Fan-Cast: All-Female Version of the A-Team

This is a bit odd, and I wouldn’t normally do another fan-casting post so soon, but… Quite awhile ago (probably when I was doing my A-Team fan-cast posts, if not before), I got the idea for an all-female version of the A-Team. Not all that creative an idea, but… there it is. I was looking at a list of old ideas this week, and I latched onto that one and came up with a full cast. (Two of them, really.)

Now, there have been at least two other all-female versions of familiar teams lately (i.e., Ghostbusters and Ocean’s Eight) and neither did well at the box office. Of course, the female versions in those productions were not supposed to be gender-bent versions of the original male versions. (That probably would have been an even bigger mistake.) I am not advocating for an all-female A-Team movie or series to be made, though. I just thought the casting would be fun.

My parameters were fairly broad, in this case, though the actors all had to be pretty fit, in order for the action to be believable. (So, for example, Rebel Wilson was out.) I kept both Hannibal Smith and Col. Decker in their 50s/60s, and the rest of the characters are in their 30s (though early 40s would have been acceptable). I also slightly modified the names of some characters to better fit the opposite sex. Finally, while I was at it, I made our characters a bit more ethnically diversified than the originals.

I came up with two choices for each of the four team members, as well as the journalist character (actually male, in this case) and the primary antagonist. Here ya go…

Jane ‘Hannibal’ Smith (first name originally John)

Sonja Sohn

Angela Bassett

Choice #1 is the amazing Angela Bassett (5’4″,b.1958), who has recently been seen in Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame. Of course, she has appeared in many genre productions over the years, including Critters 4, Strange Days, Contact, Supernova, “Alias”, Green Lantern, et al. If not her, then I think Sonja Sohn (5’5″,b.1964) would be a fine choice. Recently appearing in a few episodes of “Star Trek: Discovery”, Sohn can be seen in things like “The Wire”, “Body of Proof”, “Burn Notice”, “The Originals”, “Luke Cage”, Domain. Either could play our cigar-chewing, fun-loving team leader who “love(s) it when a plan comes together.”

Temple ‘(The) Face’ Peck (first name originally Templeton and nickname was sometimes ‘Faceman’)

Deepika Padukone

Alexandra Daddario

All of our cast is attractive, so “Face” needs to have that extra something that makes you go “Wow!”. Alexandra Daddario (5’8″,b.1986) fits the bill — for me, anyway. The gorgeous eyes, great smile, and amazing figure — just Wow! Daddario’s credits include Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief & its sequel, “White Collar”, Texas Chainsaw 3D, San Andreas, “American Horror Story”, and the upcoming Night Hunter. Another beauty I found with gorgeous eyes and smile is Deepika Padukone (5’7.5″,b.1986). She has mostly appeared in Bollywood productions (e.g., Race 2), but you might remember her from xXx: Return of Xander Cage. Either Daddario or Padukone could do a smashing job as “The Face”.

H.M. ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock

Natalia Tena

Alona Tal

This role needs to have an actress that can believably play a lovable goof who is not completely sane. The first person I thought of, tbh, was Lori Petty, but she’s too old for this crew. So, I turned to Natalia Tena (5’5.75″,b.1984), probably best known to genre fans as ‘Nymphadora Tonks’ from the Harry Potter films and/or Bran’s loyal companion, ‘Osha’, from “Game of Thrones”. She has also appeared in “Black Mirror”, “The Refugees”, and most recently in “Origin”. If she’s unavailable, I thought “SEAL Team”‘s Alona Tal (5’4″,b.1983) might be a good fit for the role. She has also been in “Veronica Mars”, “Supernatural”, “Cult”, “Burn Notice”. I’ve never seen her act unhinged, but somehow I can picture her screaming for “trash bags!!!”.

