I'm back again!!
This fancast will focus on one of my favorite novels, Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher. The movie rights for this book were optioned back in 2011 with Selena Gomez looking to take the lead role.
I will warn you now, and maybe once more when I start my picks, that this article will be FULL of spoilers. There is absolutely no way I can truly explain some of my choices without giving away spoilers to the novel. I will do my best to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but there's no promises. If you want to read the book, or don't want to know how the movie might end, don't read this article. It's gonna spoil the whole thing.
Also, just forewarning, this book has gotten me all sorts of riled up and I know there will be profanity. So. Just, be warned. It will be there.
The plot of the book, which I found on the book's website, goes as follows:
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
I've also gotten all of my character descriptions from shmoop.com.
That's it, so let's get started!
Hannah Baker - We can almost hear Hannah's voice as we read her last words, recorded on seven cassette tapes the night before her suicide. Even though she makes us uncomfortable (as intended), we can't help but feel for her, especially once we've heard all she has to say.
I've chosen... Selena Gomez/Saoirse Ronan
Selena Gomez's production company bought the rights to this movie with the intention of having her play the lead. I don't think it's an awful choice, but if I had my way I'd pick Saoirse. She's got quite the repertoire of movies under her belt and she could totally play Hannah with ease.
Clay Jensen - Clay is our main man here, our narrator and guide through the frightening world of Hannah Baker's last hours. Much of the action in this story takes place in Clay's head, which means we have some pretty good insight into his character.
I've chosen... Dylan O'Brien
Dylan is a fan favorite for Clay and it's fairly obvious, to me, why. He's played such a stretch of characters with varying personalities that I know playing Clay would be easy and a lot of fun for him.
Justin Foley - Justin is a year older than Hannah. He's her first real crush and her first kiss. He's also, at least as far as Hannah knows, the original source of the rumors that she's a "slut".
I've chosen... Robbie Amell
Robbie is, pretty much, the stereo-typical jock/pretty boy, which is kinda perfect for Justin. Justin is very much a coward in the book, hiding behind this big bravado. Robbie's character in The Duff actually reminds me of Justin - the jock with quite a different side to him, but mostly just a dumbass.
Alex Standall - Alex is a new kid, just like Hannah. In fact, he's one of the first people in town that Hannah hangs out with. He's on her list because he put her on a list, as the "Best Ass in the Freshman Class". This opens her up to physical violence, even more rumors, and some unwanted sexual advances. Hannah goes so far as to say, "Every single event documented here may never have happened had you, Alex, not written my name on that list. It's that simple".
I've chosen... Taron Egerton
Okay, I know Taron's been in next to nothing, but in Kingsman? He slayed. He's very talented and around the right age to the rest of my casting choices. Alex starts as a likeable character - just another new kid in town looking to fit in. That all changes when he posts a Hot/Not list, purposefully making his first two friends from town pit against each other. He's very smug and I have a feeling Taron would do great in this role.
Jessica Davis - Jessica is new to town, but she's not your typical wallflower new kid. She's bolder and more aggressive than Hannah: "In a contest of who's-got-the-biggest-balls, all of you listeners should know Jessica wins". Unfortunately, Jessica is also pretty violent. This is where Hannah's story starts to get all tangled up, soap-opera style.
I've chosen... Phoebe Tonkin/Miranda Cosgrove
Honestly, I think Phoebe is up there for fan favorites, but I pulled Miranda out of my ass really. Don't get me wrong, I love Miranda but she's quite a random choice. They're both very talented and I think would do just well as Jessica.
Tyler Down - Tyler, number four on Hannah's list, is one of the book's most problematic characters. Hannah accuses him of stalking her, spying on her, and taking pictures through her bedroom window. The problem is, Hannah doesn't have any real evidence that the Peeping Tom outside her window was Tyler. Hannah blames Tyler for taking away the safety of her bedroom.
I've chosen... Daniel Radcliffe/Nicholas Hoult
Every choice I had seen that others picked really didn't resonate with me. Then I stumbled across Daniel's picture, and I thought - BAM! He's totally looking to expand the kinds of characters he plays and Tyler would be a perfectly different choice. And then I thought, well Nicholas could totally play Tyler too. For every other fancast I've done, I always try to pick one choice but for this one? It's impossible. Everyone's so talented and I think all of these characters are completely within their reach.
Courtney Crimson - Number five on Hannah's list, Courtney is the pretty, sweet girl at school. But Hannah thinks she's a phony: Courtney only pretends to like Hannah when she needs something, like a ride to a party or an adventurous night of let's-catch-the-Peeping-Tom. Courtney betrays Hannah by inventing a story that Hannah keeps sex toys in her dresser. Courtney's betrayal contributes to Hannah's belief that nobody around her is even slightly trustworthy.
I've chosen... Victoria Justice/Vanessa Morgan
I always kinda pictured Courtney as the cheerleader-type; pretty, peppy, and over-the-top. She would always be wearing a smile, even if it was completely fake. Victoria's got this look about her that screams 'I was totes popular in school!' and Vanessa's actually played a character a bit like Courtney in My Babysitter's a Vampire. They're both perfect in my opinion, so there.
Marcus Cooley - Marcus, number six on Hannah's list, is the only listed person that Clay meets while he's listening to the tapes. Before we even get to Marcus's tape, Clay finds him outside Tyler's (peeping Tom) window passing out rocks for people to throw. Marcus is eager to punish Tyler for peeping, but he brushes off Hannah's accusations about himself. He tells Clay, "It's ridiculous […]. I don't belong on those tapes. Hannah just wanted an excuse to kill herself". Marcus had asked her out, then humiliated and assaulted her in a public place - he tried to force her to let him touch her sexually in a booth at Rosie's Diner. That's when Hannah begins to seriously consider suicide.
