Powers on FX: Casting The Show

So I think its safe to say that any of you who listen to the podcast know how excited I am about FX’s upcoming television adaptation of the comic book Powers.  I was turned onto Powers in college by my buddy Vit because of my love of dark gritty noir, ever-evolving mythology and iconic characters.  I picked up the first trade (because I’ll give anything a chance when the dude telling me to check it out is the same guy who told me I should be watching SciFi’s re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica) and immediately fell in love.  I’ve always been a big fan of Michael Avon Oeming‘s crisp Saturday-morning-cartoon-gone-dark style and although I don’t love everything Brian Michael Bendis churns out, I think he is a solid writer when he is let off the leash and off the leash is the only way to describe Powers.

Because Powers (to this day) remains a creator owned comic book, Bendis and Oeming can do whatever they want with the characters and stories.  Why is this different from every other book?  Well, for one, they can kill off main characters on a whim.  Oeming gets tired of drawing a character?  Dead.  You think a writer could just kill off Spiderman if they wanted?  Hell no.  But Powers allowed Bendis and Oeming to really flex creatively, unhampered by the rules and regulations set up at most comic companies.  Graphic violence, explicit nudity and filthy language prevailed in the pages of Powers, but never in a gratuitous fashion.  Bendis and Oeming used the shock value of all of these things to create a very real world for their characters to inhabit.  Not to mention that they could take their time unravelling mysteries and paying them off however they see fit.

Well, now FX has done what the Powers fans have wanted all along by picking it up and adapting it into a series for television. The biggest fear when adapting something that is as dark and gritty as Powers, is that a lot of what made the book so great will be lost in translation.  However, we know that FX has absolutely no issue with language, violence or dark subject matter so that isn’t a problem.  Additionally, Brian Michael Bendis is overseeing the entire thing, so there is no reason they should get the personality of the book wrong.  And lastly, they have Frank Darabont‘s second in command from The Walking Dead Season 1, Charles H. Eglee, running the show.  That only leaves on major obstacle standing in the way of this being a truly epic adaptation.  Thats right, the cast.  So lets dive in and meet the characters, meet my ideal cast and then look at who they actually put in the part.

Christian Walker

Who He Is

Christian is a police detective specifically assigned to super power related cases.  He spends a lot of his time locked in his own mind, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.  Walker used to be a power but lost his abilities in a major battle a few years before the beginning of the book.  As such, he can never truly connect to anybody.  He can’t continue to spend his time with the powers because they would constantly fear for his safety now that he no longer has powers and he can never truly relate to the humans because he has known what it was to be a god.  So instead, Christian does his best to help both sides while never truly connecting to either as the lead investigator for powers related homicide.

Who I Would Cast

Owain Yeoman

Who They Cast

Jason Patric

 Good Call?

It’s hard to say.  For a long time, I’ve thought that Patrick Warburton would be the perfect Christian Walker.  He looks just like the guy.  I’ve always sort of envisioned him in the part.  But the more I think about it the more I think he would have been great…ten years ago.  Owain seems like a fitting actor for the part now.  He is 6’4 so he’s got the size.  He’s definitely got the strong jawed look.  But most of all, he has the intensity needed for the part.  Anyone who has seen Owain in action knows that he is a guy who can be both sympathetic and yet maintaining a dark streak that would perfectly compliment the character of Christian Walker. Although I thoroughly enjoyed Jason Patric as Michael in The Lost Boys and Max in the recent big screen adaptation of the graphic novel The Losers, I don’t necessarily think he is the best call for the part.  Christian is a character who conveys an sense of honor and selflessness, both in his look and his behavior and Jason Patric has always come off as somewhat sleazy to me.  As the entire series rests on the already heavily burdened shoulders of Christian Walker, I think they made the wrong call here, but only time will tell.

Deena Pilgrim

Who She Is

Starting as Christian’s partner in the first case of the book, Pilgrim is new to the powers homicide department and thus acts as the viewers introduction to the world.  She is funny, crude and curious with a penchant for using violence to get information from suspects.  She loves sarcasm almost as much as she loves bitch slapping perps.  But her skills as an investigator prove to be useful to Walker and her view as an outsider to the world of powers related investigation give her unique insight into the cases that she and Walker face through their numerous adventures.  Plus, she loves to push Walker’s buttons as often as she can.

Who I Would Cast

Katee Sackhoff 

Who They Cast

Lucy Punch

Good Call?

