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.
March is Women’s History Month, and we're looking at the history of Wonder Woman. As we all know, her first theatrical film is due out later this year. But what if it wasn’t her first? What if there had been as many onscreen Wonder Women as Batmen? Last week's Cast Party offered suggestions for a Golden Age Wonder Woman movie; this week we move into comics' Silver Age, with another movie cast with stars from the period.
Here's the secret about this early-1960s Wonder Woman movie: it's really a Wonder Girl movie. Wonder Girl, the teenage incarnation of Wonder Woman, was the most interesting aspect of Wonder Woman's Silver Age. This was before Donna Troy entered the picture, when Wonder Girl was a younger Princess Diana. So I figure this will be a Coming of Age movie, which begins with a young Wonder Girl frolicking with Mer-Boy and Bird Boy and so forth, and ends when she leaves Paradise Island to become Wonder Woman.
Natalie Wood as Wonder Girl
Wood was maybe a little petite to play Wonder Woman, but she'll make a perfect Wonder Girl, and if we need her to play the older version for an epilogue or framing sequence, she can pull it off with different hair and makeup, and shot to look taller.
Lana Turner as Queen Hippolyta
Since this is a coming-of-age story, Diana's sole parent plays a major role. And Lana Turner in her post-Imitation of Life phase has just the right sort of mature glamour to play the blonde Amazon queen.
Diana's first boyfriend doesn't need to do much besides look pretty. That's the sort of role Troy Donahue was great at.
Mineo is a very different type from Donahue, which will only be underlined by them being a bird and a fish, respectively.
Ricky Nelson as the Voice of Glop
Nelson is exactly who you would hire to sing the kind of terrible would-be rock songs that Glop spouts constantly (while also spouting slime).
Warren Beatty as Steve Trevor
Before he was a cinematic legend, Beatty was a handsome young guy who played a lot of handsome young guys. Steve's only going to show up at the end of this movie, so he needs to make an immediate impression. Beatty's smile accomplishes that.
Boris Karloff as the Duke of Deception
The Silver Age Duke of Deception has evolved into a sci-fi villain. In the Golden Age he was a servant of the God Mars, but now he's an actual green-skinned Martian. Karloff, while getting on in years, will look great in the costume and get to deliver some excellent villain monologues.
Peter Sellers as Angle Man
If the story's set mostly on Paradise Island, I admit I'm not sure how Angle Man gets involved. Maybe it has to do with what leads Steve to the Island. Maybe he's the Duke's agent on Earth. But whatever his role, it never takes Sellers long to make an impression.