Die Hard: The Alternate 80’s Cast

Happy Inauguration Day! Hopefully happy, anyway; I’ll be honest, I’m having trouble feeling the sheer relief a lot of people have been expressing on social media for the past 24 hours. Maybe I’ll manage it on Thursday, if nothing terrible happens. In the meantime, consider this an official Distraction Post.

While reviewing Die Hard a few weeks ago, I mentioned that Mek and I had been having fun recasting the film with actors who could reasonably have been hired in 1988. Reasonably, in this case, meaning people who were actively acting around that time; I didn’t, like, look up people’s film schedules to make sure they were free or anything. Remember folks, this is all for fun and games and blasphemy; I didn’t sweat the nitty gritty, and I encourage you all to do likewise.

Recasting any movie–but especially something as iconic as Die Hard–will always be difficult because no two actors are gonna give the same performance. This John McClane, inevitably, will not be Bruce Willis’s John McClane. The Hans Gruber we all love and cherish simply can’t be replicated by any other actor, no matter how talented. This is a sad truth that we live with forever now: there was, and only ever will be, one Alan Rickman.

Still. I had a great deal of fun coming up with this Alternate Die Hard cast, and I hope you also have a good time, thinking things like “huh” and “hmm” and “sweet Christ, WHY?” This will be a pretty straight recast today: no gender-bending or the like, but if you are interested in a hypothetical genderbent cast, feel free to look here. (If you’re not interested in the rambling essay part, scroll down quite a ways.)

Prepare yourselves, friends. The blasphemy is about to begin.


John McClane – Kurt Russell

Now I know what a TV dinner feels like.

Here’s the thing: originally, I wanted to cast someone who–just like Bruce Willis–was an unconventional choice, someone wasn’t already an action star. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t come up with anyone we liked, not until we thought of Kurt Russell, who, of course, was smack in the middle of the (first) Big Action Phase of his career, with films like The Thing, Escape From New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and Tango & Cash. (Kurt Russell’s career fascinates me. It’s a beautiful, unholy mix of SFF action, regular action, violent westerns, the occasional romantic comedy, and some wholesome Disney shit.)

But Kurt Russell’s heroes aren’t all carbon copies of each other: Jack Burton is definitely not Snake Plissken, and MacReady is not Wyatt Earp. Russell goes deliberately over-the-top sometimes–which, TBH, I goddamn adore–but he can also pull it back, and I can genuinely hear him landing a fair bit of the dialogue. Plus. Let’s concentrate on what really matters, folks: you know he can wear the hell out of that white tank top. (Lipstick, too, clearly . . . but alas, that doesn’t canonically feature.)

Hans Gruber – Rutger Hauer

That’s a very nice suit, Mr. Takagi. It would be a shame to ruin it.

Again, there is no duplicating Alan Rickman. It simply can’t be done. But I’ve always been very fond of Rutger Hauer, too, and his Hans Gruber could’ve been interesting to see. I do suspect it would’ve been a touch more, shall we say, overtly menacing than Rickman’s performance? Like, Hauer was known for playing creepy and charismatic villains for a reason; he was damn good at them.

But I’ve seen some nice subtle bits of humor, too: this scene from Ladyhawke, for example, where he is–for once–the good guy. That expression on Hauer’s face when he says “No?” Oh, it always kills me dead. He could’ve gone for a German accent, I suppose, (apparently, he played several German characters over the course of his career), but . . . IDK, part of me just wants this Hans to have been an exceptional Dutch thief instead.

Holly Gennaro McClane – Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

That’s okay, I have my eye on his private bathroom.

TBH, this is kinda just typecasting. In the late 80’s/early 90’s, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio definitely played this type of love interest, you know, professional and independent and not afraid to call the lead hero–who may or may not have been her ex–on their bullshit. Lindsey Brigham in The Abyss. Maid Marian in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. But I’ve always liked Mastrantonio, and I think she could’ve been a great Holly. I can easily see her stepping up to be the hostage’s spokesperson after Takagi dies. Plus, I mean, come on. Those curls. I’m not saying I’m making all my casting choices based on hair and fashion, but I’m not not saying it, either.

