Hollywood's Greatest Fictional Leaders: Michael Douglas Character Tops List

11:11 AM PST 03/20/2014 by Hilary Lewis
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Michael Douglas

Fortune's ranking of the 20 best fake authority figures features some surprising choices and omissions.

Which movie character has Fortune deemed Hollywood's greatest fictional leader?

Batman? Superman? No.

The answer is Andrew Shepherd, Michael Douglas' fictional president from The American President.

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The magazine, which listed the top 20 fictional leaders as part of its package on "The World's 50 Greatest Leaders," claims Shepherd earns the top spot because of his strong convictions in the face of political challenges.

"In the face of sinking approval ratings and partisan attacks, President Andrew Shepherd manages to rise above the political fray and stick to his guns on environmental protection, crime and even his budding relationship with lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade," Fortune writes.

The magazine also signals out the film's great "drink the sand" moment between Shepherd and Michael J. Fox's Lewis Rothschild as a key leadership scene.

Shepherd isn't the only fictional president on the list, with Harrison Ford's President James Marshall from Air Force One coming in at No. 15.

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"When hijackers take over the president's plane, Marshall, a Medal of Honor winner, uses the skills and leadership he gleaned from the military to defeat them, dispatching one with a simple statement that has become a pop-culture classic," Fortune writes, adding that the film's key leadership scene is, in fact, the "Get off my plane" moment.

Still, current U.S. president Barack Obama didn't even make Fortune's real leaders list.

Other noteworthy characters on Fortune's fictional leaders list include Aragorn, Babe, Captain Kirk, Tom Hanks' Captain Miller from Saving Private Ryan, George Clooney's Danny Ocean from the Oceans Eleven remake, Dumbledore, Legally Blonde protagonist Elle Woods, Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley from Alien, Frozen's Elsa of Arendelle, Mighty Ducks coach Gordon Bombay, Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid, James Bond's M, Al Pacino's coach Tony D'Amato from Any Given Sunday, Kirsten Dunst's Bring It On head cheerleader Torrance Shipman, 9 to 5's Violet Newstead, Toy Story's Woody and Yoda.

Fortune notes that characters based on real people, like Norma Rae and William Wallace, were disqualified.

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