Saturday, September 01, 2007

CASTING CALL: Flash Gordon

This past Wednesday I had to leave work quickly and head home. My wife Tamar had been to the OBGYN that morning and they had told her that they were going to induce labor that evening. To make a long story short and without graphic detail my son was born Thursday morning! So I took some time off from work and I will try to assist my wife in taking care of our newborn son. This also means that I will not have time to see any movies for a while. Soooo here is a casting call for a movie that can and should be remade. Just recently I watched a few episodes of the Flash Gordon TV series on the Sci/Fi channel. It barely kept my interest. They made it kind of cheezy and Ming, well Ming does not look Merciless. He kind of looks like an older Apollo from the 70's Battlestar Galactica. Not to mention the guy has hair. What an outrage Ming isn't supposed to have hair. So I found myself watching the episodes waiting for Ming to loose his hair and grow a Fu Manchu mustache. So far it hasn't happened. I really love the Flash Gordon story and I think it can be done well but the first thing that needs to happen in Hollywood is to make it a little darker and really develop the characters. Basically go the opposite direction from the fun but really campy and silly Flash Gordon movie in the 80's.Flash Gordon

After looking for a while on IMDB I think I found a good Flash Gordon, Heath Ledger (pic below). We know from his resume that he can handle action well. From The Patriot to Knight's Tale to the Dark Knight coming out next year. I am confident that Ledger could pull off the heroics and daring-do of Flash Gordon. Normally they get a souped up jock to play Flash, they can handle the action but not the acting. Sam Jones from the 80's comes to mind as a dumb jock portraying the title character. Flash is a physical guy for sure but he isn't an idiot. I think that Heath could bring something interesting to the role and maybe bring it back to it's Sci-Fi roots rather than being just another silly action flick. I also have a long shot Flash that isn't as big a name but I really like him as an actor and I think he could be an interesting choice. Steven Pasquale from Rescue Me, true he plays the, not so bright, fireman Sean on the show, but I I think that he has a charisma that could play very well in a Flash Gordon movie.

Dale Arden The love interest for Flash but also a smart and fiesty woman who has to match wits with Ming a few times. As much as I love Jessica Biel and I would still say that she is always in contention just because she is just so damn hot, I think we should expand outside just a bit. Which is why I think Rachel McAdams would be a great choice for Dale. She's spunky and smart and she's drop dead gorgeous.

Doctor Hans Zarkov

Doctor Zarkov was always kind of kooky so in the movies they always played him as such. The actor Topol made him nuts and annoying in the 80's version and in the new series they got a light weight actor who just makes him annoying. Zarkov is Flash's science guy. He is Egon to Flash's Venkman. So let's get a nice older gentleman who can work the science and work out the annoying features. If you wanted to go funny you choose Christopher Walken but I want to give this character some weight so I think I'll go with Ian McShane. He really impressed me with his Al Swerengen on Deadwood. He's smart, he's funny and he can be menancing. I always thought they implied that Zarkov was a little unstable, he was a good guy but he has issues. I think McShane could pull off the science and really give Zarkov a meatier role.

Princess Aura

She is hot, she is sexy she is the daughter of Ming the Merciless. You need a bad girl to play the spoiled and sexy alien chick that gives Flash a few sleepless nights. She has to be a little complex because you are never sure what she is up to. I really like Lena Heady for this role. She is complex and strong if you don't believe me check out out the 300 earlier this year.

Prince Barin

Prince Barin is the Prince and future King of Arboria, which is a region of the planet Mongo where the Evil Ming rules. Barin becomes Flash's best friend. He is also smitten with Princess Aura and tends to feel jealous when Aura messes with him by hitting on Flash. In the 80's film he was played well by Timothy Dalton. I actually liked that casting, but of course Dalton is too old so we have to find someone else. I think a possible albeit different choice would be Josh Holloway (Pic Below) from Lost. He has a roguish nature that fits perfectly for Prince Barin, plus I like him matching up with Lena Headey's Aura.

Ming The Merciless

The ultimate in evil and politcal incorrectness. Ming is cruel and wonderfully played by Max Von Sydow in the 80's. The guy playing him in the series sucks giant monkey balls. You need someone who can chew the evilness but be really creepy and well -- merciless. I want someone who can really make Flash sweat and a villain who will up the death and destruction. That is why I think Ciaran Hinds (Pic below) could make a great Ming. He was perfect as Guyus Caeser on the HBO show Rome. He can be a villain but he can give Ming some depth.


I think there is only one director who could merge the Sci/Fi elements and action into a dark re-telling of this classic tale is David Fincher. Fincher has tackled action and Sci/Fi with Aliens 3 and dark and disturbing with Seven and Fight Club. It doesn't have to be a hard R or anything but I think that he could really do something interesting with the planet Mongo and create a fun and interesting story that fans could love for generations.

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