My Own Dream Show – A Cast of Characters

Last week, I asked for everyone else’s dream casts. Today I provide my own.

Instead of a team-oriented space opera, as I’d originally intended, I came up with the idea for a Twin Peaks-esque show, only with less icky rape and molestation stuff and more werewolves and random musical numbers. There will be a murder investigation. There will be iconic costumes. Lots of food. ALL the offbeat, deadpan humor. I’m not gonna lie, people: I think I’ve got a winner here. This is absolutely a cult classic that gets cancelled in its first season in the making.

A few disclaimers first:

The clips I’ve chosen do not always match the show I pulled the actor from. I didn’t pick a Chris Pratt clip from Parks & Rec, for instance, because I haven’t watched Parks & Rec. Other times I just liked a different clip better for that actor. I’m fickle.

Also, some clips may include SPOILERS. You’ve been warned.

Now! Introducing your Cast of Characters:

The FBI Agent. Also, The Unlucky Magnet For All Things Weird.

Allison Janney (The West Wing)

(The problem with embedding clips is that you never quite find the one you’re looking for. I was hoping for a specific scene with turkeys, but hey, I like this one too.)

The FBI agent fled this strange little town long ago, hoping for a life of normalcy and law enforcement and chain restaurant options; however, the strange and supernatural follow wherever she goes. If handed a simple home-invasion-gone-wrong homicide, you can bet that psychic clowns are somehow involved. Has long since accepted this, and basically everything else that happens. Weary and cynical. Will always make time for breakfast.

Quote: Yup. That’s a werewolf, all right. Look, I believe I was promised donuts?

The Small Town Cop. Charming, But Slightly Tortured. Also, Psychic.

Theo Rossi (Luke Cage)

(Ugh, forget about the turkeys. It is stupidly hard to find Luke Cage scenes with Shades in them on Youtube. This is probably not the representative example I would have given, but I didn’t have much to work with. You can find the “lawyer” scene here at the 7:05 mark, though, and that one always makes me laugh.)

The FBI agent’s liaison/local partner during this investigation. Does the majority of his casework by reading the cards, looking for omens, having creepy dreams, and speaking to ghosts, who unfortunately aren’t always as helpful as you’d expect them to be. Has far more hobbies than any one person could realistically have. Begins a romance with the ghost of the current murder victim.

Quote: The mime in my dream told us we’d find a clue at the old sawmill. Then the Dark Mime God came and punished the mime by erasing his mouth from existence . . . but that part wasn’t real, probably.

The Hot Mechanic Werewolf Ghost, AKA, The Murder Victim

Chris Pratt (Parks & Rec)

Doesn’t know who murdered him. Doesn’t know why anyone would, and is, all in all, pretty outraged by the whole thing. Otherwise affable. Appears in two forms: his Hot Mechanic form (jeans, dirty white tank, the perfect amount of sweat) and his Awesome Werewolf form (an actual wolf). Falls hard for the small town cop. Misses food.

Quote: I’m supposed to be eating tacos today. Everyone should be clear on that.

The Hotel Owner. Also, The Badass Pack Leader Seeking Vengeance.

Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Expanse)

Owns the only hotel in town. Courteous, elegant, and seeks rampant, bloody vengeance for the murder of one of her wolves. Frequently annoys her guest, The FBI Agent, by keeping tabs on the investigation. Never impressed by its progress. Dresses fabulously.

Quote: So, you see, I cannot stand about forever for your clumsy investigation to conclude. There is a throat out there, waiting to be torn out. My teeth will only wait so long.

The Eccentric Heiress. Possibly A Vampire.

Gina Torres (Firefly)

The richest woman in town. Easily owns half the land, and is fond of popping up at night to remind people of that. Her clothing is always expensive, no matter what she’s doing, and highly unpredictable: she might show up in a black dress and matching feather boa one day, a plush white bathrobe the next. Longstanding enmity between her and The Hotel Owner. Never leaves her mansion during daytime hours.

Quote: You absolutely must come to my party. I’ll just have your head if you don’t.

The Postman/The Guy Who Can Get It For You

Michael Emerson (Lost)

Only seen in his USPS uniform. Delivers letters and packages from the normal mail, plus whatever anyone else needs on the down low. Friendly, almost always willing to engage in small talk, but takes his job very seriously. Will become quietly, abruptly, horrifyingly violent if someone maliciously tries to interfere with his legal or illegal deliveries. Eventually revealed to be the right hand man of The Eccentric Heiress.

Quote: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will stop me, sir. It was foolish of you to try.

The Local Witch Who Owns The Diner

Kate Mulgrew (Orange Is The New Black)

Plainspoken. Profane. Calls everyone hon or honey or sweetie. Has cast a spell on her restaurant that causes the patrons to talk about all their secrets and/or confidential business in public. Most customers aren’t aware of this, and the few who are put up with it because it’s the only diner in town. Wears an old fashioned waitress uniform with sensible shoes, and frequently decides for people what they want to eat.

Quote: Hon, I’ve worked here 30 years. I’ve seen some weird shit. I know when my customers need blueberry pancakes, and you don’t deserve them yet.

The Baker/ The Guy Who Automatically Makes Every Scene A Musical

Jesse L. Martin (The Flash)

Intelligent, funny, generally delightful. Frequently shows up to distribute baked goods in places that a baker really has no business being in: crime scenes, for instance. Also, funerals. Whenever he arrives, everyone spontaneously bursts into song. No one will ever acknowledge this during the course of the show.

Quote: There are vanilla cupcakes here/and mocha cupcakes there/it’s hard to deliver when there’s blood everywhere. 

(Look, don’t judge. If this was an actual thing, I’d hire someone to write better lyrics for me. It’s not exactly my forte, okay?)

The Investigative Reporter Seemingly Stuck In the 1940’s

Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire)

Favors trenchcoats, fedoras, suspenders, white tank tops, and cigars. Pants, too. Frequently speaks in hardboiled noir slang. Writes for the local paper and takes every article equally seriously, whether it’s the murder of a mechanic werewolf or how the next-door-neighbor’s cat came to be stuck in that tree. Enjoys appearing out of nowhere whenever possible. Also writes the newspaper’s horoscopes.

Quote: Scorpio, you weasel. You’re behind the eight-ball this week, all right. Better lay dormy somewhere until it blows over; otherwise, you’re liable to face some serious chin music. Avoid cinnamon.

