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Dream Casting: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood
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.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a manga series by Hirohiko Araki that's been running since 1987 with an ongoing anime adaptation since 2012. It tells the multigenerational story of a line of adventurers who share the "JoJo" nickname, and gain various supernatural powers in their battles against evil.
I'm imagining a big-budget English-language franchise based on the series, but this column I'm focusing on the first part, "Phantom Blood," in which the original JoJo, a young Englishman in the late 19th century, must find a way to fight his evil foster brother, Dio Brando, who has become a nigh-unkillable vampire.
Join me in future columns as we cast the continuing JoJo saga!
George Mackay as Jonathan Joestar
George MacKay (1917; 11.22.63) might need to pack on a little extra muscle to play JoJo, but honestly anyone would. MacKay already has a pretty solid look for an action lead and the charisma to carry a movie.
Ezra Miller as Dio Brando
I chose Ezra Miller (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald; Justice League) because I ultimately decided that finding an actor willing to be weird and flashy and effeminate but in a dangerous way was more important than blond hair or a real English accent.
Hugh Grant as George Joestar
Not only does JoJo's father have the exact same haircut that Hugh Grant (Paddington 2) was famous for in the '90s, I also like the idea of Grant's natural charm playing into George's tragic degree of naivety.
Brian Cox as Dario Brando
Brian Cox (X2) is so perfect for the part of Dio's terrible dad that I almost want Dario to have more screentime, but that wouldn't really work for the plot. Have him film some flashbacks to use later at the very least.
Jamie Bell as Robert E.O. Speedwagon
Jamie Bell (Fantastic Four) will definitely need a wig, but I'm ready to believe him as a London street hood with a heart of gold.
Stanley Tucci as William Zepelli
Stanley Tucci is always up for transforming into an outlandish character — remember what he looked like in The Hunger Games? — and I'd love to see him in Zeppeli's hat and mustache.
Suki Waterhouse as Erina Pendleton
Like most women in JoJo, especially early on, Erina doesn't get very much to do, but a talented actress like Suki Waterhouse (The Bad Batch) will be able to bring more dimension to the character.