Fan-Casting the Original Predator Movie for Today, part 2

Continuing from last week, let’s finish casting the original Predator movie as if it were being produced today….

“Hawkins”

Bracey

Courtney

Radio operator Rick Hawkins is roughly 6′, give or take, and in good shape but not nearly as brawny as most of the other guys. Shane Black played him as somewhat of a foul-mouthed, comic-reading dork. (But, not *too* dorky.) He held his own for awhile and took out a few guerrillas before being taken out himself by the Predator. Black was in his mid-20s, but there’s no reason we can’t cast someone a few years older. There are probably plenty of actors who would have fun with this role, but for some reason I came up with Jai Courtney (6’1″,b.1986) or Luke Bracey (6′,b.1989). I can definitely see either one of them hamming it up as an annoying, yet very capable, goober.

“Poncho”

Isaac

Bernal

The terrific Richard Chaves played explosives expert Jorge “Poncho” Ramírez in the original Predator. As with Hawkins, he wasn’t nearly as big and muscular as some of the other guys. He had more of a slim and wiry frame and clocked in at 5’10”. With this in mind, I wanted another, non-beefy Latino — under 6′ tall and in his mid- to late-30s — for our “Poncho”. Two talented actors came to mind: Gael García Bernal (5’7″,b.1978) and Oscar Isaac (5’8.5″,b.1979). Bernal can be seen in things like Babel and Salt and Fire, while Isaac is known to genre fans for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and X-Men: Apocalypse. I’d feel comfortable putting “Poncho” in either one’s very capable hands.

“Billy”

Segers

One of the fan-favorite characters from Predator has got to be the Native American tracker, Billy Sole, as portrayed by Sonny Landham. ‘Billy’ was the strong, silent type, who when he did speak revealed a rich bass voice. He knew how to take care of himself, live off the land, etc. All he really needed was a big, sharp knife, and he was good to go. So, when this guy got spooked, you knew you were in trouble! Naturally, we need another tall, beefy Native American, preferably around 40 or so, who can give that similar vibe. No one came to mind, but my research turned up the perfect candidate in Geno Segers (6’3or4″,b.1976). You may have seen Segers in “Banshee” or Bone Tomahawk and noticed that he has the right build and the bass voice, too. I think he’s perfect for the role.

“Anna”

Sellers

Telles

Anna Gonsalves is, of course, the 20-something woman that Dutch’s team rescues & protects, as originally played by Elpidia Carrillo. Keeping Carrillo as the model, we need a cute Latina of slender build. At first, I thought of Alice Braga for the part, though she’s perhaps a little older than I’d prefer. Then I remembered that she already played Isabelle in Predators (2010). (Of course, by casting the original film now, I guess that would put Predators in an alternate timeline.) So, I came up with either Julia Goldani Telles (5’7″,b.1995) (“Nurse Jackie”, “The Affair”) or Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (5’2″,b.1996) (“Mia and me”, “Game of Thrones”), who is actually of Italian descent. Either one works for me.

“The Predator”

DeSantis

The title character is a very imposing creature, quite tall and muscular, with a fearsome visage and arthropod-like external mandibles. (Appearances have changed somewhat from movie to movie, of course.) How tall? Well, certainly the average is taller than the average human. But, the actors portraying Predators on-screen have ranged from 6’2″ (Tom Woodruff Jr. as “Grid” in AVP: Alien vs. Predator) to 7’2.5″ (the late Kevin Peter Hall in Predator and Predator 2). Ian Whyte (7’1″) has played multiple different Predators, even in the same film. The rest were either 6’5″ or 6’7″. They’ve all done great jobs, but I thought it might be nice to get someone totally different in the prosthetics this time.

