Fan-Casting the Original Predator Movie for Today, part 1

Original *Predator* cast (well, most of them)

I love(d) Predator (1987).

Not only is it one of Ahnold’s best movies (imho), but the John McTiernan-directed flick is a great sci-fi/action thriller, too. You probably knew that there was a new sequel coming out next year, right? The Predator is being co-written and directed by Shane Black, who played the character of ‘Hawkins’ in the original. But, did you also realize that Predator celebrated its 30th anniversary just a couple weeks ago (June 12)?!

In honor of the occasion (though slightly belated), I’d like to offer my suggestions for casting the original — same characters, same plot — as if it were being made today. Of course, it would be extremely difficult to match, let alone surpass, the original cast. They were perfect and just worked so darn well together! But, I think I came up with a really good lineup. You be the judge…

“Dutch”

The star and leader of the ill-fated team of commandos is Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer. I think we need an actor who is just as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger was — in physical size, fame, and charisma. I considered a couple others (e.g., John Cena), but the obvious choice here seems to be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (6’4or5″,b.1972). OK, so he doesn’t look like a “Dutch”, but that can be explained in any number of ways (e.g., mixed heritage, adoption, inside joke) and, frankly, wouldn’t even need to be addressed in the movie. We know he’s got the presence and the talent to play a tough, cigar-chompin’, take-charge military leader, as well as the muscles to give a big ol’ Predator a run for its money.

“Dillon”

Next in line is Dutch’s old comrade-in-arms, Dillon. Originally played by Carl Weathers, he needs to be a large black man, almost as muscular as Dutch and roughly the same age. My pick is Michael Jai White (6’1″,b.1967). He’s an avid martial artist and already quite muscular, though he might want to bulk up a little more for this. In the original movie Schwarzenegger and Weathers were both in their late-30s, but for this one Johnson would be in his mid-40s and White is almost 50, if you can believe it! (Looks younger, though, and still kicks @$$.) White mostly does B-movies and voice work, but he has also been in “Arrow” and “Mortal Kombat: Legacy”. He’d make a formidable CIA liaison and former U.S. Army Colonel George Dillon.

“Mac”

For this character, we need another big black dude, even taller than Dutch or Dillon, and preferably in his 40s (though early 50s might do). As played by the wonderful actor/director Bill Duke, medic Mac Elliot was an intense guy who didn’t say much. I could’ve gone a few different ways with this character, but ultimately I liked British actor Deobia Oparei (6’6″,b.1971) the best. He had a supporting role as Doran Martell’s bodyguard in “Game of Thrones” and as an African warlord in Independence Day: Resurgence; he was also in Doom with Johnson (see pic). He’s tall, beefy, and intimidating. Perfect.

 

“Blain”

Austin

When wrestler Jesse Ventura played Blain “Ain’t got time to bleed.” Cooper, he was only in his mid-30s. I’ve opted to go a bit older for my version, but it shouldn’t make much difference. My three candidates — yeah, I can’t decide — are also big, tough wrestlers. At least two of them have wielded large-caliber ordnance for roles before, too. They are Steve Austin (6’0.75″,b.1964), Bill Goldberg (6’3.5″,b.1966), and Paul “Triple H” Levesque (6’4″,b.1969). I think any of them ought to be able to handle the role of the bubble-gum chewing, hard-rocking gunner.

 

Goldberg

Levesque

OK, I need to cut this one a little bit short, since I’m traveling over the next few days. I’ll finish up next week, including finding someone new to play the title character….

Advertisements

Fan-Cast: Captain Marvel (DC), part 3: Marvel Family Villains

I thought it only fitting to follow up the last two weeks’ posts on Captain Marvel and the “Marvel Family” with a post on the “Marvel Family” villains. Well, three of them, anyway, and it seems to me that these three are the primary villains in the “Marvel Family” rogues gallery, as it were.

I know what you’re thinking, and a good argument can be made that the wizard Shazam’s semi-demonic offspring, Lady Blaze and Lord Satanus, are major “Marvel Family” villains. But, other than being basically humanoid, they don’t have any regular human features. When they aren’t disguising themselves as humans or other beings, they just have a solid black face (and horns) with red- or yellow-glowing eyes. So, anyone with sufficient dramatic range could play them — even several people.

That said, I’m gonna stick to these three:

Mister Mind

Mister Mind - classic appearance

Mister Mind (classic appearance)

Mr. Mind w/ speaker-boxAnd, now, I’m going to partially contradict the reasoning I just gave above re Blaze & Satanus. Mister Mind is, as you probably know, a worm — one that is normally worm-size, too. How does one cast that? But, Mind is also a powerfully telepathic, mind-controlling, megalomaniacal alien from Venus and not to be underestimated. So, while the character’s body will have to be done with CGI, I think it is important to find the right voice/personality for him, much as they did for Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Generally speaking, Mind probably should sound quite confident, even pompous, and that would be reflected in the “voice” he uses when communicating with non-Venusians, either mentally or via the speaker-device he often wears. (For example, he would choose a voice that sounds commanding, not soft or weaselly.) I suppose there are a number of voice talents who have worked on genre animated series/movies that would do a great job. I don’t know that many, though I have heard clips of Eric Bauza and Greg Ellis voicing Mind. Still, I wanted to try to come up with regular actors who might be a good fit.

