Fancasting is as rampant as shipping. Everyone has their own perfect actor or actress to play their favorite book, game, and comic characters. I’ve done it myself. I am constantly fancasting the Kushiel’s Legacy series. I am convinced that François Arnaud (The Borgias) would be the perfect Imriel. I’ve never made a casting video but they are out there. Seriously, look up Kushiel fancasting on YouTube. I don’t think a fan can help it. The perfect actor or actress for your fandom adaptation can be a touchy subject. It’s hard to get past your own vision of a character.
Fans are either happy or driven to heights of indescribable rage when they hear about who has been cast for film or television adaptations. Just take the announcement of Ben Affleck being Batman in the next Superman movie. The Internet exploded and petitions were written. I think I just frowned and shook my head. People got in a tizzy when Wonder Woman was cast, too, saying she was too skinny. I never thought that would be a complaint levied against a female actress. The new Fantastic Four cast has been met with less rancor. With so many adaptations in the works, it’s a bit hard to keep up. Fans have their own ideas about who is perfect. I admit, there are some casting choices I have questioned, but I don’t think I have ever gotten downright angry about it. Yet, the passion of fans cannot be denied.
When I heard Outlander was finally being cast I was dubious. I thought there was no way they would find someone to play Jamie. The appearances of some characters are just beyond description. When Sam Heughan was announced I was anxiously excited. Hey, at least he was Scottish! When the official photos began to trickle out I was blown away. He was almost exactly as I pictured him. One complaint about Sam was that his hair wasn’t red enough. Really, it surprises me what people can find to complain about. My little fangirl heart is pleased. I was equally satisfied with rest of the casting choices, too. I think this is a case where the cast is perfect.
I try to be a fan in moderation. Now, there have been some cases where a character looks the complete opposite of what they do in the source material. I am sorry, but Jonathan Rhys Meyers looked nothing like Valentine in The Mortal Instruments movie. I think a little too much liberty was taken with his appearance. Maybe they were trying to make him hip-looking. I believe most of the time it is best to stick the material. In a perfect world, fans would cast movies. I don’t think the movie would ever get made, though. Most of the time would be spent arguing. Or maybe it’s better if things are never adapted to the screens. At least our imaginings would stay the same.