The Town Librarian. Also, The Town Secret Assassin

Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)

Glasses. Dresses almost entirely in black. Ace/Aro. Leads a reading group of young girls from ages 4-17, exposing them to different types of literature, as well as the many different ways to kill someone. When in assassin mode, may vary wildly from Victorian elegant poisoner to exuberant punk overkill, depending on what the client wants and her general mood at the time.

Quote: Excellent progress, girls. Now, who can tell which poison Merricat Blackwood used in We Have Always Lived In The Castle, and the pros/cons of that particular poison?

The Bartender/Coroner. Eventually Undead.

Sarah Shahi (Person of Interest)

Owns and runs a bar called Autopsy Room Four. Does autopsies in one of the back rooms when the town requires one. Friendly, personable. Enjoys geeking out over things, especially baseball, virology, and Stephen King. Murdered during the first season, but mysteriously comes back to life in her grave and crawls her way out. May or may not experience cravings for human flesh.

Quote: Last round, everyone! Hey, I’m disappointed, too, but this bag of meat isn’t going to autopsy itself.

The Wandering Armchair Psychologist

Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy)

Chatty. Enthusiastic. Entirely too blunt. Has appointed herself the town’s therapist, and relies heavily on pop culture, particularly TV Tropes, for her evaluations. Whenever it becomes clear that an episode is going to primarily feature a main character’s emotional arc and/or backstory, the Wandering Armchair Psychologist will appear for a series of sit-downs with that character, whether he/she/they want it or not. Usually, not.

Quote: So, your father was horrifically dismembered and eaten by a flock of wereturkeys. Let’s talk about that.

The Stranger. Also, The Voice of the Audience

Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead)

No one knows who he is or anything about him. Pops up sporadically to either tell people that they’re doing something stupid and/or dangerous, or to help them come to a ridiculously obvious realization. Usually very dry, but every now and then becomes so aggravated with everyone’s stupidity that he has a full meltdown about it . . . before once again disappearing into the night.

Quote: Going there without calling backup, huh? Yeah, that won’t get you killed immediately.

I’m telling you, people: I want this show. I want it now. I already have possible theme songs in mind: “Jugband Blues” by Pink Floyd or maybe “Strange Days” by The Doors. Oh, the many unrealized dreams of the human heart.

And if you haven’t already done so, I’d still like to hear your dream casts. (Especially YOU, Mekaela! I let it slide last week because it was your birthday, but NO LONGER.) Feel free to comment here, or at the original post where I laid out the rules.

Gender Flipped Recasting – The West Wing

Months ago, a friend of mine mentioned on Facebook that she wanted to see a gender-flipped version of The West Wing. Mekaela and I happened to be playing around with a bunch of different ideas for gender-flipped movie casts at the time, so naturally we abandoned all of them to work on casting The West Wing instead. Of course, that show went on for a fairly long time and I’m a big quitter who gives up on TV when I don’t like the way it’s turning out, so Mek and I mostly just stuck to casting the first couple of seasons. It was a little more manageable that way.

So, Happy Birthday, Kate! Here’s to hoping you don’t hate ALL the casting choices.


I didn’t bother changing anyone’s names. Feel free to do that yourself, if you want. Although, personally, I think you should keep the name ‘Josiah’ either way. I know it’s traditionally a boy’s name, but I kind of like it for a girl.

President Josiah Bartlet

cch pounder

CCH Pounder

I am the Lord, your God. Thou shalt worship no other God before me. Boy, those were the days, huh?

I’ll admit it: I love CCH Pounder without reservation. I generally want to cast her in most things. But I can especially see her being a great Bartlet. She has the voice and the gravitas for the Big Speech Moments, the badass presence for the role of Commander and Chief, the warmth and compassion needed for playing a mentor role. She can also bring the irritation just fine, which is absolutely great. Some of my very favorite moments are when Bartlet’s irritated with somebody.

The only reason I was concerned about casting a black woman in the role was because it affects a pretty fundamental storyline in Season One. Mek and I talked about that, and we’ve devised a way to update it, but I’ll hold off on discussing it further until we come to Charlie.

Leo McGarry

jane lynch

Jane Lynch

I am making a mental list of those who are snickering, and even as I speak, I am preparing appropriate retribution.

I sometimes worry that, after Glee, Jane Lynch will be typecast in only comedically outrageous and ridiculously antagonistic roles, but I feel like she could actually be a pretty great Leo. I’ve always loved Leo, and I was sad as hell when John Spencer died. Lynch, I think, could be a worthy successor. I’m pretty sure she could nail that matter-of-fact delivery. I can see her calling the New York Times about the errors in their crossword puzzles, and I can definitely see her yelling at the top of her voice for Margaret. I also think–mostly based off her guest work on Criminal Minds–that she can handle the kinder, softer moments when necessary, like some of Leo’s scenes with Josh (before the show started needlessly fucking around with that relationship) or some of Leo’s scenes with Bartlet (before the show started needlessly fucking around with that relationship).

Josh Lyman

lauren graham

Lauren Graham

Victory is mine, victory is mine! Great day in the morning, people, victory is mine. I drink from the keg of glory, Donna. Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land.

Lauren Graham’s actually one of the very first people we cast, which is interesting because Josh is kind of a hard character. He requires nearly an impossible amount of charm because, when you get right down to it, Josh is kind of an arrogant little shit. But because it’s Bradley Whitford (who is amazing), Josh somehow ended up being my favorite character. (I mean, don’t get me wrong, Josh does have some awesome qualities. But he is smug, like, at least 70% of that time.)

It’s hard to strike lightning twice, though, and it’s certainly true that audiences are generally more willing to forgive an arrogant male character than an arrogant female character. Thank you, Hollywood double standards. I wasn’t sure who had the insane amount of likability to counterbalance Josh’s supreme levels of confidence . . . but then I thought of Lauren Graham, and I was like, “Okay, that’s it. We’ve got a winner.”

Sam Seaborn

maggie lawson

Maggie Lawson

I . . . yes, reluctantly. I think it was clear by the way I ate the crab puff that it was a gesture of protest.

Sam, on the other hand. Sam took forever to cast because he’s got kind of the opposite problem: he’s the puppy. The idealist. As characters go, idealists are often one-note, righteous, and boring. Sam is a rare exception to the rule, but once again, performance matters a lot here, and Mek and I struggled to come up with an actress we liked in the role, one who could balance moral conviction with Sam’s easy, affable manner.

Maggie Lawson’s name came up because one, she’s hilarious, and two, she’s played non-annoying idealists before, namely Juliet from Psych. Admittedly, Juliet was a little silly when she first came on board, but she quickly became one of the show’s best characters. I can see Maggie Lawson passionately arguing about the importance of education. I can see her snagging a defeated bigot’s crab puff. And I can see her blowing up about how she accidentally slept with a prostitute the night before. These were all key moments for me when it came to casting Sam.

