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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member Arfguy's Avatar
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    It wasn't terribly long ago that a superhero film role was the death knell of an actor. Today, not so much.

    To me, it's Robert Redford. No other single actor lends more legitimacy to the superhero genre than Redford.

    Who's your choice?
    For me, it's Robert Downey Jr.

    For a long time, Robert Downey Jr. was considered one of the best actors working in the business. Then he got into trouble. With Iron Man, he turned around not only his life's trajectory, but he was on the forefront of a paradigm shift in Hollywood.
    Last edited by Conn Seanery; 05-31-2020 at 09:18 AM.
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  2. #2
    The Kid 80sbaby's Avatar
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    If by "coup" you mean an actor that adds legitimacy to the genre then I'd say it was Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Since then comic book films were seen as more acceptable.

  3. #3
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    Another example would be Wesley Snipes as BLADE.

  4. #4
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    I think the cast of Batman 89 is a pretty good example. But it’s hard to beat the cast of the X-Men or Nolan Batman films.

  5. #5
    Spectacular Member Castle's Avatar
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    What comic film was Redford in?

    Hugh Jackman is the greatest coup. No other actor in recent memory is going to be as beloved or as legitimate to the superhero genre than Jackman.

    All time Veteran coup greats would be Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart not Redford.

    Heath Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix and Ryan Reynolds, I will give great coup recognition. They have made signature roles from playing comic book characters with a single film.

    Robert Downey Jr rounds things up. There was something about Downey as Iron man that never felt final. I would have loved to have seen Downey as Iron Man without the MCU.
    Last edited by Castle; 05-10-2020 at 12:43 AM.

  6. #6
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    What comic film was Redford in?
    He was bad guy Alexander Pierce in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
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  7. #7
    CBR's Good Fairy Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 80sbaby View Post
    If by "coup" you mean an actor that adds legitimacy to the genre then I'd say it was Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Since then comic book films were seen as more acceptable.
    THIS! I came here to say the exact same thing, he was the real trail-blazer. AND to add even more legitimacy, he got a BAFTA and a Golden Globe nomination for it.
    "We are Shakespeare. We are Michelangelo. We are Tchaikovsky. We are Turing. We are Mercury. We are Wilde. We are Lincoln, Lorca, Leonardo da Vinci. We are Alexander the Great. We are Fredrick the Great. We are Rustin. We are Addams. We are Marsha! Marsha Marsha Marsha! We so generous, we DeGeneres. We are Ziggy Stardust hooked to the silver screen. Controversially we are Malcolm X. We are Plato. We are Aristotle. We are RuPaul, god dammit! And yes, we are Woolf."

  8. #8
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    The most impressive for me was seeing Patrick Stewart as Xavier. I've got a million quibbles about those X-movies, but they had some great casting. (About the only casting part I regret is that early rumors of Angela Basset as Storm turned out to be just noise...)

    Other times, I feel like big name actors get wasted in comic book movies, like Glenn Close's role in Guardians of the Galaxy. That's not an actress you waste like that, IMO.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member Largo161's Avatar
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    Brando in Superman.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    Sam Jackson as Nick Fury. Because as Jim Kelly would say "He came straight out of a comic book, man!"
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  11. #11
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    I’ll go with:
    Brando
    Gene Hackman
    Michael Caine
    Robert Redford
    Jack Nicholson

    Never would have expected any of these legends in a superhero movie.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 80sbaby View Post
    If by "coup" you mean an actor that adds legitimacy to the genre then I'd say it was Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Since then comic book films were seen as more acceptable.
    No I mean the actor whose talent in the profession far outdistances what we would expect from the genre, at the time they took the role.

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesonAnders View Post
    It wasn't terribly long ago that a superhero film role was the death knell of an actor. Today, not so much.

    To me, it's Robert Redford. No other single actor lends more legitimacy to the superhero genre than Redford.

    Who's your choice?
    If by a coup, you mean getting a famous and respected actor to be in a superhero movie, it's Marlon Brando hands down and that's with due respect to Gene Hackman, Jack Nicholson and Robert Redford.

