During this weekend's WonderCon in San Francisco, Jeph Loeb – the head of Marvel's TV division made some surprise casting announcements regarding the upcoming U.S. release of the Marvel Anime series.
To the approval of the crowd, Loeb revealed that Adrian Pasdar will provide the voice of Tony Stark in the "Iron Man" anime, while his former onscreen brother from "Heroes,' Milo Ventimiglia will play Wolverine in the "Wolverine" anime series that follows it.
Aside from his role as Nathan Petrelli on "Heroes," Pasdar is best known for his role in the cult series "Profit" as a highly amoral corporate executive. More recently, he voiced Captain America in the "Black Panther" animated series and he made a guest appearance on the ABC series, "Castle."
Ventimiglia portrayed Peter Petrelli on "Heroes," who was one of the initial breakout characters on that series. Since the end of "Heroes," Ventimiglia has primarily appeared in movies like "Armored," "Gamer" and "The Divide." Ventimiglia also signed a deal with NBC earlier this year to potentially star in a live action TV pilot of the comic book "Rest."
However, Ventimiglia's casting is likely to prove controversial to fans. Wolverine normally has a deep, growling voice and nothing that Ventimiglia has done in the past suggests that he has that range. And until fans hear evidence otherwise, the complaints are going to fly.
Although Ventimiglia is likely to stay in the role for the following "X-Men" anime series, I would have suggested that he play Cyclops, given the "Bishounen" criticisms towards his character design.
"Iron Man," "Wolverine," "X-Men" and "Blade" are part of a four series deal Marvel struck with the Japanese animation studio Madhouse. All four series were envisioned by popular comic writer Warren Ellis to appeal to audiences in both the U.S. and in Japan.
G4 will air "Iron Man" in July with the other 12 episode series to follow. A special preview of "Wolverine" is expected to air on "Attack of the Show" soon.