Back by popular demand, here's another round of "If Now Were Then." You can view the previous two here( Avengers, 1976 and X-Men, 1984).This installment takes us back to 1998, when I was in my final year at Alma College and about to embark on a great journey that would lead me to here, now, doing this...is there a time machine? At any rate, after the jump...Avengers, 1998.
Captain America-Brad Pitt
Pitt was just moving towards becoming the Hollywood icon he is today. His roles in Legends of the Fall, Se7en and Twelve Monkeys had pushed him firmly into the public's consciousness, a place where he still finds himself front and center nearly 2 decades later. Pitt could do some serious damage as Steve Rogers and while I gave some thought to him as Thor, the thought of his bantering with Clooney a few years ahead of their Ocean's Eleven teaming was too much to pass up.
Iron Man-George Clooney
Though Tom Cruise was famously linked to Iron Man for years before the he and the studio went in different directions, I still cannot see him behind the mask. A whole generation of kids probably doesn't remember Clooney's role in From Dusk til Dawn and only hardly recognizes him. As the 20th century came to a close, however, Clooney was a man's man and would own the role of Stark, who isn't all that dissimilar to Bruce Wayne, a role Clooney once played.
Brigitte Nielsen Gary Daniels
Really, though, if you were looking for a big, blonde action star...it was Nielsen.
Bruce Banner-Tom Hanks
Hanks is one of the greatest actors of my generation. In 1998 he had already won two Oscars (Philadelphia and Forrest Gump) and had been nominated for one (Big), but he never stopped having fun with his choice of roles. Hanks could play almost any role, but would do well for himself in the role of Dr. Banner.
Of course I mean this Val Kilmer
and not this Val Kilmer
While it's easy to poke fun at Val, we have to remember that we'd look that way too had we stumbled into a ground nest of hornets; however, Kilmer had a great run in the 90s: Batman Forever, Heat, The Saint and The Ghost and the Darkness all gave us different sides of him and if he could have channeled a little bit of Iceman and mixed it with Montgomery from The Island of Dr. Moreau, he'd have been real good Clint Barton.
Black Widow-Demi Moore
Moore was one of the 90's leading ladies and all we need to put her in this role is to watch any 5 minutes of G.I. Jane. If ScarJo can pull of Natasha throwing hair-butts at people, I'm sure a much more sculpted and physical Moore could do the same.
Nick Fury-Bruce Willis
Willis is made to play a hardass and he's play a great Nick Fury. In fact, I'd love to see a younger Willis line up and do a WWII Fury film!
This would have caught one of the best character actors of our time just as his star went on the rise. While it's a stretch to see him as a villain at the time, think of Bill "The Butcher" and think of his incredible talent for conveying passion and insanity. This was my guy though I deliberated heavily over a few others.
One thing before I go...do you know how damn hard it is to cast a 1998 film without Will Smith and Jim Carrey, or Keanu Reeves for that matter? They were in everything.