    Giving the eulogy at Brando's funeral, Michael Caine pointed out that Brando was the greatest actor of his generation (Olivier was kind of sort of the previous generation). He pushed acting to a new level of realism and raw, real emotion to the point that the level of acting in general started rising as other actors started doing that. Caine also pointed out that there are those much later who say they don't see how Brando is better than anyone else because later actors are doing that and improving upon it. But he explained that acting, like any other profession, is a skill that develops not only in an individual but from generation to generation building on what was done before and anyone who doesn't understand that simply doesn't understand acting.

    They never thought they would actually get Brando to do the Superman movie, that he would find it beneath him. They were amazed when he agreed for any amount of money. He was the biggest coup of them all because he was regarded in Hollywood at that time as THE biggest name of all and not just a star but the greatest actor of his time.

    Getting Hackman was also considered a coup, just not as big.

    I believe they wrote the Joker in the 1989 Batman with Nicholson in mind and thought he would take it. He almost didn't. When his agent told him about the role, Nicholson said his first reaction was, A comic book character? Are you kidding? But his agent replied, "Just read it" and he realized he was born to play this character. Yes it was a coup in the sense of a big name actor taking a comic book character role when it wasn't fashionable.

    Patrick Stewart was another though, given that he was already type cast into the sci fi/ fantasy genre, not as amazing.

    Technically, Robert Redford was not a coup because he approached Marvel rather than the other way around. He said there were two reasons. First, he's always had a fascination with the technological side of movies and he wanted to experience this CGI film-making, where most of the environment the audience sees really isn't there, for himself. The other reason was because, whenever he visited his grand kids and asked if they had seen his latest movies or his old ones for that matter, the answer was always, "Well, no, Grandpa. But we're gonna watch them any day now" to which his response was "Yeah, sure." So he just wanted to do something that he and his grand kids could sit down, watch and talk about, without forcing them to watch movies they don't want to watch and are too young to appreciate. Of course, their response to "Have you seen my most recent movie?" was, "Of coursed Our grandpa was in a Captain America/ MCU movie. You were great".

    So, not really a coup when the actor approaches them to be in a movie. They never asked him because they never thought he would do it. But Brando, at the time he was asked, was a bigger name than anybody else.
    His name is CAPTAIN MARVEL.

  14. #14
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    Hm. I get why folks would say Brando. I tend to discount him because he wasn't really part of the primary Superman story. It was more like he was in his own mini-movie. But I wouldn't really argue with this point.

    Hackman wasn't really at the top of his game in 1977, despite the success of The French Connection 5 years earlier, so I don't think he counts.

    Jack Nicholson well, I wouldn't really dispute that one either, but I don't think he ever reached the heights of his profession like Brando and Redford did. But I admit that could be more personal opinion than professional fact.

  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesonAnders View Post
    Hm. I get why folks would say Brando. I tend to discount him because he wasn't really part of the primary Superman story. It was more like he was in his own mini-movie. But I wouldn't really argue with this point.

    Hackman wasn't really at the top of his game in 1977, despite the success of The French Connection 5 years earlier, so I don't think he counts.

    Jack Nicholson well, I wouldn't really dispute that one either, but I don't think he ever reached the heights of his profession like Brando and Redford did. But I admit that could be more personal opinion than professional fact.
    I can see this argument. Brando was there strictly to put his name at the top of the credits and do what amounted to a long cameo. Hackman wasn't on that level. Nicholson was the main character of the movie. And, let's have no pretense. The Joker was the main character of that movie.

    I remember that the producers allegedly tried to tell Brando he was really the main character and he knew better. It was sort of like when Charlton Heston played John the Baptist in "The Greatest Story Ever Told". His agent tried to convince him he was playing the main character and he was like, "Oh, come on".
    Last edited by Powerboy; 05-10-2020 at 01:28 PM.
    His name is CAPTAIN MARVEL.

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