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.
With Halloween drawing ever-closer, I really wanted to cast a movie about Dracula. And since I covered Marvel's Dracula last year, I thought it would be fun to do a DC Comics Dracula this time around. That led me to 1991's Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, a well-remembered Elseworlds graphic novel by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones, in which the Caped Crusader fights the Lord of the Vampires, and becomes a vampire himself along the way.
Like so many vampire stories, Red Rain begins with a rash of mysterious deaths. Upon investigating, Batman discovers that Dracula himself has come to Gotham. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne has been visited in the night by a mysterious woman with her own agenda, and soon everything comes together into one big bloody battle between the Dark Knight and the forces of the night. And this is a Batman who will find himself forever changed by the experience.
I'm not interested in seeing this as a Zack Snyder-style superhero film. In fact, it shouldn't really be a superhero movie at all. Red Rain should be a horror movie that happens to have a superhero as its protagonist.
Jake Gyllenhaal as Batman
Gyllenhaal has always been great at portraying a barely concealed inner darkness and that, combined with the kind of physicality he displayed in Southpaw, will make him a great Batman.
The Dracula of Red Rain is very handsome and charismatic, until he's suddenly hideous and terrifying. Gruffudd can totally walk that line.
Sarafyan cuts a fascinating figure as one of the robots on Westworld, and her Eastern European charm is perfect for the heroic vampire who wins Bruce's heart.
Ciaran Hinds as Alfred Pennyworth
Hinds will be perfect as a version of Alfred who's considerably less square-jawed (both literally and figuratively) than the ones we've seen on screen in the last decade.
Powers Boothe as Commissioner Gordon
Boothe usually plays villains, but with a mustache and glasses he'll make a great rugged take on Jim Gordon.
Imelda Staunton as Ariane
Staunton is so warm and charismatic that the scene where she appears just to explain at length how vampires work will actually be watchable.
Robert Wisdom as Dr. Church
Church has a tiny part in the comic, but I think you'd want to expand it for the film, and give him the job of reacting to the weird changes Bruce Wayne is undergoing.
Delroy Lindo as the Man on the Street
I'd like to see something done with this character in the adaptation that makes him more than just "homeless black man who dies." I've gone ahead and cast a great actor in the role in the hopes of that happening.
Minka Kelly as Dracula's First Victim
The person who's killed at the beginning of a scary movie is always a small but very important role, and I think Kelly can carry it off effectively, conveying through her reactions just how scary Dracula really is.