Monday, December 30, 2013

Brain Splatter: If Now Were Then...The Avengers, 1976

Just a bit of fun today before the New Year. I got to thinking this morning how lucky we are to live in this Golden Age of comic book movies and how very different the world's opinion of comic books properties was when I was a kid. In the 70s we had Hulk and Spider-Man series and the Batman series had been off the air for sometime. Anyway, I got to thinking, what if Marvel had made an Avengers film in the 70s (I picked 1976 because that's when I was born) and decided to have some fun. So after the jump...The Avengers, 1976...

This was pretty fun to put together...feel free to have a go at your own cast in the comment section.

Captain America: Robert Redford

The easiest of all the choices, Redford's star was nearly at its peak in 1976 after hits like Jeremiah Johnson, The Sting, The Great Gatsby and Three Days of the Condor. Then, in 1976, he hit it out of the park with All the President's Men.

A golden boy with looks, chops and incredible charisma, Redford would have hit every note of the Sentinel of America in America's bicentennial. Can't imagine a better fit at the time.

Iron Man: Burt Reynolds

Though he didn't grow the trademark stache until later, a 70s Burt Reynolds very likely led the life of Tony Stark. Coming off of Deliverance and The Longest Yard, Reynolds was a stud and the epitome of 70s machismo. I almost went with DeNiro here, but settled on Reynolds. I'd love to see the banter between him and Redford...two completely different characters. 

Thor: Arnold Schwarzenegger

This is all about the's the 70s afterall. Arnold was new on the scene, known for his bodybuilding and hadn't landed any of his iconic roles yet (Conan the Barbarian was 6 years away). Shakespearean Arnold...think about it. 

Black Widow: Faye Dunaway

Dunaway in classic Black Widow, look at my butt pose.
This one was a little tough because there weren't a lot of women doing action in the 70s, but Dunaway was one of them. By '76 she had The Three Musketeers, Chinatown, The Towering Inferno and Three Days of the Condor under her belt and she later went on to battle Helen Slater as Selena in Supergirl

Dunaway is sexy as hell and that's all the mattered in the 70s anyway.

Bruce Banner: Dustin Hoffman

Next to Robert Redford as Steve Rogers, Hoffman as Banner seemed to fit the best. Hoffman could pull off the complexities of Banner as a conflicted genius with no problem. He was just coming into his own at the time and starred opposite Redford in All the President's Men in 1976.

Hawkeye: Nick Nolte

Towheaded, square-jawed contrarian with an attitude but also the guy you'd like at your back in a fist fight...that's Nick Nolte. That's Clint Barton. There ya go. Nolte had done a lot of stuff by this time but was probably half a decade away from prominence in Hollywood. But he sure would look the part.

Nick Fury: Clint Eastwood

You need a gruff badass that can bark orders that don't get questioned? Slap an eye patch on Clint, who had already made himself a Hollywood legend with his westerns and his newest character, Dirty Harry, and you've got yourself a 616-Fury for the ages.

The Ultimate version of Fury which is so famously portrayed by Samuel L. M.F. Jackson didn't exist in 1976 so we'd get the Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos version and Eastwood would nail it.

Loki: Malcom McDowell

Fresh off his role in 1973's A Clockwork Orange, McDowell would make for an excellent Loki and, if it had happened, his cult status today would only be larger. Can you see McDowell as Loki...Totes McGotes.


The Vision: Sidney Poitier

One bit of bonus casting...a comment on my original article pointed out that if the film were made in 1976, The Vision would likely make an appearance. While my initial intent was only to recast the 2012 film, I couldn't pass up the man who immediately came to mind to voice the Android Avenger (I know he's a Synthezoid but I love how Android Avenger sounds).

When I read the Vision, I hear patience and a smooth, certain cadence that would almost be too classy to explain, but still, despite all his humanity, he's a robot. Check out this video clip (skip to around the 4 minute mark) of Poitier accepting the AFI Lifetime Achievement award in 1992:

There it is...a completely made-up cast for a version of a movie that never existed that will make someone so pissed off they'll send me mean emails!  Anyway, this was a fun little project and if you ejoyed it, make sure to head over to check out If Now Were Then...X-Men, 1984.