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.
It's almost Halloween, so this week we're focusing on a spooky haunted house story in the classic style. Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love is a gorgeous comic written by Sarah Vaughn with art by Lan Medina, colors by José Villarrubia, and covers by Stephanie Hans.
Deadman is a classic DC character—a superheroic ghost named Boston Brand who was created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino. But Dark Mansion re-contextualizes him within a Gothic romance story inspired by haunted house films of the '60s and '70s.
That vintage aesthetic should absolutely be retained for the movie, which will bring to life the story of a young medium named Berenice, who's caught in a love triangle between her boyfriend Nathan and her friend Sam, even as she's also investigating the ghost that haunts Nathan's house, which has attracted the attention of Deadman himself.
Doug Jones as Deadman
Boston Brand is a ghost, but he's also way more human than most of the characters that Doug Jones (Star Trek: Discovery) is known for playing. Jones won't even need his usual special effects makeup for the part—just paint him chalk white and let him do his usual twisty and surreal movement work.
Chloe Bennet as Berenice
Whether you enjoy Agents of SHIELD or not, Chloe Bennet has more than proven herself a capable performer, and this could be a great vehicle for her.
Tyler Ford as Sam
Activist Tyler Ford (Danger & Eggs) doesn't have much acting experience, but historically speaking, these kinds of movies aren't meant to be populated with experienced stars. And Ford's own perspective as a non-binary trans person will add depth to their performance as Sam.
Skylar Astin as Nathan
Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect) has an innate smugness to his persona that I think works against him in some roles, but it'll be an asset for the part of Nathan, who (no spoilers!) isn't the most likable of guys.
Angela Sarafyan as Adelia
Angela Sarafyan (Westworld) has a unique sort of beauty that will make for a striking ghost, plus the acting chops to make that ghost a complex character.
Bex Taylor-Klaus as Tala
Berenice's ex-girlfriend only appears in flashback, but Bex Taylor-Klaus (Scream: The TV Series) will be memorable even in such a brief part.
Xun Zhou as Berenice's Mom
Berenice's parents are also confined to flashbacks. Xun Zhou (Cloud Atlas) will be able to convey the kind of warmth that makes clear that Berenice's childhood would have probably been great if she hadn't already been seeing ghosts.
Damian Lewis as Berenice's Dad
Similarly, Damian Lewis (Billions) brings his own likability to the Dad role, all the more so by being such a recognizable face.