It has been reported that the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is in line for a reboot from 20th Century Fox. The pseudo-successful film was originally released with a cast of: Sean Connery, Peta Wilson, Tony Curran, Stuart Townsend and Shane West to name a few, but seeing as it was only mildly successful, I imagine a total reboot as has been seen in several other heroic films that went through numerous recreations before they ultimately find pay dirt (IE: Superman, Batman, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk)
So with that in mind, I thought it would be fun to fan cast a new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Based on the Alan Moore comic, we find the cast composed of some of the greatest literary heroes and villains through history. Allan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, The Invisible Man, Wilhelmina Murray as well as a couple others (Orlando, Carnacki & Raffles) not seen in the original film but were replaced with the characters of Dorian Grey, Tom Sawyer & James Moriarty.
Seeing as we're looking at a reboot, I will recast the characters from the original film since I like those additions better than what was in the original comic.
Allan Quatermain - Originally Sean Connery
How do you replace this man?
Sean Connery: the man, the voice, the legend. Best known for his stint as James Bond, Indiana Jones' father, Captain Ramius & King Arthur. Sean Connery is one of those actors that is just plain difficult to recast, but it is possible as is seen through the James Bond reincarnations. So who could portray the legendary Allan Quatermain?
Allan is described through the original story where his character was created in "King Solomon's Mines" as a middle-aged, grumpy adventurer - not a dashing hero who romances the damsel. My choice for Allan is none other than Mark Strong.
Mark Strong has had a booming last few years, playing main characters in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Sherlock Holmes, Green Lantern and most recently Kingsman: Secret Service. More often than naught he plays sinister villains, but I think he would make a striking Allan Quatermain. He's got the strong voice, the acting presence and an ability to capture his character's essence.
Wilhelmina "Mina" Harker - Originally Peta Wilson
Mina Harker, the victim of the original vampire himself, Dracula. Mina was cursed to remain a vampire so she shares in the immortality and thirst for blood. Originally Mina was a schoolmistress before her run-in with Dracula. She carries a strong, resourceful personality and still retains a heart that has some innocence and purity even though she is forced to feed on blood to survive.
For Mina, I think there are a few women who could pull it off, and the best in my mind is Rose Byrne.
Rose Byrne has had a steady collection of films to build her name in, and I believe that a reboot of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would be a wonderful addition to her resume. She's also a highly recognizable face as she's been in a few big-budget films over the last few years including the most recent X-Men First Class reboot trilogy thus far. She has the looks that could pass as a down to earth woman who is cursed to be something that she doesn't choose to be.
Captain Nemo - Originally Naseeruddin Shah
Honestly I know little to nothing about Naseeruddin Shah other than he is an Indian actor who was in the original League as well as several acclaimed Hindi Films. Captain Nemo on the other hand was one of my favorite literary antiheroes as he appeared in the Jules Verne stories that I read growing up. Nemo is a scientific genius and spends his days roaming the oceans in his submarine, the Nautilus.
Nemo is a tough character to cast for nothing more than I envision one actor, and one actor only when I imagine his character. That actor is Ben Kingsley.
Ben Kingsley is a pillar in the world of acting as he has portrayed some of the most brilliant characters. His portrayal as Gandhi is what brought him to international fame, and after that it was only up for him as he had the option to claim basically any role he could have wanted. His performances often feel reserved but it's his vocal presence that brings life to his characters which I believe is necessary to bring a character like Captain Nemo to life.
Rodney Skinner / Invisible Man - Originally Tony Curran
The invisible man is, well, invisible so he's equally difficult to cast as most of the other characters. Rodney Skinner is not the original invisible man, as he only stole the formula from Hawley Griffin. Rodney was created because of film rights to previous film versions of the character. Regardless, I think the Rodney Skinner character is necessary for the team as he adds some levity and is rather cheerful and good-natured opposed to Griffin who is progresses from obsession to fanaticism to insanity and eventually death.
So seeing as he's technically invisible, it's more about his character's vocal presence as well as his physical representation when bandaged and clothed. And my first thought for his casting choice is Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
Aaron is fairly new to the mainstream big budget film world, but he has had some incredible success as of late seeing as he's really only been displayed to mainstream American audiences since 2010 when he had the lead in Kick-Ass, follow that up with the sequel and his most recent fantastic representation of Quiksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron and I think he's the perfect fit for the invisible thief that we know so well from the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde - Originally Jason Flemyng
The Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde combo has always been a difficult role to fill seeing as we look at a split personality disorder of sorts. Dr. Jekyll hopes to hide his inner demons with a serum that he invents, but it ultimately is what transforms him into the evil and mysterious Mr. Hyde. Originally, the character isn't what we see in the film version. The original novella has Dr. Jekyll being a large, well-made man who occasionally feels he is battling between good and evil within himself, but through the serum he transforms into a small impish version of himself without morals, without remorse and without compassion.
Whereas the film version portrays it almost in reverse. I would look to recreate the character as an amalgam of both, finding a balance between them, and there is only one actor that I can think of that so swiftly could portray the kind and compassionate Jekyll and instantaneously break into the malcontent that we know as Hyde. That actor is Benedict Cumberbatch.
I know, it's almost too spot on. Benedict as of late has portrayed some of the most brilliant characters: Sherlock Holmes, Peter Guillam, Khan and soon to be Doctor Hugo Strange. So with that Benedict is no stranger to playing a character with an incredible amount of intelligence. Along with that, he is quite adept at bringing out the villainous side as is seen in his iconic (in my mind) portrayal of Khan in the most recent Star Trek reboot.
Dorian Grey - Originally Stuart Townsend
Dorian Grey, the picture of immortality and extravagance. Created by Oscar Wilde, Dorian attained his immortality by having his soul trapped in a painting only to be connected with it for all eternity unable to look at it, as it will age him to death if he does. Ruled by narcissism seeking to indulge in all of life's pleasures. He is controlled by his own vanity to a point as he is driven to maintain his youthful form and keep himself at the peak of conditioning.
Dorian is my wildcard casting, because I'm choosing Alex Pettyfer.
Alex broke through into mainstream film nearly 10 years ago when he was cast as Alex Rider in the family spy/thriller of the same name. It's not the highlight of his career though I promise. His career hit it hot in 2011 when he took the lead in Beastly, I am Number Four and as a villain in In Time. Beastly is the film that most displays why I believe that he would make for an excellent Dorian Gray. HIs character Kyle Kingston is narcissistic, arrogant, vain and bigoted (sound familiar?) He has little respect for anyone or anything, which to me IS Dorian Gray.
Well, there you have it. My fan casting for the reboot of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Tell me what you think in the comments below.
Which casting choice is your favorite?
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