UHMC: Futurama (Live-Action)
I’m at it again and it feels so good. To dream is a great thing. This time around, instead of posting my latest UHMC list out of anger in response to The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” cast, this re-imagination is just another one of my pipe dreams that would be amazing and nostalgic for me. Futurama was nine seasons of hysterical episodes, characters, and a true story arc with developing characters never before seen in a primetime show, much less an animated one. It also had-in my opinion-one of the greatest ever-evolving love stories in television history.
Hermes Conrad/Richard Ayoade: This British comic has an awkward yet charming presence onscreen. His performances in “The Watch” and the British comedy series “IT Crowd” are a bit cliché, but if you add a Jamaican accent and give him an adoration for limbo and OCD sense of entitlement regarding bureaucracy, Ayoade would be a perfect fit. I could easily see him arguing with Bender and freaking out over Fry’s complete disregard for workplace protocol and safety.
Philip J. Fry/Dave Franco: Probably a much more versatile actor than most would believe, James’ little brother has quietly built himself quite a repertoire of somewhat versatile roles. I remember seeing him in the later seasons of “Scrubs” that few are willing to admit remembering. His performance in “Now You See Me” was certainly more respectable than anything his older brother has done lately. He has shown a balance of comedic timing and a sensitive demeanor. Put him in a cryogenic freezer for a thousand years and wake up in the year 3000. I can see it.
Turanga Leela/Eva Green: This one is a bit tricky. I thought about this casting for a few days. You know me and how I hate to give in to the pressures of casting a popular or pretty face for the role. You all know I’m all about “authenticity and believability.” (At least as “authentic” as you can make a one-eyed mutant orphan.) Looking back, dare I say that I believe this character represented for all women what Nichell Nichols represented for black women in the 1960’s; an equal, respected, and in Leela’s case, a little feared. Eva Green, a strong French actress and the original Bond girl (of the Daniel Craig era.) I believe she would nail this role. And look, I even found a stock photo of her showing only one eye!
Zapp Brannigan/Will Arnett: Since Phil Hartman is sadly no longer with us, Will Arnett possesses both the physical and comedic precision for the role. A narcissistic loser so self-absorbed and unaware to the point of self-deprecating, with a good right-hand Kif casting, the comedic back and forth would be side-splitting. Also, I could so see this guy shamelessly flirting with Leela and taking a shot or two in the nuts for the sake of comedy.
Kif Kroker/Jack McBrayer: The 30 Rock alumn and Blake Griffin’s sidekick would be perfect for this. A monotone and extremely shy and awkward alien with only enough courage to stand up to Zapp Brannigan when he’s not listening (or dunk) and eventually win the heart of Amy Wong.
Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth/Christopher Lloyd: Originally I would’ve made an astounding case for Morgan Freeman to play this role and it would have been perfect. Much like the late, great Michael Clark Duncan was cast as Kingpin in the train wreck that was “Daredevil,” the creative liberties of casting an African-American actor for a character that was historically White would’ve worked well here if not for the little detail that Farnsworth is Fry’s VERY distant nephew. That being said, for reasons that I probably don’t even have to mention, GIVE US CHRISTOPHER LLOYD!
Amy Wong/Ellen Wong: This ditzy Asian martian is adorable, easily fooled, completely unaware of how sexy she is, and tries to always see the bright side of things before being emotionally crippled by Bender. My nominee for this role goes to Ellen Wong. This would be a near replica of her role as Knives Chau in “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.”
And there you have it folks? Do you like my casting selections? You got any other suggestions or ideas?Who would you like to see playing supporting roles like President of Earth Nixon, Mr. Panucci, LaBarbara, Fry’s brother Yantzi, WERNSTROM, maybe LeBron James as the leader of the mathematical Globetrotters? Discuss…