Tobey Maguire as Ash: Oh Ash... you swing that Twin Brand around like a badass, but you're really such a little putz. Tobey Maguire is a very cool actor. He's great in Pleasantville and he'll be even better in Summer 2002's Spider-Man, so that's why I felt kind of bad casting him in the role of the wimpy Ash. But then again, Maguire being such a cool actor, he could probably make Ash not-so-wimpy, ya know? We'll seal the deal with this: we'll use Ray "Darth Maul" Park as his stunt double, and Park can take care of all the fancy Double Saber action... and if Maguire doesn't do a good enough job in the role, he'll just have to go back to being black and white. Cue the Seinfeld Soup Nazi: "No color for you!"
Thandie Newton as Sue: I'll admit it, the only movie I've ever seen Thandie Newton in is John Woo's Mission: Impossible 2, but her role in that film dovetails the role of Sue so nicely, she just had to be cast in the role of the Black Paper mistress. In M:I2, Newton plays an exotic beauty, and you're never quite sure just who's side she's on. Sounds kind of like "See? I have the knack" Sue, doesn't it? Catherine Zeta-Jones would be a very close runner-up for this role, but Zeta-Jones's height, to me, eliminates her from contention. So, Newton gets the part... and as an homage to John Woo, we'll make sure a few white doves fly behind Sue in the Mines the first time she appears.
Mark Calloway ("The Undertaker") as Kireek: I know I've cast wrestlers and former wrestlers in the Dream Casts before, but always in more minor roles, and kind of as jokes, but in this case, I'm dead serious... Kireek can only be played by Deadman, Inc.! Let's examine the facts: whoever plays Kireek in a hypothetical PSO live action movie will be under heavy costume that will completely cover their face. This means we need someone who is tall, lanky, can successfully sell Kireek through body language, and most importantly, the actor in question must have the perfect voice. Except for the "lanky" part, Mark Calloway fits this bill perfectly. And though The Undertaker is now The American Badass, his old-school Undertaker dialogue is right up Kireek's alley -- don't you just get chills imagining the sound of Calloway delivering, "Let me devour your soul!" Don't worry, I'm not saying he has to give The Last Ride to Boomas or chokeslam a Hildebear or two -- not that there'd be anything wrong with that! -- but Mark Calloway, The Undertaker, would just be the perfect Kireek.
Russell Crowe as Bernie: "RAmar, remove your helmet and tell me your name." "My name is RAmar." No, no, no, his name is Bernie (his nickname, anyway), and he's super tough but always a little grouchy, too. Just like 2001 Best Actor Oscar winner Russell Crowe! Anyone who has seen any of Crowe's action roles, especially his Oscar-winning performance in Gladiator, knows that Crowe can fight. I have to admit I'm not sure I picture Bernie with Crowe's natural accent, but he's an actor, he can change the accent -- as long as he keeps the quiet yet commanding tone he normally uses. That is how I imagine Bernie speaking. Russell Crowe, report to the set -- it's time to blow the whistle and expose the truth about Red Ring Rico, Ragol... and big tobacco!
Rachael Leigh Cook as Elenor Camuel: Rachael Leigh Cook probably could have coasted to stardom and big money after 1999's She's All That, where she played a nerdy girl who, it turned out, was in fact not a geek, but was instead "all that" (and how that screenplay ever missed Nobel Literature prize contention, I shall never know) -- but instead she's taken lesser roles in smaller films, like The Bumblebee Flies Away, and you kind of have to respect that. Add in the fact that Cook has already done some voice acting work (something the heavy costume role of Elenor will require a lot of) for Batman Beyond and this casting is a cinch... especially since Elenor's bob haircut really closely resembles Cook's. Now, I do admit to some heavy skepticism about putting anyone from Josie and the Pussycats anywhere near one of the Dream Casts, but I haven't seen Josie yet so I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt, and letting Cook take the role in Elenor and the Mags.