Toby Ziegler

Camryn Manheim

Camryn Manheim

I’m going to make a suggestion that might help you out, but I don’t want this to be mistaken for an indication that I like you.

The first thing I ever saw Camryn Manheim in was The 10th Kingdom, and I liked her, but I didn’t fall in love with her until watching Person of Interest where she. Is just. AWESOME. Control is very definitely not Toby, but the role gave me a decent sense of Manheim’s range, and I’m pretty sure gruff, passionate, sharp-as-nails speechwriter is within it.

I’m now imagining “17 People” with Camryn Mannheim facing off against CCH Pounder, and I’m just like, “Holy Jesus, give it to me NOW.”

CJ Cregg

alan tudyk

Alan Tudyk

First of all, you’re wrong. Second of all, shut up. Third: I went to Hoynes with your thing, and he said he wasn’t the one who talked to you, and I believe him and he’s really pissed at me and he’s right. And fourth . . . shut up again.

Alan Tudyk has had an interesting career. He gets a lot of outrageous, wacky comedic roles (A Knight’s Tale, Dodgeball, Death at a Funeral), but he excels at all types of comedy, not just broad humor. I keep going back to his performance as Wash on Firefly, and while Wash and CJ really don’t have anything in common as characters–I don’t know, it just works for me. Tudyk can be ridiculously expressive and that would obviously do well for the more dramatic scenes, but I can also see him using this great deadpan during all the press briefings. I would never say he would do a better job than Allison Janney–because ALL HAIL QUEEN ALLISON JANNEY–but I will say that both actors have stellar comedic timing, and I like this casting quite a lot.

Charlie Young

aja naomi king

Aja Naomi King

Well, I’m personal aide to the President, so my supervisor’s a little busy right now looking for a back door to this place to shove you out of. But I’ll let him know you’d like to lodge a complaint.

Okay, so here’s the thing about Charlie: a major storyline in the first season is that terrible racist assholes disapprove of the fact that Charlie, a black man, is dating the President’s daughter, and when I say disapprove, I mean with gunfire. However, that story inevitably changes when you make the President a black woman instead of a white man. I tried to reconcile that, and my solution was to update to a post 9/11 prejudice and make Charlie a Muslim. I then tried casting a Middle Eastern actress, but honestly I could not find anyone I was familiar with in the right age range. And I figured, okay, well if stupid people today are still claiming that President Obama’s Muslim, then we can still have a black actress in the part and maybe that would be better anyway because Charlie is black and I don’t have to feel weird about swapping PoC ethnicities? Anyway, there’s that thought process.

Now. We’ve just sped through How to Get Away with Murder like crazy in the past few months, and while Michaela and Charlie have pretty much nothing in common, we felt that Aja Naomi King has the range to make it work. Figured it might be kind of fun, actually, watching the normally ambitious, high-strung law student become the laid back, eternally patient Presidential aide. Charlie’s got so many quietly hilarious lines, and I can see Aja Naomi King pulling those.

Mandy Hampton

tom cavanagh

Tom Cavanagh

Yeah, so, Mr. President, if you could further see clear to not answer that question like an economics professor with a big old stick up his butt, that would be good too. 

I’m gonna be real with you people: I don’t care about Mandy at all. I have never particularly liked Mandy, probably because Moira Kelly’s performance never did a whole lot for me, but also because the show never quite knew what to do with her. (I suspect she was supposed to be Josh’s love interest, but when Donna and Josh ended up the show’s big OTP instead, the creators never really gave Mandy her own storyline, save the one about the memo.) I’m also, honestly, not sure how exciting it is to gender-flip her role. But she is a main cast member for the first season, and since we’re focusing on characters from Seasons 1 and 2, we figured we had to find someone for her.

So, Tom Cavanagh. Honestly, it’s just a matter of loving him on The Flash and thinking maybe he could make Mandy a lot more fun for me. Her introduction scene (when she’s ignoring a cop to talk on the phone) has always annoyed me, but I put Tom Cavanagh in the same seat, and I think . . . you know, maybe that could work.

Donna Moss

scott foley

Scott Foley

If you were an accident, I wouldn’t stop for red lights.

Donna is an interesting character to gender flip. I love Donna, but she is both a secretary and the voice of of the audience, which means she gets to ask a lot of questions so that everyone watching understands the politics and history involved. It’s definitely a role that we’ve become comfortable giving to women, but men? A little less so, particularly given the nature of Josh and Donna’s relationship. I definitely wanted someone who could do rapid fire banter (admittedly, a quality that any actor on The West Wing should probably have), someone inherently likable, and maybe someone who had experience playing the love interest to an actual strong female lead.

And I found my way to Scott Foley, who has proven on Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal that he’s quite possibly the most charming fucker alive. I can see him handling all the expository questions pretty well, and I’d pay money to watch him and Lauren Graham go back and forth.

Danny Concannon

melissa ponzio1

Melissa Ponzio

CJ, I’m not staying in the penalty box forever. I have covered the White House for eight years, and I’ve done it with the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, and the DALLAS MORNING NEWS! And I’m telling you, you can’t mess me around like this!

Okay, I admit it: half of the reason for this casting is because I adore Melissa Ponzio on Teen Wolf and would like to see her in All the Things, and a quarter of the reason is that because that sometimes Danny wears suspenders, which I’d like to see Melissa Ponzio rock. But also, I just think she’d be a lot of fun in the role. I can see her as a journalist pretty easily, and I’d love to watch her flirt like crazy with Alan Tudyk. That’s kind of enough for me.

Mrs. Landingham

richard jenkins

Richard Jenkins

Aw, Danny. And I was just about to offer you a cookie.

Richard Jenkins is such a great character actor. I love the idea of him as this kind but totally snarky secretary who withholds food from misbehaving staff members. I’m used to seeing him in darker roles, but I honestly think he would just be delightful here.

Dr. Abigail Bartlet

clancy brown

Clancy Brown

Your electrolytes and metabolic panels are within normal limits. Your chest x-ray is clear, and your prostate screens are fine. So we can have sex now.

Okay, hear me out. I know Clancy Brown’s name is almost synonymous with villainy at this point after Highlander, The Shawshank Redemption, any of the Superman cartoons, etc., but he actually does play good guys with some frequency; they just don’t usually make it to the end credits. It’d be nice to see him play a good guy who doesn’t die for a change.

