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Dream Casting: Plastic Man

Contributed by
Mar 14, 2019

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 St. Patrick's Day, so I thought it would be fun to focus on an Irish-American superhero. Daredevil is the most famous of those, but he's already had a movie and a TV series. On the other hand, Plastic Man, aka Patrick 'Eel' O'Brien, has never appeared in live action, but he does have a movie in the works.

In imagining a Plastic Man movie, I've turned to the 2004 series by legendary cartoonist Kyle Baker. Baker did a great job of giving Plas a supporting cast and some continuity, while keeping the absurd tone. Obviously the movie would also owe a lot to the original Jack Cole comics as well, particularly in the visual style.

John Mulaney as Plastic Man

John Mulaney as Plastic Man

Obviously there will be a lot of CGI involved in Plastic Man's constant distortions of his face and body, but John Mulaney (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) will provide the perfect template underneath all that, giving the character a personality and charisma that can't be duplicated.

Giovanni Ribisi as Eel O'Brien

Giovanni Ribisi as Eel O'Brien

Before he became a superhero, Plastic Man wasn't just a criminal, he was a whole different guy. Giovanni Ribisi (Sneaky Pete) couldn't be more different from Mulaney, so he'll be perfect as Eel O'Brien's original face.

Patton Oswalt as Woozy Winks

Patton Oswalt as Woozy Winks

Patton Oswalt (Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Gauntlet, Happy!) was born for this kind of comical sidekick role. He can play Woozy as the lucky idiot he's meant to be while still making it funny to modern audiences.

Jeff Bridges as the Monk

Jeff Bridges as the Monk

Instead of the Friar Tuck look from the comics, I like imagining the Monk who reforms Eel O'Brien as a spiritual version of the Dude, talking about inner peace and chilling out. Who better to play that character than The Big Lebowski's Jeff Bridges himself.

Anna Kendrick as Morgan

Anna Kendrick as Morgan

Anna Kendrick (A Simple Favor) can hold her own comedically as Plastic Man's strong-willed FBI partner and maybe-sometimes-kind-of love interest.

Shea Whigham as the Chief

Shea Whigham as the Chief

Shea Whigham (Vice Principals) is great at playing these kinds of gruff but ultimately well-meaning authority figures, so he'll be perfect as Plastic Man's long-suffering FBI bureau chief.

Kaitlyn Dever as Edwina

Kaitlyn Dever as Edwina

Of all the ideas from the 2004 series, Edwina is perhaps the most 2004 of all, but I really like the idea of Plas adopting a teenage goth girl and her becoming the spot of darkness in his brightly colored world. Kaitlyn Dever (Justified, Booksmart) can handle the look and the sarcasm.

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