Chances are you just read Matt’s very candid (and pretty odd) interview with Ryan Ferrier in which, when they can bothered to stop complimenting each other’s hair, they discuss Ryan’s comic “D4VE.” Illustrated by Valentin Ramon, this hilarious series has been one of the most oft-praised books in Monkeybrain’s line — and for quite good reason, too.
So, in addition to that interview, today’s Casting Couch is all about “D4VE.” Instead of live actors, I’m pitching “D4VE” as an animated film, so today’s cast will all be voices only. (Which isn’t to say that a few of these wouldn’t be great in robot costumes, of course, but I think CGI/Pixar-style animation is probably the best option to adapt this comic.)
Let’s dive right in:
D4VE – Ed Norton
Casting Ed Norton in a role like this might seem obvious, but it’s also one of those castings that once you get slightly into your head you just can’t get rid of. Norton has certainly played the office-worker-turned-badass before in a rather famous role, but this doesn’t stop Norton from undeniably being a perfect fit for a role like D4VE. There’s actually a lot that Norton could bring out of the character; his sometimes unassuming nature would really bring out the uncertainty D4VE has at the beginning of the story, when his biggest problems are just how crappy his life and job are. Yet when it comes time to man up (or is that robot up?), Norton is still someone that can take charge in a believable way.
And for D4VE’s character arc, he’s exactly who you need.
FR4NK – Bryan Cranston
Again, Bryan Cranson is certainly not new to the role of “jerk boss,” although his former role is decidedly less famous than what people remember him for these days. That said, Cranston works because he seems like a great foil for Norton as D4VE. FR4NK isn’t just some Lombard variant; far from it, in fact. FR4NK is the worst boss, the boss of nightmares — and to really bring that to life, you need someone who can be believably threatening from voice alone. Whether you’re thinking about Cranston as Heisenberg or Hammond Druthers, he certainly fits the bill quite well for the role of FR4NK.
S4LLY – Christina Hendricks
S4LLY’s role is one that grew a bit more slowly over the series, but as she’s featured more in the series we get a better sense of who she is: someone that may have lost respect for her husband, but someone that still believes in him deep down. And to bring this role to life, it makes sense to pull in an actress known for her ability to play a character that is both sarcastic but also incredibly strong; someone who shouldn’t have faith but still maintains some belief, visible in the corners of her eyes.
S4LLY may not be Joan, perhaps, but Christina Hendricks would still make a great fit to bring the character to life. And she would go great alongside Norton.
SC0TTY – Jonah Hill
SC0TTY is a rude, crass, idiotic teenage robot boy who cares about his swag just as much as he cares about nudie magazines and being a dick to his dad.
I don’t care how many Oscars Jonah Hill gets nominated for. He’ll always be Seth from Superbad at the end of the day.
K’Larr Emperor – Bill Nighy
This is perhaps the most typecast role here, as Bill Nighy has certainly provided his voice to villainous characters in the past. However, even with that mind Bill Nighy is the perfect person to play the leader of the K’Larr, as when they first arrive they attempt to pass themselves off as something genuine. For that, you need a voice that is trusting, one that you can assumedly rely upon — but one that, when the time comes, can become menacing and frightening and forceful.
Pirates of the Caribbean. The World’s End. Heck, even Underworld. When Bill Nighy wants to be frightening he can be. But he’s still the same guy from Love Actually and About Time and even Arthur Christmas. If anyone can balance this well, it’s Nighy.Continued below
Plus, I think, like, all British people are disposed to play villains in animated films, or something like that. Right?
CH4D – Mos Def
The only character in “D4VE” who really has no major role, it felt worthwhile to expand the cast a bit and give D4VE’s only semblance of a friend a larger part to play. Really, isolationism works well in comics, but for a different medium it seems worthwhile for someone for D4VE to play off of, someone through which D4VE’s faults can be more accurately reflected.
And who better to do that than Mos Def? Mos Def has shown himself in previous film roles to be charismatic, witty and full of leading man material. If anyone can actively overshadow someone like Norton — and keep in mind, I have nothing but praise to give to Norton — it’s the same guy who played Ford Prefect so wonderfully in Hitchhiker’s Guide.