Mostly, Mek and I just really enjoyed the idea of Clancy Brown and CCH Pounder matched up, being all cute together and whatnot. We were thinking especially of the episode where she first comes in after Bartlet has an MS attack. Clancy Brown could be an adorable First Lady, growly voice and all.

Zoey Bartlet

Tyler James Williams

Tyler James Williams

You look like death on a Triscuit!

I’ll be honest: I haven’t seen Tyler James Williams in a whole lot. But I like him. I cracked up at his Evil Telekinetic Urkel in a Key & Peele sketch, and I enjoyed him quite a bit as Noah in The Walking Dead, although we don’t get to spend as much time with him as I would’ve liked. Nothing about Zoey seems outside his range, so I figured it was a nice opportunity to see Williams in something else. (Plus, I like the idea of Zoey as a boy, given the kidnapping plot line that happens later. It’d also be nice if they could make a male Zoey sweet and bookish without parodying him into some stereotypical Hollywood nerd.)

Ainsley Hayes

jensen ackles

Jensen Ackles

Mr. Tribbey? I’d like to do well on this, my first assignment. Any advice you could give me that might point me the way of success would be, by me, appreciated.

Okay. So let’s talk about this.

Gender-swapping a lot of the cast appeals to me because it’s such an interesting exercise in power dynamics. Not that the women in The West Wing aren’t powerful in their own way, but they’re also almost entirely secretaries to male supervisors or are related to male characters. In the first season, CJ and Mandy are really the only exceptions to that, and like I said before, Mandy barely even has her own storylines.

Gender-swapping Ainsley, though, kind of feels like it’s missing the point since her whole character is addressing a very specific stereotype, and if she was a man, no one would blink an eye at the fact that she was attractive. It wouldn’t be some sign that she’s just a pretty face and nothing more. Then again, I kind of like creating this world on TV where this kind of sexism is directed at men for once, so Mek and I tried to focus on the pretty boy angle. And there is no Southern pretty boy like Jensen Ackles.

In full disclosure, I fee like I should admit that I have some reservations about this casting. Ainsley has a very specific manner of speaking, and it’s kind of hard to imagine Jensen Ackles, much as I love him, imitating it. On the other hand, I still like to dream–fondly–that someday Supernatural might actually end, and Ackles will go on to do other projects where he will be as un-Dean-like as possible. And people, I love Dean Winchester. But the guy’s been playing the role for, what, twelve years? He’s got a lot of talent, and I’d like to see him use it to do something else.


sean gunn

Can, can I just say something, you know, for the future? *I* can sign the President’s name. I have his signature down pretty good. 

So, Margaret’s . . . weird. She has always been an oddball character, and I assume she remained so well past the point where I stopped watching the showing. Margaret has a very unique brand of oddness, and the best person I could think to match it was Sean Gunn, who played Kirk in Gilmore Girls. And if you watched Gilmore Girls at all, you know Kirk definitely had his own special brand of oddness.

And finally . . . Ron Butterfield

holly hunter

Holly Hunter

It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t Gina’s fault, it wasn’t Charlie’s fault, it wasn’t anybody’s fault, Toby. It was an act of madmen. You think a tent was going to stop ’em? We got the President in the car. We got Zoey in the car. And at a 150 yards and five stories up, we got the shooters 9.2 seconds after the first shot was fired. I would never let you not let me protect the President. You tell us you don’t like something, we figure something else. It was an act of madmen. Anyway, Secret Service doesn’t comment on procedure.

Ron’s not a huge part in the show. We didn’t have to cast him. But every time I rewatch “In the Shadow of Two Gunmen,” I kind of fall in love with this guy all over, and I could hear Holly Hunter delivering those lines pretty well in that clipped manner of speaking that she has.

And . . . well, I guess that’s all for today. Mek and I will have to get back to all of our other abandoned gender-swapped castings. It’s fun to see what, if anything, shifts in your story when you reimagine all the male characters as women. Maybe Ocean’s Eleven next?

Today’s Dream Cast: SAGA

I’ll probably never be, like, an Authority on Comics — nor do I have any particularly deep need to be one — but I’ve really been getting into graphic novels the past couple of years. (Trades, primarily. Let’s be upfront about that. I wildly prefer reading trades to single issues.) One of my favorite comics right now is Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and if you haven’t read it, Saga is one joyful mindfuck of space weirdness. It will never be made into a movie or TV show. I can’t even imagine what a translation of it would look like, not to mention Vaughan’s been pretty firm about keeping it out of Hollywood. I’m not sure I’d even want to see someone attempt it. And yet we dream-casted it anyway. Cause that’s what we do around here.



Rosario Dawson

Mek and I have been idly tossing back and forth casting ideas for months now, but Rosario Dawson was a pretty immediate lock. I don’t know what it is about her, but she has so much force of presence, and I can easily see her playing this romantic, sexy, badass mom and ex-soldier. Some actresses, I think, might try to paint Alana as either All Serious or super girlish and annoying, but Alana is the kind of character who can be violent, funny, and find inspiration in trashy romance novels. She’s a pretty great character, and I’m sure Rosario Dawson would be excellent in the role.

Runner Up: Lyndie Greenwood



Kevin Alejandro

Kevin Alejandro is one of Those Actors — you know, the kind that pop up all the time on TV but usually as a recurring guest star, rarely main cast? (Honestly, a lot of this cast fits that bill, so much so that I’ve been playing with the idea of making a list of actors I’d like to see in bigger roles — call it ‘Always a Bridesmaid, Never Main Cast’ or something.) Anyway, I like the guy, particularly for the work he did as Jesus in True Blood. Jesus had a nice affability to him that I think could work particularly well for our funny pacifist Marko. Also, if there’s any way I could get Marko to say brujo for some reason, guys, I’d pay money to see it. I don’t know what it is — no one has ever said brujo as emphatically as Alejandro does. It cracked me up every single time he did it in True Blood.

Runner Up: Pedro Pascal



Bex Taylor-Klaus

Izabel might be my favorite character in Saga, which is probably why we struggled so hard trying to find someone for the role. But I enjoy Bex Taylor-Klaus immensely (in Arrow, iZombie, The Librarians, etc.), and though Izabel’s a great deal, er, pinker than Taylor-Klaus’s usual roles, she’s spunky and sarcastic as hell and just a lot of fun. And, like Kevin Alejandro, I’d really like to see this actress in a main cast somewhere, preferably on a show that didn’t utterly suck. (So, don’t fail me, Scream.)