I've chosen... Leon Thomas III
Not that I totally think Leon would be someone who could be a jerk like that, but when you first look at Leon, there's a gentleness to him. I think it's needed for Marcus - he gets Hannah to trust him, just for him to turn that around. I believe Leon would do just fine as Marcus.
Zach Dempsey - This is an interesting one. Zach actually starts out as a sympathetic character, trying to comfort Hannah after the Marcus incident at Rosie's. But when Hannah rejects his kindness, Zach, number seven on Hannah's list, steals Hannah's notes of encouragement from her Peer Communications class. Hannah is deeply suicidal at this point in the story, so the idea that the other kids in her Peer Communications class can't communicate with her – not even through anonymous notes – is the last thing she needs.
I've chosen... Nat Wolff
Nat's usually played a character you can relate to, who's funny and kind. Not that Zach is ever out-right mean to Hannah (just behind the scenes), I just think Nat would benefit from playing a character who does a 180 without actually having it seen. Zach's quite the complicated character and Nat would do beautifully.
Ryan Shaver - Ryan, number eight on Hannah's list, is the talented teen poet who steals Hannah's poem and publishes it in the school paper. He doesn't use her name, so the ridicule she faces over it isn't as bad as it could be. But she knows she wrote it, and that's bad enough.
I've chosen... Ezra Miller
Ezra's got a poet look to him - a little smug, kind of deep, a bit lost. Ryan isn't a character I would say is completely nice when we first meet him, but him and Hannah connect over poetry. He thinks it's okay to steal a very personal poem Hannah wrote just because he didn't publish her name with it. I'm not even sure where I'm going with this, I just love Ezra and think he would be great as Ryan.
Jenny Kurtz - This is a weird and confusing one; cheerleader Jenny Kurtz is number ten on the list. After an awful night at the ill-fated party that really ties everyone together, Jenny appears to Hannah like an angel. Lulled by the comfort of Jenny's car and the rain on the windows, Hannah falls asleep. She's woken up by the sound of Jenny crashing into a stop sign. Hannah learns later that just after this, there was a car accident at the site. Hannah blames Jenny for not using her phone to report the hazard.
I've chosen... Anna Kendrick/Aly Michalka
Jenny is actually a really nice person the whole book - she just makes a mistake that hurts Hannah. Jenny's older than Hannah and a bit of a ditsy cheerleader. Anna could play the nice character quite easily, but I think Aly's has a look and the talent to do both the nice/mistake bit that comes with Jenny's character.
Bryce Walker - Bryce's the eleventh person on Hannah's list, but he shows up a lot throughout the tapes (almost always being a bully – or worse – toward girls). In Bryce's tape, Hannah describes how she joined him in Courtney Crimson's hot tub after a party that Hannah didn't even go to. In the hot tub, Hannah allowed Bryce to have sex with her. It was her way of confirming her (low) self-worth to herself.
I've chosen... Jack Reynor
Jack is talented, from what I've seen him in, and I think playing the easy-going asshole could be fairly easy for him. Bryce was always fixated on Hannah for some reason (probably because she didn't like him and he wasn't use to that) and he doesn't have a filter for anything - grabbing Hannah's ass, calling her names, doing just awful things in general. I think Jack could do well in a big-screen movie like this, playing the asshole.
Mr. Porter - Mr. Porter is the twelfth and final person on Hannah's list. He's a teacher at her school, plus the guidance counselor. His role in the story is simple: he fails to get help from a mental health professional or even to call Hannah's parents to alert them when she admits to him that she is suicidal. More than anybody else, Mr. Porter had the direct power to stop Hannah from killing herself.
I've chosen... Matthew Morrison
Mr. Porter is very likeable - I think Hannah even mentions him as one of her favorite teachers. She had never really thought about going to the guidance counselor until she was close to actually killing herself. Mr. Porter thought he was doing the right thing when he told her to move on, but when Hannah was at a point where she was going to kill herself, telling her to move on was not the right move. He never called for help for Hannah and a few days later, she killed herself.
Tony - Tony is a likeable guy, which is just one reason he isn't on Hannah's list. In fact, when she sends him a copy of the tapes, he immediately calls her parents to warn them. After Hannah has taken her own life, Tony spends his after school time following the twelve people on the list, making sure they carry out her wishes, which includes passing the tapes along to the others on the list. His job then, if they don't pass it on, is to publish the tapes publicly so everyone can hear them.
I've chosen... Mitchel Musso
Tony's got a bit of a punk-edge to him and is the quiet kid in the background. Tony also comforts Clay when he's listening to all the tapes. Mitchel hasn't been in much lately, but I'd love to see him play Tony.
Skye Miller - Skye is Clay's middle school crush who is showing the signs of suicide. The book ends with Clay going to Skye the way he didn't for Hannah.
I've chosen... Demi Lovato/Lucy Hale
Skye's character has a big change in appearance, a lot more of a punk look, and stops really talking to people. Clay realizes that's what Hannah was doing and goes to Skye to try and help her. Demi has spoken out about not doing acting, just singing, but I think Skye would be a perfect way for her to ease her way back into doing both. Though, with that unlikely, I know Lucy could play Skye and has done a punk look for a show before.
Let me know in the comments if you have a different choice for any one of these characters!
If you, or anyone you know, are in danger of committing suicide, call or go to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1 800 273 8255. Hannah Baker didn't get help, but you can. Your life matters - keep on living it.