Dream Casting is an imaginative look at the casting process of potential Hollywood movies based on comics and other media. This isn't about the movies that are being made; this is about the movies that should be made, and who we think should star in them.
Since its release in May 2016, the video game Overwatch has been wildly popular. The team-based first-person shooter has attracted a huge online fandom that exceeds the bounds of the usual gamer crowd and has generated a vast amount of fan-generated art and fiction.
With that kind of popularity, a movie based on the game seems inevitable. And this is a game that would lend itself to a film franchise. It centers on a large group of futuristic superheroes and villains, most of whom were previously connected to an international peacekeeping task force, Overwatch, which has fallen apart in recent years.
I simply don't have room in this column to cast every part in the game's large ensemble, but I've done my best to include the fan favorites (although every character is someone's favorite, so apologies if I missed yours). I also left out the roles that would be entirely CGI or motion capture: Winston, Bastion, Zenyatta, Orisa and Genji (although we'll need an actor to play him when he finally takes his mask off in the sequel). And off the top of my head, I can definitely tell you that I have Fred Melamed in mind for the voice of Winston.
For now, here's 14 cast members for an Overwatch movie ... and I didn't shy away from stars, as this is sure to be a blockbuster.
Daisy Ridley as Tracer
The movie will clearly be an ensemble, but you still need a likable central protagonist to bring the audience into the world, and Ridley as Tracer will be perfect for that. She's young, energetic and less morally compromised than any of these characters. Plus, leading the film with a Star Wars star will bring in the sci-fi/action fans who aren't necessarily gamers.
Kurt Russell as Soldier: 76
I can't think of anyone I'd rather see as a bitter old soldier than Russell. Even if you rarely see his face, his gruff voice from behind that mask will be unmistakable.
Gina Rodriguez as Sombra
Rodriguez is such an incredibly likable actor that I love the idea of seeing her as a basically amoral character, smiling her irresistible smile as she shuts down all your computer systems and threatens to shoot you in the face. Also, she'll look great with that haircut.
Michael B. Jordan as Lucio
"Superhero DJ" is an idea that can come off as ridiculous if you're not careful, but I'm confident an actor with the talent and star power of Jordan can make it work.
Christoph Waltz as Reinhardt
Obviously Waltz is not nearly as huge as Reinhardt, but the armor will add some size and plenty of intimidation. Mostly I just imagine Waltz's warm voice coming from a futuristic knight ... and actually reflecting a good heart rather than masking an evil one as in so many of his previous roles.
Diane Kruger as Mercy
Kruger has the kind of severe Teutonic beauty that you want from Overwatch's resident Valkyrie, and she'll also be able to ring the maximum amount of drama out of Mercy's inner conflict as a pacifist surrounded by warriors.
Josh Holloway as McCree
There aren't as many classic cowboy actors in Hollywood as there once were, but Holloway stands out as one of the best. He can dress and talk like an old-fashioned gunslinger without ever seeming like a joke, even in a futuristic context.
Ah-sung Ko as D.Va
Ko brought a surprising lightness and energy to a much darker future in Snowpiercer, and she'll definitely be able to have fun as gamer-turned-mech-pilot D.Va.
Nazanin Boniadi as Pharah
Boniadi is best known as an unassuming CIA analyst on Homeland, but I think she has the potential to fly much higher as the heroic armored Pharah.
Léa Seydoux as Widowmaker
Seydoux would be gorgeous in any color scheme, but in this case blue will definitely not be the warmest color as she takes on the unsettlingly cold demeanor of Widowmaker.
Kelly Marie Tran as Mei
Tran has been getting a lot of buzz for her upcoming Star Wars role, but if you've seen her CollegeHumor videos or the webseries Ladies Like Us, you already know how quirky and fun she is, making her ideal for the eminently lovable Mei.
Amara Karan as Symmetra
Karan has played memorable roles in everything from The Darjeeling Limited to The Night Of, and I'm ready to believe she can construct solid objects out of light.
Rhys Wakefield as Junkrat
Wakefield was incredibly creepy as a relatively normal-looking guy in The Purge, and he'll be that much creepier when he's made up to look like Junkrat.
Brooke Ence as Zarya
Ence is a crossfit athlete who made her acting debut as a minor Amazon in Wonder Woman. Despite not having much screen experience, she's one of the few performers with the potential to physically embody Zarya. Once they cut and dye her hair, of course.