10 Badasses We Need Movies About NOW
The silver screen is full of comic book blockbusters this year. From “X-Men: Days of Future Past” to “Guardians of the Galaxy” to “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” the industry is rife with fictional adaptations.
But what about the true stories of awesome people? Here are ten biographies we need to see right now.
1. Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson was a powerhouse boxer who faced a ton of challenges. Surprisingly, there’s never been a Hollywood production about his life (there have been several documentaries). Johnson fought in a stunning 100 fights with 73 wins — 40 by knockout.
Racism plagued Johnson during his fighting career, including being charged with a Mann Act violation for transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes (read: sleeping with white women). He was sentenced to a year and one day in prison. He skipped town before eventually returning seven years later and serving the sentence.
Actor for the role: Wood Harris
Wood Harris of “The Wire” is perfect for the role. The guy still looks young despite being over 40 and already played a role in a racially charged movie “Remember the Titans.” Anyone who’s seen him as Avon Barksdale knows he’s got the acting chops.
As the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, he claimed a significant portion of Asia and either destroyed or annexed anything in his path. Plus the guy loved to bed women. I mean LOVED to bed women. Around 0.5 percent of the men in the world are direct descendants of him, because Genghis didn’t screw around (or more appropriately, he did).
The dude was so badass, he demanded to be buried without a marker. His funeral escorts killed everyone along the path to ensure the secrecy of his burial place before being executed themselves to ensure his rest went undisturbed.
Actor for the Role: Ken Watanabe
Watanabe is not Mongolian, but that doesn’t mean he can’t control the big screen as the Khan. With his stoic face and powerful delivery, he is perfectly fit to play the Mongolian conquerer. His roles in “Inception,” “Batman Begins,” and “The Last Samurai” show he can take over the screen, even when sharing it with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale and Tom Cruise.
3. Bartholomew Roberts
You can have all the Jack Sparrow’s and Blackbeards you want, but none of them compare to the awesomeness that was Black Bart. A pirate with a mean streak and a temper, Bartholomew Roberts, as he was known before his pirating days, simply kicked ass all around the seas.
He started off as a legitimate – and brilliant – navigator before turning to piracy in 1719, and proceeded to rob, shoot, stab, steal and drink his way into the history books. He was the most successful pirate in terms of how many ships he captured, taking nearly 500 in his four years. There are way too many accounts of his awesomeness to write down here, but just know his death is often considered the end of the Golden Age of Piracy.
Also, that “Pirate Code” people are so keen on using in films — Black Bart literally wrote it.
Actor for the Role: Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson kicks serious ass. It’s a side job he does after he’s done kicking ass on screen. Him kicking ass as a pirate would only make things better.
4. Max Hardberger
Max Hardberger is one of the most badass people of our time. As cool as Black Bart was for being a pirate, Hardberger is just as cool for literally robbing from modern day pirates. He started as a sailor, but one night in 1990, the Patric M was seized by a shipper in Venezuela.
Most people would chalk this up as a loss. Not Hardberger. He “extracted” the ship from the port by sailing it out in the dead of night without clearance in violation of Venezuelan law, likely while giving everyone the finger on the way out.
Hardberger decided this was his calling and formed Vessel Extractions, LLC. He’s the go-to guy for extracting ships that have been seized in foreign countries.
Actor for the Role: Ed Harris
Ed Harris has made a career playing military men and authority figures. Why stop now?
5. Juliane Koepcke
Most people in plane crashes do one of two things: panic or perish. But this 17-year-old refused to do either. After LANSA Flight 508 exploded in mid-air over Peru, Juliane still strapped to her seat plummeted around 10,000 feet to the ground. Instead of turning into pain on the rainforest ground, Koepcke survived the free fall. But the trouble was just beginning for the high school senior.
She looked around for survivors, but didn’t find any because she was the only one. After finding some snacks from the airline, she made her way into the jungle to try and find civilization.
Now being alone in the rain forest with minimal food might seem like an issue that would leave even the manliest of men in a pool of their own tears. But Koepcke was all over it. Using advice from her father, she tracked her way to a river and followed it downstream looking for civilization.
Bear in mind this isn’t the creek up the road from you, but the AMAZON RIVER. She trekked for nine days without sleeping at night because of bug bites and a maggot infestation in her arms before finding a boat and hitching a ride home like a true champion.
Actor for the Role: Jennifer Lawrence
Young talented actress? Check. Plays difficult roles? Check. Showed she can convincingly act like she’s living off the land? Have you seen “The Hunger Games?” Lawrence is simply too perfect for this part.
6. Eugene Vidocq
If you like Sherlock Holmes and Javert, then you essentially already love Eugene Vidocq. He invented modern detective work, and many of his techniques are still used to this day, including forensic techniques like ballistics matching.
He started his life as a criminal spending time in and out of jail. And by spending time out of jail, he broke out of every jail he was thrown in. But finally facing the guillotine, he decided to turn to the side of the law and bust criminals left and right.
