Most superhero movies tend to lead towards ensemble casts, since their comic book universe is so rich with color and history. Standing out from the crowd in a supporting role, as a sidekick or villain, can be quite a feat, but if you have the dishonorable distinction of being the weakest link in a franchise… well that’s really taking it to the next level.
From the bad to the miscast to those who should never have been shoved in front of a camera in the first place, here are ten of the worst supporting characters in comic book adaptations. They’re so bad you’ll wish they’d literally phoned it in. Like Jar Jar Binks bad.
SUPERMAN III (1983)
CHARACTER: August “Gus” Gorman (Richard Pryor)
Stunt casting wasn’t invented in the ’80s but it did reach a new low when the Superman franchise decided that campy was the way to go and hired down-to-earth comedian Richard Pryor as an ace computer hacker, of all things. His character, Gus, instantly goes from blue collar to Good Will Hunting-level genius, eventually designing a super computer on napkins. “The gags involving Richard Pryor went over the top,” said Christopher Reeve. “I mean, I didn’t think that his going off the top of a building, on skis with a pink tablecloth around his shoulders, was particularly funny.”
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II: THE SECRET OF THE OOZE (1991)
CHARACTER: Vanilla Ice (Vanilla Ice)
“Go ninja, go ninja, go!” Yes, it’s become so lame it’s cool for hipsters to talk about how awesome flavor-of-the-second rapper Vanilla Ice’s extended cameo in Turtles II was. Except it’s not cool. At all. We’d like to think there were even a few savvy eight year olds out there who could feel themselves being pandered to by an inferior sequel that’s less a time capsule and more a suppository.
Head to page 2 to see which former SNL star helped sank a classic lawmaker, and the unfortunate actress that played second fiddle to Batman!