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. 

Day in the life of an Outlander Fan - Outlander at ECCC - by J. Solo

IMG_8989.JPG

I had such an incredible experience at my first ever Comicon that I thought I should write a bit about it!  Let’s see how this goes.  I absolutely LOVE the tv show Outlander, and the two main stars, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan were scheduled to be there.  So naturally, a badge was quickly purchased, as well as a flight to Seattle!  I met up with 7 amazing girlfriends, and the fun began.  On verra little sleep (how can we sleep when we were gonna see Sam and Cait the next morning!!), we arrived at the convention center at 7:15am. We mayyyy have gotten 4 hours of sleep the night before, and that’s being generous!  The doors were going to open around 10am, and we just HAD to get up close and personal at that panel.  We arrived so early we were super close to the front of the line.  It wasn’t so much a line as a….smush together and stand for 3.5 hours…  But heck, for them it was worth it, sore bodies and all.  They didn’t let us in until 10:30, so needless to say our legs were about to fall off.  When the time came to herd us thru, the organizers said…“no running”…. ummm…yeah good luck with that.  So we “walked super fast” and tried to get pretty close, but our squad of 8 kinda broke up in the shuffle and some of us grabbed seats in row 5, and the other girls a few rows behind.  Still great vantage points!  Cait came out first looking absolutely adorable.  And in that leather jacket she wears soooo well.  She looked beautiful in all black!  Then Sam came out IN A KILT!  Hallelujah!! It’s been so long, I was like…are my eyes deceiving me?? They were not.  And then he killed us with a wee kilt twirl.  Cait laughed!  They seriously make each other laugh, oh…about every 5 seconds. And they were both wearing black leather jackets.  The panel was great! They’re just SO giggly and adorable and happy together, you can’t help but feel the same!  I love how much Cait teases him. It’s the cutest thing ever to witness in person! They truly are just such bright lights and so engaging and caring and they love their fans so much.  It’s so evident when you watch them together.  There were tons of Q&A questions, and one of my girls asked one too!!  It was perfect.  Of course, after the fact, I now have tons of questions I’ll ask next time! The panel was about an hour or so, and after taking tons of pictures (most came out blurry….damn those low lights in the event room!), alas, the panel was over. 

We all had autograph tickets for Sam and/or Cait for that day after the panel but the room was already full so we were told we can go back for the 2nd shift around 4pm. So instead, we grabbed lunch and then headed to the hotel where they were doing the group photos! Omg, soon enough I would get my samcait sandwich!!! Kind of a dream! Long lines were completely fine bc it gave us time to catch our breath. Although, the nerves were definitely rampant! I mean, these two beautiful humans would be NEXT TO US in a matter of minutes. Never having a con experience before I didn’t know what to expect regarding the photos . People around us who had already taken their solo pic with Sam said it’s super quick and u barely have enough time to say hi! I wore my Unusual Lady tshirt (purchased for Cait's charity), and under it I had my MPC shirt (relating to Sam's charity and fitness and health program). Yes, my plan was to flash Sam the MPC shirt after Cait saw my Unusual Lady shirt. I also recently got into knitting so I knitted them both hats! Granted they’ll be in 80 degree temps in South Africa, but eventually they’ll be back in cold Scotland!  Hearing that the photos would be super fast, I had no clue how I would say hi (or ramble incoherently), give them their hats, flash Sam (uhh the MPC shirt, that is), AND take a pic w them in the minimal time allotted!  I was on line to take my pic, and after dropping off my jacket and bags on the nearby table, I heard NEXT! I saw them standing there and omg are they tall and gorgeous, and as I walked up to them I THINK I held out my arms and said Hiiiiii! I heard Cait scream and point to my shirt and smile! My unusual lady shirt!! I quickly pulled up my shirt to show Sam the MPC one underneath. And omg thank goodness I held down the shirt so there was no actual flashing .. and he pointed and smiled and said that’s great! I then mumbled…I knitted you both hats!  Mind u, as I walked up, someone literally snatched my bag with the hats from me and put them into a box with other gifts. So after I said I knitted u two hats, I remember Sam saying oh great! In the blink of an eye I was between the two of them, and both of their arms were around me, and mine around them. Hello out of body experience.