Prince Robot IV


Robert Picardo (voice)

You know, it’s harder than you’d think, casting a robot prince with a TV for a head. You’re automatically casting for voice, not expression, but the dude’s also a chief antagonist who’s rocking a hardcore case of PTSD, so you do want someone with a bit of range. Perhaps I was thinking of Picardo’s work in Justice League (where he voiced Amazo, an android who assimilates everyone’s superpowers), but as soon as I thought of him, I was like, “Finally, I got it.”

The Will


Faran Tahir

I think I first saw Tahir in Iron Man, but he really impressed me in Star Trek, mostly because he only had about two minutes to make me care about him, and I did. And then I enjoyed him as Adwin Kosan, one of the regents in Warehouse 13, and I’m like, “You know, this guy is kind of awesome. I am officially ready to see him in bigger, more complex roles. Like an assassin who’s on a quest for revenge with a giant cat that always knows when you’re lying. Yeah, that’d be cool.”

Runner Up: Mark Strong

Lying Cat

k david

Keith David (voice)

Apparently — and I only just found this out — Lying Cat is female, something I either didn’t notice or completely forgot while casting. I’m going to go ahead and stick with my original choice, though, because Mekaela and I didn’t even have to discuss this one. My immediate instinct was to cast Keith David, and when I asked Mek, “Hey, you have anyone in mind for Lying Cat?” she instantly replied, “Keith David.” Mek and I agree on a lot, but this kind of ridiculous synchronicity is usually summed up as ‘fate.’



Naomie Harris

I know I fall back on Naomie Harris a lot, probably more than I should, but I can’t help it — I just like this woman. She won my heart forever in 28 Days Later, and nothing I’ve seen her in since suggests that her total badassary as Selena was some kind of one-off. Gwendolyn is completely in Harris’s wheelhouse, and I just know I’d enjoy the hell out of her performance.



Ivonne Coll

I’ll be honest here — I’m really only familiar with Ivonne Coll from Teen Wolf, but I liked her in Teen Wolf (her performance was always solid and intimidating, even if some of her material was silly) and I definitely think she could play this pissed off, stubborn, warrior who’s contemptuous of her son’s pacifist ways and downright eager to engage in some bloodshed and do what needs to be done.


reed d

Reed Diamond

Okay, Reed Diamond could probably play this role in his sleep, but — fuck it, I like Reed Diamond, and he seems like he could be a good fit for the arrogant, snarky agent. Anyway, he seemed a touch less obvious than Mark Pellegrino.

D. Oswald Heist


Danny Glover

Because when you think an old man who’s a trashy romance writer/secret pacifist revolutionary who’s also a cyclops, you think Danny Glover, don’t you? Sure you do.

The Brand


Lena Headey

The Will and The Brand are siblings, and yes, I’ve cast actors from different ethnicities — because these are the actors I like best, and you know, why not? There are a bazillion families who don’t have the same skin tone — hell, my family doesn’t have the same skin tone, which is particularly noticeable in summer when my ghostly pale ass stands next to my mother. And dude, Lena Headey would ROCK IT as The Brand. Of this, I have no doubt.

Runner Up: Sarah Shahi

The Stalk


Natalie Dormer

Because look at this picture and tell me she wouldn’t be AMAZING.

That’s all for now, kids. If you read Saga, let me know some of your own casting choices, particularly if you have someone for Sophie. I couldn’t think of anyone for her.

In Geek News Today: The Suicide Squad is Cast

I came home a little after eight this morning and briefly hung out with my sister, who mentioned that a few actors were trending as possibilities for an upcoming (2016) Suicide Squad movie. I was like, Huh, and then promptly forgot about it and went to bed because after working through the night, my pillow was calling to me, and that was pretty much the only thing I cared about.

I woke up roughly six hours later to discover that all the rumored possibilities had suddenly been confirmed, and a few actors I didn’t even know about were now attached to the project. This is what happens when you sleep. All your friends get to squee/rant about the geeky news before you do.

Your current cast list, in case you were also asleep today:

Will Smith – Deadshot
Tom Hardy – Rick Flag
Margot Robbie – Harley Quinn
Jai Courtney – Boomerang
Cara Delevingne – Enchantress
Jared Leto – the Joker

The role of Amanda Waller has not been officially cast yet, but from what I’ve read, Oprah Winfrey is the top contender for the role. Other actresses in the running: Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. Also, Jesse Eisenberg might show up as Lex Luthor.


1. I’m interested in this movie because I’m generally interested in all things superhero, and I know a few of these characters from other cartoons, TV shows, etc. But all in all, I’m not hugely familiar with the Suicide Squad. I think my first introduction to them was through Arrow, and then again through Justice League Unlimited. As such, I don’t have real deep thoughts about people like Boomerang or Enchantress. (Particularly Enchantress, who I don’t think I’ve even heard of before. The only Enchantress I know belongs to Marvel. I’m relatively sure this one isn’t going to be in love with Thor.)

2. Will Smith is probably not who I would’ve chosen to play Deadshot, but I’m not particularly against the casting, either. I like Will Smith, and I think he’s probably got more range than people give him credit for, and I’d be interested to see him play a professional assassin. Admittedly, I’m a little more excited about Tom Hardy, but that’s solely because I’m a sucker for Tom Hardy. I know very little about his (disappointingly American) character, although I did briefly look Flag up on Wikipedia, which is where I encountered this glorious sentence: “In one tragic mission in Cambodia, they were pursued by a Yeti.”

There aren’t words, you guys. There aren’t words for how much I love this sentence. This is my favorite sentence of 2014.

3. I’ve never seen any of Robie, Courtney, or Delevingne’s work, so I can’t comment too much on their casting. I’ll admit, I wasn’t real excited by the inclusion of Jai Courtney, but that’s not fair at all. My bad impression of him is entirely based on trailers for A Good Day to Die Hard, which I didn’t even watch. (I don’t think I heard any positive reviews for that movie. Then again, I’m pretty sure that can’t all be blamed on Courtney.)

I like Jared Leto, but I kind of wish he wasn’t going to be in the movie, or at least not as the Joker. It’s not just about Heath Ledger’s legacy, either; actually, I was kind of looking forward to seeing a story with Harley Quinn without the Joker.

Also, is he on the Suicide Squad? Was he ever a part of the Suicide Squad in the comics? Because I know these guys are usually semi-reformed villains (or work-release villains) but putting the Joker on the Suicide Squad itself seems like a pretty terrible plan that can only end in big smiles and dead bodies. I’d like to think Amanda Waller is smarter than that. Here’s to hoping that he’s the villain of the story instead. (Or one of the villains. I just assumed Lex would be one of the antagonists. Alternatively, he could always be the President!)

