• Columns 

    Multiversity Casting Couch: Batman: Under the Red Hood

    By | December 30th, 2010
    Posted in Columns | % Comments

    Welcome back to the newly revitalized Multiversity Casting Couch! I’m back and with a totally new idea I cooked up. Well, it’s not new, but it’s an adaptation of a specific Batman story from the past ten years. That story is Batman: Under the Red Hood. I only recently read it, but it read like a movie, and one I wanted to see at that. And yes, I know it was an animated film, and a particularly good one too. This is meant to be an expansion of that.

    I made a few tweaks, but they’re mostly additions to the cast because the original animated movie (and the comic for that) had some missed opportunities in character interaction. First of all, I added Tim and most of the Batman family. I think the interaction between Babs and Jason would be a poignant one; and one that was sorely missing from the story in my opinion (and the current DCU while we’re at it). I also added Barbara as a potential love interest for Dick, and even Stephanie Brown for Tim. The return of Jason Todd was something that should have affected the entire family, not just Dick and Bruce.

    So with that, here we go!

    Batman/Bruce Wayne – Jon Hamm

    It’s not really a secret that I’m not the hugest fan of Christian Bale under the cowl. I don’t like his Bat voice, and I think his look is a little off. He’s a GOOD Batman (and probably one of the better ones in modern history), but he’s a little forced sometimes. I also don’t think his jaw is square enough, but you know, all of that is beside the point. This Batman would be further in his career as Batman, with a few Robins under his belt. He’d like be pushing forty, and that’s there Jon Hamm comes in.

    Jon Hamm is interesting because he is quite literally my everyman. I cast him as Lex Luthor in the Secret Six casting, and if I had my way, he’d also be Superman. But this isn’t a Superman casting, this is Batman. And while we’re on the subject of Batman, look at Jon’s face. He has the well built, square jaw we also come to expect from Bruce, along with the piercing eyes and most importantly, he can pull off the dual identity quite well. While I’m not the biggest fan of Mad Men, I am quite a big fan of Mr. Hamm.

    Dick Grayson/Nightwing — Matt Bomer

    Dick Grayson is one of the most important characters in the whole story. He represents a lot to so many people. He represents missed opportunities for Bruce; wasted potential for Jason; and for Tim, something to aspire to be. While he is at odds with Bruce a lot, he still respects him, but possessing that wit. Well, if you like anyone who watches Chuck (which is darn near everyone on this site) and more recently, the Hit USA Network Show (according to them anyway) White Collar, you recognize Matt Bomer.

    As Chuck’s former roommate Bryce Larkin, he was an unseen nemesis for Chuck and later, an unlikely ally. He also had this wit that Dick has, and most importantly, this guy looks like he fell right out of a Nightwing Comic. It’s really uncanny, and I don’t see anyone else for the role.

    Tim Drake/Robin — Steven R. McQueen

    In my last casting of Tim, I messed up. Well, I didn’t exactly mess up, I was just mostly ignorant. Now I have seen the light, and Tim, you should be played by Steven R. McQueen.

    Continued below

    If you recognize that name, you’re probably noticing that his name is quite similar to one of the original action stars. That is because Steve McQueen is his grandfather! Yes, this young man has action flowing through his veins, and while he is currently on a CW television show, he is one of the bright spots.

    He has the look, and he’s smart enough to play the next World’s Greatest Detective. Suck it McLovin.

    Young Jason Todd/Robin — Robert Sheehan

    Young Jason Todd was a bit of a troll. He was brash, he was cocky, and he was headstrong. If you’ve seen the lauded superhero show Misfits, you know Robert Sheehan’s character Nathan is exactly the same. He also has the same build someone like Jason would have had in his teens, particularly jumping from rooftop to rooftop along with Batman.

    But I’ll be honest; a lot of it had to do with that hair. Of course it would have to be tamed a bit for this adaptation, but Jason’s hair is rather curly anyway, so in my head, it works.

    Barbara Gordon/Oracle — Emily Blunt

    There are quite a few Brits on this casting. But suffice it to say, I really love all of them, especially Emily. I bounced some ideas off of a friend, and we both really liked what Emily brought to the table. She’s funny, she’s alarmingly beautiful, and she’s also very, very smart. When I was considering people for the role of Babs, she was the best person for the job, bar none.

    Stephanie Brown/Spoiler — Emma Roberts

    For the role of Spoiler, who in this epic will act as a love interest for Tim (of course), you need someone who’s pretty but just a tad awkward, just like Tim (yes, I just said Tim is kind of pretty, but let’s move past that.), to offset the beauty to make her approachable. Emma Roberts of Nickelodeon fame (as well as being the daughter of one Eric “I’m-too-awesome-for-words” Roberts) fits the bill. She looks like she’s the age of Steph Brown in High School, which was perfect. I also think her sense of humor and wit made her perfect to take up the role of Spoiler. And just imagine if Eric Roberts played her father. Sure he already played criminal in a Batman movie, but…he can play one again!