Singh staring down John Cena

Bjornsson

My first suggestion is John DeSantis (6’9″,b.1977), known for such fare as “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, “Falling Skies”, “Supernatural”, Seventh Son, and many more. He looked quite barrel-chested in “Supernatural” (see pic), but not so much in others. Regardless, he has played many “creatures” over the years, so he should be used to prosthetics and heavy make-up. Next up is Icelandic strongman Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (6’9″,b.1988), whom we have seen in “Game of Thrones” as Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane. (Although, Ian Whyte had that role before him.) He is a beast and would probably be the most muscular of all to play a Predator. I think he’d make a great foe for Johnson’s “Dutch”. Finally, upping the size factor another notch, I’d like to see the one-and-only Dalip “The Great Khali” Singh (7’1″,b.1972) suit up. Known for his massive upper body and prognathic jaw, this former powerlifter/bodybuilder and wrestler would make an incredibly formidable, alien antagonist for our commando team. (Especially “Dutch”, who has to go hand-to-hand against him!) He’s the oldest of the three, but roughly the same age as Johnson. So, as long as he’s still in shape…. I can’t decide which one I like best!

There ya are, folks! My casting picks for a present-day version of the original Predator! Can you imagine seeing a heavily-armed “Rock”, White, Oparei, Austin, Bracey, Isaac, Segers, and Sellers go up against a technologically-superior hunter the likes of Björnsson or Singh? Here, take my money!

Fan-Cast: Bionic Reboot, part 3: Sasquatch

Sasquatch from "The Six Million Dollar Man"

Andre the Giant as “Sasquatch”

Ted Cassidy as "Sasquatch" w/ Lindsay Wagner and Lee Majors

Ted Cassidy as “Sasquatch” w/ Lindsay Wagner and Lee Majors

Today’s “bonus” casting is for one of my (and many other people’s) favorite guest-stars from both “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “The Bionic Woman”: Sasquatch (aka “Bigfoot”)! The original was played by legendary pro-wrestler Andre the Giant (7′) in the TSMDM 2-parter, “The Secret of Bigfoot” (Feb. 1976). Then, Ted Cassidy (6’9″) — “Lurch” from TV’s “The Addams Family” — took over for the 2-part crossover with the TBW, “The Return of Bigfoot” (Sep. 1976), and in the follow-up “Bigfoot V” (Oct. 1977) episode of TSMDM. The big guy, who turned out to be a cyborg like Steve and Jaime, started off as a “bad guy” and later became a friend and “co-worker” of sorts. I don’t think he ever talked — just growled and roared, while crashing through the forest and throwing our heroes (or some other poor suckers) around. But, he communicated so much with those big, soul-piercing eyes…. OK, maybe not that much, but we grew to love the big palooka anyway.

The interesting thing about the original ‘Squatch was that the two guys who played him, both of whom have since passed away (and both at the age of 46!), were of such different builds. Sure, they were both really tall, but Andre was 3 inches taller and much beefier and barrel-chested, thanks to the acromegaly that gave him his height. Cassidy, on the other hand, was not exactly sleight-of-build but certainly more slender than Andre. But, with a bit of padding in that hairy suit, who could tell?

Paul "Big Show" Wight

Paul “Big Show” Wight

"Giant Silva"

“Giant Silva”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
To be consistent, I think we need to stick to a minimum of 6’9″ when casting for this role. You would think that the number of choices for this part would be pretty slim, then, given the size requirements. But, since “Sasquatch”/”Bigfoot” does little-to-no speaking, we don’t really need someone with a lot of acting experience, and there are several (current and former) athletes and stuntmen who do a bit of acting. (Still, it would be nice if he could convey some emotion via the eyes and body language.) It has been suggested that Paul Wight (7′), another professional wrestler sometimes billed as “The Giant” (aka “The Big Show”), would be perfect casting for the role. I can see that. In fact, Wight played a guy dressed in a “Bigfoot” suit in an episode of “Psych”. Another candidate from the wrestling arena is Paulo César da Silva (7’1″or2″or3″), aka “Giant Silva”, who even looks sort of like Andre.