Oh wait…let’s back up slightly. So the day of the Con, I said to the girls..ok so I want to show Sam my MPC shirt after Cait sees the unusual lady shirt , and I said my fear is that I’ll forget to pull my shirt down for the pic. Well, lo and behold half of my shirt was up for the pic.   As I was flashing Sam, I heard the organizer go MOVE. Umm gee, thanks for the time. So I ran between them for the pic and I remember pulling my shirt down, but I guess not all the way! When the pic was printed I was like oh nooooo .  But heck, it gives the pic more of a pop of color, and to be honest, no one is even looking at me when those two stunning humans are in that pic!  Ok so back to being in between them… they both really squeeze tight and I remember that feeling so well! The photographer said.. READYYYY … and then there was the FLASH. Then he yelled NEXT !  I said thanks and ran off. Problem was I ran the wrong way bc I was so flustered and then I hear someone say..wrong way! And I ran back to the correct exit side like a chicken with my head cut off. Thankfully there was no video of this! I tried to wait for my friends bc I was the first to go, but we had to move it along. After we were all done, there was a lot of screaming and squee'ing!! It really felt so rushed and I wish they gave us more time, but omg it was still so amazing taking a pic w them! They really are so tall in person! And so gorgeous and so kind!! Sam’s leather jacket was so soft! And I remember putting my arm around Cait and it ended up on her arm! And Sam’s hand ended up on my side and his fingers were pressed down. *faints*.  So after we picked up our hard copy pics, we had a little time before the autographs. We composed ourselves. Ok, who am I kidding, there was zero composure as we all rehashed our picture experience with one another! We were freaking out!

 Next stop…the autographs! We lined up rather early but neither Sam nor Cait were in the room as of yet. It was so intimate! Didn’t realize the room would be so small and cozy. They each had their own table next to one another but they were somewhat on opposite ends. After about 10min or so, Sam came in!  So he walked in to all of us hootin and hollerin. I can’t believe I just used the phrase hootin & hollerin. Does anyone say that anymore? Anyway…. when he walked in he did his cute schoolboy smile and wave. Granted I was just next to him for a photo but he was so close again! Cait was gonna be another few minutes bc she was still taking individual photos with fans.  Because of this, they allowed the people who only had Sam autographs to move up in line while the others (I only had Cait bc Sam was already sold out) waited on Cait.  I actually thought that half of the room would start to move up in the line, but it was only maybe 10 people or so.  The others had both Sam and Cait, or just Cait.  After a few min Cait arrived to a raucous applause. Not to mention a banging on the table by Sam when she walked in, and his big smile at her as she sat down. Such an adorable goober! Ok where was I… so we were waiting for the line to move and all of a sudden the lights went out! Then u hear Cait go… ladies, this is not the way to get to Sam!   To which everyone laughed.

When the lights came back up, both Sam and Cait were leaning back in their chair looking at each other and smiling. They continue to kill us.  Sam was just sitting there alone, cause at the time no one was lined up at his table.  So he made a funny comment like, where is everyone? I was standing so close and decided to talk to him.  Cause I mean…why not, right?  So I said yeah what’s the deal.  I said something like I’ll keep you company.  So he looks at me and goes (with a hand waving gesture) come on over.  And then he winked.  And then I died.  I of course wasn’t allowed to hop over the rope (darn), but that wink and smile was everything.  A few minutes later Sam walked over to Cait, put his arm around her and scrunched down to her, whispered something, and then stood up and hand gestured that she talks too much, basically saying that’s why he has no one in his line. Haha!  He’s the cutest, and he can never stay away from her!  She laughed.  We all swooned. So I had brought with me the main promo card picture of Jamie and Claire from S1. I had the creator of the show sign it while ago and thought it would be great for Cait to sign it too. I was so sad I wasn’t able to buy Sam’s autograph ticket bc he was sold out. Cait is seriously so stunning. She just radiates joy. She is so genuine and so warm and friendly. You could truly tell she was having such a great time! She needs to go to cons more often! She’s just so real,  you can’t help but smile in her presence. I was so thrilled to see how much love she was getting at this con. I mean…we all love Sam, that goes without saying! But Cait never attends these events, so to see all the attention and admiration from the fans, it was really a sight to behold.  Both she and Sam are legit mesmerizing in person! They are just so beautiful, with such beautiful hearts.