Sergeant Al Powell – Frankie Faison

No, but it’s gonna need a paint job and a shitload of screen doors.

Like Reginald VelJohnson–like a lot of the people in the original cast, honestly–Frankie Faison wasn’t a big name in 1988, at least not compared to some of the other actors you’ll find on this list. But he has a very nice voice and a lot of screen presence, always making the most of even the smallest roles: Barney, for instance, in The Silence of the Lambs. (Shit, does this make Kurt Russell his Clarice? I like it.) Dude’s in that movie for all of twelve seconds, but he always stands out in my memory. And of all the actors we came up with, Faison is the one I can hear the best when it comes to Powell’s dialogue. I absolutely love VelJohnson’s line deliveries, but I think Frankie Faison could’ve done a very nice job with them, too.

Karl – Patrick Swayze

I don’t want neutral. I want dead.

No, but listen. Listen. Is this a ridiculous casting? Yes. Is it the most ridiculous casting you’ve ever seen? Possibly, but you have to respect the legs. People. It is important. Alexander Godunov was a dancer, and by God, our Karl will be one, too. If he does not deliver the most beautiful jump kicks, is he really Karl at all? I rest my case.

Theo – LeVar Burton

Oh my God, the quarterback is toast!

Ah, the reason we did this recast in the first place. During our annual Christmas viewing of Die Hard, I found myself randomly wondering what it might’ve been like to see LeVar Burton as Theo. It amused me, of course, to think of a beloved children’s host (as well as beloved Geordi LaForge) as a bad guy–albeit, the funny bad guy that doesn’t kill anybody and, very thankfully, survives–but I really do think it could’ve worked. At the very, very least, I can absolutely see LeVar Burton rocking that sweater and glasses combo. (I’ll admit to finding the collective online thirst for attractive dudes in old man sweaters kind of baffling, but I’m always willing to be convinced!)

Takagi – George Takei

Ellis, I want you to meet John McClane. Holly’s husband. Holly’s policeman.

Let’s keep with the Star Trek theme for the moment, shall we?

According to IMDb Trivia (which, you know, might be accurate?), John McTiernan wanted to hire George Takei for the role of Takagi, and George Takei wanted the role of Takagi, too, but there was some kind of paperwork mishap due to Takei’s agent, and the part went to James Shigeta instead. I can’t entirely regret this because I’ve always loved Shigeta in the role, but it also could’ve been really neat to see George Takei here as well. Not just because I’m a Sulu stan, but yeah, a little cause I’m a Sulu stan.

Ellis – Bill Paxton

Hey babe, I negotiate million dollar deals for breakfast. I think I can handle this Eurotrash.

I’ll admit, Ellis stumped me for quite a while . . . until Mekaela came up with the idea of Bill Paxton, and I was immediately sold. Ellis is kinda scummy, kinda sleazy, thinks he’s the shit (spoilers: he is not the shit), and overall, has a certain ‘cocaine will be my date to this Christmas party’ energy. In other words, think of Ellis as Bill Paxton’s audition for True Lies, and I think you might see it, too.

Bill Paxton was the best. Ugh, this casting is reminding me just how many amazing actors we’ve lost.

Argyle – Wesley Snipes

This IS Christmas music.

Argyle, surprisingly, was another tough character to cast. For a while, I was considering a young Will Smith, but he was still a few years out from his first acting role in 1988, and we decided to keep looking. Eventually, we came up with Wesley Snipes (in his pre-Blade days), and I kinda like the idea: he has just a ton of comedic energy in films like Major League, and I can absolutely see him laughing his ass off at the poor life choices of John McClane. As well he should. Love the dude, but McClane definitely deserves it.

Dwayne T. Robinson – John Larroquette

We’re gonna need some more FBI guys, I guess.

I’ve always thought that Dwayne T. Robinson requires a very specific type of humor. Initially, he’s just that one jerk cop played pretty straight, until the bigger jerk cops (the FBI) come into the picture, and then DTR gets to be . . . well, if not an ally, exactly, then at least funnier, a bit more likable. The comedic moments are small, though; they shouldn’t be overplayed, and I feel like John Larroquette–who can easily play either sharp and incisive or just hilariously incompetent–could make that balance work.

