CASTING CALL: PART 3 - THE VILLAINS & THE DIRECTOR

Art by EW 

Jill and I wanted to really think the villains out a bit because as we all know a hero can only be as great as his/her villain. And other than some showstopper visuals these Thundercat villains are in need of a massive makeover. 

MUMM-RA:  Mumm-Ra is complicated for sure. He’s got to be a damn good actor, with an element of weird cause his name is Mumm-Ra, as he transforms from a sickly looking little mummy to a great big jacked one.  Garrett Dilahunt has made a career out of playing warped individuals with an air for the theatrics from Deadwood to Justified this guy plays a range of interesting people. And need I mention Javier Bardem who I think would capture the creepiness of Mumm-Ra and allow for some intriguing character development. He has also played his share of menace in big budget faire like No Country For Old Men, Skyfall and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean. And he would certainly chew the scenery well.  I put three on the list but I’m thinking that Jackman may be the best choice over all. In his pre-transformation you could CGI his body like Marvel did with Chris Evans in the first Captain America. Make him look weak and frail and wrapped in cloth. Then when he transforms we see Hugh Jackman in all his muscled glory. Paint him blue and call it a day. Of course you all saw him as Wolverine in X-Men Days of Future Past, I don't think I need to say more.  I really think he would bring some dimensions to Mumm-Ra as he is only a stock evil villain most of the time on the show. Let’s give him some motivation; why is he like this and what does he want? On the show he wants the Eye of Thundera (Lion-O’s sword) but later he’s just interested in killing them. Kind of boring. So let's stick with his desire for more power and The Eye of Thundera. He is already immortal thanks to the Ancient Spirits of Evil, but they also rot out his body as time goes by except when he calls forth all of their power to transform to Mumm-Ra, the ever living. The Eye of Thundera continues to give Mumm-Ra life but also restores his body. Perhaps he’s also lonely and an extreme racist and is looking to wipe out the Thundercats so he can build Third-Earth in his image, with shocker - Earth-like humans!  That would be an interesting twist.

Art by  blackzig

Art by blackzig

VULTUREMAN: He’s the brains behind the Mutants. He is a chemist creating potions to use to his advantage. He is also a mechanic and builds gadgets and vehicles for his team. And most importantly he is the least loyal of the Mutants as he constantly betrays his cohorts for his own gain. He’s lanky and thin and has that giant beak as well as the giant wings.  Zeljko Ivanek would be a somewhat older incarnation, but this guy embodies smart and creepy and something about Vultureman demands to be creepy. Whether his misogynist creep in Big Love to his creepy ass Magister on True Blood or his whack job in the Bourne Legacy. Ivanek would bring something terrifying to screen. Clifton Collins would bring a more affable kind of edge to Vultureman. He was great in Westworld as a smart ass smuggler/bandit type. He’s a solid, oftentimes colorful character actor, who’s played everything under the sun in movies and tv like Westworld, Alias, The Blacklist and Star Trek. However I like cocky Travis Fimmel from Vikings as the best choice for the clever Vultureman. He’s got charisma and he can sell the smarts and talk his way out of things which Vultureman seems to have to constantly do.

JACKALMAN: Jackalman is the jokester of the group and considered to be the thinnest and less warrior like. He is often called a coward mostly by Slithe who seems to disdain him. Jackalman also has a habit of switching loyalties whenever it suits him but not nearly to the extent of Vultureman. Domhnall Gleason has the right build and would make a very sadistic Jackalman due to his past villain playing in Star Wars Force Awakens, and clearly he’s no slouch to the big blockbuster.  Leto would also be able to bring some humor, albeit the sadistic kind, due to his run as the Joker in Suicide Squad. It's easy to see him creating some warped version of Jackalman. However, given his studious devotion to his craft he’d probably complain about screen time for his performance, which would be a fair point given that Jackalman is very much a bit player. Jay Baruchel would obviously make Jackalman more of the comic relief which could be a good thing as he would also look hilarious dressed up in Jackal fur and face. Baruchel would be the best choice honestly, he's a good actor but he can be funny. Check out Knocked Up, Tropic Thunder and This is the End for references if you need them. Also he works even better in smaller roles than lead ones. 

MONKIAN: Monkian is the dimbulb of the Mutants but ironically he’s also their best guy at collecting information. He’s also physically imposing and he has a network of spies all over Third-Earth. He too can be humorous but it’s not meant to be intentional due to his massive stupidity.  He’s also violent and dangerous. Someone imposing would be best for him. Now all three of these guys are physically imposing. John Cena has found a niche with comic timing from the WWE and perfected in various films like Trainwreck and Daddy’s Home, and he’s now the voice of Ferdinand in the animated movie. Bautista also has the build but he’s even funnier with his take on Drax from Guardians 1 and 2, and steals the show. In fact the more I think about it, he’s probably the best choice here as he would bring something more to the role than just a dumb Monkey Man henchman. It would be intriguing to see him as more of a smooth operator who is brilliant at fighting and a master at building a network of spies. The guy would have his hands on every piece of information imaginable except he’s not smart enough to know what to do with it himself. The guy just can’t play chess.

