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 we're going back to the '90s, to imagine a film based on a comic that's mocked almost as much as it's revered, Marvel's New Warriors, written by Fabian Nicieza, with art by Mark Bagley, Darick Robertson, and others.
Maybe I'm just nostalgic, as a fan who read the original issues in print as a child, but I think it would be fun to make this movie as an early-'90s period piece. I considered suggesting a plot based on the Cambodia storyline that ties together the origins of Night Thrasher and Silhouette, but after rereading that story I don't think it holds up very well politically. So we'll just have them deal with Midnight's Fire and outsmart the Mad Thinker, and maybe we can figure out how to do Tai and Cambodia in time for a sequel.
For a director, I'd like to bring in Rick Famuyiwa, who impressed everyone (and displayed a flair for '90s aesthetics) with Dope. After all, hiring guys who made great indie movies to make superhero blockbusters is how things work now, right?
Shad Moss as Night Thrasher
At first I was concerned that the man formerly known as Bow Wow might be too short to play a Batman analogue, but then I remembered that Night Thrasher is an angry kid on a skate board (much to Dwayne McDuffie's understandable annoyance), so I think it works.
Saoirse Ronan as Namorita
Namorita is one of the most dynamic characters on the team. She's often full of anger, but she always steps up when someone needs to be responsible. Ronan's one of the most interesting actors of her generation, and this role will give her plenty to do.
Anton Yelchin as Marvel Boy/Justice
Yelchin is probably best known as this century's Pavel Chekov, but I double checked and he doesn't actually have a Russian accent. What he does have is a look that blends "handsome hero" and "probably runs a Captain America Tumblr," which is exactly who Vance Astrovik is.
Carly Rae Jepsen as Firestar
Grease Live wasn't my favorite thing, but it gave me a desire to see the spectacularly charismatic Jepsen in more acting roles.
Ryan Guzman as Nova
Richard Ryder (don't call him Dick) is probably the most conventional square-jawed superhero on the team, and Guzman brings that aesthetic to the table. I'm not sure how you'd tie this Nova to what we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy, but the advantage of this movie being imaginary is that I don't have to worry about that.
Austin Butler as Speedball
Butler is a perfect Speedball, if a perfect Speedball is something you want. He's got the face, the physicality, and most importantly, the floppy blond hair.
Robert Wisdom as Chord
I've been accused in the past of using too many cast members from The Wire, but that show featured such a huge number of talented and diverse actors that it's hard to avoid. And if you're looking for a physically imposing father figure, you can't do much better than Wisdom.
Chanel Iman as Silhouette
Iman is a model who's only had a couple of acting roles so far, but her look is so perfect for Silhouette that I'm willing to give her a chance.
Ne-Yo as Midnight's Fire
Even if this is a period piece, there's probably no need for Ne-Yo to wear that ridiculous ponytail. But if he wants to, we'll let him.
Titus O'Neil as Rage
Rage doesn't join the team until well into the run of the comic, but he's a character I quite like, so I don't see why we can't bring him in early. O'Neil is physically perfect for the part, and he has two sons whose attitudes and mannerisms he can probably draw on to play a young boy in an adult body.
William H. Macy as the Mad Thinker
I love Macy as a villain, and he has the perfect unimposing build and demeanor for the Thinker. He could also play the role in a Fantastic Four franchise, if that was a thing anybody could figure out how to make.