Seth Green as Dr. Jean Carlo Montague: Ahh, one of my favorite Phantasy Star Online characters, Dr. Montague. There are three distinguishing characteristics of Jean: his flamboyant dress, his eccentric attitude, and his diminutive height. The costume department can take care of the first one, and the 5'4" and extremely talented Seth Green can take care of the rest. I first discovered Seth Green not as Scott Evil in the Austin Powers films, nor as Oz on Buffy, The Vampire Slayer but as Kenny Fisher -- Special K -- in Can't Hardly Wait, a film which would have been mostly forgettable were in not for his performance. ("Why y'all gotta waste my flava!") But the roles listed above here are simply a sampling of Seth Green's work: his roles are incredibly varied and wide-ranging. I had a hard time casting this role, but once I thought of Seth Green, I knew it was perfect. Give that man a set of Numan ears and a puffy shirt!
Jessica Biel as Alicia Baz: Best known for her role as Mary Camden on 7th Heaven, Biel has also done a few movies, but nothing major, though she did supposedly audition for the role of Jane in American Beauty ("For you, Brad, I've got five!"). But we all know that any Phantasy Star live action movie with it's $100 million opening weekend is an express rocket to the Hollywood A-List, so a PSO movie would make Biel a superstar. The ultimate test, though, of whether or not Biel is right for the role, is: Can she deal with the PETA people on-set who will be there to supervise all action involving baby Hildebears? I don't think it will be a problem; if PETA tries to give us any trouble, Biel can threaten to show them one of her movies, I'll Be Home For Christmas. The horror!
Michael O'Hare as Principal Tyrell: (This casting comes with a shout-out to the biggest Babylon 5 fan I know, my friend Chibi-Light!) Besides having a decent resemblance to Principal Tyrell, there is one huge reason why Michael O'Hare is perfect for this role, aside from the fact that he's a great actor. No, it's not that he played Commander/Ambassador Sinclair on Babylon 5 and thus has some SF roots. The deciding factor is O'Hare played Colonel Jessup in the Broadway version of A Few Good Men. You know what that means, don't you? The hunters who search for Rico can return to The Principal's Office and Tyrell will say, "Did you find the truth about Rico and Ragol?" And the reply, of course, would be, "We did... but you can't handle the truth!"
Marla Sokoloff as Irene: Sonic Team must have a thing for blondes, because practically every female character in PSO is blond: Nol Rinale, Kroe and Anna Waynes, Elly Person, The Guild Girl, The Cake Sisters... I like blonds as much as the next guy, Sonic Team, but I'm going to have trouble finding enough blonds to fill all these roles! So that's why I don't mind cheating a bit and casting Marla Sokoloff as Irene, even though Irene is blond (of course!) and Sokoloff is not. Sokoloff starred in the film Whatever It Takes but is probably best known from TV's The Practice, on which she plays the receptionist -- so Irene won't exactly be a stretch for her, will it? There's quite a facial similarity, here, too, methinks. Now, I know what you're thinking here... you're wondering if I have absolutely lost my mind by casting someone from Dude, Where's My Car? in a Dream Cast. Fear not, my sanity is intact. I just refuse to admit that Dude, Where's My Car? was ever made, let alone released theatrically. I suggest you do the same; you'll feel much better about Hollywood afterward.
Juliet Huddy as Nol Rinale: As mentioned above, Phantasy Star Online is loaded with blondes, so for the role of Nol Rinale, I decided to seek not an actress but a journalist to play the role. Under that criteria, the natural choice is a cable news personality -- so of course, the choice would have to be someone from the Fox News Channel. (What? Are there other cable news networks? I hadn't noticed...) That brings us to Juliet Huddy. She has a history of being a general assignment reporter, like Nol, but lately she's been working for Fox News as a Hollywood reporter for Entertainment Coast to Coast. So she hangs out with actors; they can give her a tip or two on acting! Another consideration for Nol is that we need someone who will look good in Nol's outfit, and since Juliet Huddy is smokin', she gets the nod. (Maybe we can work in Bill O'Reilly as her boss?)
Carnie Wilson as Cicil: "The Lost Bride" is a ridiculous Hunter's Guild Quest not because the absurd fact that Trimate is fattening when used excessively has now been forever added to the Phantasy Star mythos, but because of the damn near instantaneous weight loss your client, Cicil, experiences at the end of the mission. One hundred pounds lost in about ten seconds -- not even Jenny Craig can claim those kind of results! So who better to portray Cicil than Carnie Wilson, former talk show host and member of Wilson Phillips, who, after stomach-stapling surgery, has also lost an incredible amount of weight. She didn't do it in ten seconds, no, but riddle me this, Batman: who else in Hollywood has first-hand experience on what it is like to lose that much weight? The answer: only Jared from the Subway commercials, but he's a guy, and one rule I have on these Dream Casts is cross-dressing is not allowed. Carnie Wilson gets the nod... but I make no guarantees about a Wilson Phillips song ending up on the soundtrack.