Art by  BeastboyJoe

SLITHE: Slithe, of all the mutants, is the least humanoid and more than likely will have to be a blend of CG and prosthetic. Slithe is the leader of the mutants.  He has a sarcastic personality and he enjoys shitting on his fellow mutants, especially Jackalman whom he calls a coward. He’s sadistic and extremely arrogant which gets him in trouble but he is also clever as he is usually the one devising the plan to kill the Thundercats. I think Slithe should be jealous of the Thundercats’ wealth and prestige and he covets it, and really is only interested in humiliating them and taking it. He’s kind of like Fredo  from the Godfather but with more smarts and a lot more darkness. Jackie Earle Haley is a character actor that makes slimy assholes and creeps interesting; from his fantastic turns in Little Children to Rorschach in Watchman, and his nasty heartless scrooge-like businessman character Quincannon on Preacher. However the big winner in my thinking is Andy Serkis he has made a career out of his motion capture characters from Gollum in Lord of the Rings to King Kong, and recently to Caesar from the Planet of the Apes movies. It may be too close to his Gollum character but I think he would be a fantastic choice for Slithe.

GRUNE THE DESTROYER: Grune is a Thundercat from the line of Kings like Lion-O but he tried to commit a Coup and Jaga had to bring him down. He sealed him away in a pod like Kirk did to Khan on Star Trek and blasted him into space. Only problem is Grune’s pod found it’s way to Third-Earth and created some problems for the Thundercats. So in our story, I think Mumm-Ra having his difficulties defeating the Thundercats on his own, decides to use his secret weapon and the one person who has been informing him about the Thundercats, Thundera and the Eye of Thundera - Grune. Mumm-Ra found the pod years before and now that the Thundercats are here and causing him trouble he uses the mind and body of Grune to do his dirty work. So the impression I’m getting from Grune is that he’s fucking crazy. He’s a mad despot that hates Jaga for locking him away in his pod and wants to exact his revenge on Lion-O since he can’t on Jaga anymore given that he’s dead. Grune might try to infiltrate the Thundercats at first, get them to turn on each other and create problems that way. Grune would have to be fairly unique and let’s not forget balls out crazy. Lance Reddick has always been a weird looking dude, he’s all mystery and he’s got that unique voice I could totally see him manipulating Lion-O and the Thundercats and then turning the fury on them when they least expect it. He played mystery man on Lost and his Broyles on Fringe was always strange and fascinating. He played another seemingly small role in John Wick as the hotel attendant but you wanted to know more about him. I’m really leaning more and more towards him for this role - He's not an imposing guy or a big guy but it would be different for sure. He would be a reverse bad guy Panthro, without the bulging pecs. Now Kristopher Hivju would be a different version than Reddick’s as he might embody more of the character from the show. He’s big and loud and doesn’t give a fuck about anybody and will lay waste to everything if he felt like it. Hivju played a similar role to perfection on Game of Thrones as Tormund Giantsbane. There is no mystery to this guy as he is pure beserker rage. But he’s intriguing and if you balance him out a bit he could be a bit more complex than just some angry jacked up Thundercat out for revenge. But my money is on Lance Reddick. 

ANCIENT SPIRITS OF EVIL: Ok this one could be considered a stretch but after extensive research in the lore of Thundercats the Ancients Spirits is actually a sentient entity separate from Mumm-Ra. I had no idea this was so. Therefore it may be a good idea to put a voice to the evil spirits that embody this decayed form to roid out into Mumm-Ra the EVER LIVING! Personally I think Keith David would kill this in his sleep. The actor is supreme in his live action roles already but that distinctive voice has given depth to animated and live action roles alike. Most recently his turn as the voice of Solivar on the Flash was distinctive, his bit roles on Justice League and various Spider-Man animated shows are always welcomed. Of course his biggest and best voice over was HBO’s Spawn which is precisely why if you are going to have the Ancient Spirits of Evil speak, it’s gotta be Keith David and no one else.

Art by  Wyattx

Art by Wyattx

LUNA, LEADER OF THE LUNATAKS: Ok so I’m going to go a different route with Luna as she is diminutive and looks sort of like an Orc with horns. I think we can keep the sadistic authoritarian personality but put her in a different body. Or we can say that she is using that fabulous magic belt of her Grandmother’s to make her bigger in stature and more alluring. She’s interesting as she is not really a fan of working with Mumm-Ra and in some ways she’s just as devious or more. She’s kind of like a female version of the Joker. Unpredictable and out to get what she wants for her fellow Lunataks. I chose two solid actresses for this and they both would bring different things to the role. Rooney Mara can play up the psychotic I believe. From her roles in Girl With a Dragon Tattoo to her dual identity role in Side Effects, she could really generate some crazy needed for this role. Natalie Dormer is beautiful and she can play master schemer just as well as anyone from her role in Game of Thrones. I really like her for this. Especially if you let her go crazy with it.