4. Finally, my Amanda Waller is always going to be CCH Pounder. Always. However, I’m excited by the ladies that are currently in the running. On first blush, Oprah Winfrey feels like an odd choice to me, but that’s mostly because I think of her first as a woman who gives away ridiculous amounts of free prizes and recommends books that I generally don’t read. I always forget that she’s an actress too, and that I enjoyed her a good deal in The Color Purple.

Like Smith, Winfrey probably wouldn’t have been my first (or second) choice here, but I’m willing to be convinced. I would also be very happy with both Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis as they’re both fantastic actresses, although I’d be happier if Davis put on some weight for the role. Amanda Waller is one of the rare female characters who is both plus size and a total badass, and I’d LOVE it if that was reflected in the movie as well. (I would especially appreciate it if they didn’t pick someone who’s about the size of my wrist. Thanks, CW.)

That’s about it for now. With my luck, this casting will have already changed by the time I post these reactions. In which case, I’ll just continue updating a day later and a dollar short.

So. How About That Channing Tatum?

You may remember last August when Ben Affleck was announced as the next Batman and the entire internet collectively flipped its shit. Yes, well, I felt bad about my own part in that, so since then, I’ve tried my best to keep an even head about such things and not judge an actor too harshly until I’ve actually seen him or her in the given role.


Of course, Channing Tatum as our new Gambit is challenging that ambition just a bit.

In all honesty, I actually do like Channing Tatum — he’s a decent actor, seems pretty funny, and apparently the boy can dance. (I don’t know because I still haven’t seen Magic Mike or Step Up. I could check out Magic Mike, but Step Up isn’t happening unless a friend blackmails me or something.) But . . . it’s Gambit. GAMBIT, my very first love. (Well, him and Rogue. If only I swung poly . . . and animated.)

I’m not 100% dead set against this casting — like, I’m not suppressing any dark instincts to grab pitchforks and torches or anything like that — but I’m definitely a bit uneasy. I can get around the difference in body type, and I’m trying to remain hopeful that Tatum can pull off a slightly darker version of sexy/funny, but it’s the accent that keeps tripping me up. If I could just see a video with the guy using a good Cajun accent — or at least not a godawful one that hurts even my unsophisticated Californian ears — well, it would go a long way to easing my concerns.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep an open mind. And, per usual, remind myself that things could always be worse: what if Liam Hemsworth had been cast? Gambit Gale is probably worse, right?

Casting the Expendabelles

After the success of The Expendables and The Expendables II (as well as the likely success of the upcoming Expendables III), there’s been some talk about making an all-female spin-off to the series called, rather unfortunately, Expendabelles. The title is not my only concern — the director and writers who are currently attached have a resume made up primarily of bad romantic comedies, rather than badass action movies. I desperately don’t want this to be a cheesy romp full of nothing but cleavage shots and terrible girl power jokes . . . but if this movie could be done well? Shit, how AWESOME would that be, amirite?

With that in mind, Mekaela and I came up with a cast wish list — twelve actresses who we’d like to see in a movie about kickass female mercenaries beating the shit out of one another. Some of these actresses are action and/or B movie veterans — keeping in line with the Expendables franchise — but we did pick a couple of lesser known actresses from TV as well who we think could fit right in.

Let’s first discuss our heroes. (Oh, yeah. We totally divided our good guys and bad guys.)


Sigourney Weaver

(Okay, this isn’t the best quality, but desperate times, right? I had to have the power loader scene.)

We didn’t bother coming up with any kind of character roles for most of our cast, but it is absolutely imperative that Ripley plays the head honcho of our good guys. IMPERATIVE.

Action Resume: Alien franchise

Michelle Rodriguez

This is, admittedly, probably not the movie that would break Michelle Rodriguez out of the same role she always plays . . . but how could we not include her? On the plus side, if she’s on the hero team, she has a much better chance of survival than usual.

Action Resume: Resident Evil franchise; The Fast and the Furious franchise; SWAT; Girlfight; Avatar; Machete; Machete Kills

Claudia Black

Because Aeryn Sun is one of my favorite badasses of all time, and really, that’s all there is to it.

Action Resume: Farscape

Sarah Shahi

Sarah Shahi might be the least well known actress on this list, but I love her as Shaw so much on PoI that I’d really like to see her do more, especially if that more includes kicking the shit out of people. Cause she seems to be pretty good at that.

Action Resume: Person of Interest

Lucy Liu

Cause, dude. LUCY LIU. I love Lucy Liu. Do I really have to say anything else?

Action Resume: Kill Bill; Charlie’s Angels; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever

Gina Torres

Okay, Youtube? You have failed me. How are there not more clips of Gina Torres online? I’m aware she’s another actress primarily known for her work in television, but still. I was going to upload a Firefly clip, but there are so few available that I picked one from a show I completely gave up on instead because I wanted a scene where she actually had lines.

Anyway. A lot of nerds might have picked Summer Glau — who I do like and was definitely on the shortlist — but if I have to recruit only one Firefly/Serenity badass, I’m actually going to go with Zoe. Cause, you know. Big damn hero, and all that.

Action Resume: Firefly, Serenity, Alias

Zoe Saldana

HA! I’ve never actually seen Colombiana before, but dude — SPOILER ALERT — she kills someone with sharks. That’s HILARIOUS.

So, yes. For our final team member in this band of heroes, we’re definitely going Zoe Saldana. She’s a pretty great actress, one of the main go-to girls for science fiction action right now, and again, kills people with sharks. That’s a winner right there.

Action Resume: Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness; Avatar; The Losers; Colombiana; Guardians of the Galaxy. (Okay, that one’s upcoming. Still.)


Linda Hamilton

Because you know you want Sarah Connor to be the leader of the bad guys. Come on. And she and Sigourney Weaver have to square off in a climactic battle. Obviously.

Action Resume: Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Katee Sackhoff

Cause Katee Sackhoff would make an amazing villain. I remember when they tried doing a Bionic Woman remake on TV however many years ago, and it was pretty terrible, except Katee Sackhoff was so AWESOME as the bad guy. I think she would be an awful lot of fun here.

Action Resume: Battlestar Galactica; Riddick

Michelle Yeoh

Honestly, I haven’t seen Michelle Yeoh in quite some time, but I like her, and Mek and I both thought she could be a pretty fun addition to the cast. Especially since I’m mostly used to seeing her play good guys. It might be fun to see her as someone evil.

