"G.I. Joe: Operation Lady Doomsday"--The Animated Movie
In 1982, Hasbro unleashed upon us one of the most popular renditions of the G.I. Joe action figure: the Real American Hero series of 3.75" action figures, now a special US military unit fighting the forces of the evil Cobra organization. That same year, Marvel, tasked by Hasbro, released the first issue of the hit comic book series of the same name, with the lead story entitled "Operation: Lady Doomsday".
An animated feature based on the first adventure of "America's daring, highly-trained special mission force."
Twenty-four years later, Devil's Due Productions, the then-license holders of the G.I. Joe comics, published a miniseries entitled "G.I. Joe: Declassified", which acted as the origin story for the other original members of the Joe team (Snake Eyes and Scarlett had already been covered at this time).
Thanks to the live-action Rise of Cobra film, younger generations were reintroduced to G.I. Joe--but not everyone knows about the original 13, the Joes who started it all. It was then I decided to come up with this little piece: a direct-to-dvd film in the vein of the DC Universe Original Animated Movies. It would be a great way to introduce younger people to the original characters, and give them a break from the relentless onslaught of overexposure of Duke/Cobra Commander/Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow--though all except Storm Shadow appear in the film. Duke is merely a cameo, but here, they get to see Snake Eyes before they capitalized on the whole "ninja commando" aspect, and just see the commando (who knows martial arts...). I also see it as a follow-up to my earlier fancast of "Snake Eyes: Declassified". Here's how this film would work out:
-The plot would be an amalgamation of G.I. Joe: Declassified and the first issue of the Marvel run.
-A bonus film (about half an hour in length) would be based on the "Scarlett: Declassified" one-shot (which I may do a fancast of later on).
-The art style of the film would be an amalgamation of that of Phil Bourassa (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Young Justice) and Aaron Lopresti (DCnU Justice League International).
-The script adaptation would be a collaboration between Larry Hama (original Marvel series writer), Christy Marx (an original writer on the 80's cartoon series), and Greg Wiseman (current writer for Young Justice).
-Voice direction by Andrea Romano, direction by Lauren Montgomery.
-DVD cover art by a collaboration of Nicola Scott and Ed Benes.
The plot is as follows: in the first half of the film, we are introduced to a G.I. Joe team that is just forming, as we go through the back-stories of each member, and how they joined. This is framed by one of the team's early missions in Sierra Gordo, a country they would later visit in the Marvel run on a few occasions. The second half of the film is based on the actual plot of the first issue of the Marvel Run, mixed with elements of G.I. Joe: Declassified #3. And now, on to the moment you've been waiting for--the voice cast. (Note: I've re-used actor's I've picked in earlier fancasts, based on their ability.)
For the G.I. Joe Team, we have:
Adam Baldwin as the voice of Colonel Clayton "Hawk" Abernathy
Before he became the team's head honcho, he was merely their field leader, and even when he was promoted to general, he still leads the team on the field.
I picked Baldwin because he's got good experience with military films and parts (see Full Metal Jacket, Chuck, and Firefly). He's also got a great voice for Hawk--I was inspired by when he voiced Colonel Rick Flag, Jr. on Justice League Unlimited.
Nathan Fillion as the voice of Corporal Alvin "Breaker" Kibbey
The Joes' communications specialist, Breaker is almost never seen without chewing bubblegum--and contrary to his action figure, he's clean-shaven.
I picked Fillion because of his work on Firefly and Castle, and he's got the right Southern drawl for Breaker, a Tennessee native.
Michael Rosenbaum as the voice of Corporal Lance "Clutch" Steinberg
Clutch, the team's motor vehicle expert/mechanic, also sees himself as a bit of a ladie's man, and is a die-hard racer. Contrary to his action figure, he's got five o'clock shadow.
I picked Rosenbaum as I was inspired by his character Dutch on "Breaking In". Both are car nuts and good mechanics--though Clutch is a little smarter.
Zachary Levi as the voice of Specialist Anthony "Flash" Gambello
The team's first laser rifle trooper, he's also quite the electronics whiz. Which is why I chose Levi to voice him--based on his portrayal of another tech whiz, one Chuck Bartowski. And both characters are from California (Flash is from Lodi, Chuck from Burbank).
Michael Weatherly as the voice of Sergeant James "Grand Slam" Barney
Grand Slam is the team's artillery soldier, he's also skilled with trajectory and coordinates. (He'd be depicted with his silver pads to differentiate him from Flash.)
I went with Weatherly out of inspiration by his role on NCIS, but I also think he's got the right voice and acting style for a smart guy like Grand Slam
David Boreanaz as the voice of Corporal Robert "Grunt" Graves
The team's original infantryman, for a time (outside the fiction) he was THE face of G.I. Joe. In the fiction, he's a very dedicated soldier, willing to do his duty and to take care of his fellow troops, even if he barely knows them.
I went with Boreanaz because of his performance as Hal Jordan in Justice League: The New Frontier. Also, he seems to have that "all-American" tone that's a good fit for Grunt. He'd really shine in Grunt's flashback.
Chris D'Elia as the voice of Sergeant Craig "Rock 'N Roll" McConnell
The team's machine gunner, who was a former surfer from Malibu, California. He's also probably the only O13 member outside Stalker and Snake Eyes who matches his toy in most fiction.
I went with D'Elia out of inspiration by his character Stankowski on Glory Daze--only difference is, ol' Craig would be the more serious version (and clean). I always thought D'Elia's voice was right for the guy.
Piper Perabo as the voice of Sergeant Shana "Scarlett" O'Hara
The team's first female member and the first lady of G.I. Joe, she is a definite example of a strong female character who can kick butt and take names, yet have a soft side.