Robert "Kurrgan" Maillet

Robert “Kurrgan” Maillet

Conan Stevens in "Spartacus"

Conan Stevens in “Spartacus: War of the Damned” (?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want someone with a bit more muscle, then Robert “Kurrgan” Maillet (6’10″or11″ or 7′) might be a better choice. He has had parts in movies (e.g., 300, Sherlock Holmes, Immortals, Pacific Rim) and TV shows (e.g., “Merlin”, “Once Upon a Time”, “Transporter: The Series”). Another former wrestler with some acting experience is Tyler Mane (6’8″or9″), aka “Big Sky”, probably best known to genre fans as “Sabretooth” in the first X-Men movie and “Michael Myers” in the Halloween reboot movies. Of course, Mane has been in other stuff — e.g., Joe Dirt, Troy, “Monk”, “Chopper”. Another possibility is Conan Stevens (7’1″), who played “Gregor Clegane” in 2 episodes of “Game of Thrones”, “Bolg” in The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey, and “Goliath” in “The Bible”/Son of God, as well as appearing in several films in the Asian market. Oh, he was also the “Man-Thing” in the 2005 movie of that name. (Note that Alex O’Loughlin, one of my suggestions for “Steve Austin”, played a deputy in Man-Thing.)

Robert Mukes in costume w/ axe

Robert Allen Mukes

Nathan Jones as Boagrius

Nathan Jones as Boagrius in “Troy”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple other possibilities are Robert Allen Mukes (6’10”) and Ian Whyte (7’1″). I recently saw Mukes as a biker-dude in an episode of “Person of Interest”. He has also appeared in several TV series, movies, and a short called “Waiting for Sasquatch”. Mukes looks quite imposing, but if you want more muscle-mass & definition, Whyte may be a better choice. Whyte played “Gregor Clegane” (and a couple other characters) in 6 episodes of “Game of Thrones”, the big white (hah!) alien (aka “Last Engineer”) at the end of Prometheus, and he was a “predator” in the two Aliens vs. Predator movies. Then, of course, there is the Australian ex-wrestler (aka “Megaman”) and rugby player Nathan Jones (6’11”), who has been in such movies as Troy, Jet Li’s Fearless, and the recent Conan the Barbarian remake.

Dalip "Great Khali" Singh

Dalip “Great Khali” Singh

Kevin Shand

Kevin Shand (sorry, no pics available that show his height/build out of costume)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lest you think we’ve got too many white (Wight? Whyte?) boys,… we can’t forget Dalip Singh (7’1″) (aka “The Great Khali”). Singh has appeared in The Longest Yard, Get Smart, and MacGruber. We also have a couple basketball players to throw into the mix: Kevin Shand (6’10.5″) and, of course, Shaquille O’Neal (7’1″). Shand has recently been seen, sort of, as an alien named “Raiga” on the sci-fi TV series “Defiance”, based on the computer game. (A non-talking, shaggy, ape-like beast. Sounds familiar.) And everybody knows megastar Shaq, who also starred in the forgettable Kazaam and Steel movies.

neil fingleton next to phonebooth

Neil Fingleton

Finally, if we want to go really tall, the late wrestler Jorge González (7’6″, aka “El Gigante” or “Giant Gonzales”) would have been great. But, with him having passed away, our choices really are quite limited, since people of such extreme heights typically have health & mobility issues. The only one I am aware of in this height bracket who is young and healthy enough to take on such a physical role and has also done a little film work (e.g., 47 Ronin and Jupiter Ascending) is former UK basketball player Neil Fingleton (7’7.5″). He does not have quite the bulk of some of the others. But, he is an athlete, and he could probably put on a bit of mass, if necessary. Plus, the costume department can always add padding to the “Sasquatch” suit, as they probably did for Ted Cassidy and for the late Kevin Peter Hall (7’2.5″or4″), who played “The Predator” in the first two Predator movies, lovable bigfoot “Harry” in Harry and the Hendersons, and several other characters both in and out of makeup.

So, we have at least 10 giants in the running. I tend to lean toward wanting a more muscular Sasquatch, but a lot of mass & definition really isn’t necessary. He’s an inhuman creature, possibly alien, possibly bionic, fer cryin’ out loud! More than that, though, I would also prefer the creature be at least 7′ tall. A little “acting” experience would be nice, too. Given those two parameters, I guess we could narrow it down to Wight, Maillet, Stevens, Whyte, maybe Singh, and Fingleton. But, I honestly can’t decide. Put any of these guys in a sufficiently believable fur suit (hopefully better than the original), add some makeup and contacts, and we’ve got ourselves a giant Sasquatch to throw down with our new Steve Austin and/or Jaime Sommers. Cool! Maybe they should have a “‘Squatch Off!” competition….