Action Resume: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Tomorrow Never Dies

Milla Jovovich

Speaking of someone who almost always plays good guys . . . Milla Jovovich is like the B-movie action queen. I definitely want her on the side of the villains. (Is it too much if Michelle Rodriguez is the one to take her down? Cause I kind of think that’d be fun.)

Action Resume: The Fifth Element; Resident Evil movies; Ultraviolet; The Three Musketeers

Lucy Lawless

(Man, I love these opening credits. “A mighty princess forged in the heat of battle!” LOVE IT. Also, I totally forgot Karl Urban guest starred on this show. I am so happy right now!)

Anyway, who better to play our last villain than Xena, Warrior Princess. (Although, in all honesty, I was really thinking of a guest spot she did on Burn Notice when I casted her here. Like Katee Sackhoff, Lucy Lawless could be a lot of fun as a villain. She’s got a particularly great smile, and I think the best villains are the ones that grin like madmen and trickster gods.)

Action Resume: Xena: Warrior Princess, Battlestar Galactica

There are, of course, a ton of great actresses that didn’t quite make the cut for our list. If you have any or your own suggestions, though, I’d love to hear them.

Not The Batman Gotham Needs – 5 Actors Who Would Make a Worse Batman Than Ben Affleck

So, Ben Affleck will be the next Batman. You may have heard something about this last week, if you happen to have a Twitter account or, really, any kind of access to the Internet.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t particularly thrilled when I first heard about this casting. And now . . . well, now, I’m still not all that excited about it, truth be told, but I’m trying to put myself in a more optimistic frame of mind. Cause, one, I don’t think anyone is ever going to give me the Batman I desperately want. Namely, this one:

Not to say I haven’t enjoyed other interpretations of Batman, clearly. Christian Bale did a great job with Bruce Wayne, and I like his performance a whole lot — but my Batman is, and will always be, Kevin Conroy. I’m not sure exactly who I would want cast in the part.

But also — I just feel bad for Ben Affleck. Some people have spoken out in support of the actor, like Patton Oswalt and Joss Whedon, but others — like nearly everybody else on Twitter — have crucified the guy, and at this point, it’s just starting to feel a little mean. Also, Affleck has grown as an actor. Argo was almost certainly a career best, and I’m not entirely sure it’s fair to judge him on movies that were made a decade or more ago. Like, I can see how Daredevil seems like it would be a relevant credit, being that it’s a superhero movie and all, but let’s be real for a second here: nobody was really approaching superhero movies as serious films back in 2003. People expect so much more from them now, particularly the Batman films. Christopher Nolan kind of changed the game. (Although it’s also fair to say that it’s been ages since I saw Daredevil, so I suppose it could be 80 bazillion times worse than I’m remembering. Still, I think the point stands.)

And really, here’s the thing: there are plenty of actors out there who would have made a worse Batman than Ben Affleck. Let’s look at a few, shall we?

1. Channing Tatum

Er, NSFW. Unless your boss is big into male strippers.

Tatum is pretty huge right now with a few box office successes and a number of action films under his belt. He is also, despite appearances, not a terrible actor. (I could have used a clip where he has, you know, dialogue, but I decided to use this one instead because I’m a giving sort of person.) Despite the fact that Tatum is supremely not my type, he’s got a nice smile and seems kind of endearing, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him in different types of roles.

But he would be profoundly miscast as Batman. Other superheroes, whatever. I’m sure he could play someone who likes witty one-liners in between punches, but the Dark Knight? The world’s grimmest vigilante?  No fucking way. It would have been a horrible idea.

2. Sam Worthington

Sam Worthington doesn’t quite have the star power he did a few years ago, but he’s still a pretty big name in science fiction and fantasy franchises. He made his big break in the abysmal Terminator: Salvation — where, to his credit, he actually outacted our most recent Batman — but then proceeded to follow that movie up with incredibly uninspired performances in Avatar and Clash of the Titans — and, presumably, Wrath of the Titans.

These weren’t thrilling scripts, mind you, but Worthington brought almost nothing to the table with him. He had absolutely zero charisma or presence, and I fear what his broody Dark Knight would have been like. I’d expect a lot of staring out windows and not much in the way of inflection or facial expression of any kind.

3. Leonardo DiCaprio

Once again, I could have picked any number of clips from this decade . . . or at least an actual scene instead of a terrible music video . . . but I didn’t because I’m an asshole, and this cracked me up.

DiCaprio is a really good actor. While he’s not well known for playing action heroes — outside of cop and robber dramas, that is — he’s been nominated for three Academy Awards and could bring a certain gravitas and prestige with him. Which I think would appeal to Zack Snyder, since — from everything I understand — Man of Steel was going for the same super dark, gritty realism that the Nolan verse had, and the Batman/Superman movie will likely be more of the same.

But the idea of DiCaprio as Batman . . . I can’t even properly imagine. Can you really see him in the suit? Cause I can, and it makes me laugh every time. God knows what kind of accent he’d put on for Batman — because you know he’d come up with one. I wonder if his Batman voice could be any worse than Bale’s over-gravelly one. I have a sneaking suspicion that it could.

4. Mark Wahlberg

Okay, I really was going to post something with Mark Wahlberg actually in it, but this skit was the first thing on my Youtube results list, and it cracks me up every time I watch it. I feel like it’s a fair representation of why the idea of Mark Wahlberg as Batman terrifies me.

And again — Wahlberg isn’t a terrible actor. (Well. He was good in The Departed anyway. Most of the movies I’ve seen him in are somewhere between not-so-great to pretty-terrible.) But I can just picture him as this ridiculously muscled, super angry, in-your-face Batman that yells about his dead parents, and . . . yeah. No.

I’ve read a lot of oh-so-clever tweets about Ben Affleck’s Boston accent, but if I had to pick between Bostonians . . . it’s Affleck, all the way.

5. James Franco

NSFW? Maybe? I mean, there’s drug use. And they say the word “vagina.” Shocking stuff. (Actually, it kind of is. Anybody who talks about the smell of pot in a complimentary fashion weirds me out. That shit smells TERRIBLE. I don’t understand you people.)

Franco has an Oscar nomination. He’s hot off of This is the End — not likely an Academy movie, I’ll grant you, but a movie that’s gotten a lot of good buzz recently. He’s done superhero films before, albeit as the best friend/bad guy, and he has something of a broody/intense reputation. I could see why he might have been cast.