    Cassandra Cain/ Batgirl — Minase Yashiro

    At this point, y’all are probably like “OK, I haven’t even heard of her, so how could he possibly have?” Well, young Padawan Apprentice, a few months ago, I saw a Japanese Gore Flick called The Machine Girl, about a girl whose brother was killed by gangsters. She goes on a quest for revenge that included her arm being cut off and replace with a Gatling gun.

    Silly plots aside, it was a terrific movie that had a lot of action and gore, and she was great in it. She’s beautiful, and she’s tough, so she can play Cass well. And while she hasn’t been around for some time now, I think Cassie would be a great cameo at the very least.

    Plus, look, I CAN cast an Asian! She’s not exactly Chinese, but with the relative few Asians in the Hollywood mainstream, I went with someone I know.

    Helena Bertinelli/Huntress – Mila Kunis

    Ever since her acting debut on “Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher,” I’ve liked her. She’s gorgeous, smart, tough, and a little scary. Even as a spoiled rich girl on “That 70’s Show”, she was a little frightening. Maybe it’s that dead stare or that the smile that hides a slightly demented attitude; but as Helena was considered too rough even for the likes of Bruce Wayne, she has to be damned intimidating.

    Continued below

    Plus, with her impressive acting turn in Black Swan, maybe she can expand her repertoire the superhero genre as well. Make mine Kunis!

    Adult Jason Todd/Red Hood — Adrian Grenier

    You might be thinking here, what are you smoking Gil, and can I have some? Well, no you cannot. But hear me out before you judge. This was THE HARDEST role to cast, but when I thought about Robert Sheehan, and imagined what the opposite of him would be, I strangely thought of Adrian’s work on the most recent season of Entourage. Plagued by demons, he turned to the dark side so-to-speak, doing cocaine and porn stars, to name a few. He also had this impressive haircut to underscore the darkness. If he bulked up, he’d really pull it off.

    The ONE concern I have, and yes, it is the ONE concern, is that I’m not sure he has quite the gravitas to play the antagonist to Jon Hamm. But since this movie is all in my head, I’ll imagine he does, ‘kay?

    The Joker — Mark Hamill (Voice)

    I know you might be thinking that Mark Hamill is too old to be playing The Joker onscreen, but that’s the point, he wouldn’t. In the imaginary movie I’m directing, the unspeakable acts Mr. J performs on Jason would be mercifully off-screen; in order to give the audience a chance to imagine what kind of beating The Joker would give a teenager. In my head, your imagination will always trump what someone else’s imagination has in store for you.

    Plus, why screw with perfection?

    Black Mask — Peter Serafinowicz (voice)

    To some of you, this might seem like an odd choice. He’s mostly known as a comedian, and Black Mask is one scary mofo. Well, I considered that, but Mr. Serafinowicz played the voice of Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, which is something I imagine The Black Mask’s voice to sound like.

    Plus, Black Mask has a sort of dark sense of humor about him, which I’m sure Peter could do. And even better, since this is a relatively non-demanding role, physically, he can be UNDER the mask too.

    Talia Al Ghul — Cote de Pablo

    Talia al Ghul is a character who at least initially doesn’t play much of a role, but she is quite important. She put the wheels into motion to make sure Jason came back in the first place.

    Talia is an interesting character, whose ethnicity is really hard to pin down. She’s played as white (at least to me) in the comics, but she clearly has an Arabic last name. So you need someone who can give that region the proper respect, while also respecting the fact an actress who plays her has to be sexy, but tough and intimidating. The best person I can think of for the job is Cote de Pablo from NCIS.

    Even though de Pablo is Chilean, she has a very strong Middle Eastern look to her, which is evidenced by her portrayal of a Mossad Agent on that very show. And while I think it’s a little funny she’d go from playing an Israeli to what I’m going to say is Arabic while neither. She’s pretty, she’s tough, and she can go toe-to-toe with someone the likes of Jon Hamm anytime.

    Commissioner James Gordon – Gary Oldman

    Once again, I can’t top a perfect casting. Just give him white hair. You have the future Commissioner Gordon.

    Continued below

    Alfred Pennyworth – Patrick Stewart

    When I was looking through pictures of Alfred to possibly use as inspiration, I stumbled upon this pic right here, and it was curtains. I can’t think or another person who could possibly be as awesome as Captain Picard himself. He looks TOO perfect!

    //TAGS | Casting Couch

    Gilbert Short

    Gilbert Short. The Man. The Myth. The Legend. When he's not reading comic books so you don't have to, he's likely listening to mediocre music or watching excellent television. Passionate about Giants baseball and 49ers football. When he was a kid he wanted to be The Ultimate Warrior. He still kind of does. His favorite character is Superman and he will argue with you about it if you try to convince him otherwise. He also happens to be the head of Social Media Relations, which means you should totally give him a follow onTwitter.


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