The difference between how I cast Watchmen
and and how I cast The Authority
, is that I opted for performers with a 'widescreen' sensibility (as vague as that sounds) who would welcome the opportunity to play *******s. Because let's face it, The Authority are essentially really nasty people whose chief opponents are only 'bad guys' by virtue of being far worse than they are and they just happen to smarter, tougher and better looking than we ordinary people will ever be.
I also took into consideration the overall marketability of the film, and in cases where candidates did not fit the character perfectly to a T, I imagine the character shaping itself around the natural traits of the performer in question to create a hypothetically better film. Because let's face it, Millar and Ellis tend to write the characters with very broad strokes (on purpose, I suspect).
From left to right: Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Zooey Deschanel, Jason Flemyng,
Jenny Sparks, Spirit of the Twentieth Century
Rufus Sewell, Lucy Liu and Jason Statham
- To play the bossy, commanding and smart-mouthed leader of the new superhuman order, Scarlett Johansson
will have to call on the sweet-natured yet snarky mannerisms she displayed in Ghost World
and the headstrong performance she displayed in A Love Song for Bobby Long
. To sum it up, Johansson has frequently combined surprising maturity with her fresh young looks, something that is demanded of the twentieth century's avatar --- a 100 year old woman who never aged past 19.
Jack Hawksmoor, The God of the Cities
- The perpetually bubblyperformances of Robert Downey, Jr.
in movies like Heart and Souls
and [i[Wonder Boys[/i] seem ill-suited to a havoc wreaking urban warrior, I'll admit. But consider that with his capacity for mixing dramatic seriousness with a comical sensibility, then he makes perfect sense as a man with not only improbable street smarts, but the affable sense to take the ill-natured joke of being experimentally abused and genitally deformed in stride.
Angela Spica, The Engineer
- It's an ironic twist that the least biologically human member of the Authority is the most psychologically human. Unused to taking orders let alone giving them to a small universe-powered engine, Angela Spica fights for the little things --- cruising over the mind barrier reef and making orange juice in the morning. Who better to play her then than Zooey Deschanel
whose ingenue likeability has made her a prime choice to play a heart-strung stewardess in Almost Famous
and the wanderlust-ridden Tricia McMillian in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Jeroen Thorndike, The Doctor
- Multibillionaire by twenty. Space-case by twenty-one. This interesting combination of wastoid insecurity and precocious genius should be played by British thesp Jason Flemyng
. Although most people recognize him as wannabe toughies and street cons in films like Snatch
and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
, its his turn as the patently insecure and perpetually fearful Dr. Jekyll in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
that makes him an easily likeable choice for Earth's Shaman --- a man blessed with nigh-omnipotence, but still in perpetual need to consult with thousands of phantom mentors.
Apollo, The Sun King
- With classically masculine good looks that evoke a vague resemblance to Rudolph Valentino, Dark City
's Rufus Sewell
should play the majestic ubermensch by drawing upon both his cultural cache as a European lust object and his ability to invest randy ne'er-do-well mannerisms in his characters from Cold Comfort Farm
. However, he has also shown an ability to display a menacing demeanor, most evident in his recent performance as a sinister aristocrat in The Illusionist
Shen Li-Men, Swift
- Unlike Janet Van Dyne from The Ultimates
, Shen Li-Men is far from vulnerable and insecure. Lucy Liu
is best known for her Dragon Lady stereotype performance that allmovie.com calls "the raging force of political incorrectness" on TV's Ally McBeal
, though she also turned in a likeable performance as the murderous vixen Kitty Baxter in Chicago
. In any case, she's a natural fit to play the fiery personality and unrelenting predator that is the Winged Huntress.
Midnighter, Night's Bringer of War
- The Midnighter knows that fighting is not about honor or glory, or proving yourself. Fighting is about WINNING. I'd hazard a guess that most people dislike the idea of casting an conventional member of the action pantheon but if most people look past his leading man good looks by hiding it under a half-mask, then I'd guess that Jason Statham
is the best bet to portray the Midnighter. With his capacity for ferociously efficient yet surprisingly strategic fighting scenes, and gravely intense demeanor in movies like Crank
, Statham could play the dark cowl effectively like no one else.
I tried to choose actors who would hypothetically relish the performance, even if it may not necessarily be consistent with past performances. Let's just say I dream of the day when Robert Downey Jr. beats the crap out of a blue-skinned tauren-like rapist dictator and Zooey Deschanel points a fricking arm-cannon at a bunch of Asian super-soldiers and says, "Whatever."
B-Side Bonus! Alternate Cast:
Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil: Apocalypse
) as Jenny Sparks, Clive Owen (Children of Men
) as Jack Hawksmoor, Jennifer Connelly (Dark Water
) as Angie Spica, Adrien Brody (Hollywoodland
) as Jeroen Thorndike, Rufus Sewell (Dark City
) as The Midnighter, Heath Ledger (The Brothers Grimm
) as Apollo and Kelly Hu (X-2: X-Men United
) as Swift)