MANHUNTER-The Next DC Original Animated Movie
My ideal cast for an animated adaptation of the classic espionage thriller.
The DC Original Animated movies are very good, but they tend to only showcase the more popular and overexposed characters, namely the Trinity and Green Lantern. The DC Showcase shorts I thought were a great idea, but sadly, due to MINIMAL FAN SUPPORT and LACK OF INTEREST by the rest of the people, it's only five (Spectre, Jonah Hex, Green Arrow, Shazam, and Catwoman) that are in existence, and no more will be made. So I sought to come up with an idea for an untapped story that could use the DC animated film treatment. Though it does feature Batman, the idea that immediately came to me was this: the highly-lauded 1973-74 Manhunter story by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson.
For those of you who don't know or need your memories refreshed: in the story, Paul Kirk, a former big game hunter, intelligence officer, and the Golden Age hero known as Manhunter, is trampled to death by a bull elephant in 1946. He is then taken by a secret cabal of scientists called the Council and put into suspended animation for 27 years. When they revive him, they give him a healing factor through genetic engineering and have him trained in martial arts and armed combat by their resident ninja master, Asano Nitobe. He is led to believe that their goal is to bring peace to the world, until he learns that they intend to do so through force; namely, with an army cloned from his cells to be led by him! Kirk rebels and flees their clutches, beginning a secret war against their efforts to control the world, while taking out the clones they planted all over the world. Gathering allies along the way, he, along with Batman, storms the HQ of the Council for one final showdown.
Now, on to the cast (at least the main characters):
(I couldn't find pictures for most of the characters, but will add them once found.)
Manhunter/Paul Kirk-Mark Valley
His role on the dearly-departed Human Target is what gave me the idea to choose him. He can bring a lot of mystery and calm to the character...which means he's also going to have to voice the clones.
Christine St. Clair-Odette Yustman
St. Clair is the Interpol agent who ends up joining Manhunter's crusade against the Council. Yustman's role on the also dearly-departing Breaking in is what inspired this pick. I really think she could do justice to this character, who like Melanie (her character on Breaking In) has "daddy issues" in the story: her father is a member of the Council!
Asano Nitobe-Sab Shimono
Shimono's one of those good classic actors who can play a sensei, but I thought it'd be great for him to voice one who can still kick the crud out of people.
Kolu Mbeya-Djimon Hounsou
Kolu is the weapons maker who constructed Manhunter's trademark arsenal: a 1916 Mauser pistol, a throwing knife, shuriken, and a Bundi dagger. He's also a crack shot himself. I thought Hounsou would be a great fit.
He's doing great right now as the voice of the Dark Knight, and in this particular story, he'd be right at home.
Commissioner Gordon-Robert Foxworth
He's played a Superman supporting character (Dr. Emil Hamilton), so why not let him do a Batman one for once?
Dr. Anatol Mykros-John Noble
Mykros is the leader of the Council, and a man Kirk once saved during WWII. I thought Noble's characterization on Fringe would be a good fit for the mad leader of the Council.
Damon Nostram-John Slattery
Nostram is Christine's boss at Interpol, and a pawn of the Council who turns her and Manhunter into wanted fugitives. I thought that Slattery's acting on Mad Men could be put to good use for this character.
Christine's Father-Martin Landau
Landau's body of work speaks for itself, justifying my choice here.
Enforcer/Daniel Kingdom-Adam Baldwin
Kingdom is a former Green Beret who is lured into joining the Council as their top fighter. Baldwin immediatly popped into my head for this character.
For additional voices:
-James Hong as Dharmata, the head monk of a monastary nearly assassinated by the clones.
-Daran Norris as Council Thug #1 (who tries to get Kirk at the Banque International) and Council Subordinate #2
-Hector Elizondo as Raoul Salazano (a South American geneticist Kirk saves from Council clones) and as Council subordinate #3
-John DiMaggio as Henry (a tourist visiting the church unknowing of the Council meeting taking place), Mole (Batman's weapons informant), and as a Gotham city coroner.
-Alex Borstein as Emma, Henry's wife
-Tara Strong as their son, Nico, dressed in a cowboy getup for some reason.
-Phil LaMarr as Council Assassin (who kills a diplomat at a party held by Bruce Wayne) and Council Subordinate #1
That's all folks!
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