But I would’ve hated it. Hated hated hated it. This is probably going to sound weird, but I don’t entirely trust James Franco as an actor. You know? Like this is the same guy who decided to go do General Hospital for a few seasons. And remember the Oscars, when he did the co-hosting? I know that’s hosting, not acting, but it was so immensely terrible — like I don’t understand why he did it at all, if he was going to put that little effort into it. I’d worry about how serious he’d take the role of Batman. And even if he did take it seriously, I see him getting the brooding down and forgetting all about the badass. Cause, yeah. That’s kind of important. Batman is a BADASS.

I may be wary about Ben Affleck, but I’m going to try and give him an honest shot because there are definitely worse casting decisions that could have been made.

It’s important to have hope, or at least that’s what Hollywood keeps trying to tell me.

The Downward Spiral: Brendan Fraser

Remember this guy?


I do. I like Brendan Fraser, or at least, I like a lot of his older movies. I enjoy The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. (Yes, I like The Mummy Returns. Get over it.) He’s fun enough in Bedazzled. I really like him in Gods and Monsters a whole lot, and I seem to remember School Ties being pretty decent. I even liked his guest spot on Scrubs.

But then I see him in movies like this . . .

. . . and I just want to weep.

What I Want to See Instead:

Nothing family-friendly, that’s for sure. I’m not saying he needs to star in the next Hostel or anything, but half of this man’s career has been dominated by kids’ movies, and not the good kind of kids’ movies, like Matilda or Enchanted or The Goonies. I don’t want Disney anywhere near this man, not unless it’s awesome-sauce Disney, like The Avengers.

But I think I’d rather see him in a drama, anyway, maybe something a little more action-oriented, like a thriller, and/or a serial killer movie. (I don’t know if I’d want him to be the serial killer. Maybe. I was thinking one of the cops, but playing against type as a bad guy, well, that could be kind of fun too.) He could also be in a drama-drama, something about family and life or whatnot, but nothing too inspirational with a capital I, lest he end up in another movie like this . . .


Remember this movie? Neither does anyone else.

I do not want to see the words “miracle” or “inspired by a true story”. Might be best if there’s no Harrison Ford, either.

The other, possibly better way Fraser could go would be TV. A couple of good guest spots can help boost a struggling career, especially if you can prove versatility by doing both comedy and drama. (Not to mention, a great guest role can always lead to being a series regular.)

A year ago, I might have suggested a stint on Community, but unfortunately, the show is struggling pretty hard to find its rhythm without Dan Harmon at the helm. So, I’d throw him on Cougar Town instead — a show that’s always looking for more Scrubs alum — and then maybe something a bit more serious, like, I don’t know, The Good Wife. (I’m literally just guessing with The Good Wife, since I’ve never actually seen it. I hear good things, though, and they seem to have all kinds of cool guest arcs.)

Finally, I think Fraser should show up on one of the post-apocalyptic shows, say, Revolution or preferably The Walking Dead, as I’m still watching that one.


“Hey, Winston! Pedal faster!”

Because, come on. Who doesn’t want to see Rick O’Connell against some zombies?

Can I Control Your Career, Please?

Today, I create a new semi-regular feature on this blog. I call it the “Let Me Fix the Downward Spiral That is Your Current Career” feature.

What this means — I will, whenever I feel like it, dedicate a post to an actor who I would like to make movies other than the ones he or she is currently making. These actors may actually be in a serious career slump, or they may simply be making choices that are stupid and make me sad. Regardless, I will tell you why I don’t like what they’re currently doing and what I wish they would do instead.

Today’s Featured Actor?


You have to understand: I love Johnny Depp. I used to have this, like, entire wall-sized poster of him in my living room — it was, roughly, the size of three or four normal posters, and all Johnny Depp was doing in it was soulfully playing the piano, but I loved it. And yet when we moved, I knew I didn’t want to dedicate the space to him anymore because — pretty and talented as he is — I haven’t been interested in one of his movies in years. The last one I saw, I think, was Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street back in 2007. (Which was . . . okay, I guess? I’d have to watch it again. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting.)

But I wonder if the trouble might not have started even earlier, right after Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, as a matter of fact. First off, this is the only Pirates movie that should have been made, period. I mean,  I know it’s easy saying that in retrospect and all, but it’s true: Dead Man’s Chest was overcomplicated and ridiculous and At World’s End wasn’t a whole lot better. I never even saw the fourth one, and I still have absolutely no interest in ever doing so.

But it also feels sometimes like the success of his Awesome Crazy in The Curse of the Black Pearl might have gone to Depp’s head a little because in a lot of his movies since — At World’s End, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger — he doesn’t seem to have the ability to edit himself anymore, to pull back from the outrageous and think, “Hmm, maybe this actually isn’t such a good idea. Maybe instead of looking like a talented character actor, I just look like a crazy person that no one has the balls to reign in.”

And you say, Carlie, you can’t say that about movies you haven’t watched all the way through yet, certainly not about The Lone Ranger, which doesn’t even hit THEATERS until this summer. And to that, I offer this as a rebuttal:


And I think I win.

What I Want To See Instead:

I’d really like to see Johnny Depp do something restrained again, something that’s actually about the character and not the spectacle. I want him to play a supporting role and actually be a supporting role, instead of trying to hijack the movie with his ridiculousness. The thing about the first Pirates: Depp sort of stole the movie from Orlando Bloom, but I never got the impression that he was trying to showboat. He just had this crazy idea for how to play Captain Jack Sparrow, and — to everyone’s shock — it worked. But now I feel like he — or maybe the studios behind him — keep trying to replicate that success, and most of the movies that he’s in have become about being an even Crazier Hero, no matter what part he’s actually playing.

Recently, I’ve been considering trying out Gosford Park again– I had mixed feelings, the first time I saw it, but it’s been about a decade now — and I was thinking that something like that, a quiet English murder mystery and a big ensemble piece, would be just the kind of thing I’d like to see Johnny Depp in. Something where he’s much more restrained, something where he’s pulled back but still acting — it would be a little like watching Helena Bonham-Carter in The King’s Speech after watching her play Bellatrix Lestrange for all those years. (Note: I love Bellatrix Lestrange. It was simply refreshing to see Bonham-Carter do something very different, as this would be.)

In this English murder mystery — almost certainly a period piece — I wouldn’t care exactly what role Johnny Depp played, as long as he wasn’t the murderer or the super detective. He could be a suspect. He could be a servant. He could be the victim. Just an honest-to-God supporting role.

And — as an incentive for him — he can have an accent.

I miss you, Johnny Depp. Please come back from the Dark Side.