Comics Casting Couch #4: Marvel Divas
Welcome to my fellow Major Spoilerites to the latest, and I do mean latest, Comic Casting Couch, Edition #4! This week, we use our imaginary influence in the film world to make another modern classic shine of the silver HD screen; The MARVEL DIVAS have arrived!
THE CONCEPT FOR MARVEL DIVAS
Letâ€™s recap the story of Marvel Divas: Four super heroines, with little or no connections outside of being heroines, become friends after realizing that the one thing they all do have in common is the inability to find a good healthy romantic relationship. Patsy Walker (Hellcat), Angelica Jones (Firestar), Felicia Hardy (Black Cat) and Monica Rambeau spend their free time discussing the state of their lives and making sure that they have some sort of outlet from the world of masked desperadoes and maniacal supervillans. Itâ€™s a relatively good life; until Angelica Jones discovers that same powers which fuel her identity as Firestar may have also given her breast cancer. With Angelicaâ€™s permission, Patsy Walker chronicles her friendâ€™s fight to survive her greatest fight while also making sure that her other friends donâ€™t fall apart, or back in the arms of bad habits. You see, while Firestar fights cancer and her own insecurities, Patsy is dealing with an ex-husband who is literally the Son of Satan, Monica trying to justify an unhealthy relationship with the latest Sorcerer Supreme, and Felicia simply wants to be her responsible for her own future despite the well intentioned help of her super rich boyfriend. On top of that, all the friends are trying to figure out their own way to help Angelica beat this disease. Will they succeed, or will bad choices and old habits be enough to doom not only themselves, but their best friend, to death?
THE MAIN CHARACTERS
Alyson Hannigan as Patsy Walker
Patsy Walker is a woman who has been through a lot in her life. She started off with a mother that co-opted her teen years to help fuel a hit comic series. That is enough fuel for dysfunction, but add a life as a superhero, and two failed marriages (both who where or became supervillians) and you have the making of a bestselling biography. Once she realizes that she may be able to talk her ex-husband into helping, she has to figure out a way to make a deal with the devil and still keep her soul.
For the role of Patsy, I went with Alyson Hannigan, of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and How I Met Your Mother fame. She is no stranger to portraying fantastical characters, and that ability will help her keep the character grounded even when the conversations go into the fanboy zone (Hey, Angelica, remember that time Starfox hit on us at the Avengers picnic?) Also, she has shown in the past that she can go from the-girl-next-door to ultra-protective-bff faster than Wolverine can down a La Fin Du Monde!
Gabrielle Union as Monica Rambeau
Monica Rambeau, also known as Captain Marvel, Photon and Pulsar, is the one that thinks she has it a little more together than her friends. No, having a revolving wardrobe of uniforms and identities and an ex-boyfriend who can have the reanimated dead deliver her flowers at all hours of the night isnâ€™t abnormal; it just shows that you have broad horizons and are well traveled. At time she seems to be a little more the gung-ho leader type than a friend, but a lot of that covers up the fact that she really is scared of commitment, in her heroic persona and her love life. She seems to not want to have a relationship with Jericho Drumm, aka Brother Voodoo, aka Doctor Voodoo, but at the same time she goes back to him time and again. She is the more stoic of the foursome, but at just seems to be something of a front.
Currently gracing the screen as Zoe Andanta on ABCâ€™s Flashforward, Gabrielle Union has played everything from Will Smithâ€™s girlfriend (Bad Boys II) to a Klingon on Star Trek Deep Space Nine. She, like the other actors on this set, has the ability to believe in the role they are playing, therefore making it more believable to the audience. Give her a tough, almost emotionless attitude and watch it get chipped away as the movie progresses.
Ali Larter as Felicia Hardy
As the cat burglar, turned crime fighter, turned detective, Felicia Hardy is probably the only one of the foursome that has any real idea of how the other half live. She seems to be a little more wrapped up in her own problems, which include getting her boyfriend Thomas Fireheart to understand boundaries in their relationship and getting her detective business started up. While she wants to be there for Angelica, she also knows that she is broke, and a broke friend can be a burden in times of need. Of the friends, she is probably the most self centered, but as the movie progresses, we see her realize that all the money in the world is nothing, without friends.
Ali Larter of Heroes fame could pull off the looks for Felicia Hardy with little trouble, and at the same time she can switch between self-centered and in her own world to willing to give everything for her friends. Lighten her already blond hair to platinum, slip her into skin tight leathers with fur trim on the cuffs, sleeves and boots, and youâ€™ve got Black Cat in the flesh. Let the otherâ€™s make references to her ex-boyfriend (â€œSo, you been in The Spiderâ€™s web lately?â€) and you give a nod to the fans.
