A few days ago I wrote a status update about the new Masters of the Universe movie that is currently in development over at Columbia Pictures. (You can find that article here if you missed it.) One of the most recurring things to appear in the comments for that piece were questions about who I thought should play the characters. A few other posts featured wish lists for characters that others had tossed out there. Due to the overwhelming request for such information I decided it would be fun to resurrect an old series from my former blog days and throw together a Fan Cast for Masters of the Universe.
Casting Couch (and yes...I'm aware of the porn reference. That's part of the humor) is a series that I did over at my old Wordpress blog. I'm bringing it back to a much larger audience! I'm also going to launch a new series where I discuss movies (both good and bad) that could benefit from a reboot. I figure themes like that would be much more enjoyable than just posting random rants and ravings. So basically, what I'm trying to shamelessly self promote, is that this is a good time to start following me.
I'm not going to bore anybody with long winded talking about what Masters of the Universe is. I covered all of that in the previous article. Instead, I'm just going to dive right into it.
I had reported earlier that Kick-Ass 2 director, Jeff Wadlow, had just turned in his new draft of the script. I can't begin to speculate what that script contains. All I can hope is that it's a faithful adaptation of the source material. There's a lot of rich back story to the mythology of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. So there's no need for a modern revisionist film following in the footsteps of the other 80s based blockbusters like the Transformers and GI Joe movies. I also hope that Sony plans on getting the fine people at WETA Digital to perform the special effects on the film. If you don't know, WETA Digital is the group of wizards behind the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films as well as the forthcoming Justice League flicks. Picture the battle sequences from those movies and tell me that it wouldn't be epic to see those special effects applied to Battle Cat.
As for the wish list cast that I have in mind? Let's take a look at that now!
And let me be clear once more. This is a Fan Casting. I'm not reporting any news here. None of these actors are in talks for these roles. At least not to my knowledge. So with that said, let's begin.
Alan Taylor as the Director
I'm starting with my choice for a director because it's the director that leads the ship. A film is only as good as the guy in charge calling all of the shots and when it comes to a film based on a popular franchise you really need to get the right person at the helm. A golden opportunity was missed by not having Michael Bay direct the GI Joe films. Had that happened he would have been able to masturbate to the military blowing shit up in front of all the American flags that he wanted and it would have been appropriate. Instead he did it in Transformers and left the audience scratching their heads as to why (only to have them shill out the money to watch him do it three more times). Supposedly Mr. Wadlow is in line for directorship but as I have never seen any of his films I can't speak as to whether or not he's right for the job.
Alan Taylor, however, has proven time and again with Game of Thrones and Thor: The Dark World that he knows a thing or two about sci-fi/fantasy action with plenty of character drama and political intrigue to boot. He manages to get great performances out of all of his actors, even if they don't want to be there (Natalie Portman!) Putting Mr. Taylor in charge of [Masters of the Universe](movie:506499) is a no brainer. The only problem I can see would be his schedule. With Game of Thrones still on the air, a new Thor movie in development and his reboot of the Terminator franchise making its debut later this year his plate is pretty full. But just imagine the possibilities.
Chris Hemsworth as He-Man
Let the groaning begin. I'm going with Chris Hemsworth because he is the closest we've gotten to He-Man on film in a long time. His performance as Thor is easily one of the best parts about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and his ability to perform epic sci-fi/fantasy action sequences is only rivaled by a few other actors currently working. And let's be honest...he looks the part. I will agree that this is a less than likely one to happen because, as an actor, I'm sure Mr. Hemsworth wouldn't want to be typecast in another torso baring mythological action hero role. But once his contract with Marvel ends it wouldn't hurt him to have another franchise to fall back on to keep him busy between government suspense thrillers. Another reason I'm choosing Chris Hemsworth for He-Man is because it makes it sensible to also have...
Liam Hemsworth as Prince Adam
Although the original 80s cartoon had Prince Adam (He-Man's innocent alter ego) depicted has having the same face, hair and body size as He-Man, more recent incarnations have had him more accurately depicted as younger and smaller. Much like Clark Kent, you're not supposed to suspect that Prince Adam is actually the Most Powerful Man in the Universe. So who better to play a younger, smaller and less suspecting version of Chris Hemsworth than his younger, smaller and less suspecting brother. Liam is a terrific actor and growing star in his own right, with major roles in the Hunger Games series as well as The Expendables 2, and could easily bring the character drama to the role to help balance the action sequences lead by his big brother.
Manu Bennett as Skeletor
This was the most talked about casting in the comments section of the last article. A lot of names had been thrown out for the role including Jason Statham, Corey Stoll, Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Laurie as well as a lot of love for the former Skeletor (Frank Langella). Those are all fine actors who could definitely bring some terror to the role, but that's not the only aspect of Skeletor to consider. It's always blown my mind when an incredibly skinny person is referred to as "Skeletor." Why? Because Skeletor is jacked! He has never been depicted otherwise (except by Frank Langella). Only his face is a skull. When you're casting Skeletor you need to keep in mind that you're also casting Keldor the Conqueror. So with that I'm going with Manu Bennett. Along with being a tremendous actor with a lot of potential in his career to come, he has shown to be an incredible villain in his work as Deathstroke on Arrow as well as his role as Azog on The Hobbit trilogy. And let's not rule out his ability to film amazing fight scenes as shown in his role as Crixus on Spartatcus: Blood & Sand. If you tell me that Manu Bennett were to go up against Chris Hemsworth as Skeletor and He-Man, respectively, you couldn't take my money fast enough.