Thornberg – James Spader

Did you get that?

James Spader is 13 years younger than William Atherton, but Thornberg’s age is considerably less important to me than the punchability of his face, and in the 80’s and early 90’s, James Spader was extremely well-versed in the art of playing jerks with punchable faces. I can absolutely see him playing the guy who threatened a woman with deportation and endangered Holly’s life, all for a good story. Plus, let’s keep with the theme: look at that fantastic 80’s hair. Obviously, Die Hard could only be improved with all that amazing blond fluff.

Special Agent Johnson – Michael Ironside

This is Agent Johnson. No, the other one.

Yes. Yes. Michael Ironside as Special Agent Johnson (AKA, Big Johnson), and you know why? Because it’s perfect, that’s why. Come on. Come. On.

Agent Johnson – Eriq La Salle

I was in junior high, dickhead.

I’ve rewatched some ER clips recently, and it’s made me wanna see Eriq La Salle in more things–things that are not Jacob’s Ladder, ugh, that movie. Agent Johnson (AKA Little Johnson) would’ve been a minor role, admittedly, but Die Hard was a few years prior to ER, so that doesn’t bother me–and happily, he’s about the right age, since Eriq La Salle would’ve been in junior high about the time the Vietnam War ended. Also, I can really hear him delivering some of these lines: the one above, of course, but also “when we commandeer your men, we’ll try and let you know.” LOVE IT.

And finally . . .

Uli – Dennis Dun

*double take at the candy display*

Did I really need to cast Uli? No. Was I gonna cast Uli anyway? Absolutely.

Uli’s age definitely isn’t important, but I still kinda wanted him to be under 60, which took out 80’s heavyweights Victor Wong and James Hong. (Well, technically, I think James Hong was 59, but still.) But we did get to thinking about Big Trouble in Little China, which got us to Dennis Dun (and Dun’s glorious eyebrow raise).

Of course, now I want at least one more scene between Uli and John, so we can properly appreciate the reunion between Dun and Russell before our hero unceremoniously kills our wonderful thief who, damn it, just wanted a Crunch Bar. Poor Uli.

Well, that’s all for now! If you have time and were blown away by my legendary casting prowess, or have your own suggestions for an 80’s alternate remake, or would like to express your outrage at the fiendish horror I just put your through, please feel free to comment below!

Triple Christmas Scoop Review: Anna and the Apocalypse, Silent Night, Deadly Night, and Die Hard

Happy New Year, everyone! I’m loathe to even express hope for 2021 at this point, so let’s just belatedly talk about the Christmas movies I watched last week instead.

Anna and the Apocalypse

Year: 2017
Director: John McPhail
First Watch or Rewatch: First Watch
Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, or Other: Amazon
Spoilers: Some, but I don’t think any Big Ones
Grade: Vanilla

Ah, the traditional zombie musical holiday movie. I enjoyed Anna and the Apocalypse, although it’s a bit darker than I expected it to be. Ridiculous of me to assume otherwise, I know–horror comedies obviously tend to skew dark, not to mention Clear Foreshadow song “Hollywood Ending”–but I suppose I was thrown by all the dancing and cheer and cast full of generally likable characters? Musical comedies and horror comedies generally have different rules about who and how many people you can murder, and I found myself expecting a story that adhered more to the former than the latter. As such, some of the character deaths here definitely took me by surprise.

My absolute favorite character, though, is Assistant Headmaster Savage, who starts out this movie as a curmudgeonly antagonist–as all vice principals must–before transforming into a glorious mad villain–as all vice principals must. I’ve read a few reviews now that feel this turn is forced or unnecessary, and TBH, they aren’t wrong. But I also don’t care because Savage is so utterly delightful that I don’t give a damn what he’s doing, so long as he keeps talking. Every line is somehow drier and more disgruntled than the last until this dude’s sitting in the dark, ominously explaining that he’s eating his Christmas dinner, and I’m near in tears. Savage, BTW, is played by Paul Kaye, who also played Thoros of Myr in Game of Thrones, and now I’d really like to see a slideshow comparing every GoT actor with their absolute LEAST GoT-like roles.

