Hypothetical: Live Action Justice League Movie Made in 1985...Cast?

(Now that I have more space to state my intention)
The year is 1985. After the disappointment that was Superman III, the heads of DC at Warner Bros. decide to take the series in a different direction, and to coincide with DC’s 50th anniversary (also being celebrated by this “Crisis” comic thing they’re doing at the same time), it’s decided that they need to up the stakes with their characters. As such, it’s decided to make a movie based on the Justice League.

You are in charge of casting this movie. You are given the directive that you are to have these 7 members in the league:
-Batman (optional Robin too since solo Batman wasn’t as prolfiic in pop culture in 85)
-Wonder Woman
-Green Lantern
-The Flash
-Martian Manhunter

Who do you pick for casting? Do you keep Christopher Reeve around despite what happened with Superman III, testing if he can have more serious fights? With no Batman 89, who do you go with for the Dark Knight? Do you give Lynda Carter (who is only in her mid 30s at this time period) a chance to do a bigger budget Wonder Woman or do you cast new blood into the role?

You can also pick what villain they face if you like for your choices.

The previous time I did this thread elsewhere, some popular choices were Kurt Russell as Batman and Michael J. Fox as The Flash (if we go by a younger Flash)


As much as I’d like to cast Justice League as a modern summer blockbuster, I keep being reminded of a then 80s Hollywood Exec would not imagine a superhero movie as anything other than a comedy. If he was in charge in 1985, going by desired direction, I’d cast:

Bill Murray as Superman
Dan Akroyd as Batman
Catherine O’ Hara as Wonder Woman
Christopher Guest as Aquaman
Eddie Murphy as Green Lantern
Harold Ramis as the Flash
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Martian Manhunter

Vincent Price as Felix Faust

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[nderpedant]Well, only 2 of those were in the Justice League at that point of course[/nerdpedant]


-Superman - Jeff Bridges
-Batman - Patrick Swayze
-Wonder Woman - Kathleen Turner
-Aquaman - Steve Guttenberg
-Green Lantern - Denzel Washington
-The Flash - Sissy Spacek
-Martian Manhunter - Jeff Goldblum

With Clint Eastwood as Sinestro and Sidney Poitier as Brainiac


Swap Murray and Akroyd and I can see that totally working.

Schwarzenegger as Martian Manhunter is a masterstroke, absolute genius!


Um, actually: Warner Bros. didn’t buy out Time, Inc. until…1989-1990?..so they had no particular claim to D.C. IIRC, Columbia’s logo was at the front of the 1978 Superman. (At least when I saw it. The whole production/distribution chain on that one is messy.)

Irrelevant pedantry out of the way, casting for 1985…honestly, you’d have ended up with Brat Packers. Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy…but who would have made for a good movie?

Superman: Chris Reeves. He was Superman to that generation. You’d have him be crippled by some Kryptonite bullets or something. Would be a great story arc, potentially.

Batman: Adam West! No, not Adam West. How about Val Kilmer? He was relatively unknown at this point, which would make the casting feel less like a stunt.

Wonder Woman: Linda Carter as Hippolyta? The real problem with Carter in the role is, like West, the TV series was kinda campy. Rachel Ward, except by 1985 she was already a “serious”. Kelly LeBrock, maybe. Betsy Russell could’ve pulled off the look but could she have acted it? :thinking:

Aquaman: Sam J. Jones

Green Lantern: Sam J. Jones (or the unknown Johnny Depp!)

The Flash: Sam J. Jones. Or John Wesley Shipp who would go on to play the flash later. Actually, you could probably do worse than cull the soap operas of the era.

Martian Manhunter: John Lithgow

Bonus: Green Arrow → Cary Elwes. Black Canary → Donna Dixon. Red Tornado → Lou Gosset, Jr. Wendy and Marvin → Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall

Villain? The Legion of Doom of course! Lex Luthor → Gene Hackman. Sinestro → Truman Capote. Black Manta → The voice of James Earl Jones. Cheetah → Michelle Pfeiffer. Giganta → Jean Kasem. Bizarro → Arnold!

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Warner Bros. has owned DC since 1969 from everything I’ve looked up.

See, I’m always in the camp that Bizarro should always be played by the same guy who is playing Superman. After all, Bizarro is either Superman’s clone or his other-planet counterpart, so it just makes sense. Whether Reeve could have pulled it off is a question we’ll have to be left wondering.

Carter was only in her mid 30s in that time period, so she could have still pulled off Diana. Though one other suggestion that I saw in the other board thread of this I did was Sigourney Weaver.