Directors for Thundercats: After all this wonderful casting for the Thundercats and the Mutants this whole thing won’t amount to a hill a beans if you don’t have a competent director who can balance the weird with the mainstream, the comedy with the drama, and make an effective sci-fi action fantasy film that would put all others to shame. Now to chose a few names here and I think they are all worthy in their own way but as they say in Highlander, “there can be only one!”  First up is Duncan Jones, the son of the late David Bowie. He has still a ways to go to build his portfolio but he’s got some solid hits in there. Source Code is one of my favorites. It keeps the intrigue going throughout as it feels like a darker version of Groundhog’s Day. He got good performances from his leads Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga. He’s also got a fun little movie starring Sam Rockwell called Moon. His one wrinkle in all of this is Warcraft. Now I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment directly on it but it certainly tanked at the BO and probably put a dent in his rise. He may have some difficulties when the budget gets high which would prove difficult for a film like Thundercats, but he has an unswerving ability to get solid actors in weird situations where they shine. Up next is Peter Jackson, Mr. Lord of the Rings himself. What can I say, the guy would probably make the most realistic cat people on the planet with method actors in those roles. Buuut he did do those Hobbit movies which were not as good and he tends to make things overly long and overly serious. Could miss some of the fun. However we would need Freightners and Dead Alive Peter Jackson to inject some good old fashioned fun to it. Another solid get would be Patty Jenkins, who does fall into the Duncan Jones territory as she does not have a catalog of films to reference but she did just kick the summer’s ass with Wonder Woman. This proves she can handle character, story and a big budget in the heart of Summer and be successful which is honestly more than can be said about Duncan Jones. Now Matthew Vaughn, this guy is a stud, he hasn’t directed a bad movie in my book yet which is pretty stunning. Seriously from his first awesome film Layer Cake to Kingsman I’ve truly enjoyed all of his films. He can go hard R in Kingsman and Kick-Ass or he could make a solid actioner with the ability to world build in X-Men: First Class or a bit of romance and humor in Stardust. Seriously don’t knock the Stardust. Of anyone, he would probably be the most commercial, but he would also be able to knock out of the park the difficulties we discussed earlier. I’m going with Vaughn.

 

CASTING CALL: PART 2 - THE THUNDERCATS

In our last post we talked about how we might bring Thundercats to the big screen, some of the hurdles and what kick ass stuff we'd like to see in a live action version. Obviously the script is one of the most important parts of any movie. But for a movie like Thundercats where, obviously, they will require live action cat people. You're going to need to pull out all the stops to legitimize it properly. Which is why I want to go over the Thundercats themselves, who we think would be best to cast and why. 

LION-O: Lion-O is the leader of the Thundercats. His role is complicated as he is a kid trapped in a man’s body.  Lion-O is impatient and quick to attack, and at times extremely naive but he also has great empathy and strength and learns from his mistakes. It would be a mistake to just put a pretty face there and call it a day. To make this character truly come alive they would have to balance all of these things well.  So Jill and I broke down three actors we think would effectively bring Lion-O to the big screen: Sam Heughan, Chris Wood and Richard Madden.  Chris Wood has been making his bones on Supergirl and he has been one of the best parts of the sophomore season as Mon-El. He's a big guy and could look the part of Lion-O and he's just a big kid, or at least he convincingly plays on on tv, which is the perfect mindset for Lion-O. Sam Heughan from Outlander is another solid contender.  He's tall, has great hair, and muscles for days! His character on the show is incredibly strong and tough, yet sensitive, loving, and very protective of those he loves. Outside of the show he's very active on social media and he's just an all around big kid! Super goofy at times, and very funny and playful. He's got a good mix and we feel he can portray Lion-O as strong, yet kid-like!  And did I mention the muscles?  He's also a very talented actor who is extremely versatile. In the end I think our standout is Richard Madden. He was fantastic as Rob Stark on Game of Thrones. He had to play a kid who was forced to grow up to fast. He brings the youthful energy, he was already the King of the North I think he could handle the throne of Thundera. He also gets extra points for his sophisticated and crafty turn as Cosomo Medici on the Netflix show of the same name.  To top it off he's no stranger to a blockbuster movie, namely Disney's Cinderella. Frankly the guy has it where it counts and I think he can bring real meat to the role of the leader of the Thundercats. 

PANTHRO: is really the defacto leader of the Thundercats because of Lion-O’s immaturity. He wears many hats. Not only is he the resident techie of the group he’s also their greatest warrior and he’s gotta be huge. He also has severe anger management issues so it’s gotta be someone who can play up the rage. We're looking at Boris Kadjoe, the "Rock" Dwayne Johnson and Jamie Foxx.  Now I know for years people have tried to plant Vin Diesel here and yeah I can see why but the guy can only play one type of role. He'd be Dominic Torretto with Panthro face. So we're nixing that right now. Boris Kadjoe is a solid actor who hasn't really had a big enough break yet. He's been on some solid TV shows like Last Man on Earth and I liked him on Undercovers for two seasons playing a debonair spy. I think he could sell the look and personality of Panthro pretty well. Of course if I had my pick today, I’d prefer the Rock at least for personality and of course the look. I just always pictured Panthro as jacked and the Rock fits that bill. However Jamie Foxx brings the cool and Panthro was pretty damn cool. It's kind of a toss up for me but I'd probably lean toward the Rock on this one.  Panthro is fucking smart he’s the tactician of the group and the scientist and he’s got to look like a bad ass when he throws down. All must be a requirement when casting this guy.