Anna and the Apocalypse is also one of those movies where the horror might take you by surprise if you just stumbled across it on TV without knowing anything about the story. The first, IDK, 15-20 minutes play as a standard cute high school musical, and then we get “Turning My Life Around,” which changes everything. This scene is epic, delightfully having fun at the vast suspension of disbelief one inherently needs to enjoy musicals. Other favorite songs include “Soldier at War,” “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now,” and “It’s That Time of Year.”

Silent Night, Deadly Night

Year: 1984
Director: Charles E. Sellier Jr.
First Watch or Rewatch: Rewatch
Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, or Other: Other – Personal Collection DVD
Spoilers: Yup
Grade: Strawberry

Despite owning this movie, I haven’t seen it in years and was a bit worried Mekaela wouldn’t like it and/or the film wouldn’t hold up, especially since some movies–especially ridiculous ones–are best experienced in a big group of people. These concerns proved groundless: Mek was hilariously indignant on Billy’s behalf, rooting for his inevitable killing spree to begin, and–despite the dreaded grade of Strawberry–I still find Silent Night, Deadly Night pretty solidly entertaining. There are things I’d change, certainly: the attempted sexual assault in the prologue, for instance, or the sheer number of tits on display. (The most egregious moment is when Scream Queen Linnea Quigley pulls on a pair of Daisy Dukes to go outside, but doesn’t bother putting on a bra or shirt? What?) Also, while I love that a kindly old priest gets killed after being mistaken for Evil Santa . . . IDK, maybe don’t make him deaf?

A list of standout moments: any time Billy says “NAUGHTY!” or “PUNISH!” (I’m definitely going to start yelling that at my cats now.) The ending, which sets up for the sequel that I still haven’t seen. (2021 Goals!) That fucking amazing moment when Billy gifts his bloody knife to a little girl. (Wait, this movie has five sequels and none of them are about this kid? JFC, hire me; I will write the shit out of an Evil Girl Santa movie!) Little Billy punching Santa Claus is pretty great, too, and that this toy store sells, like, actual bows and arrows, I guess? I mean, yeah, why not? Some of the death scenes are  fantastic, like, Bully Decapitated on a Sled is just *chef’s kiss,* and the dude who dies when he gets thrown through a window? YES. Partially because he’s impaled on just a ludicrously large piece of glass, but mostly because holy shit, someone in a movie finally dies from going through a window pane! I’m also in love with the blatant changes in film quality that sometimes happen mid-scene. It’s the absolute best.

The gigantic controversy that emerged when this movie came out is still shockingly absurd. I feel sorry for anyone whose career might’ve suffered just because people lost their minds and decided Silent Night, Deadly Night was an attack on Christmas, like, this wasn’t even the first Killer Santa movie, goddamn it. I remain vexed on this film’s behalf, and never mind that the movie is a year older than I am and no one cares anymore. This is nonsense. People should still be ashamed of themselves.

Die Hard

Year: 1988
Director: John McTiernan
First Watch or Rewatch: Rewatch
Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, or Other: Other – HBO Max
Spoilers: Obviously
Grade: Chocolate

Well, I mean. Die Hard is always gonna win for me: I grew up on this one, and the nostalgia factor is just too strong. It’s been my favorite Christmas movie since childhood, and honestly works even better for me as an adult–except that, like most cop movies, it’s kinda 2+ hours of police propaganda. (We need more mavericks like McClane! It’s only pesky rules that stop hardworking cops getting the job done! Thank God Al Powell learned the Will to Kill again after shooting an innocent kid!) Still. Messaging aside, I do love this one. There are just so many little moments I enjoy: all the humming and singing (“Ode to Joy” has honest to God become a Christmas song in my brain), Al Leong’s improvised candy bit (it is low key my favorite joke in the whole movie), Karl and Theo’s bet (which I somehow didn’t notice for years), etc.

