I know, I know. After being very vocal about my disdain for ’80s cartoons being turned into movies here …
… and here …
… and, in comic form, here …
what gives me the gall to go ahead and do a Fantasy Casting piece for the feline superheroes?
As I’ve said before, it’s how we roll at TheTorchOnline.com.
Unpredictable. Sexy. Dangerous.
One thing to keep in mind — the movie will most likely be using the Avatar-like effect of motion capture fed into CG characters, so even if an actor doesn’t look like a character, that doesn’t really matter.. With that said, away we go …
Lion-O — Craig Horner
This wouldn’t have occurred to me last year, but on this season Legend of the Seeker star Craig Horner returned with a shaggy mop of hair, giving him a very leonine (or as one reader hilariously pointed out, llama-ish) appearance. Horner has proven that he can effortlessly play the hero in a high fantasy project, and is adept at swordplay, something to put to use when wielding Lion-O’s Sword of Omens.
Panthro — Taye Diggs
This role should go to a 30-year-old version of Morgan Freeman, but if such an actor exists, he’s not on my radar. Instead, I would hand it to Taye Diggs, the stunningly handsome and versatile actor who got his start on Broadway in RENT and is currently being wasted on Private Practice. Why wasted? Anyone who saw Equilibrium knows Diggs should be a megastar feature film action hero.
Cheetara — Emma Stone
Cheetara was the only adult female Thundercat (until that ho bag Pumira showed up in the second season) and was as nurturing as she was kick-ass. My suggestion would be Emma Stone, who embodied both of those attributes (though the latter way more than the former) in last summer’s hilarious Zombieland. To top it off, check out those beautiful feline eyes! She was born for this role.
Tygra –Shawn Ashmore
Tigra was a more sensitive guy than Lion-O and Panthra, and his “super-power” was the ability to turn invisible. Despite his strength and agility, Tigra was a more cerebral character, and was the inventor of the group. This kind of dichotomy between tough guy and sensitive man can be perfectly played by a guy like Shawn Ashmore, who proved as Iceman he can be a big time superhero without having bodybuilder muscles.
Wiley-Kat — Michael Cera
How do I put this nicely? Wiley Kit and Wiley Kat were, well, irritating in the cartoon, and don’t exactly lend themselves to the big screen. Therefore, they’re going to need a major overhaul for the movie version, and a sense of humor goes a long way. I nominate Michael Cera as the boy, Wiley Kat. Cera is a true master of the awkward teenage persona that brings the funny, and he would rock this part.
Wiley-Kat –Ellen Page
Okay, this may reek of stunt casting. That’s because it is. But I fell in love with Ellen Page and Michael Cera as an on-screen duo when the two starred in Juno, and they have such amazing chemistry they deserve another go around. But instead of churning out another romantic teen comedy, I say go against type and rock the epic CGI high fantasy.
Jaga - Ian McKellen
Jaga was actually a ghost, the spiritual remains of Lion-O’s one-time mentor. A few years ago I would have thought that Ian McKellen, esteemed actor of stage and screen, one of the most lauded thespians of our time, would be way too high-brow for a project like Thundercats. But then I saw his turn as a voice actor for a polar bear in The Golden Compass, and I realized that the man needs to make a paycheck just like the rest of us.
So there you have it! TheTorchOnline.com’s pick for the cast of the upcoming fantasy/scifi/feline blockbuster, Thundercats. One of these days, Hollywood, we’re going to start charging you.