Cast Party: Who Should Star in a Doctor Aphra Movie?
Welcome to Cast Party, the feature that imagines a world with even more live action comic book adaptations than we currently have, and comes up with arguably the best casting suggestions you’re ever going to find for the movies and shows we wish could exist.
This week I'm doing something I've never done in this column before: a Star Wars movie. But Rogue One has proven the viability of Star Wars spin-off movies outside the main Skywalker saga, and meanwhile the Star Wars comics are going gangbusters at Marvel, so it seems like only a matter of time until there's a Star Wars movie based on a comic.
So far, the most popular character created for the current Star Wars comics is Doctor Aphra, who was introduced in Darth Vader and currently stars in her own series written by Kieron Gillen, with art by Salvador Larroca and Kev Walker.
Aphra is criminal archeologist, which is a great concept for an anti-hero to begin with, and even more unusual within the world of Star Wars. She also travels with two murder droids, a brutal black-furred wookiee to whom she owes money, and at the moment, her deadbeat fanatic of a father. Add in an appearance by Darth Vader, who'd be out to kill her if he didn't think he already had, and this is a movie that practically writes itself.
I honestly don't know how Pacific Rim didn't make Kikuchi into a huge action star in Hollywood, but it really should have. She absolutely has the talent and charisma to lead a movie, not to mention the perfect look for Aphra.
Triple Zero has something of the demeanor of a more traditional protocol droid like C-3PO, but simmering underneath is the heart of a sadistic murderer. Hearing Freeman's voice striking that balance will make for a great performance.
BB-8 was brought to life by the unusual team of puppeteers Brian Herring and Dave Chapman, and comedians Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz. They did an amazing job creating a unique and adorable little droid, and I bet that could make an evil one that's just as interesting and original.
Wight isn't quite as tall as Peter "Chewbacca" Mayhew, but he's broader and bulkier than Mayhew ever was. And with his athletic background, he can give Krrsantan a truly intimidating physical presence.
The Doctor Aphra comic starts with a great fake-out, and I think the movie should too. Similar to Guardians of the Galaxy, the film will open with a heroic-looking figure braving a treacherous setting to retrieve a priceless artifact. He emerges to the surface, unmasks to reveal the face of a square-jawed hero, and is then immediately shot to death by the film's real protagonist, Doctor Aphra.
Soo-Tath doesn't have a big part, but he does have a great look, almost like he wandered in from a Moebius comic. Hinds has just the face for that sort of thing.
Aphra's father is a weird fanatic who seems to do nothing but cause her trouble. Watanabe brings complexity to every role he plays, so he can certainly do that here.
Now that Rogue One has broken the ice, you know Vader's going to show up in Star Wars spin-offs left and right. But given their comics history, in this one it'll actually make sense.