He became the founder and director of Sûreté Nationale, the premier detective agency of France. Officials from Scotland Yard and the NYPD sent a contingency of people to learn Vidocq’s ways, and basically modeled their law enforcement agencies off of his strategy. His law enforcement prowess is so widely respected authors like Balzac, Victor Hugo and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle modeled some of the most beloved literary characters off of him.
Actor for the Role: Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson is the man. He’s appeared in films like Braveheart, Gangs of New York, 28 Days Later, Kingdom of Heaven, Troy and In Bruges, so it’s needless to say the guy has range. He’s already played cops and criminals, plus he’s got that gruff, authoritative swagger about him.
7. Myles Standish
Myles Standish is the guy you wanted on your side. His early life is shrouded in enigma, which I’m pretty sure qualifies him the pilgrim version of Batman. He kicked ass during the Eighty Years’ War and then befriended a bunch of puritans who wanted to sail for a new land. But they needed protection, and Standish was definitely the man for the job. Not to mention he was pretty much made of Teflon.
He started by choosing Plymouth Rock as a place to settle for the pilgrims. Once settled, Standish built up a palisade around the fledgling colony to save it from attackers. During the first year when half of the colony was wiped out by disease, Standish was only one of two people to not get sick.
He spent much of his time comforting the sick as well as ass kicking everything in sight. When Squanto – a hero in his own right – was captured by a rival tribe, Standish was having none of it. He took a group of 10 men and so effectively dispersed the camp, Squanto and him simply walked home.
Another time when a rival tribe sent him a snakeskin full of arrows – a threat and insult – Standish simply took the arrows out, filled it with gunpowder and bullets and sent it right back. There was never any confrontation.
Actor for the Role: Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman is an all-around awesome dude and a good guy. Basically he is Standish in actor form. We’ve also seen him kick ass as Wolverine, so we know he can kick some ass as a pilgrim.
8. Grigori Rasputin
If there is one guy in history who had supernatural powers, it is without a doubt Rasputin. He held an almost mystic power over the Tsar and Tsarina of Russia before the Bolshevik Revolution. He also believed to be saved, one first had to sin. And boy did he sin. He supposedly bed hundreds of women, immediately repenting afterwords as a means for salvation, including allegedly the Tsarina.
He was also almost impossible to kill. A group of conspirators tried to poison him with a very high amount of cyanide. But Rasputin refused to succumb and simply listened to some gypsy music. Then one of the conspirators shot him twice, hitting his stomach and kidneys. They left him there, but when they returned Rasputin was pissed and lunged at them. He ran upstairs to the courtyard before being shot another two times. They then threw his body in a river. His official cause of death ended up being hypothermia.
Actor for the Role: Leonardo DiCaprio
Think Calvin Candie, but with a longer beard and weirder sexual desires and you basically have the look of Rasputin. There’s no doubt Leo could dominate the role (and maybe finally win that Oscar).
9. Buzz Aldrin
Now Buzz Aldrin as a character has already appeared in a few films. But there’s never been a film detailing the awesomeness that is the entirety of Aldrin’s life. He started his career in the military shooting down people in Korea. After getting bored, he decided to get a doctorate from MIT, where his thesis was included in NASA’s guide. He began training for spacewalking after being chosen as a pilot and took up SCUBA diving, something NASA astronauts still use to this day.
After getting bored with space, he decided he wanted to walk on the moon in the biggest finger to the USSR during the Cold War. But his life isn’t all about space. He had a rough and tumble time with alcoholism and depression. Aldrin refused to succumb though and went on to do a bunch of awesome stuff like record a rap track with Snoop Dogg and come up with the Aldrin cycler, a hypothetical trajectory for a roadway between the Earth and Mars. Also, he punched moon landing conspiracy theorist Bart Sibrel in the face in 2002 at the ripe old age of 72.
Actor for the Role: Michael Fassbender
Let’s be honest, Michael Fassbender could be in anything and be amazing, even a new Eddie Murphy movie. It’s simple science that Fassbender is awesome. And since Fassbender already looks like an astronaut, he should play arguably the most awesome astronaut of all time.
Teddy Roosevelt is simply the most badass American President. But he was badass even before he was president. He was born with asthma and basically exercised his way out of it. The list of awesome things he did is way too much to list here, but know that he was a soldier, hunter, cowboy, New York Assemblyman, and President. Not too shabby.
There seriously should be a film franchise about the man. But one of the most interesting stories has to be when he was campaigning in 1912 in Milwaukee, Wis. A saloonkeeper shot him in an assassination attempt. It was reminiscent of how he took the presidency when William McKinley was shot. But the bullet hit his steel eyeglasses case and 50-page speech and only barely entered his body according to some sources. Other sources say he simply flexed, but wanted to feel a little burn so he let the bullet in just enough. He gave his speech with the bullet in his chest.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot,” he said in his opening statement. “But it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.
Actor for the Role: Nick Offerman
He’s the closest thing we have to Roosevelt today. He carves boats and furniture and loves to drink whiskey, if his character Ron Swanson is to be believed. He’s got the stache and the figure to go as well.