Again, this is a tough one.  Katee spent four seasons being the pilot equivalent of Deena Pilgrim as Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica.  She also looks great with short hair.  She also has a great ability to be vulgar without it seeming gratuitous.  She’s just one of the boys and damn good at it.  But Lucy Punch continues to prove her range in a variety of roles both comedy and drama.  She was chosen last year as one of Variety Magazine’s Top Ten Actors to watch because of her incredible ability to bring life to every role she takes on.  So how do I think she will fare?  I still think Katee would have been the superior choice, but I think Lucy has the chops to bring Deena to life.  She has a unique way of approaching every role so at the end of the day, I think Lucy will be great.  Besides, Katee is probably tired of playing the tough smart ass chick in a gritty drama.

Retro Girl

 Who She Is

Retro Girl is the all American super heroine.  Her power is only matched by her girl next door good lucky.  She is a beacon of hope for the city who sees her as the ultimate symbol for everything good in the world.  Her murder marks the first case for Walker and Deena and is only complicated by the relationship Walker had with her in his previous life as a power.

Who I Would Cast

Amanda Seyfried

Who They Cast

Carly Foulkes

Good Call?

Yeah, they did.  Lets face it, as much as I love Amanda, there are two things standing in her way.  First of all, she is too well known.  Her career has entered that next level that would make her impossible to get back for occasional flashbacks.  Secondly, as much as the public still loves her, the choices she’s been making in film lately keeps her from maintaining her image as the pure and untouched wonder that Retro Girl manages to be.  However, Carly Foulkes is really only known as that adorable and innocent looking beauty in the T-Mobile commercials.  I just hope they give her the blonde hair, even though she will spend most of the first arch just laying in a pool of blood.

Calista

 Who She Is

When we first meet Christian Walker, he is negotiating a hostage situation in which a crazy flying dude has taken his ex girlfriend’s daughter hostage.  After successfully saving the girl, Walker is forced to take custody of her until a foster home can be found.  Calista is curious and blunt, having no problem asking Christian what a clitoris is on the first issue of the book.

Who I Would Cast

Morgan Lily

Who They Cast

Bailee Madison

Good Call?

I don’t think so.  Maybe its just me, but Madison kind of pisses me off.  Maybe its just because my only real experience with her was that shitty Adam Sandler movie Just Go With It, but Madison rubs me the wrong way.  She seems to spend all of her time mugging and winking at the camera and I’m afraid of what that will mean for Calista.  One of the most endearing things about her as a character is that she see has been completely jaded by the world around her without losing her innocence.  Sure, she asks Walker if he knows what a clitoris is, but it is because she has heard the word before and genuinely has no idea what it is.  Her innocence is what leads to some of the most touching moments with her and thats why I think Morgan Lily would be the better choice.  She did more with her three minutes of screen time as a young Mystique in X-Men: First Class then Madison did with an entire movie and because of that, I think they made the wrong call.  Plus, she has the look of someone in need of protecting.

Zora

 Who She Is

Zora is one of my favorite heroes in the power universe.  She gained her powers when she realized that in a world absent of an almighty deity, each person is their own god.  Since then, she has flown with the best and brightest of them.  With her long blonde hair, wraparound sunglasses and trademark purple cubes, Zora is one of the few heroes that Christian has remained close to in the years since he was, as they say, up there.  In fact, she even comes to check in on him in the wake of Retro Girl’s murder because they have remained so tight.  She is smart, sexy and a bad ass to the max.

Who I Would Cast

Sarah Carter

Who They Cast

 Unknown

Good Call?

Sarah has always been one of my favorite actresses.  Not only is she undeniably beautifult, but she brings an incredible depth to every part she plays.  On screen, she has this wonderful ability to seem as though she knows more then she is letting on.  As Zora, I think Sarah would do an amazing job of bringing the unique mix of intelligence and power to the screen.  Hear that producers?  Make it happen!

Triphammer

Who He Is

Triphammer is the smart ass Iron Man of the Powers universe.  Clearly older then most of the heroes, Triphammer encases himself in a red suit of armor when doing battle.  While lounging around his mansion however, Triphammer rocks a grey ponytail and goatee combo which is why the part was clearly envisioned with one guy in mind.

Who I Would Cast

George Carlin

Who They Cast

Unknown

Good Call?

I know, I know.  Carlin is dead.  But when reading the book, there is absolutely no doubt that the character was completely based on him.  While being questioned by Walker and Deena, he sarcastically shoots back at them with stories about how he had defiled Retro Girl after they broke up a robbery together, but he would never kill someone as noble as she was.  Deena asks how he can call her noble after saying so many horrible things about her and he replies “I said she was a lousy lay.  She was a hell of a woman.”  The producers are going to have a tough job casting this part with Carlin gone, but I wish them the best of luck as Triphammer is one of the most enjoyable characters in the book.

