Known for playing Mr.Mom and Beetlejuice, Michael Keaton was a controversial choice when tapped to play Batman in Tim Burton’s gothic reinterpretation of the iconic character.
Keaton’s detractors would go on to eat their words as Batman became a box office hit. Years later Sylvester Stallone would point to his casting as the beginning of the end to the traditional action hero.
Who could ever imagine Arrested Development’s George Michael trading blows with the likes of Chris Evans and Brandon Routh?
Yet that is exactly what transpires in Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Edgar Wright’s ode to geekdom which starred Michael Cera doing his best Jackie Chan, as he battles the 7 evil ex’s of his new love (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), pulling off the video game chop suey convincingly.
With a career filled with offbeat roles and an Oscar for the tragic Leaving Las Vegas, Nicolas Cage’s segway into action territory caught many by surprise.
Con Air and The Rock drew plaudits, but it was his work opposite John Travolta in John Woo’s Face/Off which has Cage at his gun toting best. He continues to work in the action genre to mixed results.
“Y'know, I always thought that Matt Damon was like a Streisand, but he's rocking the shit in this one!”, so mused Paul Rudd in The 40 Year Old Virgin. Indeed, Damon caught us all by surprise as amnesiac super agent Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity.
Two more sequels with the equally liberal minded Paul Greengrass turned the action film on its head with their rattle & roll shaky cam theatrics, with even James Bond himself following suit in Quantum of Solace.
Uma Thurman had long been associated with period dramas and independent cinema before making a name as a leading lady in action cinema.
The Avengers would mark her first foray into kicking ass, yet it would be the Kill Bill films which sealed the deal, slicing her way through the competition and making many an action fans heart flutter.
Keanu Reeves had long been associated as an airhead prone to “whoa!” and “dude!” before he was cast as daredevil FBI agent Johnny Utah in Point Break.
Yet it was his turn as Jack Traven in Speed which saw the excellent adventurer turn action god, with The Matrix sealing the deal.
Long known for his comedic work in Knocked Up and Funny People, Seth Rogen will next be seen as billionaire vigilante Bat...., I mean The Green Hornet.
Exactly how he will fair in an action movie is anyone’s guess, but the trailer doesn’t look to promising.