The dialogue, too, seems effortlessly funny. All the Big Lines, of course, but also the little asides. The way Alan Rickman says, “I must have missed 60 Minutes.” The obvious amusement in Reginald VelJohnson’s voice when he asks, “Hey, Roy, how you feeling?” How Tony’s actions–wait, his name is TONY–somewhat belie his words when he assures, “I promise I won’t hurt you,” or the way James Shigeta quietly reminds Ellis, “Holly’s husband. Holly’s policeman.” TBH, I just adore Shigeta in this movie and always get a bit bummed when Takagi dies. Hans, too, of course, because let’s be honest: we all want to see the AU version where Hans wins, right? Or at least some deleted scenes with Exasperated Hans listening to John and Powell talk? Basically, I want more of Alan Rickman at every given opportunity. Damn, I still miss him.

Obviously, there’s really not much I can say about Die Hard that hasn’t already been said a billion times over. But I’m here, so: A) I have a lot of Feels/Ideas about characters who build a relationship (of any kind) before actually meeting, so of course, I think it’s awesome that John does this with his closest ally Powell (only one scene together) and Big Bad Hans (only two). B) I like that John is mostly a regular guy who gets caught in a bad situation, rather than the Super Cop he’ll become in subsequent sequels. (He’s  also a bit of a sociopath–evidence HO HO HO–and probably would’ve gotten everyone killed with that C4, but we’ll ignore this for now.) C) A bad guy actually does die from being thrown through glass; however, this moment is somewhat negated when John swings straight through a glass window himself and is basically fine. And D) I love that Kristoff survives because I don’t care what anyone else says; he lives, and it is the BEST.

Finally, I’m mildly obsessed with recasting movies, just for the challenge of it. Lately, Mek and I have taken to recasting movies and TV shows with Korean actors–I always end up casting Choi Won-Young as somebody–and, of course, we’ve already did a genderbent cast for Die Hard a couple years ago. (Scroll down quite a ways.) I mention all this because while watching Die Hard for the 574th time, I was  struck by a strange if charming idea: what if LeVar Burton had been cast as Theo? Not because I dislike Clarence Gilyard Jr. in this, but . . . I don’t know, I’m just very amused by the idea of everyone’s favorite children’s show host/mild-mannered Chief Engineer playing a bad guy (albeit, a comic relief bad guy). He could absolutely do it, and I think it would’ve been fun to see. Which naturally led Mek and I to a new game: recast actors who could somewhat reasonably have played these roles in 1987. We haven’t settled on a full cast yet, but I can tell you that some of the nominees for Karl have seriously cracked me up.

Genderbent Wednesdays Presents MAVERICK

Happy Wednesday, everyone! It’s time to fulfill my second Clarion West Write-a-Thon reward, only this time, we’re doing things a little different. Huw–my friend, WaT sponsor, and unofficial Class President of CW 2012–asked for a genderbent essay, rather than a typical review. Kindly, he provided a whole list of films which I could choose from, and while several movies might have proven interesting, I simply couldn’t resist picking Maverick. I grew up on this film, after all, was 8 going on 9 when it first came out. Pretty sure it was my introduction to both Jodie Foster and James Garner, honestly. (Though not Mel Gibson. That was almost certainly Lethal Weapon.)

Anyway, thus far, I’ve really only examined action, suspense, and horror films for my Genderbent Wednesday reviews. Analyzing a western (okay, a western-comedy) and reimagining it with an almost entirely female cast?

Yep. I’m here for it. Let’s dive in, shall we?

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Genderbent Wednesdays Presents BLACK CHRISTMAS

When I began Genderbent Wednesdays at the beginning of the year, I wondered if I could keep to a monthly schedule. The answer was a quick and resounding no. So, I adjusted my expectations: I’d post a new column every other month. That, I figured, was perfectly doable.

It’s been roughly (checks calendar) six months since my last confession column.