Snarf.jpg

SNARF: We would need a voice actor for this role as Snarf will probably be a CGI character.  At the moment I'm looking at Jim Gaffigan, Louis C.K. and Kevin Hart. I know, these are all over the place but Snarf is a fucking annoying character yet so vital to the Thundercats. He’s kind of the C-3PO of the group. He takes care of Lion-O and tries to guide him but whines like nobodies business. The three comics I chose are the best in their field at whining while remaining hilarious and not annoying. I think this casting is what is going to make Thundercats different, a little weird but awesome. I think Jim Gaffigan could play it closest to the cartoon without wanting to tear your hair out plus I'm really dying to hear him just say - "Snarf, Snarf" a bunch of times when he's scared. Louis C.K. would be funny but probably more subdued and ironic Snarf - low energy rather than high pitched. Could work but it would depend on the actors he has to bounce off with. Honestly the most bankable out of this group is Kevin Hart he'd be out of left field but it'd be damn funny. Get him in full on complain mode and let him do his thing. Also I would love to get that interaction with Kevin Hart's Snarf and Dwayne Johnson's Panthro. Box Office Gold I tell you. 

JAGA: I think for Jaga we need to class it up a lot so that would mean these guys -  Idris Elba , Bryan Cranston, Gary Oldman and Ken Watanabe. Jaga of course is the Obi Wan Kenobi who is important as he comes back as a force ghost to instruct Lion-O at times. He’s also got to sell the opening origin story as he is the principle. He is noble and wise and is a bad ass warrior. He is the keeper of the secrets of Thundera and is crucial to making the history of the Thundercats believable and interesting. These actors above will be capable of doing all of that while bringing their own styles to the role. This one is going to be tough because Jaga is crucial to the movie but he's only going to be in it a short time even if he's brought back from time to time as a force ghost (see he really is Obi Wan Kenobi). I think all of the guys we chose would do the character proud. Idris would kill it and he's no stranger to obscure sci-fi movies. Gary Oldman would be great too but maybe too intense and distracting. Bryan Cranston is larger than life and would bring that crusty wise Jaga to the fore in a really cool way. But I keep coming back to Ken Watanabe. The guy is all nobility and he's a great actor and has a strong presence from his roles in Inception to Last Samurai. I think I like him best of all for this one. 

TYGRA:  Tygra always came across as bland on the show so I was finding it difficult to get someone good for him. Tygra is a scientist and an architect as well as a kick ass warrior. (aren’t they all?) He has a strong mind and Lion-O trusts him even over Pathro and has mentioned from time to time that if he were to fall it would be Tygra who would take command. He also has some form of mind powers. It is also suggested that he may be a relative of Lion-O and in the newest animated cartoon he’s his brother. I like Garrett Hedlund from Tron: Legacy and he was really funny and intense as Dime in Billy Lynn's Half Time Walk. Although he does tend to go wooden at times in most of his films or annoyingly over the top in movies like Pan. Which, in my mind, hurt his chances.  Zac Efron definitely has the chops and the build and even though he's been doing dumb comedies of late like Baywatch and Dirty Grandpa he could be a scene stealer in a role like this. But in the end I'm leaning more toward Scott Eastwood, I mean look at this guy he's a dead ringer for his daddy Clint and he's a pretty solid actor in his own right. He's had small roles up to this point in big flicks like Suicide Squad and Fury and held his own with the likes of Jared Leto and Brad Pitt. While taking lead roles in straight to video flicks like Diablo. He's paid his dues I think. The guy seems to have the right amount of toughness and pathos to pull off the character.  

WILY KAT & WILY KIT:  Jacob Tremblay, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobbie Brown, Mackenzie Foy.  So these kids are a few years younger than Lion-O and are orphan Nobles who left Thundera with the rest of the Thundercats. Since Lion-O’s body has aged and theirs hasn’t it brings some context to their problem and reminding everyone that even though Lion-O doesn’t look it he’s only a year or so older than them. Wily Kat, the male, is a bit cautious while Wily Kit, female, is wild and somewhat rebellious.  I think you would have to up the cute factor a bit but these kids aren't just a bit of fluff from the show. They are the future of Thundera. There is no more of their kind after the destruction of their world so keeping them alive is a huge part of the struggle in the film I would think. So I threw out a couple kids that could work but honestly this needs to go to Jacob Tremblay, the kid from Room. I think that speaks for itself. Hadn't seen a performance like his since Haley Joel Osment in Sixth Sense. For Wily Kit I'd go with Millie Bobbie Brown, she's talented and tough and she's adorable. She killed it on Stranger Things by owning her role as eleven. Also I can see her doing crazy gymnastics flying through the air throwing those multi-colored bomb things they have. 

CHEETARA:   Cheetara is a highly skilled warrior with lightning fast speed and agility. She was trained by Jaga and acts as Lion-O’s bodyguard. She’s the most accomplished fighter of the group and she’s got that bad ass bow she fights with. She’s a smart tactician and relentless. She’s empathetic and extremely reliable. We've scoured the field and narrowed it down to these kick ass women: Keira Knightley, Rebecca Ferguson, Eiza Gonzalez and Emily Blunt. These actresses can handle the physical and emotional quotient to bring Cheetara to life. But there can be only one. Keira Knightley is solid as an actress and is a veteran of blockbusters from Pirates of The Caribbean to Love Actually and the Queen of art in Atonement and Begin Again. I always had a tough time believing her in action roles like Domino and even sometimes in Pirates, however - that would be true if she were playing a bruiser. Cheetara is lean, fast and agile. So that makes some sense for her. Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson have proven their action cred in two films starring opposite Tom Cruise. Blunt for Edge of Tomorrow where she played a tough as nails warrior who takes no prisoners. Ferguson played a double agent in the last Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Both are extremely capable and would own the role. But again I think I'm going to go with a relative newcomer, Eiza Gonzalez. She's stunningly beautiful but after watching her recently in Baby Driver I love the attitude that she would bring to Cheetara. She can certainly handle the action and I think she would definitely be a show stopper if chosen.   