Felicia Day as Angelica Jones
Angelica Jones has had a rough life, and being hunted for being a mutant has been the least of her problems. After her involvement with the New Warriors caused her father to be nearly killed, her relationship with fellow Warrior Vance Astrovick (Marvel Boy,later Justice) went south and due to her powers possibly affect her ability to have children. Her life seems to be one continual puppy-kick. When she took a break from superheroing to go to college, Vance, who at first seemed to be the perfect Mr. Right, later was revealed to be Mr. Not Even Close, when he got upset that she was leaving the wedding preparations in his hands. This caused him to leave and break off their wedding, but even Angelica realized that she needed to grow more before but she makes that sort of commitment. That does not stop her from pining away for him. The revelation that her powers may have given her the breast cancer that is now endangering her life is just icing on the cow-pattie of her life.
Visually a dead ringer for the Marvel Divas version of Angelica, Felicia Day is an emerging goddess of fandom. Not only has she played in the Buffyverse (like fellow Comic Couch Cast member Alyson Hannigan) but she is a spectacular creator in her own right. Having been featured in Doctor Horribleâ€™s Sing-A-Long blog, she also is the creative mind behind The Guild web series and upcoming Guild comic book. She is a great actress, and I believe that she can pull of an Angelica that will make you cry with a look.
THE SUPPORTING CAST
Adam Beach as Thomas Fireheart
Thomas Fireheart, aka the Puma, is a business man first, and a sentimentalist second, except when it comes to Felicia Hardy. He realizes that Felicia is on the edge of returning to crime to establish the money needed to open up her investigation office, but honestly does not see the purpose in Felicia turning down his offers to help set up her office. Despite his feelings for her, he still suspects that she is carrying a torch for her old flame, The Spider.
Adam Beach is a Canadian Indian actor who has had success in Flags of Our Fathers, Windtalkers, and various other cinematic endeavors. While Thoms Fireheart has a sense of himself not only as a Native American, but as a business man, Adam Beach also seems seem to straddle these two worlds. His experience in the theater and in real life would help bring the Puma to double-breasted life.
Jimmy Jean-Louise as Jericho Drumm
Jericho Drumm, also known as Brother Voodoo and the current? Sorcerer Supreme â€œteamed-upâ€ with Monica Rambeau while they were on a mission in Louisiana after Katrina. Despite Monicaâ€™s dismissal of him, he continues to try and win her back. After convincing her to help him obtain the powerful Monkeyâ€™s Paw from an auction, Monica convinces him to help her friends use to to save Patsy, who has gotten herself into a little situation with her ex-husband, Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan.
I was a little shallower in choosing Jimmy Jean-Louise as the Hatian born Jericho Drumm. Jean-Louise is Hatian by birth, and therefore he has a authentic accent. Just kidding! While that is a perk, it was not only the real reason that I chose him. His training in the theatreâ€™ and background would allow him to bring the role of the educated Jericho Drumm to life and pull off some of the more outrageous moments that would be needed to make the character come to life. He can stay bald, but give him a white goatee or soul patch and youâ€™re set.
Mark McGrath as Daimon Hellstrom
The literal Son of Satan married Patsy Walker, superhero and girl next door, during their time with the Defenders. Circumstances â€œbeyond their controlâ€ lead to them getting a divorce years later, but he was never fully out of Patsyâ€™s life. So when Angelica is found to have cancer, it is only natural that her best friend would go to her old flames that might be able to help her out. Sounds like a deal, but the price is pretty high, and apparently someone is not happy with how they were portrayed in a certain autobiography. Will he help or hinder them foursome?
This one was actually pretty tough. You want someone who can pull off an arrogant badass yet still let him have a little sense of humor mixed with menace. After a good deal of searching, I decided on a non-actor, the singer Mark McGrath of the band Sugar Ray. McGrath has the look, and rockers are usually able to pull off a nice mixture of arrogance and loathing at the same time. He should make a nice Son of Satan, and ex-Mr. Hellcat.
The key to this movie would be to let the characters tell you about themselves, and their origins, in a natural way. Patsy recording her friendâ€™s fight against cancer is a great way to do that. You can have her interviewing each person and as they answer questions about the situation with Angelica, they end up revealing a good deal about themselves. The interview process is just an intro to the characters, and would literally led into each ladyâ€™s own subplot.
There are quite a few cameos to be had in this film also: Doctor Strange, Night Nurse, Henry Pym, the A-Listers, etc. This is a great opportunity to let some of the big name stars have little walk-on parts: Brad Pitt as Doctor Strange, Angelina Jolie as Night Nurse, etc. Nothing major, just enough to let the buzz of their names add to the publicity of the story.
Overall, I think that this is a film that would work, if not on the big screen, then on the small. Something like a nice little 5 part mini-series on one of the big cable networks, a different focus/subplot each night with Angelicaâ€™s battle always being in the foreground. There would be more opportunities to explore the characters in-depth.
But, as always, I wonâ€™t hold my breath until Hollywood comes knocking!