Here’s who I came up with:

James Marsters - black shirt and grey jacket

James Marsters

Kelsey Grammer as mean boss

Kelsey Grammer

Mark Hamill - nice smile

Mark Hamill

Paul Giamatti - smiling, beard and glasses

Paul Giamatti

I won’t get into their respective resumes, as I’m sure you know who they are and at least some of their work. Either Marsters or Grammer could provide a very upper-crusty (American or British) voice. (In fact, while looking for images of Mr. Mind, I came across someone else’s fan-cast of Grammer for the character; but, I swear, I thought of him independently!) Like Marsters, in addition to regular acting, Hamill has done a lot of genre voice work and is best known as “The Joker”. (He would have to do something very different for Mr. Mind, though.) I’m not really sure what I was thinking re Giamatti other than that he could really have fun with it.


Dr. Sivana

Dr. Sivana with cane

Dr. Thaddeus Sivana

Dr. Sivana - with sketches of scenariosNow, who in the world can we cast to play the stereotypical mad scientist, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, Sr.? (Note: In some versions, he was also Billy’s (and Mary’s) conniving and murderous uncle.) Since I hold to a pre-“52” vision, he has to be on the short side, fairly slim, maybe (but not necessarily) bald. It might even help if he was sort of goofy-looking.

Max Grodenchik - in suit and tie, no smile

Max Grodénchik

Grodenchik as

Grodenchik as “Rom”

Jim Rash in nice shirt and gold tie, glasses

Jim Rash

While there are probably a few others who could do the role justice, the first person to come to my mind is Max Grodénchik (b.1952). If you are a fan of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, you remember him as the beloved Ferengi named “Rom” (among other characters). But, he has also appeared in other series. I think he could do a great job as Sivana. (Plus, we already know he looks “good” bald!) Another possibility is Jim Rash (~5’9″) of “Community”, plus many other things over the years. He’s a little young and a bit taller than I would prefer, but, if he doesn’t mind hunching over all the time, his slim build and bald pate work in his favor.

Black Adam

Black Adam - hovering, arms crossed

Black Adam

Energized Black Adam in the rubbleBlack Adam (aka Teth-Adam) was the original person to serve as a super-powered champion with Marvel-like powers, though his were from Egyptian gods and not Shazam and the even more ancient gods he served. Serious personal tragedy led to Adam’s turning bad, and he is now the antithesis of the new champion, Captain Marvel. Adam is Marvel’s equal in strength, stamina, etc., but prone to arrogance, anger, and brutality. While he has allied with true heroes from time to time (including membership in the Justice Society of America), Black Adam is primarily a villain.

He has a tall, muscular physique like Captain Marvel (anywhere from 6′, 198 lbs., to 6’3″, 250 lbs.), so any actor to take on the role should be of a similar build. It would help if he had a swarthy complexion, since Adam is supposed to be from the Middle East (i.e., Egypt/Kahndaq). Age-wise, Adam is immortal but appears to be at least in his 30s but more often like a 40-something human.

Dwayne Johnson - Mathayus with scimitar, The Scorpion King

Dwayne Johnson as Mathayus in The Scorpion King

Dwayne Johnson in Fast Five

Dwayne Johnson in Fast Five

The obvious and most often suggested person for this role is Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson (6’4″,b.1972), and I fully support his nomination. Apparently, as I write this, it is not entirely clear after all whether Johnson will be playing Captain Marvel or Black Adam in the upcoming live-action Shazam movie. I vote for the latter, because his appearance fits him much better. I also seem to remember Johnson saying he would prefer the darker role. Of course, he’ll need to grow out his hair a little (or wear a wig), but he definitely has the muscles.

Sasha Roiz - shirtless with tattoos, in Caprica

Sasha Roiz - grey sweatshirt with arms crossed

Sasha Roiz

I think Sasha Roiz (6’4″,b.1973) — “Caprica”, “Warehouse 13”, Pompeii, “Grimm” — has a look, as well as the needed height, that might lend itself to this role. He’s already in pretty good shape, but I’m sure he could bulk up to play Black Adam.

Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo

Momoa as Khal Drogo on “Game of Thrones”

Jason Momoa - sports jacket and small smile

Jason Momoa

My third choice, though he is a little bit young and “pretty”, is Jason Momoa (6’4″,b.1979) of “Stargate: Atlantis” and “Game of Thrones” fame. He meets all of the physical criteria, plus (like Johnson) he has already played very physical characters, as well as quite dour and violent ones. He’s got muscles, but he could put on more, like he should have done for the Conan remake. Of course, if he is playing Aquaman as rumored — don’t get me started on this one –, he most likely will not be playing another major DC character, too. Still, if I had my way….

What sayest thou, loyal readers?

UPDATE 9/3/2014:  Dwayne Johnson has now confirmed that he will be playing Black Adam and not Captain Marvel!  Yesss!

* All ideas copyright Christopher Harris, 2013-2014.