In our next post we'll tackle the Villains of Thundercats. As we all know every great hero has to have a fantastic complex villain to foil. 

Casting Call: The Boys

It looks like Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Neal Moritz are set to tackle the comic adaptation of the Boys for Cinemax sometime over the next few years. I assume they are deep into the scripting stage of the show which gives us a chance to break down our top choices for the 5 leads a villain and a supporting cast member for good measure. I guess they are feeling confident after team Rogen successfully adapted the first season of Preacher for AMC. 

The Boys was written by Garth Ennis (Preacher) and drawn by Darick Robertson (Space Beaver) it ran for 72 issues between 2008 - 2012 it started at Wildstorm and switched over to Dynamite comics. The Boys is a very adult, subversive satire of the Super Hero genre. It follows the tough Brit Butcher and his team of nobodies to take down the well protected Super Hero class that is beholden to a corporate system that markets and cashes in on their fame while cleaning up their very deadly mistakes. No Superhero that you have read or heard of between Marvel and DC are spared in this series. They don't have the same names but you know exactly who Ennis is parodying.  He is not a fan of the capes and this series is proof of that. It's fun it's dark and it's not at all ready for prime time which makes perfect sense that it will now be on Cinemax.

BUTCHER is the leader of the team, he's tough, he's ruthless and he really hates super heroes. Whoever Rogen and Goldberg chooses has a very difficult job ahead he needs to have a strong presence but he also shouldn't overshadow the other team members too much. So for starters this guy needs to be British or at least can pull off street level Cockney otherwise this doesn't work at all. A Tom Hardy or an Idris Elba would kill this role in a movie but you aren't going to get them for Cinemax so we have to dig a little bit deeper. Ray Stevenson would also crush this role as he brought strong turns to his roles in Rome as Titus Pullo and he's played a Garth Ennis favorite already, the Punisher in Punisher: War Zone, but he may be a bit old to play Butcher now. Now I'm going to start with one that may get some push back but you need to really think about this choice first. Nickolaj Coster-Waldau, Jamie Lannister from Game of ThronesYes I know he is already on a show he is a blonde pretty boy, but darken his hair and allow him to grit it out he could be a very good and formidable Butcher. He certainly has the chops and he can easily play a character that does deeply terrible things and still have the audience eating out of his hand which a good Butcher would need. Although a better choice may be another Game of Thrones alum Rory McCann who played the Hound. This guy certainly has the look and the physical build right out of the gate to be Butcher and he is equally as good as a character who does terrible things but the audience loves him anyway. I think in the end he may be the best choice. 

WEE HUGHIE is the  soul of the Boys and he's Simon Pegg, I mean seriously that's who he was modeled after and who he kind of acts like so it would be important for team Rogen to get him on board as the character. Hughie is innocent and joins the Boys after a tragedy when a Flash like Superhero kills his girlfriend, literally traumatizing him. 

I can't fathom it would be that hard for Pegg unless his schedule doesn't work out. If that is the case there are a few others that might be able to play the character behind him. Hughie isn't a fighter so he shouldn't be imposing and he's also the comic relief. Which in my mind leaves someone interesting Daniel Radcliffe. Yes Harry Potter, the guy can actually act and he is surprisingly funny and I think he could bring something interesting to the role. I still think that Simon Pegg will ultimately do it but if he doesn't Radcliffe would work in a pinch.

THE FRENCHMAN is certifiable, he is the Murdock to this A-Team. He also may not actually be French but he is extremely violent and unpredictable. This one is going to be difficult, this is the time for a breakout star probably someone unknown.

Vincent Cassel could do this role in his sleep but he may be a bit old for it although he looked very spry for the recent Jason Bourne film. He's 49 which is skirting it just a bit I think I'm going to go with Jean Dujardin he was the star of the silent film the Artist and brought something truly interesting to the screen. He seems to be able to bring a wide spectrum to the table not to mention this guy was a stand up comic in Paris so he knows how to be funny and I think he could bring something fresh to the role. It may be tough getting him out of Paris but it's worth a shot.

MOTHER'S MILK is one of the first members of the Boys and friend of Butcher's. He's tough but he's got a good heart, a pure soul, hence the name. He is raising his daughter on his own away from an unfit mother. Initially he has reservations about re-joining the Boys but eventually comes back in. He is a pretty big guy very imposing, meticulous, but has a dry sense of humor.

