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10 Worst Case Casting Scenarios
by The Mary Sue Staff | 12:34 pm, February 22nd, 2012
This is actually the one that started off the whole idea of Worst Case Scenario Casting for us, a big budget, expodey Hollywood adaptation of the low budget, slow and all about tone and visual pacing Cowboy Bebop. It started when a friend suggested that when Hollywood gets around to the inevitable whitewashed adaptation of the seminal anime series, the least they can do is cast Benedict Cumberbatch, with his spindly figure and penchant for wearing a touseled shock of black hair, as series main character Spike Spiegel.
“Oh?” I said, “I’d always assumed that whitewashed Spike would be played by Keanu Reeves,” and the game was on.
Once we’ve replaced “spindly non-emotive main character” with a spindly non-emotive actor, lets replace the gruff, older, ex-military, ineffective mentor with someone equally Hollywood inappropriate who has a penchant for choosing projects that have great tag lines but less than great execution… like Gerard Butler (okay, before you go nuts on me I’m referring specifically to choices like Gamer, Reign of Fire, or Beowulf, and personally I’d include 300, but your mileage may vary). Yes, Butler, who never met an accent he couldn’t overlay with his own thick Scottish brogue, could don the pointy beard and metal arm of Jet Black, and the doubtlessly reduced role of Spike’s senior partner.
Now, lets move along to the female characters of the story… obviously a character as androgynous as Ed is never going to make it into a major mainstream Hollywood production, and so her character is going to have to be genderswapped to something more normative. Now, young teens can’t be in action movies unless they’re the MacGuffin or the sidekick, so we’re going to have to age Ed up a bit, and get a nice skinny nerdy boy to say a couple weird lines from the bowels of the Bebop as he hacks Spike into places to move the plot forward.
Lets talk in full blown Hollywood Marketing speak for a bit: Alternatively, since, I mean, what does Faye do? Basically the same stuff that Spike does, right? Well, if we’re going to be setting her up as his romantic option (because the adult woman in the story must be set up romantically with the main male character) we should giver her an edge on him: that way the audience will be initially alarmed, but later comforted in its ideas about heteronormative relationships when she subverts her own initiatives for Spike’s, as any good morally-ambiguous female action movie love interest should. But what skills… I know, lets merge her character with Ed’s! Two birds with one stone: we get rid of the weird kid and give the lady mad hacker skills. Now lets just cast her with somebody with name recognition who looks good in a low cut shirt… Megan Fox. DONE.
And thus, the market-tested-into-a-grey-paste version of Cowboy Bebop is born.
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