Okay, so I failed that goal, too. Still, I’ve known since March that I wanted to tackle a classic slasher film, and what better month for that than October, right? Obviously, this wasn’t bad planning; this was DESTINY. As for that slasher film, well, I had a few options. I did consider Halloween for quite some time, being the quintessential horror film and all. But–as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago when I put all my blasphemy cards on the table–despite its obvious film significance, solid third act, and wonderfully creepy score, I’ve never managed to work up much passion for Halloween. Besides, I really liked the idea of examining a sorority movie for this particular column. It’s not that frat boys don’t die in horror films, of course, but they’re not usually terrorized in the same way: not stalked, not watched in their sleep. The calls don’t come from inside the house.

And so I chose one of my favorite horror movies, the slasher that actually predates Michael Myers and his babysitter-killing ways: Black Christmas.

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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.

A Challenge, Of Sorts – Cast Your Dream TV Show

Today is a good day. Not only is it my sister’s birthday (everyone say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MEKAELA), it’s also a day in which I will bestow glorious power upon you. Like, okay, theoretical glorious power, but POWER NONETHELESS.

Here’s what I’d like you to do, if you’re willing to play along: cast your dream TV show. The plot of your show itself doesn’t matter so much and can be any genre–personally, I’m leaning towards team-based space opera myself, but to each her own–but everyone has to follow certain rules. You must cast at least 5 actors, maximum 13, from the 13 television shows listed below. Your actors must have either played a main character or a very prominent recurring character in these shows–don’t cheat by picking an actress who was in three episodes of a 150-episode show, people. Furthermore, you’re only allowed to cast 1 actor per show. That’s right, Firefly fans: you don’t get to have both Gina Torres and Alan Tudyk. You must CHOOSE. (The only exception to this is if you pick an actor who starred in two different shows from the list, in which case you could pick him from Show A and pick someone else from Show B. Otherwise, that’s it. No cheating.)

Don’t recognize a lot of these shows? Don’t worry, you can still play! Just check out the links to look at the actors involved. Even if you haven’t watched the actual TV show in question (I actually haven’t watched all 13 myself), I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll recognize at least 5 people among these casts.

Your shows to choose from:

Luke Cage
The Walking Dead
The Expanse
The Flash
The Wire
The West Wing
Person of Interest
Parks & Recreations
Orange is the New Black
Grey’s Anatomy
Game Of Thrones

I hope you play. I really love hearing about people’s dream casts. Feel free to be as generic or specific as you want. You can just comment with your list of actors, or you can go for broke and give them names and job titles and dark secrets and horoscopes. I’m not gonna lie: I’m gonna give bonus points for dark secrets and horoscopes.

Also! Apparently, my blog has been eating some comments because it doesn’t actually like me? So I’ve recently made some changes to my settings that will hopefully make it easier to comment. Just in case that’s been holding you back. Talk to me. I’m so alooooooooone.

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.

Results: Your All-Women Ghostbusters Dreamcast

I was supposed to post this yesterday, but — well — life. So, here are your picks for an all-women Ghostbusters remake.

emma s

Emma Stone

aisha t

Aisha Tyler

alison b

Alison Brie

felicia d

Felicia Day

Emma Stone and Aisha Tyler were early locks. I was pleasantly surprised by how well Aisha Tyler did, although Emma Stone is apparently the Ghostbusters Queen, considering how every single voter chose her. (Well, other than the person — who shall remain nameless — who didn’t pick anybody from the poll.) But until the very last vote, the other two members of the team were caught in a seven-way tie between Jessica Williams, Alison Brie, Zoe Saldana, Yvette Nicole Brown, America Ferrera, Felicia Day, and Tina Fey, a tie I would have been obligated to break. Had I done so, I probably would not have chosen Felicia Day (much as I like her) and would instead have gone with Jessica Williams, who I just really get a kick out of on The Daily Show. I’d definitely like to see her in more stuff.

However, my buddy Bryan did vote, and in doing so, managed to break the tie in such a way that enabled him to get his entire dreamcast in full. Devious scamp.

If Ghostbusters actually does get remade, I suspect this will not be the cast, sadly. But I’d definitely go see the hell out of this movie.