There are a couple people that could pull off this character maybe Boris Kodjoe, he's not a bad actor he could pull off the look but is he imposing enough? I always think of Mother's Milk as a gentle giant. There is also Common who could be interesting or even Mike Colter who is killing it as Luke Cage right now. No, I think someone who can be apart of the absurdity that is the Boys while keeping his smarts and looking damn imposing is Terry Crews. He's one of the best parts of Brooklyn 99  and the Expendables series he can play silly he can play serious and he is almost always a lot of fun. I think he could bring a lot to the role.

 

THE FEMALE is an interesting one, she is mute but obviously she can be expressive in other ways. She is also incredibly violent and extremely gifted fighter. She has a lot of emotional issues as her violence is triggered by touch due to a past trauma. The only one she seems to have a connection with is the Frenchman and with Butcher's dog Terror. 

Rinko Kikuchi has played her part in a few fanboy-centric films like Pacific Rim and 47 Ronin.  Bingbing Fan has a unique look and could probably take the role somewhere she also has shown up in a few comic book movies as Blink in X-Men Days of Future Past and she showed up as a doctor in the Chinese version of Iron Man 3. Honestly though the best choice here who can be expressive, playful, dangerous and clearly posesses the fighting ability is Rila Fukushima. She played kick ass warrior Yukio in the Wolverine. She originated the role of Tatsu/Katana on Arrow which she nailed, and frankly it's a shame she didn't get more airtime. She's got the perfect screen presence for the Female and she would be damn good on this bloody violent TV show on Cinemax.

There are a few of the supers we can take a look at that make sense as a protagonist but I'm going solely with HOMELANDER. This guy is the leader of the 7, a group of Super Heroes with a pristine public record but deeply troubled real life. Homelander is a real dick he is a cross between Superman and Captain America and publicly he is seen as morally righteous. Behind the scenes however he's a rapist scumbag who thinks he's untouchable. 

So whoever plays this guy has to look like your typical superhero, square jaw nice face, built like a tank. He also has to be able to play a calm but terrifying tyrant, almost as an alter ego. An interesting choice could be Brandon Routh. He is clearly no stranger to superheroes as he's played Superman on the big screen and Ray Palmer's the Atom on Arrow. He's clearly got the physicality and the ability to play to the appearance of a white hat super hero. What makes him interesting is his psycho turn in Chuck and Scott Pilgrim vs the World. Honestly the more I type the more I like this choice as he can truly represent the ascetic that Garth Ennis is going for with the character. 

I thought I would end it with another Superhero, but one who has a different view from Homlander, ANNIE JANUARY AKA STARLIGHT. She's innocent and very naive she's been under the impression that the heroes of the 7 along with all of the prime superheroes are righteous and moral and share her conservative religious values. She learns rather quickly that none of that is the case. Annie can fly and project a blinding light. Her character may be the toughest to cast yet as she probably has the most growth of any of the characters in the books. She starts out as a wide-eyed young woman looking to do good and as her morals are constantly challenged, as she is exposed to overt misogyny and sexism she becomes a very strong capable character, albeit a bit more cynical. She also has an on again off again relationship with Hughie.

Now finding the right actress will be difficult, .but I assume it'll be only 10 or 13 episodes a season so it should be doable for some of Hollywood's top actors and actresses.  Keeping that in mind I have a couple of women that might fit the bill nicely. Emmy Rossum can play both sweet and innocent and balls out tough given her role on Showtimes Shameless. There is also Alexandra Daddario who has played a super heroine in the Percy Jackson movies and has also worked on the seedy darker side in the first season of True Detective on HBO. In the end I want someone who could be an every woman but has the ability to grow into her superhero role and eventually embrace her darker urges. Ultimately as the story goes she evolves through this and comes out clean on the other side, I'm thinking of Emily VanCamp. She has played hero on the big screen as Sharon Carter in the Captain America movies and she played up her dark manipulative and rather destructive side on the show Revenge for four seasons. It also helps that she actually looks the closest to Annie of any actress on my list. 

So these are my picks, if you are reading Seth Rogen, I hope that helps you pick the best cast available. I have to admit I don't envy you this is going to be a much harder production to pull off than Preacher and it is far sillier, raunchier and downright disturbing and that is if you do it right. 

  

 

 

CASTING CALL: THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN REBOOT

I had a blog a few years ago called Troys Bucket where I and a few colleagues of mine would talk about movies/comics/sports etc., any and all entertainment. One of the more popular things we did was the casting calls, a little exercise where we act as the casting director and put our favorite actors and actresses in the role. Sometimes we would throw in a director for good measure. G.I.Joe, A-Team, Justice League, hell, I even did Leon Uris' Mila 18. So when I decided to start blogging here at Titan vs. Titan, that was one of the first things I wanted to tackle - and before the hype gets insane on this one, I wanted to do a proper League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. In our previous post we discussed how to approach the franchise and who should be director in this installment we begin to build the cast:

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MINA MURRAY: Mina is one of the most important characters in the league not only because she is, most of the time, the only woman but because she keeps this group of malcontent misanthropes from killing other people or most importantly from killing each other. She is the glue that keeps the league together. She is the leader of this rabble without question and it won't work unless that is the case in the film, they truly botched that in the last interpretation. Quatermain is not the hero he used to be and in some regards he's a whiny crybaby opium addict who is too haunted by his demons to function properly. Mina gets him through that. She also is able to compel Hyde, who is the most unpredictable in the group to control, to fight through his urges and work with the team. Mina is the former wife of Jonathan Harker from Dracula. She was traumatized by the event that went down between the Count and her she still carries the scars on her neck. She is strong willed, a bit presumptuous but very much a woman ahead of the time period she is living in. Which would need a great actress who can be vulnerable but strong in a fluid way. My first choice would be Emily Blunt. She's a fantastic actress can play any number of rolls but she can do this role in her sleep. Edge of Tomorrow, Sicario, Looper and Adjustment Bureau, she's capable of a wide range.  Runner up I love Natalie Portman in a role like this but I hated her British accent in V for Vendetta, it was a bit distracting even though I did like her in the movie so it drops her to second. 