Sorry, got distracted there for a minute…ok, so it was finally time to walk up to Cait. I had my season 1 promo pic for her to sign, as well as a gorgeous pic of Cait that a couple of my friends & I had printed out to surprise one of our girls who couldn’t be here.  You really do lose all sense of speech when looking right at her!  She signed both pictures and then i rambled.  Earlier on, when I took my pic with her and Sam, I had brought them hats that I knitted, but someone snagged them from me so fast and put them into a box, so I asked Cait about it! *burrows head in sand*.   I was like…hi!  Question for you!  So when we took our pic, someone took these hats I had knitted for you and Sam, and I was was wondering if you’ll get them?  So she goes, oh yes, they put everything in a big box for us and we’ll definitely get it!  She thanked me!  Then she looked at my unusual lady shirt and said, with a big smile, thank you so much for supporting.  I said oh of course, I’m so happy to.  It’s such a great charity and you do amazing work.  She thanked me again, and I floated away.  So, as I mentioned earlier, I didn’t have a Sam autograph, but after leaving Cait’s table you end up walking right past Sam to head out of the room.  No one was in front of him at the time, so I verrrrry slowly walked by, while holding my picture that Cait just signed.  His handler (not sure if that’s the correct name) holds out his hand (to take my autograph ticket), but I said…I don’t have one *sad face*, he was sold out.  He felt so bad that he handed me (also with a sad face), one of Sam’s headshots that was sitting there, unsigned.  So I said thank you and then Sam looked up at me.  He also held his hand out for my pictures, and I said….you were sold out, so you won’t be able to sign my picture.  I still had my sad face on, which was valid! He looked sad too and said oh noooo.  He then put out his hand and goes..I’ll sign it!  Then he takes the picture from me. His handler lady says, did u buy an autograph? I was lost in the moment & I didn’t say anything, so she gives Sam a dirty look, he looks at her, continues to sign and goes…I’ll pay for this one.  DEATH. DEAD. GONE.  He’s the sweetest person in the world!! I cannot believe he did that!  Then I proceeded to say thank you and blurted out…I’M A PEAKER TOO! I DID A 5K LAST WEEKEND.  Yes, I blurted! He goes oh that’s great! So good, way to do it. 

Then I left….walked into the hallway, and screamed with my girl Katie, because she was standing there next to me basically the entire time while waiting to have him sign her picture.  So yeah…that moment was kind of everything. Sam and Cait are just incredibly generous and genuine. Such good people. The OL fans at this con were so respectful and gracious and I enjoyed meeting other twitter and tumblr fans, as well!  It was just the thrill of a lifetime seeing Sam and Cait together at the con.  And what made it even better was getting to spend it with 7 of the best girlfriends, and going thru this experience together. Fingers crossed they go back again next year, because we’re all currently saving up money for ECCC2018 :).  It was such a whirlwind we didn't get a chance to walk around the Con too much to see what else was happening, but there was lots of cosplay, which was cool to see! Maybe next time we'll do some more exploring and check out the main floor.  Such an amazing first experience, and hope to attend more in the future!  Ok well, that’s about all!  Thanks for reading my ramblings!  - J. Solo