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.
Kyle Starks is one of the most talked-about cartoonists in independent comics of the moment. His graphic novel Sexcastle has been optioned as a movie by the guys behind Workaholics. And his current series, Rock Candy Mountain, is out monthly from Image Comics and getting great buzz from fans and critics.
Rock Candy Mountain seems destined to become a great movie as well. As an old-timey story of hobos and deals with the devil, it shares some DNA with the Coen Bros' O Brother, Where Art Thou?, but with the magical realism cranked up to full-on fantasy. In other words, while the Devil was a human-looking character in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, in Rock Candy Mountain he has bright red skin and horns.
With that in mind, here are the actors who should play the main characters (as of the first four issues) in a movie version of Rock Candy Mountain.
Tim Roth as Jackson
Obviously this role will require Englishman Roth to do his American accent, which he's been honing for at least 25 years since he starred in Reservoir Dogs and which he more recently demonstrated in the current season of Twin Peaks. It's not clear in the comic so far how old Jackson is meant to be, but 56-year-old Roth definitely matches Jackson's level of world-weariness.
Ezra Miller as Pomona Slim
Slim is a delicate, sensitive young man who's ill-prepared for the transient lifestyle until Jackson takes him under his wing. Miller can play that while also functioning as the audience identification character who brings us into this strange world, something it appears he'll also be doing as the Flash in the upcoming Justice League.
Ralph Fiennes as the Devil
Obviously you always want a British actor as the Devil, and Fiennes is a living legend, but to be honest I mostly think he'd be great as this version of Satan because of the unique and memorable way that he Fiennes plays over-the-top anger. From In Bruges to the Harry Potter films, nobody plays a better rageful villain than Ralph Fiennes.
Jason Alexander as Marion Flimbo
Similarly, whoever plays Flimbo has to be able to get the most out of yelling at people. Alexander perfected his yelling skills as George on Seinfeld, and he's still one of the best. Plus he'll look striking with a long gray beard.
Wood Harris as Hundred Cat
Harris (The Wire) is both a formidable opponent and an ally you want on your side. In other words, the perfect Hundred Cat.
Natasha Lyonne as Black Orchid
We've gotten so used to seeing Lyonne dressed down on Orange is the New Black that she'll look all the more impressive in the fabulous threads of Black Orchid. She also has that casually tough quality that will make you believe she controls and underworld empire.
Gabrielle Union as Babs Bardoux
So far it feels like we've barely gotten to know FBI Assistant Director Bardoux and haven't even begun to learn exactly why she's after Jackson. Wherever the character goes, Union (recently seen in The Birth of a Nation) is an actress who can follow it there.
Tom Sizemore as Wachowski
As we've recently seen on Twin Peaks and back in Natural Born Killers (1994) and Strange Days (1995), Sizemore is great at playing unlikable jerks and general palookas, so he'll make a great FBI agent.
Glenn Jacobs as Big Sis
Jacobs, also known as the WWE's Kane, is actually a pretty good actor as pro wrestlers go ... but more importantly he's ridiculously enormous, which Jackson's silent ally needs to be.
Jonah Hill as Bucket Full of Lard
I feel guilty casting Hill (War Dogs) in a role with such an insulting name, but that's literally how the character introduces himself, and he needs to be played by someone who will make it funny, which Hill certainly can.
Michael Cera as Dakota
Honestly, I just love the idea of reuniting the teenage boys from Superbad as adult tramps who have a bad run-in with the Devil. But this is a great Michael Cera role anyway, since the 2013 season of Arrested Development officially graduated him to "weird-looking adult" parts.
Zach Galifianakis as Cookie
Cookie will only appear in one scene, but he should be memorable since he has to earn the viewer's trust and then present the idea that Rock Candy Mountain might be a real place. Galifianakis can bring his own unique skills to bear on the task.