Please, there’s only one true 80s choice for Sinestro:

If it were Green Lantern, my pick would be Harrison Ford. Hot off Indiana Jones and Star Wars, he’d have made a super Green Lantern back in the 1980s.

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Confusing. From Wikipedia: “In March 1989, Warner Communications merged with Time Inc., making DC Comics a subsidiary of Time Warner.”

But also: " In 1967, National Periodical Publications was purchased by Kinney National Company,[59] which purchased Warner Bros.-Seven Arts in 1969. Kinney National spun off its non-entertainment assets in 1972 (as National Kinney Corporation) and changed its name to Warner Communications Inc."

Both WB and DC owned by the same conglomerate but DC not a subsidiary until later? Maybe kept un-merged for potential later spinning off? I don’t know business…

I do know WB didn’t produce the 1978 Superman, though. Well, pretty sure.

He doesn’t look much like Superman, tho’.

Sure. Sigourney Weaver is actually older than Linda Carter, if age is going to be an issue.

Well, that’s a good choice…but…with Max Headroom around?

i worked long and hard on this list. i would defintely have this movie directed by richard donner. all actors were picked from movies released 1984 and 85. val kilmer was just getting started but i could totally see him as The Flash. id love to hear what everyone thinks

Superman - Christopher Reeve
Batman - Harrison Ford
Wonder Woman - Linda Carter
Robin- Barret Oliver or River Phoenix
Green Lantern - Danny Glover
Flash - Val Kilmer
Aquaman - Dolph Lundgren
Hawkman - Mel Gibson
Hawkgirl - Rea Dawn Chong
Supergirl- Helen Slater
Martian Manhunter - Bill Duke
Lois Lane- Margot Kidder
Lex Luthor - Gene Hackman
Joker - Tim Curry
Cheetah - Kelly Lebrock
Sinistro - Robert Englund (love that idea @CMWaters )
Captain Cold- Eric Roberts
Black Manta - Carl Wethers
Amazo -Arnold Schwarzenegger
professor Ivo - Leonardo Cimino



I like Rae Dawn Chong for Hawkgirl and didn’t think of Robin when I was trying to shoehorn River Phoenix into my list. Heh. Excellent choice for Bill Duke, too.

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Pretty good list there.

And I can’t take FULL credit for Englund as Sinestro, since in our timeline he has done two other DC villains (Riddler on The Batman…darker take on the character…and Scarecrow in Injustice 2).

But in the 80s I could see him pulling off Mr. Yellow Ring.

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But then who would be Batman in Batman Forever!? :laughing:

Anyways. I see a lot of interesting ideas here thar I’m gonna jump off of. I’d say for Superman: Patrick Swayze. He was chiseled but also had that bright-eyed look that would be perfect for unassuming farm boy Clark Kent

For Batman: Harrison Ford. Yes, he already has two pop culture icons under his belt at this point, why not hand him a third and make it a hat trick? I really think he would’ve delivered a great Bruce Wayne. (At least by my current expectations from the character…)

Let’s be clear also: there is no role for Emilio Estevez in this theoretical movie EXCEPT as Robin. Look at him in Breakfast Club. Is that not the spitting image of the Boy Wonder?

For Wonder Woman…goodness, I would love to see Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman, but she’s a bit too young in ‘85. Does Sigourney Weaver have an Amazonian aspect to her? Maybe she’s more of a Catwoman…

Aquaman I would cast with Jeff Bridges. Dunno why, he just seems like he has the face that could command the loyalty of sea creatures.

For Flash I would like to see Luke Perry.

And now we’re getting into characters I don’t know, as I have a somewhat superficial knowledge of the wider DC universe. So that’s my two cents :sweat_smile:

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I am kinda surprised no one has gone with the Kurt Russell idea the other board did for Batman.

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I did consider it…but I just kinda feel like he lacks a certain suaveness necessary from Bruce Wayne

Well, she did play WW’s sister. Just saying.

Season 5 GIF by ABC Network

Oh, I think Sigourney Weaver could be a great Catwoman!

GIF by Ghostbusters

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Well, she was Ellen Ripley in the Alien(s) franchise, so she has that going for her. Though seeing that .gif from Ghostbusters does bring up the point of Catwoman (or if you want her hero side, I could see Zatanna being a possible too)

And while not live action, Lucy DID play Wonder Woman in the adaptation of “New Frontier”.

Three. Felix Faust in Justice League/ Justice League Unlimited.

Huh, didn’t realize that was him. Cool to know though.

i dont see kurt russell in that role. i didnt see a place for sly stallone or clint eastwood either.