Yesterday we saw the first trailer for DC's Legends Of Tomorrow and learned that Vandal Savage is going to be the reason the team gets together. Savage is a great villain and has held his own against the Justice League in the past so he makes a lot of sense to be the big bad for season one of LoT. But the hard part is going to be casting the role. It has to be someone with a screen presence. Some one charismatic and threatening. He can't just be a cardboard villain. It needs to be someone on par with John Barrowman and Tom Cavanagh.
One thing that seems to push actors higher up on the casting list is having worked with executive producer Greg Berlanti in the past. It's not a requirement, but he does like to work with folks he knows. So going though some of Berlanti's previous shows I've come up with a handful of names that I think could make interesting choices as Vandal Savage.
We're going to start with Theo James. Not quite a household name yet but his time in the Divergent films is working on that. James spent time on television in the short live cop series Golden Boy (produced by Berlanti) with Chi McBride and Kevin Alejandro (Sebastian Blood from Arrow Season 2). James has the acting ability and I think the presence to be deadly… but he may be a bit on the young side for a 1,000 year old man. Plus his budding movie career may keep him from returning to the small screen for a while.
One of my personal favorite options on this list is Ciaran Hinds who just wrapped up his role on Game of Thrones. He has been brilliant in everything he has played in from Rome to John Carter. He would definitely bring the gravitas of a man who has lived far too long. Hinds worked with Berlanti on the miniseries Political Animals back in 2012. He has the age, the demeanor and the acting ability… I question if he could pose a physical threat befitting of Savage.
Next up might be a surprise name, but Berlanti worked with William Baldwin from 2007 to 2009 on Dirty Sexy Money. Baldwin brings a lot to the table here. He looks a bit like the comic version of Savage. He has shown the ability to play dangerous and charismatic if given the right material. And he brings the Baldwin name. In the last year or so he's show up on Forever, Hot In Cleveland and Wilfred plus an extended stint on Hawaii 5-0, so he is willing to do television.
This one maybe a little bit outside the box, but Berlanti also worked on Brothers & Sisters which featured Balthazar Getty. First off, anyone named Balthazar is destined to play a villain. He's one of those actor who has a known name but isn't type cast by any of his roles. He could come in and make this his career defining character.
And Finally… this last choice is about as outside the box as you can get. He's got the acting talent, we've seen him play characters on the dark side and seem imposing. But physically he is pretty far away from Savage… Michael Chiklis. He worked with Berlanti and Danielle Panabaker's sister on No Ordinary Family. He's got the comic book pedigree from his time as Ben Grimm. He has shown his dark side on The Shield. And there is no doubt that he can steal a scene. Its just hard to picture him as Savage. But then again if you told me the guy who played on Ed and Scrubs was going to be The Reverse-Flash I'd question that choice too.
Again, these are just the names of actors that I think have the screen presence, acting ability and name enough to play Vandal Savage. They could easily go with someone outside of his TV history like Manu Bennett… though I think everyone from Spartacus is already part of the show. Or they could go with someone who just looks perfect for the part like Joe Manganiello… that would be my first call if I was casting. Time will tell.