17. Casting Actors With Screen Chemistry
Marvel films were shaky on this at first — Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst? — but things have markedly improved in the last few years. We already mentioned how well Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone work (see No. 24), but watch how Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow generate sparks in the Iron Man movies, and the relationship between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in The Winter Soldier — they grow to care for each other without sex ever entering the equation — wouldn't work half as well without those particular actors. It may seem like a little detail amongst the sturm und drang of a superhero movie, but in terms of humanizing these Marvel films and making us care about the characters, the chemistry makes a huge difference.