As mentioned before in my "Snake Eyes: Declassified" fancast, I chose Perabo because I was inspired by her role on "Covert Affairs", and thought she'd be decent, no, great as the Joe team's counter-intelligence agent, especially in this one exchange: 'On the ferry between Manhattan & Station Island, Scarlett and Snake-Eyes, who is wearing a rubber mask, are rudely interrupted by a man (possibly Fred Broca), who is frustrated that the soldiers get so much of the tax payer's money. Scarlett's return comment is "You have a right to your opinions, sir. Soldiers died for those rights" The man is scared away by a powerful stare directly from Snake-Eyes. Scarlett then holds Snake-Eyes hand.'
Jensen Ackles as the voice of Corporal Eric "Short Fuse" Freisdadt
The team's mortar man, he's also the most hot-tempered, and is also very skilled with calculations and trajectory. Contrary to his action figure, he's bespectacled.
I went with Ackles, as he's played hot-tempered/angry young men before (Supernatural, Batman: Under the Red Hood), and would be great for the Joe with a "short-fused" temper, especially in one scene where he undergoes a training exercise in keeping silent during interrogation.
Obviously, no voice actor for Snake Eyes
Chi McBride as the voice of Sergeant Lonzo "Stalker" Wilkinson
The team's ranger, he went from a gangbanger from Detroit to one of the finest field leaders in the army, and formed a longtime friendship with Snake Eyes.
Like I stated in my "Snake Eyes: Declassified" fancast, I went with McBride because of his role as Winston in "Human Target" and his upcoming role as Nick Fury in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.
Chris Parnell as the voice of Second Lieutenant Ralph "Steeler" Pulaski
A tank commander originally from a working-class family in Pittsburgh, Steeler is the only one of the O13 other than Hawk to be higher in rank.
I chose Parnell because of his experience playing a variety of different characters on SNL. There's no doubt he could do great as a guy from Philly.
Ricardo Chavira as the voice of Corporal Raphael "Zap" Melendez
Zap is the team's bazooka man, not caring that bazookas went out of style with the military after WWII. His backstory offers further insight into his reasons for being in the army.
I chose Chavira based on his performance as Major Force in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, and felt he'd do great as Zap--only difference being Zap's a good guy, AND actually holds a military rank.
For Cobra Command, we have:
Hank Azaria as the voice of Cobra Commander
Here the head snake is at his most ruthless, when people were now seeing how big of a threat he is.
Again I picked Azaria because he'd really do great as the head snake. Here's how I see it: Chris Latta, the original voice of Cobra Commander, voiced Moe in the pilot episode of The Simpsons all the way back in 1989--and just for that episode. Azaria took over soon after, and in the 2006 Family Guy episode "PTV", he voiced Cobra Commander in a small sequence, 12 years after Latta's death. In a way, Azaria honored the actor he took over on The Simpsons, and I can't think of anyone better to voice Cobra Commander here.
Stana Katic as the voice of Baroness
I picked Katic for a variety of spots on her resume: her fluency in two Easter European dialects, and her roles as Simone Renoir in the third "Librarian" film and Talia Al Ghul in "Batman: Arkham City". She'd be killer as the first lady of Cobra.
For other characters, we have:
Gary Cole as the voice of General Lawrence J. Flagg
Again, I went with Cole because he'd nail the role of General Flagg easily. He's got the kind of style that befits a stern yet caring authority figure--but one that's not afraid to resort to blackmail.
Mark Harmon as the voice of Agent Phillip Provost
The future Joe known as Chuckles, it is revealed that he had a hand in helping to put together the original 13 members of the Joe team.
Harmon's role as Gibbs on NCIS again inspired me picking him, and he'd be a great Chuckles.
Patricia Heaton as the voice of Dr. Adele Burkhart
Burkhart is a nuclear physicist formerly of the "Doomsday Project," considered a traitor by many for her outspoken critique of both the Project and the U.S. government. She is kidnapped by Cobra and is the reason for the Joe's rescue mission "Operation Lady Doomsday".
Before you all go nuts over me picking Debra Barone, hear me out. I think Heaton's got a good voice for the good doctor, as she's portrayed as a very outspoken and passionate individual--and in real life, Heaton is a very active socio-political activist. Thus, the two fit together easily.
Aisha Tyler as the voice of Sgt. First Class Craig/Shooter
Sgt. Craig is secretly the 14th member of the Joe team, a sniper code-named "Shooter". No one outside General Flagg or Sparks (another Joe communications specialist) knows about that. Her name is a nod to a panel in issue #1 of the Marvel run, which shows all the Joes on a computer monitor, including a 14th member obscured by another character's arm, with only the name "Shooter" shown. This in turn was named after Jim Shooter, editor of Marvel Comics at the time.
I chose Tyler out of inspiration by her role as Lana Kane on "Archer". Like Lana, Shooter is mostly all-business, but does her duty fully, no matter the cost.
-Lex Lang as the voice of Damon, Fred Broca, Shotgun Don, Cobra pilot
-James Arnold Taylor as the voice of Pythias, Sparks, young Rock N' Roll, Cobra trooper
-Kevin Michael Richardson as the voice of General Austin, Diego the injured prisoner, Manny, Cobra Trooper
-Brian Bloom as the voice of Capt. Brad Armbruster, Cobra Trooper, Zap's older brother, Trucial Abysmia rebel
-Grey Delisle as the voice of Fred Broca's wife, Zap's sister, Zap's mother, young villager, Cobra trooper
-Rino Romano as the voice of young Zap, Cobra communications officer, Trucial Abysmia rebel
-John DiMaggio as the voice of the rogue general, Major Bludd, Cobra Trooper
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