Cast Party: Who Should Star in a ‘Flash Gordon’ Movie? [Sci-Fi Week]
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.
To kick off Sci-Fi Week, I’m looking at a new spin on a classic: Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon. But to keep this version fresh and different from the classic 1980 film, I'm not adapting the original comic, but rather the 2014 Dynamite Comics series by Jeff Parker and Doc Shaner.
This version of Flash Gordon rethinks the science for a new century, working in space-warps to allow interplanetary travel --- and as Ming's tool of conquest. But as in the original, Flash travels into space with Dr. Hanz Zarkov and Dale Arden, and becomes a hero to the people living under Ming's rule.
I would have loved to avoid known superhero actors, but there just aren't many guys who look like this who haven't already had a turn as a comics hero. But Hemsworth will get to flex different muscles here than he does as Thor, and he'll look great in the costumes.
A science journalist, this version of Dale brings a lot of knowledge and wit to the table. Winstead can do all of that while making you fall in love with her.
Fiennes plays villains so often, but it'll be interesting to see him play an overbearing, reckless mad scientist who's also one of the good guys.
While he doesn't play a big role in their series, Parker and Shaner keep Ming pretty far from the negative cultural stereotype he started out as. That's something the filmmakers will need to work extra hard at. An actor with Tee's charisma and gravitas can only help make the character more interesting.
Ali really ought to play a handsome prince sooner or later, and one who leads an army is the most on-brand for his career so far.
Kravitz will leave an impression as Barin's surprisingly resourceful young lieutenant.
(Note, these characters don't necessarily need to be blue-skinned. Casting actors of color in roles where their real skin color is covered up is a common trope in modern sci-fi and fantasy movies, but one that Hollywood should move away from.)
Stathem has buit his career on displays of ferocity. I'd like to put him in lion makeup and literize that a bit.
I'm sure Kugor will probably just be CGI, but honestly I'm nostalgic for the days when you'd just cast the hugest guy you could find and put a mask on him. Cassady is seven feet tall, and you can't teach that.
Rather than getting someone to do a Brian Blessed impression, I decided to go with an actor who comes at booming bearded masculinity from a different angle.