Casting characterson January 23, 2013 at 12:01 am
There was a feature Wizard Magazine used to do back in the day, which many online geek sites still continue their own versions of: who would their speculative actor picks be for a movie based on a comic book? Sometimes the decision was based on the looks, sometimes it was the attitude, sometimes both. Sometimes it just seemed to be a person the article writer had a crush on, or sometimes they just seemed to be huffing crack. I mean, Jessica Alba as Susan Storm? In what kind of crazy person world would that ever be a good idea?
Well, it’s not like my own tastes have been perfect.Â I personally thought that Jennifer Garner should have made a great Elektra, and I had serious doubts about Heath Ledger being able to pull off the Joker.Â I had full faith Robert Downey Jr. would nail Tony Stark, but really, that was some low-hanging fruit in predictive terms.
Maybe that’s one reason why I’d never really applied this sort of speculation to Zombie Ranch. Suzie’s character is influenced in part by John Wayne, but she sure doesn’t look like him. The closest I’d come to that sort of thing was at the very beginning, discussing with Dawn that Frank might bear some physical resemblance to Paul Newman. Not that Paul Newman could play Frank now, much less Andy Devine being available to follow up on the inspiration he provided for Uncle Chuck.
Plus, on the occasions it did cross my mind, I figured it’s probably best to let the characters be their own people, not chain them to the look and mannerisms of this or that real-life person (or persona). I once was part of a gaming group where the gamemaster always required us to pick some well-known movie or TV star for our character’s look, and while yes, that did make it somewhat easier to visualize, it also seemed somehow limiting.
Well, with all that said, I must admit I looked over at the TV while my wife was watching yet another episode of Revenge, and murmured, “You know, she kind of looks like Suzie…”
“She” being Emily VanCamp, though I think what really prompted me was seeing her in a disguise where she was without her usual blond hair. Once that happened, the face just fell into place.
On the show the character she plays is hardly what you’d call a working class rancher type, but the intensity of purpose is certainly there to match the similarity in look. Heck, her biography even states “she is a talented horse rider“. She’s Canadian, but it seems these days the U.S. outsources all its tough cowboy roles to foreign folks, so why not its cowgirls as well?
What difference does this make to the comic? Probably none, really, but after all my hemming and hawing, along comes Miss VanCamp and just unknowingly stakes her claim as someone that, yes, I could imagine bringing Suzie Zane to life.Â Plus she’s not long dead (or undead).
As for the rest of the cast? Well, except for this and maybe Kathy Bates for Muriel, I got nothing… and I’m still not exactly looking. I’m curious though if any of you out there have speculated where I haven’t. What say you, have you had any idle thoughts on current actors who you might pick for a Zombie Ranch movie, were budget no object?