ALLAN QUATERMAIN: Alan was a former adventurer you may or may not have heard of depending on what you read. Quatermain was a character created by H. Rider Haggard in 1885 called King Solomon's Mines and he appeared in various other works as well as serials and films most recently in the 80's with Richard Chamberlain in two films. Quatermain is a British big game hunter who lives primarily in Africa. He in part inspired Indiana Jones so he has some importance in the lexicon.

I think to start with you will need someone older but not too old, especially if he is to have a relationship with Mina it's distracting and plays into bad stereotypes of Hollywood. He should be a good deal older than her but not by an insane measure. Someone who can also be vulnerable and yet can have the spark of hero through his muddled opium haze. This can't be the super perfect hero Connery played in the first one. He has to be deeply flawed with elements of his old self. This is an aged hero looking for a reason to check out. He needs to be played that way. Sir Daniel Day Lewis would be fantastic in the role but he probably wouldn't do it. So you would need a big name and maybe age him up a bit more, the other Daniel, Daniel Craig. He can play rugged and sophisticated you can look at his Bond, Cowboys and Aliens and Lara Croft for examples. He's got the chops and I like him with Emily Blunt.

CAPTAIN NEMO: Nemo is a very interesting part of the League as he is has a more radical background than the others. Quatermain and Murray are both British loyalists but Nemo is anti-colonialist. His other name is Prince Dakkar, the son of an Indian Raja. A scientific genius who built the Nautilus submarine as well as other technical gadgets. He is always reluctant to help the British in anyway. More about the common good with him but he is still a bit of a pirate. Created by Jules Verne in 1870 in the book 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

Whoever plays Nemo has to be sophisticated, can play the role of a scientist but also a cutthroat. Very difficult to portray but I think I have a great character actor in mind. Irrfan Khan. Khan certainly looks the part but he is an amazing actor from smart indie roles like the Namesake and A Mighty Heart and his turns in big productions like Life of Pi, Amazing Spider-Man and Jurassic World prove he can handle the big budget feature. This guy can do it all and he can and will make a compelling Nemo.

DR. HENRY JEKYLL/MR. EDWARD HYDE: Author Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886 wrote the very first fictionalized account of a doctor who drinks a chemical cocktail and a monstrous alter ego is born. You wouldn't have the Hulk, Red Hulk, Man-Bat, etc. if that crazy sexual deviant, bag of rage Hyde hadn't have come first. 

Again the first film in 2003 had the very capable Jason Flemyng playing both Jekyll and Hyde. The only problem here was the CGI Hyde looked a bit like Flemyng but was also insanely stupid and terrible not to mention distracting for the audience. The effects for this kind of thing has gotten much better when you look at the Avengers and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes but I would prefer a real person so I'm splitting them in two.

So let's start with Jekyll first, an unassuming man, smart, seemingly harmless but already pretty screwed up due to his transformation problem. You don't need a celebrity in this role I think but someone who can bring the doctor's sensibilities with an air of mystery which is why I like Sean Harris. He was in the excellent BBC TV series Red Riding. Also in films like Prometheus and as the calculating bad guy in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.

For Hyde instead of a CGI creation I think you need to have a real person. He doesn't have to be like the Hulk and you can use the power of cinema to enhance a regular big guy to make him look a little bit bigger if you really need to. Now you may not want to use his voice but you damn sure want to see this giant ass hole tearing it up around Victorian London. Of course I'm speaking of Robert Maillet. The guy is huge and he's no stranger to blockbuster movies. The recent Hercules, Sherlock Holmes, Immortals and 300. This guy knows how to play big and scary. But if you have to choose a big named bruiser Dave Bautista or Kevin Durand would be solid as well.

HAWLEY GRIFFIN THE INVISIBLE MAN: Created by H.G. Wells in 1897 the Invisible Man is a huge part of pop culture for decades. From the 30s to the present the Invisible Man has left an indelible mark in Sci-Fi and the comics world. In the League Hawley Griffin is a miscreant a true spy and is seemingly only interested in himself.

You probably wouldn't see him through the production but he would need to have a very distinctive voice. Someone creepy I would think.  In this case I would go with Mr. Motion Capture himself Andy Serkis. His voice is definitely distinct and he can definitely be creepy. Just check out his work as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit not to mention his Sith Lord Snoke in the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens

ORLANDO: Written by Virgina Woolf in 1928 Orlando is a unique and interesting character. He is born a man but when he reaches 30 he switches his sex to female. She discovers she is an immortal and this occurrence happens periodically throughout Her/His long lifespan. In the League, Orlando has been doing this for quite a long time and is very free in the sexuality department. Orlando is also one of the originators of the first League in the 1600s with Prospero of Shakespeare's the Tempest as its head. Orlando is noble and brave as well as a fighter and a bit of a smart ass. So who would be able to fill his/her shoes?