Benita Alberta ‘B.A.’ Baracus (originally named Bosco Albert, though it also stands for “Bad Attitude”)

Ronda Rousey

Cris Cyborg

The team powerhouse with a “bad attitude” (as well as a silly side)… I didn’t really want to go with a bodybuilder, but a wrestler/fighter or fitness competitor might work. Ronda Rousey (5’7″,b.1987) is an obvious choice, especially since she has already done some TV and film work: e.g., The Expendables 3, Furious 7, “Blindspot”, Mile 22. Alternately, we might go with someone a bit… “harder”, namely Rousey’s nemesis in the ring, Cris Cyborg (5’8″,b.1985). Cyborg might not even have as much acting experience as Mr. T did before the original series. Not as attractive as Rousey, but she has the muscles and attitude down pat.

Andy Allen (original first name Amy)

Ukweli Roach

Mike Moh

The two journalists from the original series were women (‘Amy Allen’, then ‘Tawnia Baker’), so I obviously had to switch to a man this time. First choice is Mike Moh (5’9″,b.1983), who you may remember as ‘Triton’ from the disappointing “Inhumans” mini-series. He’s a stuntman-turned actor with training in multiple martial arts, so he often plays roles in things like “Supah Ninjas”, “Street Fighter”, but he can also be seen in “Empire”. On the other hand, Ukweli Roach (5’11”,b.1986) might be a better fit. Genre fans may remember him from “Eternal Law”, “Humans”, or “Blindspot”. Moh or Roach would make a fine ‘Andy Allen, investigative reporter’.

Col. Rodina Decker (original first name Roderick, though it’s rarely used)

Jamie Lee Curtis

Brenda Strong (Robert Falconer/The CW)

Finally, I wanted to add in my favorite antagonist for the A-Team, the maverick Colonel Decker. We need a strong actor to fill Lance Legault’s shoes as the team’s nemesis. So, let’s start with Brenda Strong (6′,b.1960), who has been making recent guest appearances on “The 100” and “Supergirl”. In both of those shows, she plays fearsome characters. You might also have seen her in “Fear the Walking Dead” a couple years ago. Another wonderful actress who I could picture as Decker is Jamie Lee Curtis (5’7″,b.1958). While chiefly known for her Halloween movies, Curtis has also been in Blue Steel, True Lies, “NCIS”, “Scream Queens”, et al. I think either woman would have fun in the role as the obsessed Decker.

Well, that was different. Comments?

* All ideas copyright Christopher Harris, 2013-2019.

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Fan-Cast: Bionic Reboot, part 1: Jaime Sommers

Since the post that led to this exercise was about the 2007 version of the “Bionic Woman”, we’ll begin by casting the role of Jaime Sommers for a proposed new series. (As far as I know, though, I’m the only one proposing it, at this point. Please see the aforementioned post.) As a big fan of the original, I loved Lindsay Wagner as Jaime and she will always be Jaime. But,… a reboot requires a “replacement”, so we must try to find someone that adequately fits the bill.

Lindsay Wagner from opening of "The Bionic Woman"

Smiling Jaime Sommers brushes hair behind her bionic ear

Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers

First, I know it’s fairly trivial, but I think Jaime should remain blonde. More generally, she should have a similar physical build as Lindsay Wagner — tallish and slender but physically fit. Regarding height, Wagner is 5’9″, so I think a range of 5’7″ to 5’10” makes for fair search parameters. Regarding fitness, the character was originally a tennis pro and, while I don’t think this necessarily would have to be the case in a reboot, I do like the idea of Jaime being into sports/fitness. It would help explain her physiological and psychological ability to survive the accident (whatever it is), surgery, and subsequent therapy.

Personality-wise, Jaime is smart, compassionate, and has a joie de vivre and a fun sense of humor. (At least, that’s what I remember from the original series, and I’d like to see it retained in a reboot.) The actress portraying her needs to be able to convey all of these, as well as both strength and vulnerability.

As far as age goes, Wagner was about 26/27 when she first portrayed Jaime in “The Six Million Dollar Man”, and I assume the character was supposed to be about the same age. This is a tad younger than I would prefer. Given the timeline proposed in the previous post, the character should be about 30, give or take a couple years. Of course, actors often play characters younger than they are, so I’d be willing to cast a young-looking 35-year-old.

