of Batman. Ben Affleck took up the role for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, but has since dropped out of the role, though recent rumblings have suggested he may not quite be finished yet. Nevertheless, DC has already recast the role, with Robert Pattinson taking on the character in The Batman.
Having voiced Rocket Raccoon in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise for eight years, Bradley Cooper would certainly make an interesting Batman. The Academy Award-winning actor already resembles Bruce Wayne and has taken enough action roles to prove himself capable of portraying Wayne’s superhero alter-ego. His star power and notoriety would certainly draw audiences to any films featuring the actor, who would no doubt be a terrific Caped Crusader.
1/10 Superman – Sebastian Stan
Superman was meant to be the centerpiece of the DCEU, with Henry Cavill portraying the Man of Steel for three films beginning in 2013. However, the character’s future in the franchise has been left clouded, as it appears Cavill is not attached to any upcoming projects and hasn’t appeared in canon since 2017.
Sebastian Stan, the MCU’s Bucky Barnes actor, would make a fantastic Superman. Stan embodies many of the superhero’s physical characteristics yet remains human enough for audiences to relate to his characters. As the actor continues to prove his versatility with various new projects, it is difficult not to see how perfectly he would portray one of the most iconic superheroes to ever grace the screen.