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.
This week, I'm taking a look at a classic indie comic of the '80s: Mike Baron and Steve Rude's Nexus. It mixes science fiction and superhero tropes into a unique blend of adventure, comedy, and drama. Nexus is a man living on a small plant populated by refugees who is driven by dark visions to hunt down mass murderers and destroy them. He's surrounded by a supporting cast of a few humans and a lot of aliens.
Nexus could make a great sci-fi movie or even a franchise. It would have to be as over-the-top as the comics, but today's special effects allow for that. For the alien characters, I'm imagining the actors playing the parts with a combination of costumes and motion capture. The tone should be somewhere in the neighborhood of Jupiter Ascending, but hopefully with better pacing and audience appeal.
Armie Hammer as Nexus
Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name) has the superheroic look, but his roles tend to be a bit deeper, sometimes sadder, and often more morally complex. All of that is exactly what Nexus requires.
Evan Rachel Wood as Sundra Peale
Sundra is Nexus's lover, but she's also much more than that. A former spy who never hesitates to go her own way, she's the kind of complicated woman that Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld) tends to play.
Marc Maron as Dave
His work on GLOW has proven veteran comedian Marc Maron to be a real actor and an aging hipster like Dave of Thune is right up his alley.
Joe Manganiello as Judah
Joe Manganiello (Rampage) isn't just suited for the role of Judah the Hammer because of his impressive physique, although that helps. He also has a larger-than-life charisma that matches the character.
Indira Varma as Ursula X.X. Imada
Indira Varma (Game of Thrones) is really great at walking the line between appealing and dangerous, which is perfect for Ursula, the seductive spymaster from Earth.
Sofia Boutella as Jil De Smoot
Sofia Boutella (Star Trek: Beyond, Atomic Blonde) has built an unusual career playing a mix of seductive and quasi-human characters, and I think she can make the role of a smart and sexy cat-woman into something that doesn't come off as a joke.
Joseph Gilgun as Tyrone
Tyrone is often a comedic character, but at heart he's also a traumatized man who wants to lash out at the universe. I think Joseph Gilgun (Preacher) is the perfect guy to strike that balance.
H. Jon Benjamin as Clausius
H. Jon Benjamin (Bob's Burgers) plays a lot of sympathetic sad-sacks, but his small frame and deadpan delivery will make the intergalactic butcher Clausius uniquely menacing while still being a bit ridiculous, as he is in the comic.
Judi Dench as Inga
Judi Dench (Skyfall) would only have one scene as a war criminal tracked down by Nexus, but she's such an amazing actor that she'd sell it like nobody else could.
Kevin Hart as Clonezone
Clonezone is a diminutive, popular, and kind of annoying comedian who keeps crossing paths with Nexus, and if that's not a perfect cameo for Kevin Hart (Night School), I don't know what is.
Jake Johnson as the Badger
The Badger is a troubled superhero from present-day Earth who encounters Nexus and Judah in inexplicable circumstances. In this story, he's mostly a comedic foil, and Jake Johnson (Jurassic World) will nail the laughs and weirdness.