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen as Kroe and Anna Waynes: I am going to take so much heat for this one... but in the words of Han Solo, "It's not my fault." There just aren't a lot of young blond twins in Hollywood, you know? (And no, the twins from The Man Show are not going to play Kroe and Anna.) The Olsen Twins have the acting experience, thanks to years on Full House, their new TV series So Little Time, and about a bazillion direct-to-video movies. Seriously -- take a look at their IMDB listing; they have more credits than some of the most beloved actors on these casts! I honestly don't know enough about them to know which one should play Anna and which should play Kroe... so all I'll say are these two things: (A) trust me -- slap some Numan ears on the twins, and you'll quickly forget that two of the stars of Full House are in a Phantasy Star movie and (B) no, not even if he's the last actor on the face of the earth, Bob Saget will never be in a Dream Cast. Happy now?
Harold Ramis as Mome: His name has spawned multiple definitions. For example, "You stupid Mome!" is a curse along the lines of, "You stupid idiot," or even something stronger. His name can even be used as a verb; for example, if you completely fail a test at school, it would be acceptable grammar to exclaim, "I totally Mome'd that test!" The PSO cheaters can have their Gameshark codes to break into other players' password-protected games, and to instantly jump their characters to Level 100, but I'd consider a Gameshark investment if there was a code that keeps Mome from dying in "Unsealed Door"... or better yet, a code that lets you get a weapon lock on Mome, so you can take that sumbitch out yourself, just for revenge.
And that's our challenge in Dream Casting Mome... we need an actor cool enough to actually make Mome likeable. Enter Harold Ramis, one of the coolest men on Earth, because of the fact that he's a freakin' Ghostbuster. Egon Spengler and Mome have a lot in common, physically, but on the coolness scale, they're miles apart. With Ramis playing the role of Mome, that disparity will be severely shrunk. Have Ramis equip his Proton Pack +15 and report to the Mines set, ASAP!
Leslie Mann as The Hunter's Guild Girl: The minute I first saw The Guild Girl (not to the confused with the Check Room Girl!), I noticed the incredible resemblance to Leslie Mann. Mann played Robin Harris in one of my all-time favorite comedies, The Cable Guy, but it was her role in Big Daddy that made me decide she'd be perfect for this role. In that movie, she played Corinne Maloney, a former waitress at Hooters. And since the Hunter's Guild must be the Ragolian equivalent of a Hooters restaurant, the link makes Mann appropriate for the role. Also, judging by the picture to the left from Big Daddy, I, uhh, don't think she'd have a problem with the costume.
Jeff Anderson as The Weapons Store Clerk and Brian O'Halloran as The Armor Store Clerk: Clerks is one of my absolute all-time favorite movies, and so as a joke I told myself I should make Dante and Randall two of the PSO clerks... then I realized that Jeff Anderson kinda-sorta looks like the Weapons Store Clerk, and except for the bulk, Brian O'Halloran kinda-sorta looks like the Armor Store Clerk! (Insert PSO "Hurrah!" emoticon sound here.) To make it even better, Anderson played the gun seller in Dogma, but I somehow doubt the Pioneer 2 weapons store will sell a "Fecalator." Toss in a large banner outside the store with "WE ASSURE YOU WE'RE OPEN" written in shoe polish, and you have one of my all-time favorite Dream Castings! Perfect! Now can I have a Gatorade?
Mike Ripplinger as
HUmar Mike Ripp
Battle cry: I have come here to kick ass and to chew bubblegum... and I'm all out of bubblegum!
Bruce Willis as
RAmar John McClane
Battle cry: Yippie Ki-Yay, Evil Shark!
Jason Mewes as FOnewm Jay and
Kevin Smith as RAcast Silent Bob
Battle cry: Snootch to the
I'll find Maia if I have to search forever!
|Please send all comments and feedback to mike at ripplinger dot us|