There are a few actors right off the bat that could pull off both male and female Orlando. Tilda Swinton being the best choice. She's made a career out of playing androgynous characters. There is also Eddie Redmayne who is also very capable of playing both as his newest film the Danish Girl will support. There is also Cate Blanchett who would always be great to do both, she played a version of Bob Dylan in I'm Not There. Finally there is Jared Leto who has this ability as well from his Oscar turn in Dallas Buyers Club.  I think in the end I'm going to go with Cate Blanchett. You aren't going to get a finer actor than her and she's already a pro at the big fantasy blockbuster from her stint on the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films. 

PROSPERO: Now this role may not be as large as the other ones but it is still extremely important. Prospero was first realized in Shakespeare's The Tempest. He is the Duke of Milan and an experienced Sorcerer. He's also the one tasked by Queen Gloriana, of England, to create the first League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in the 1600s. His presence has to be felt througout the whole thing even if he isn't in much of it. That's a big role to play.

There are quite a few spectacular actors I can see to play the role of Prospero and it has to be someone with presence. You have the standards who would do a fantastic job without question in this role Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart or Sir Anthony Hopkins. Sign any of these three up and you'll get the performance you want even if they all have tread on this type of character before. If you want to go outside of the box a bit I would love to put Idris Elba in this somewhere that guy would kill in this role and it would be very different from the other three. He totally crushed his role as Thor's Heimdall  in the Marvel U. He would make this one his own and it will be memorable guaranteed.

Now if I wanted to this post could go on even longer as there are still about 10 or more League members we could explore. This is a whole Universe and I'm starting to understand Fox's interest in this. We are now in the age of world building but as Fox must understand now after their many failures from Daredevil to the Fantastic Four that a Universe is useless if no one wants to go there. Take heed Fox hopefully you'll see my suggestions because I think they can help otherwise you will be overseeing yet another 100 million dollar franchise right into the shitter. 

LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN REBOOT

One of my favorite writers of comics has to be Alan Moore: Watchman, V For Vendetta, From Hell, Batman: The Killing Joke and of course The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The man is certifiable, and his genius as a comic book writer is unparalleled. However, a filmmaker has yet to come along to properly translate his work to the screen. Not to say all film adaptations of Moore's work are bad; in fact, I like quite a few of them. They just have never been able to capture his particular quirks and tone very well. Moore, of course, will dislike anything any studio tries to do no matter what, but it would be great to have someone with some vision actually do it right. 

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As luck would have it, or if you are cynical, the money wheels at a studio started turning to try and actually remake this again. In May of this year Variety reported that Fox is remaking this with writer Jayson Rothwell. No cast or director has been named yet so I thought I'd take this opportunity to weigh in and give my thoughts on the matter. If you are listening, Fox, this may help you make a better movie than the Movie-That-Will-Not -Be-Named from 2003 and that subsequently ended Sean Connery's film career.

Now what would be our plot? This is also tricky as there are now about 15 issues from 1999 to the present, plus two graphic novels. There are about 8 or 9, depending on who's counting, members of the league that span from the 1600s and hops around every few centuries ending up in around 2009. The previous film tackled the first adventure and it's probably best to not be repeated. It involved The Great Detective, Sherlock Holmes', greatest villain Moriarty played by Richard Roxburgh - so I wouldn't suggest telling that story again. I also wouldn't suggest using the second story since it's basically a rehashed version of War of the Worlds which has been done to death over the years and would be difficult to put to film in my opinion. The real appeal of this property is the literary characters brought together in crisis much like the Avengers or Justice League but in Victorian London. Alan Moore said as much when asked to describe it. So I would say simply go with the original cast and possibly include Carnacki and Orlando and build on a crisis from that period, whether literary or historical. I personally would start with H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu since many of the monsters that appear is derived from Lovecraft. Combine the cult group in the 1910 volume that is focused on the Moon Stone. They bring forth a creature that the League must band together and destroy. Perhaps they can also explore a bit of the Blazing World run by Prospero (yep, of The Tempest), which is a surreal place not of this Earth. It could be confusing but intriguing.

DIRECTOR: This is going to be the hardest part of the entire production because I think that most directors would have a hard time with this subject matter. If you've ever read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen you will realize that even though it follows a plot you may have seen before and has characters you know (if you read a lot of Victorian-era literature), it is unconventional in its approach. There is only one man who can make this film, Christopher Nolan. That's right, there aren't many mainstream director's who can dabble in difficult subject matter or genre and still make it palpable for mainstream audiences. If you can't get Nolan lets just be honest, it probably won't work. From Memento to Interstellar this guy has mastered the art of storytelling through cinema and he would make a very honest, kick ass, slightly fucked up version of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen that could possibly bring Alan Moore back into the cinematic fold. I would look to The Prestige, Inception, and the iconic Batman/Dark Knight trilogy. This guy understands the power of myth, he totally gets the period piece and he's extremely capable of creating a visual but complex world either in the real world or a dreamlike world, which is a large part of the League's overall story.