Even though he hasn't been contacted by Marvel Studios, Sam Worthington would kill to play Captain America. Still, the actor — who stars in tomorrow's massively hyped "Avatar" from director James Cameron — understands that some fans would have a problem with an Australian assuming the most iconic American superhero's mantle.
That's not to say that Worthington should be ruled out from playing Steve Rogers — I personally would have no trouble with that casting, even if that's not the majority opinion — but in the spirit of finding an amicable resolution, I think we should explore some other comic book options for the up-and-coming actor, who is already signed on for "The Last Days of American Crime."
If the role of Cap goes to another actor, here are five other comic book heroes that Worthington could play fantastically.
AQUAMAN: Of all the prominent Justice League members, Aquaman probably has the roughest reputation. The aquatic-based superhero hasn't had his own starring comic book series in quite a while, largely because he's, well, dead. But I think Aquaman could kick the swim out of the big screen if taken seriously — moreover, I think Worthington could do the job perfectly.
The actor is already well-versed in sweeping cinematic epics, which are words I'd like to ascribe to a successfully executed "Aquaman" movie. That's not even mentioning Worthington's "Avatar" hook-up — if he milked that connection, maybe the "Entourage" dream of a James Cameron-directed "Aquaman" film wouldn't be so far-fetched.
BEN DAIMIO: Should Ron Perlman and Guillermo Del Toro decide to give the "Hellboy" franchise a third try, I think it would be great to continue bolstering the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense's numbers, particularly given Big Red's decision to quit the unit at the end of "Hellboy II." If that's the direction that a third "Hellboy" movie went in, I'd like to put my vote in now for Worthington as Captain Ben Daimio.
Although Worthington is a little bit younger for the role than some might prefer, he has every other quality you'd want in the kinda-sorta-formerly dead soldier. He's a fantastic action actor and can easily pull off a sense of militarized rigidity. Plus, while his star is on the rise, Worthington isn't so well known that his involvement as Daimio would distract from Perlman, the clear-cut main attraction.
HAWKEYE: If nothing else, Worthington has made it clear that he's a fan of "The Avengers," so let's assume a scenario where the actor doesn't land Captain America — who else is left? Well, even though actor Jeremy Renner has his sights set on the role — and even though I didn't mention Worthington's name in an earlier Secret Identity — I think that the "Avatar" star would make for a great Hawkeye.
Clint Barton isn't as proficient with the wisecracking as Spider-Man is, but his smart mouth is still one of his stronger weapons. Worthington pulled off plenty of one-liners as Marcus Wright in "Terminator Salvation," providing a performance that some would argue was the movie's only highlight. The other aspect of Marcus that would play well with Clint is, of course, the action sensibilities — combined with "Avatar" and "Clash of the Titans," Worthington has that in spades.
SHAFT: Of course, Hawkeye isn't the only archer in comic books. Aside from DC's Green Arrow — who is not a character that I could see Worthington playing — there is Shaft, the frontman of Rob Liefeld's "Youngblood." Brett Ratner is already lined up to direct the Image Comics adaptation, so the next obvious step is casting.
While Robert Pattinson is all well and good, I think Worthington would be a stronger pick for Jeff Terrel. Pattinson is the clear favorite amongst young teenage girls, but Worthington's got geek credibility on his side. Like Pattinson, however, Worthington's star is clearly on the rise due to his roles in "Terminator," "Avatar" and "Clash of the Titans." Given the emphasis on celebrity culture in "Youngblood," Worthington strikes me as a natural fit.
THE WINTER SOLDIER: For the sake of argument, let's say that Captain America is a forbidden role for any actor that isn't American by birth. It's not a notion that I agree with, but let's put it out there. Does that preclude Worthington from playing Steve Rogers' most trusted ally, James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes — especially when he makes the transition from star-spangled youth to the ruthless mind-warped assassin known as the Winter Soldier?
It wouldn't be easy to get the "Captain America" films from points A to B — from Bucky in World War II to his present day status as a slightly aged but mostly time delayed mercenary — but I have faith in the Marvel Studios gurus. Ed Brubaker's reintroduction of Bucky as the Winter Soldier (and later as Captain America, though we can leave that part out) would be a fantastic premise for a "Captain America" sequel. If the franchise lasts long enough for a second movie, I'd love to see Worthington assume the role of Cap's best buddy turned greatest threat.
Let us know which comic book characters you'd like to see Sam Worthington play in the comments section or on Twitter!