Adrianne Palicki as Teela
As far as I'm concerned Adrianne Palicki can play any role she wants to ever. Especially Teela! Along with being gorgeous and incredibly talented, she has proven her action chops on more than one occasion (as Mockingbird on Agents of SHIELD and Lady Jay on GI Joe: Retaliation). Hell, even her roles in the ill-fated Wonder Woman and [Aquaman](movie:264237) tv projects only serve to cement her into the geek culture that would be first in line for this movie. And it doesn't hurt that she has already played a love interest to Chris Hemsworth in the remake of Red Dawn, so the chemistry is already there.
Bryan Cranston as Man-At-Arms
All hail Heisenberg! Man-At-Arms (aka Duncan) needs to be one of those distinguished actors that can help carry the film in a supporting capacity. Obviously, he needs to be older as he is Teela's father, and he needs to be able to hold his own in a fight when the time comes. There are a few actors I can think of who can easily take on those characteristics but just imagine how awesome it would be to see Walter White doing battle in the climax of the movie with a giant suit of armor on. The fan community would eat it up. Nerdgasms just errutpted from the sheer popcorn movie brilliance of that thought.
Eva Green as Evil-Lyn
In all honesty, I almost put Angelina Jolie in this role. However, I am trying to be somewhat realistic with my choices. So not only is it rumored that Mrs. Pitt plans to retire from acting but it's highly unlikely she would take such a second tier role in a sci-fi/fantasy flick. Not a problem, however, for Ms. Eva Green. She seems to be an actress who genuinely loves such villainous roles (as seen in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and [300: Rise of an Empire](movie:43660)), not to mention her willingness to exploit her sexuality. Eva Green could play the role of Evil-Lyn incredibly well, both straight forward and dramatic or super hammed up. Either way it would screen well. And she'd be a great counter balance to Manu Bennett's Skeletor.
Tyler Mane as Beast Man
You can probably insert any professional wrestler into this role. In fact, after the success of [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073), you could make an argument for Dave Batista as Beast Man. But realistically, for this kind of role you need a large and incredibly intimidating actor who has also plan similar roles. Tyler Mane did this well as Sabertooth in Bryan Singer's X-Men. He's an incredibly talented third-tier actor for a third-tier character. I've been fortunate enough to have met him before and let's just say when it comes to his physical presence he's a man you don't want to mess with either.
Sean Bean as King Randor
Yes, yes...Winter is Coming...and one simply does not walk into Mordor. Sean Bean has built a career on science fiction and fantasy and is an incredibly charismatic actor to boot. Throw in his obvious connection to Alan Taylor from his [Game of Thrones](movie:817617) days and you have an amazing choice for an actor to help anchor the story of Eternia and its royal family.
Rene Russo as Queen Marlena
This one is a bit of a stretch, I'll admit. Not because she isn't perfect for the role, though. Rene Russo is a great actress with a strong sense of maternity as well as the ability to perform action if/when needed. She demonstrated all of this as Thor's mother in both of those films. Therein also lies the dilemma. From an artistic point of view I can see where she may not want to play another space queen whom also happens to be mother to Chris Hemsworth. However, if she can set that aside and cash the paycheck then she's the best choice for the Earthling queen of Eternia.
Tilda Swinton as The Sorceress
The protector of the power of Grayskull and guide to He-Man needs to be on her own level of performance. Much like Cate Blanchett's performance as Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings, the Sorceress needs to be this almost metaphysical presence who both is and isn't there. This is a characteristic that Tilda Swinton played to perfection as The White Queen in the Chronicles of Narnia films (especially in the second and third ones when she really wasn't entirely there so much as just kind of spectering about).
Peter Dinklage as Orko
Lastly, we come to Orko! Easily the most hated character in the franchise next to Gwildor. I'm not sure if Orko is even present in the latest draft of the script. Again, I'm not actually connected to any aspect of production. However, if Orko is in the movie he needs to be played by Peter Dinklage. Why? Because he just emits cool. When Peter Dinklage plays a character in a movie or show, that character becomes your favorite character. Even if he doesn't do much as Orko he would dominate the screen when he is on it. However, this is probably the least likely bit of casting next to Chris Hemsworth. The reason being is that Orko would either be generated entirely by CGI or Columbia would cast the more comically inclined Warwick Davis in the role. But just imagine Peter Dinklage as Orko and suddenly wrap your head around the concept of Orko being suddenly cool!
Well that's it everyone. I know I didn't touch on every character but casting Stratos, Man-E-Faces, Ram Man, Buzz-Off, Trap Jaw, and so on would have just made this whole thing ramble on more than it already did. So sound off below with your thoughts on this bit o' fan casting. Does it sound good? Are there different actors you see playing any of the roles I have listed. Let's hear it!