Detective Kutter

Who He Is

Kutter is the rude asshole every police precinct needs.  Constantly making sexist comments and stepping in the way of Walker and Deena’s investigations, Kutter is none the less a great detective.  The problem is, he knows it and has absolutely no problem trying to get the jump on someone else’s case by making premature arrests and sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.  He also spends a lot of time facing the wrath of Deena’s sharp tongue because she can not stand him.

Who I Would Cast

Rob Mcelhenney

Who They Cast

Unknown

Good Call?

I think Rob has the chops for this part.  His work on Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia has proven his ability to be the guy who thinks he is way cooler then he is.  He is great at being the guy who thinks he is the cat’s pajamas but is a joke to everyone else around him.  And hey, FX already owns his ass.

 Captain Cross

Who He Is

The head of the police precinct that Walker and Deena work at, Captain Cross is the kind of guy you want in charge.  After spending years walking the street himself, he is understanding of the struggles his officers face in the line of duty and is sympathetic to the obstacles that stand in their way, but has no problem getting tough when he needs to.  He seems like the type of guy who is counting the days until retirement, but won’t know what to do with himself when it finally comes.  His relationship with Walker dates back decades and he has absolute trust in him both as a man and as a detective.

Who I Would Cast

Enrico Colantoni

Who They Cast

Charles S. Dutton

Good Call?

Definitely.  What I like about Colantoni is his ability to seem absolutely crushed under the beurocracy he deals with him every day, but step up and get tough when he needs to.  He proved this time and time again as Keith Mars on Veronica Mars.  But Charles S. Dutton is equally qualified.  It also helps that he has spent a vast majority of his career playing cops.  I think Dutton will do a great job in the role of Captain Cross.

Dr. Tucker

 Who He Is

Tucker is the bitchy madman charged with performing autopsies on the bodies of dead powers.  He is frustrated that even with his broad knowledge of the human body, each new corpse presents new challenges and has no problem vocalizing it.  When Deena asks him how long an autopsy on Retro Girl will take, he snaps at her, explaining that her biology is so unique, he may have to use a blowtorch just to get through her skin.  As he puts it “Do you have any idea what it’s like every goddamn day?  What the fuck?  Fucking space lizards and orangutans with laser guns!”

Who I Would Cast

Jason Alexander

Who They Cast

Unknown

Good Call?

With his bald head, his ability to spew out dialogue fast and his ability to be both angry and hilarious, this one seems like a no-brainer.  Jason Alexander IS Dr. Tucker.

Johnny Royalle

Who He Is

Royalle is the ultimate douche supervillain.  Much like the Kingpin, Johnny has built an empire out of being an asshole.  Unlike the Kingpin, he can teleport.  After getting his ass smacked around by Walker in the old days, Royalle decided to go the other direction and use his ill gotten gains to open a casino in town and remake himself as a businessman.  He always has his fingers in lot of rotten pies however which means he usually gets questioned in regards to any criminal acts which, of course, prompted him to lawyer up and sue the police department for 150 million dollars.

Who I Would Cast

Sam Rockwell

Who They Cast

Unknown

Good Call?

Rockwell seems to take an extreme amount of pleasure in playing guys like this.  Just look at Charlie’s Angels.  This is a dude who knows how to play a smooth talking rich guy with a chip on his shoulder and a sick love of fucking with authority.  Although Royalle doesn’t have a lot of screen time, his impact is far reaching and I think that Rockwell would bring a lot of attitude and charm to this asshole.

The Wolfe

 Who He Is

One of the first known powers, the Wolfe is one of the most feared villains of all time.  After being captured by Walker, he was thrown into prison to rot under the “power drainers.”  But its clear, even as he decays in his cell, he still knows how to get inside Walker’s head.

Who I Would Cast

Jackie Earle Haley

Who They Cast



Unknown

Good Call?

Wolfe is a sick twisted son of a bitch.  He is the super powered Hannibal Lector.  He is terror itself.  Even though Walker towers over him, the Wolfe still manages to come off as a character that Walker fears.  And who could play that better then Jackie Earle Haley?  His turn in Shutter Island perfectly proves his ability to do a lot with a short scene and the man knows how to be creepy.

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~ by Andrew Craig on June 29, 2011.

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