When I first starting thinking about this, the two actors that came to mind were Jennifer Morrison (5’5.25″,b.1979) from “Once Upon a Time” and Yvonne Strahovski (5’9.25″,b.1982) from “Chuck”. Unfortunately, Morrison is shorter than I thought and Strahovski, well, it seems too easy casting her in another kick-butt, super-spy role. (Same goes for Rachel Nichols (5’10”,b.1980) of G.I. Joe and “Continuum”.) I looked at several others that I like, but they are either too young, too short, or both. For example, Chloe Bennet (5’5.75″,b.1991) of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”; Jessy Schram (5’7″,b.1986) of “Falling Skies”; Sarah Jones (5’3″,b.1983) of “Alcatraz”; Vanessa Ray (5’4″,b.1980) of “Blue Bloods”.

The next batch of possibles included Jaimie Alexander (5’9″,b.1984) of the Thor movies; Mary Elizabeth Winstead (5’8″,b.1984) of “Wolf Lake” and Final Destination 3; Rachael Taylor (5’7.75″,b.1984) of “Crisis”; and Jaime King (5’9″,b.1979) of “Hart of Dixie” and the Sin City movies, who was actually named after the ‘Jaime Sommers’ character. But, for one reason or another, I just wasn’t sure about them. So, I think I’ve narrowed it down to these three:

Sarah Roemer on the red carpet - smiling

Sarah Roemer

Sarah Roemer (5’7.5″,b.1984)

I first saw Roemer in the short-lived series “The Event” a couple years ago, where she displayed many of the qualities I am looking for in Jaime. She was also in Disturbia and the current series “Chosen”. Though she is a just a tad shorter than I’d like, I think Roemer has the best look, and I know she has the talent. She is my favorite of the finalists.

 

 

 

 

Abby Cornish in dark top - smiling

Abbie Cornish

Abbie Cornish (5’8″,b.1982)

Cornish is an Australian export who has been in Limitless, Sucker Punch, and the recent Robocop remake. I haven’t seen the last one, yet, and I honestly don’t remember much about her characters in the other two. At this point, I’m just trusting that she would have sufficient talent to do Jaime justice.

 

 

 

 

 

Alexandra Daddario in pink top

Alexandra Daddario

Alexandra Daddario (5’8″,b.1986)

I enjoyed Daddario’s performance in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and also in her recurring role of Kate on “White Collar”. (Lately, she has been in “True Detective”, but I haven’t been able to check it out, yet.) She can play tough and sweet, and those amazing eyes have got to be worth bonus points!

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Darling as Peggy CallahanAs sort of a last-minute addition, I want to add a favorite supporting character: Peggy Callahan, originally played by Jennifer Darling. She was Oscar Goldman’s secretary and actually got involved in a few cases. She was short, cute, had kind of a funny/husky voice, reliable but sometimes flustered. She may have only appeared in 7 episodes of “The Bionic Woman” (and 4 episodes of “The Six Million Dollar Man”), but she was fun and a good friend to Jaime, so I figured I’d try to cast her, too. I’m not even gonna try to duplicate the voice, but the overall character shouldn’t be too hard: sweet-n-spunky, quirky-but-lovable, dependable friend and gal-Friday.

The person I immediately thought of was Emily Bett Rickards (5’5″,b.1991), who plays Felicity Smoak on “Arrow”. In some ways, the Felicity character is similar to Callahan, so it isn’t surprising why I thought of her. Another possibility is Brooke Nevin (5’4.5″,b.1982) from “Cracked” and “Breakout Kings”. She’s about the same age as Jaime (as was the original Callahan), so their friendship might be a more natural bonding. Nevin also seems to have some of the same qualities I was looking for for Jaime; if she wasn’t so short, she’d be in the running for the lead.

Emily Bett Rickards

Emily Bett Rickards

Brooke Nevin

Brooke Nevin

Alright,… How’d I do? Good choices or outta my gourd?

In Part 2, I’ll try a little bionic matchmaking to find a new “Steve Austin” for our “Jaime Sommers” and possibly cast a favorite villain from the original series….

 

* All ideas copyright Christopher Harris, 2013-2014.