Golden Age Hollywood Casting of DC Characters

Joan Crawford – Catwoman
Edward G. Robinson – The Penguin
Gary Cooper – Sgt Rock
James Stewart – Starman
Henry Fonda – Hourman
Freddy Bartholomew – Robin
Boris Karloff – Bane
John Wayne – Doomsday
Sophia Loren – Talia Al Ghul
Lee Marvin – King Faraday
Charles Bronson – Deathstroke
Max Von Sydow – Ras Al Ghul
Richard Roundtree – Black Lightning
Yul Brynner – General Zod
Steve McQueen – Green Arrow
Alain Delon – Hush
James Dean – Red Hood


How about Fred MacMurray as the Original Captain Marvel, Shazam!

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Beck based Captain Marvel’s
appearance on a movie where
Fred MacMurray daydreams
about being a superhero.


E. Nelson Bridwell, speaking
of the origins for the look of
Captain Marvel (nee Captain
Thunder), had the following to
say in 1977.

The twenty-nine-year old
(C.C.J Beck came fresh from
a job on a movie mag and possibly inspired by a
dream sequence in which
the star became a kind of
superhero modeled Captain
Thunder on Fred

The only problem is that “No
Time For Love” was released
in 1943.

Captain Marvel’s first

However, just because
Bridwell was wrong about the
specific film that inspired
Beck to choose MacMurray to
base Captain Marvel on does
not mean that Beck did not, in
fact, base Captain Marvel’s
appearance on Fred

Or according to Jim Steranko,
“With the movie job fresh in
his mind, he began the task of
translating Bill Parker’s ideas
into graphic form. He chose
film star Fred MacMurray as
the model of Captain Thunder,
giving him the same black,
wavy hair; bone structure, and
cleft chin.”

So it is likely that Beck DID, in
fact, base Captain Marvel’s
appearance upon
MacMurray… just not that
particular film.

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I bet Edward G. Robinson would’ve made for a great Perry White.

@Jason322 I love the idea of Lee Marvin as King Faraday. That’s some spot-on casting.


Thank you, Vroom

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If she and the character existed at the same time, Betty Hutton would have been great as Livewire.

Walter Matthau as Funky Flashman:


im going by actors active circa 1954
william holden as batman
Yvonne deCarlo as catwoman
john williams as alfred
vera miles as vicki vale

How about Kirk Douglas? Aquaman, maybe? I could also see him as Two-Face.

David Niven as Alfred


Would Terry Thomas be too comedic for Alfred? He must have been in some dramas or other non-comedic roles at some point.

Peter Sellers would do well as Mr. Pennyworth too.

Ethel Merman could play a mean old bag quite well, so she’d hit the mark for Granny Goodness.

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A young Petter Sellers would make a good Riddler.


Well…for my metafictional reimagining of DC film history, Orson Welles grabs an issue if Detective Comics instead of the paperback that inspired The Lady From Shanghai, and creates a major studio Batman film franchise beginning in 1947…

Burt Lancaster - Bruce Wayne/Batman
Russ Tamblyn - Dick Grayson/Robin
Joseph Gotten - Commissioner James Gordon
Orson Welles - Thomas Wayne
Ruth Warrick - Martha Wayne
Agnes Moorehead - Dr. Leslie Thompkins
Peter Cushing - Alfred Pennyworth
George Coulouris - Sal Maroni
Paul Stewart - Tony Zucco
Kirk Douglas - D.A. Harvey Dent/Two-Face
Bob Hope - Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin
Everett Sloane - Professor Hugo Strange
Fred Astaire - Edward Nygma/Riddler
Rita Hayworth - Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy
Roddy McDowall - Jervis Tetch/ Mad Hatter
Daniel O’Herlihy - Basil Karlo/Clayface
Hans Conreid - Professor Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow
Gene Tierney - Selina Kyle/Catwoman
Danny Kaye - Joker


Orson Wells and Agnes Moorehead stared in The Shadow radio program in 1937 and 38


Bing Crosby as the Music Meister.


Bing Crosby as Music Meister is a solid choice.

So too would be Robert “The Music Man” Preston.


I would love to see James Cagney (circa Angels with Dirty Faces) play Two-face.


Clarke Gable as Bruce Wayne/Batman
John Wayne as Jonah Hex
Vivian Leigh as Lois Lane
Gregory Peck as Harvey Dent/Two-Face
George Reeves as Clark Kent/Superman (why change it?)

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Burt Lancaster as Deadman as pointed out he was an acrobat.