The comic book superteam of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips had a big week. Their newest collaboration – Fatale, from Image Comics – had a really big first month, their biggest as a team, as revealed in the latest sales numbers from Diamond. To celebrate, we’re looking back to their first Icon work together – the Criminal arc titled “Coward” – for this week’s Casting Couch.
Now the fun thing about this is Brubaker is already working on a screenplay with David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) set to direct. So this is something that is actually happening. If we were the production team and casting agents, we know who we would cast. You can find out exactly whom after the jump.
That’s the fun thing about Criminal. Each arc can standalone as a movie, and each movie would beef up the universe like the books do. It’s kind of a perfect fit for a movie series.
The Director – David Slade
Slade is already the director for the project, but names like Martin McDonagh, James Foley and Nicolas Winding Refn were discussed for the project in MC offices. We decided to stick with Slade because he’s already affiliated with it (gotta be real where you can), he’s clearly passionate about the project and the guy is pretty talented as well, with Hard Candy being especially well-received. If he makes this work, this would be the biggest success of his career to-date.
Leo Patterson – Aaron Paul
One note: it’s rather hard to place exactly how old Leo Patterson is (same with a lot of the rest of the cast). But from the list of people we came up with, the one that we felt was the best fit was Paul. As anyone who has seen Breaking Bad can attest to, the guy is a fantastic actor. With a good look and style for the character as well, we think he’d blow audiences away as the protagonist of this movie.
Jeff – Lennie James
Another character who generates a lot of names, but ultimately James (most well known from The Walking Dead and Snatch) was the one who won out. The guy is an underrated actor, and someone we’d love to see in more projects. As one half of the no good duo working both with and against Leo, we think he’d give us a character we’d love to hate.
Seymour – David Morse
Same thing with his partner Seymour. Now, in this case there was only one name really considered. Morse isn’t just a strong fit in terms of looks but also feel. Morse has long been someone who quietly stood out in top notch projects, and we think he’d be an exceptional addition to our ensemble cast here.
Greta – Michelle Monaghan
It’s kind of funny when you cast someone and your biggest problem with the casting is that they might be too happy. Monaghan just seems like a really upbeat person. For the female lead in a crime film, it’s kind of weird to think of someone upbeat. But we think Monaghan has proven herself as having the chops, namely in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and we don’t think this movie should be made without her.
Donnie – Giovanni Ribisi
A sort of weasel who fakes seizures to score money off unsuspecting rubes? I don’t know why, but activities like that seem like something a Giovanni Ribisi character would do. Ribisi is a sneaky great actor, whether as a lead in something like Boiler Room or as a supporting actor in something like Saving Private Ryan, he’s always been someone I can count on for a good performance. As Donnie, we think he’d be a great part of this cast.Continued below
Roy-L.T. – Ving Rhames
Is it a little on the nose to cast Marsellus Wallace as Roy-L. T? But man, his look is spot on. Plus, we know Rhames just works in crime movies, like he has in the past in things like Pulp Fiction and personal favorite Out of Sight. So for someone like Roy-L. T, there is only one choice available.
Ivan – Hal Holbrook
Ivan doesn’t have a huge role, but he’s an important one. Hal Holbrook has made a bit of a resurgence over the past few years, and as the tragic Ivan, we think he could add a ton of emotional weight to this superb story.
Gnarly – Wendell Pierce
Another character we struggled pegging for age, but we think Gnarly is a little older than the rest of the cast. He’s someone who shows up elsewhere in the Criminal universe, but for “Coward”, we’ll be casting The Wire’s Wendell Pierce. He’s been a great character for years, and for the man who runs the Undertow, we think he’d be a perfect fit.
Delron – Pruitt Taylor Vince
Pruitt Taylor Vince is on a TV hot streak, with him standing out in The Walking Dead and in a recent episode of Justified. We think he’s ready for the big time, in the form of Delron in the cast of this big time movie. As a grade-A dirtbag, we know he’ll rock the house as part of Leo’s collective opponents.