Dream Casting is an imaginative look at the casting process of potential Hollywood projects based on comics and other media. This isn't just about what is being made; this is about what should be made, and who we think should be the stars.
February is Black History Month, so I'm focusing on black creators and characters. This week, in fact, we're going way back in history to look at George Herriman's Krazy Kat, an extremely influential newspaper comic that ran from 1913 to 1944. Herriman passed as white during his Jim Crow era career, but he's now recognized as the first successful cartoonist of color.
Krazy Kat takes place in a surreal version of the American Southwest populated by animals who talk in only occasionally intelligible English. It would work best in animation, although I think there's potential for motion capture to be used, at least for the central characters (the two birds in the supporting cast would be more complicated), so I've cast the hypothetical project with that in mind.
Janelle Monáe as Krazy Kat
Monáe has acting experience in movies like Hidden Figures, but I really wanted to cast a singer as Krazy because I think her unusual dialogue should have a strong musical quality to it. And while we're at it, her movements could have a dance-like quality as well.
Ben Schwartz as Ignatz
Ignatz is constantly annoyed, angry, and violent. I think Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) has just the frenetic energy and comedic skill to pull that off.
Patton Oswalt as Officer Pupp
Pupp is a pathetic figure, in love with Krazy from afar and trying to keep order in the Enchanted Mesa without actually trying all that hard. Oswalt (Happy!) can bring his exasperation to life.
Octavia Spencer as Mrs. Kwakk Wakk
Mrs. Kwakk Wakk is everybody's nosy middle-aged neighbor, and Spencer (The Shape of Water) would flesh her out as a character while also making her very funny.
Laurence Fishburne as Kolin Kelly
All Kolin wants to do is make artisanal bricks, and he's not wild about Ignatz, his most loyal customer, using them as weapons. Fishburne (The Matrix) bringing his gravitas to the part would add to the absurdity.
William Jackson Harper as Joe Stork
Harper is incredibly funny on The Good Place, and his particular comedic energy would be perfect for Joe, a stork whose job is delivering babies but who often finds himself caught up in the local shenanigans.
Hannibal Buress as Walter Cephus Austrige
Buress (Broad City) has a unique vocal style that would sound great coming from an ostrich, even if it's sometimes muffled because his head is in the ground.
Danny Trejo as Don Kiyoti
Trejo (Machete) is underused in comedy, and he'd make a fantastic coyote.
Jason Statham as the Growler
The Growler is a local thug who constantly shows up just over Officer Pupp's shoulder, and Statham (The Fate of the Furious) has the perfect voice to fit the character's name.