FAN CAST: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe!!!
Wow, has it really been nine months since I posted a fan-cast? Good heavens...
Finally, I cast my favorite 80's cartoon.
“He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” was the first cartoon I ever loved. I was very young when it was on, my Mom got me all the action figures (most of which I still have stashed away), and I couldn’t get enough of that tasty Power of Grayskull goodness. So this one was pretty much inevitable.
Before we start, let's clear something up. On the cartoon, He-Man and Prince Adam looking like the same guy (with a wardrobe change and a tan) was done as a cost-cutting measure. The toys did the same thing. But since Adam leads a *secret* double-life as He-Man, this would never work on film in a million years. Trust me on this one.
The 2003 series had the right idea; He-Man and Adam look like different guys with similar features, so the best thing to do is cast different actors to play them, essentially making it a dual performance. It’s not typical (even for superhero movies) but it can be done.
On the subject of bringing Skeletor to life, the ’87 film did an amazing job with Frank Langella’s makeup and prosthetics. It still looks awesome. But CGI being where it is today, I can’t imagine the filmmakers would do the same thing for a new movie. There’s a lot of different things they could try with CG, prosthetics, or a combination of the two. At the very least, I think it would be pretty cool if Skeletor’s eyes appeared as just empty sockets that glow red when he’s mad. You couldn’t really do that with makeup.
With that out of the way, on to the cast!
HE-MAN: Johann Urb (2012, “Eastwick”) or Armie Hammer (The Social Network)
I’m actually surprised Johann Urb isn’t suggested by more people. He’s got the right look and build, he’s not too old, and he can do a perfect American accent. If they want to cast a bit younger, Armie Hammer might be even better. He has the square jaw, herculean stature and bass-y voice to fit the role. (Now if only he had a hit movie where he could prove himself.)
PRINCE ADAM: (clockwise) Jeremy Sumpter (“Friday Night Lights”), Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four), Max Thieriot
Like I said, He-Man and Adam need to be played by different actors in the film, otherwise it would just be ridiculous. But just because his alter ego is a walking mountain of mystical muscle doesn’t mean Adam has to be a boney little brat. In fact, it would make more sense if he’s in great shape and looks like he can handle himself in a scrape; he’d likely have the same training regimen as Teela.
Jeremy Sumpter is probably the best choice of these three IMO. He’s got the boyish good looks and he’s grown into quite the impressive athlete (plus, it would be a hoot if Peter Pan and Prince Adam were played by the same dude). Alex Pettyfer is decent with good leading man qualities and a freakishly impressive figure (though he might also be a crazy person). Max Thieriot may not be as built, but I think he makes a decent third choice (surprisingly, he’s the oldest of the three). I’d be interested to see what he can do with some meat on his bones.
TEELA: Jane Levy (Evil Dead, "Suburgatory")
Do I even have to explain this one? Levy's one of those great young actors who's consistently my favorite thing in everything she's in.
MAN-AT-ARMS: Ted Levine (Shutter Island, “Monk”)
SORCERESS: Olivia Williams (“Dollhouse”, The Ghost Writer)
STRATOS: Henry Ian Cusick (“Lost”)
The new cartoon made him Scottish. Best to go with a real Scotsman for the movie. A lot of people pick Gerard Butler, but he’s probably too much of a leading man at this point.
RAM MAN: Paul “Big Show” Wight
ORKO (voice): Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”)
Hell yeah I want Orko in the movie. Screw the haters. As long as he’s presented in small doses, he’ll be great for the comic relief.
This casting actually came to me in a dream. I heard Kenneth’s voice coming out of Orko and it fit. Just pitch his voice up like they did on the old cartoon (unless McBrayer can do it himself), and they’re all set.
KING RANDOR: Kevin Sorbo ("Andromeda", "Hercules")
Sorbo's done sword & sorcery and sci-fi before, so this would be right up his alley. But it gets better. I think Adam feels inadequate towards his dad, especially before he becomes He-Man (I expect the movie will be an origin story, cuz movies are like that). So having a real larger-than-life man's man like Sorbo play the king would really help get that across.
QUEEN MARLENA: Connie Nielsen
I’ve been saying this one for years. She’s still perfect.
ZODAK: Cliff Curtis (Sunshine, Die Hard 4)
SKELETOR: Michael Sheen (Underworld, Frost/Nixon)
Sheen is just an amazing actor. He has both the acting chops and a great physical presence, plus a cool voice that would be essential in playing a baddie who basically has no freaking face. On top of that, it sure would be trippy if the two leads in ‘Frost/Nixon’ both ended up playing Skeletor.
EVIL LYN: Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sherlock Holmes 2)
Originally I considered Eva Green (who would be excellent), but it felt like type casting (she already did the conniving witch racket on “Camelot” and again in 300: Rise of an Empire), so I picked my alternate. Rapace is just the nicest lady in interviews (the best villain actors always are), but the Millennium movies showed she can go to some pretty dark places.
BEAST MAN: Kevin Grevioux (Underworld 1 & 3)
It’d be a nice ‘Underworld’ reunion with Sheen. He could work on the script too.
MER-MAN: Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Mer-Man would be right up Doug's freakshow alley.
**Okay seriously, how the hell did I forget Mer-Man??**
TRI-KLOPS: Scott Adkins (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Undisputed 2 & 3)
TRAPJAW: Kevin Durand (“Lost”, I Am Number Four)
And as a bonus:
Dolph Lundgren as KING GRAYSKULL
I mean come on, why would you bother with anyone else? ;-)
Personally, I think he should have a beard too, to differentiate him from He-Man and give him that extra kingly oopmh.
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