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.
The Great Outdoor Fight is a classic storyline from Chris Onstad's long-running but now-departed webcomic Achewood. If you were going to make an animated Achewood movie, it's the obvious choice. Unfortunately for Achewood fans, that does mean some characters from the comic don't appear (sorry, Nice Pete!).
I like imagining a funny, over-the-top animated film for adults that actually has heart and doesn't rely entirely on scatalogical humor and punching down for its jokes. I do wish there were more women in the story, but I'll do my best to balance that out with a future column. In the meantime, here's a star-studded voice cast for an animated Great Outdoor Fight.
Eric André as Ray Smuckles
Ray Smuckles is a uniquely challenging character to cast, and I don't doubt everyone has their own ideas for who should voice him. I personally think that Eric Andre (Man Seeking Woman, Disenchantment) can handle Ray's unique dialogue and make him as funny on screen as he is on the page.
Hannibal Buress as Roast Beef
Roast Beef is the often depressed and downbeat character who balances out Ray's larger-than-life persona. Hannibal Buress (Broad City, Tag) can make an almost-monotone delivery hilarious, which is perfect for Beef.
Octavia Spencer as Mrs. Smuckles
I think Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water) can find a unique and humorous spin on Ray's mother.
Rainn Wilson as Pat
Although he's still best remembered as Dwight from The Office, Rainn Wilson can actually play a wide variety of annoying characters. The self-righteous Pat will fit right in to his filmography.
Zach Woods as Téodor
Zach Woods (Silicon Valley) has a unique kind of nervous energy that will bring Téodor to life.
Tara Strong as Philippe
Most of the people in this cast are not primarily voice actors, but Tara Strong (Teen Titans Go to the Movies) very much is. In particular, she does very funny little kid voices, which is why she'll make a great Philippe.
Charlie Day as Todd
If any actor is perfectly suited to play an obnoxious drug-addled squirrel, it's clearly Charlie Day (Pacific Rim, The Lego Movie).
Kelsey Grammer as Cornelius
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier, X2) has that unmistakable voice, which will sound absolutely perfect coming from the mouth of an aging teddy bear.
Costa Ronin as Vlad
Costa Ronin (The Americans) has a real Eastern European accent, but he's not above playing it up to make a character more over-the-top, as Vlad should be.
Walton Goggins as Lyle
Walton Goggins (Justified, Vice Principals) made his name playing lowlife weirdos, and he can absolutely play a great belligerent, drunken lion.
Luis Guzman as Envelópe
Luis Guzman (Code Black) is a very funny actor with a particular skill for seeming put-upon, which will make him a funny Envelópe.
Nick Frost and Simon Pegg as Tim Cobb and Barry King
Pegg and Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) always make a great duo, and that adds a fun meta element to the pair of Brits who help Ray in The Fight.
Danny Trejo as the Latino Health Crisis
No other voice but Danny Trejo's (Machete) is quite tough enough for this character.
Danny McBride as Perfect Ron Sipes
Ron is just a loud blustery redneck, exactly the sort of character that Danny McBride (Alien: Covenant) can make funny.
W. Earl Brown as Cody Travis
W. Earl Brown (Preacher) actually has a background in country music, making him perfect for the voice of country star/outdoor fighter Cody Travis.
Chris Evans as Sound and Motion
This is absolutely stunt casting, but I think it works that way. Chris Evans (The Avengers) will only have a couple of lines and some chanting as Sound and Motion, but hearing his voice will make the character funnier.
Ving Rhames as Rodney Leonard Stubbs
Rodney Leonard Stubbs, legendary winner of the 1973 Great Outdoor Fight is one of the toughest guys who ever lived. He's also Ramses Luther Smuckles, Ray's long-lost father. Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible - Fallout) does tough better than most people, and can bring some real gravitas to his brief scene with his son.