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 thinking about Animosity, a really fun apocalyptic comic written by Marguerite Bennett with art by Rafael de Latorre. It takes place in a world where, one year ago, every animal on Earth gained human-level intelligence and the ability to speak. Obviously this has sent society into complete disarray.
The book follows a young girl named Jesse and her dog Sandor. Sandor's a bloodhound who now speaks with a Southern accent, but remains loyal to Jesse. He's attempting to protect her after the death of her parents, as they travel across a chaotic North America in search of her older brother.
The comic is mostly serious in tone, but acknowledges the ridiculousness of its basic premise. I think a movie with that tone could work just as well. Obviously, much of the cast will be voicing animals, whose visual performances would best be achieved through a combination of trained animals and CGI, but if we can work in a little motion capture for the major animal characters; that would be cool too.
Chris Cooper as Sandor
Cooper is a great actor with a great drawl that's perfect for Sandor. He can also balance warmth and formidability, which is central to who this bloodhound is.
Jenna Ortega as Jesse
Ortega's a little old compared to the comic version of Jesse, but I think aging her up just a bit in the adaptation would make a lot of sense. She's going to have to deal with some pretty harrowing stuff, after all.
James Martinez as Oscar
I get the feeling there's something we don't yet know about Jesse's father, and the tension that existed between him and Sandor. We'll get there, no doubt.
Elizabeth Banks as Shannon
Banks is a great actor whose endless likability will make her a great Mom for Jesse. And whatever happened to her (we don't know that yet either) will be all the more heartbreaking.
Taraji P. Henson as the Tiger
The Tiger's only in one scene, but I can't think of anyone else I'd rather see play a literal tiger than Henson.
Clea Duvall as Mimico
Duvall is an underrated performer who can really nail the kind of seriousness and lightning-fast shifts in mood that Gray Wolf Mimico requires.
Gillian Anderson as Beth
You can never give too many roles to Gillian Anderson, and she can bring some of that serenity and resignation to this bison that she brought to the wolf she voiced way back in Princess Mononoke.
Justin Vivian Bond as Pallas Cat
Bond is mostly a singer, and doesn't act all that often, but the performance v gave in Shortbus has stuck with me ever since, and I'd like to hear something similar for Pallas Cat. Plus, Bond brings the same gender-ambiguity to the role that Pallas is written with.
Alia Shawkat as Zarzamorra
Who do you cast as a punk rock goat? Probably all sorts of people, but I think Shawkat could do the best at it.
Jason Mantzoukas as Human Kyle
Mantzoukas brings that hipster vegan look, to an even greater degree than how Kyle is drawn in the comic, and he's always a fun actor to have around.
Hugh Jackman as the Koala
I could not find a proper name for this character in the comic, but the koala is very important to the biggest action sequence that's happened so far. I'm not even sure the koala in the comic has a definite gender, but I'm amused by the thought of Jackman's grizzled voice (and rarely-heard Australian accent) coming out of an adorable marsupial.