Seth Rogen isn't exactly the likeliest candidate to star in a comic book movie. Sure, he's enjoyed a great deal of critical and commercial success in the past several years for his comedy work... but an action movie? It's something of a stretch, to say the least. Regardless, Rogen is rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty with an action star role in "The Green Hornet" — and while he might be the latest, Rogen is hardly the first unlikely actor to find himself in a comic book or superhero movie.
Here are some of our favorite actors who defied expectations to become superheroes and comic book characters on the big screen.
Michael Keaton as Batman
Bruce Wayne and Beetlejuice aren't exactly the most natural of combinations, so much so that many fans were outraged by the news that Michael Keaton had landed the lead role in director Tim Burton's "Batman" adaptation in 1989. But Keaton nonetheless delivered a strong performance as the emotionally scarred multi-millionare crime-fighter, thanks in no small part to brilliant directing from Burton and a strong rival villain played to perfection by Jack Nicholson.
Robert Townsend as The Meteor Man
Known best for his work as a comedian, Robert Townsend's ascension to the world of superheroes in "The Meteor Man" wasn't exactly the likeliest career move. Despite this, Townsend delivered a cult classic in the form of the 1993 superhero action comedy about a school teacher who finds himself gifted with powers after coming into contact with a strange meteor. It certainly didn't hurt that he had reputable genre actors to play against including James Earl Jones and Frank Gorshin!
Damon Wayans as Blankman
Like Townsend, a comedian such as Damon Wayans isn't the most obvious pick for a superhero role. That's why Wayans' work in "Blankman" completely plays up to that fact, casting the actor in the role of Darryl Walker, a socially awkward computer geek who finds inspiration in the Adam West-starring "Batman" TV show and becomes the masked avenger known as Blankman. If you haven't seen this ridiculous superhero comedy, do yourself a favor and check it out.
Ben Stiller as Mister Furious
Ben Stiller has shown plenty of versatility in the realm of comedy, playing a foolish male model in "Zoolander" and an action hero in "Tropic Thunder." But does he have it in him to channel his inner Wolverine? Depending on how much you enjoyed his role as Mister Furious in "Mystery Men," you've got your answer. While I count myself as a fan of Stiller's work in the cult film, the small amount of moviegoers who actually saw "Mystery Men" in theaters indicates that Stiller's days as a superhero are probably behind him.
Topher Grace as Venom
One of Spider-Man's many colorful villains, the comic book version of Venom is the complete opposite of the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler in terms of size and stature. That was not the case with Topher Grace, who played the role in "Spider-Man 3." Fans were skeptical of the skinny "That '70s Show" actor landing the role of the notoriously bulky bad guy even before the movie's release. Considering the mostly lukewarm reception to the third "Spider-Man" outing, it doesn't appear that the lanky Venom worked out so well.
Seth Rogen as Green Hornet
The latest unlikely comic book crime-fighter is Seth Rogen as Britt Reid in "The Green Hornet." Fans who know the actor best for his stoner comedy roles in "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up" were undoubtedly confused by his casting as an action lead, but after the recent debut of the "Green Hornet" trailer, we've got a much clearer idea of how he plans to play the character. Whether or not you like his take on Reid is certainly a matter of taste, but we're all bound to have a much clearer opinion once "Green Hornet" lands in theaters in January 2011.
Tell us about some other unlikely comic book and superheroes in the comments section and on Twitter!