The Casting Couch: April News

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The Fantastic Four Round-Up: Tobey Kebbell as Dr. Doom, Tim Blake Nelson as Harvey Elder

Thumbs Up on Nelson/Thumbs Undecided on Kebbell: Quickly on Nelson, I’ve always been a fan, and even loved him in another comic book movie, The Incredible Hulk (2008). Apparently his character goes on to become the villain Mole Man in the comics. Hopefully they don’t do that. The bigger news is of course Kebbell as the iconic Dr. Doom. I have absolutely no idea who this guy is. In looking at his profile, he’s definitely had a lot of bit roles in some big movies, and will be in future blockbusters later this summer such as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I’m usually supportive of unknowns as superheroes, but as villains, I tend to lead more towards an established name. This is basically a wait and see. –DC

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Thumbs Up For Both: Tim Blake Nelson is always great, so for me, this choice is a no-brainer, particularly if it’s for Mole-Man. As for Kebbell,I think this is an inspired choice. Since this version of the Fantastic Four is trending towards a younger cast, why not make the villain younger too? Kebbell was awesome in RocknRolla and I think if he channels that same deranged mentality he’ll be awesome here. –BB

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Round-Up: Tony Shalhoub as Master Splinter (voice), Johnny Knoxville as Leonardo (voice)

Thumbs Up on Shalhoub/Thumbs Way, Way, Ridiculously Down on Knoxville: Let’s get Shalhoub out of the way. He wouldn’t have been my first choice for Splinter, but I like it. He brings the gravitas that is needed for the character. Okay, onto the real news. Johnny Knoxville as the voice of Leonardo! WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS?! I’ve got a lot to say, so strap in. If this was a different creative team, I could see myself saying, “maybe they see something I don’t.” But when it’s Michael Bay and Jonathan Liebesman picking Knoxville, I get worried. I’ve never seen Knoxville in anything remotely good. Yeah, people like Jackass. Fine. It’s not my thing. I also admit I didn’t see Bad Grandpa, which people seemed to enjoy, but I’m fairly certain it wouldn’t have been for me either. Here’s the bottom-line – Knoxville as Michelangelo, or even Donatello, I could be convinced. But Knoxville as Leonardo (the leader turtle), absolutely not. I wrote a recent op-ed defending this film, but this one voice casting decision makes me cringe if they think Johnny Knoxville is the right fit to voice Leonardo. Look, I pray I’m wrong on this, and will be happy to write how wrong I was after I see the film. But as of right now, Bill is going to have to talk me off the ledge. Cowabunga – more like Cowa-crap!

I’m gonna go talk Dan off a ledge. –BB

The Karate Kid 2 Round-Up: Jaden Smith returning as Dre Parker, Jackie Chan returning as Mr. Han

Thumbs Down to Everything: Ugh. –DC

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Thumbs in the Middle: I’ll be diplomatic for once and say that retaining the original cast of the blockbuster film from a few years back is the right move. –BB

Matt Gerald as a villain (Ant-Man)

Thumbs I Don’t Care: Continuing the theme of “never heard of this guy,” here’s Matt Gerald playing a villain in Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man. I guess Gerald played a character in a Marvel one-shot or something? I don’t know, whatever. I’m interested to see what happens with Ant-Man, but I don’t particularly care about this news. –DC

Thumbs in the ‘Meh’-ddle: Knowing Edgar Wright there’s a reason he was cast, so he’s going to definitely be a solid contributor to this film. –BB

Robin Williams returning as Mrs. Doubtfire (Mrs. Doubtfire 2)

Thumbs I’ll Give it a Chance Because it’s Robin Williams: When I first read the news about Mrs. Doubtfire 2, I admit that I went into a state of depression regarding the current state of film. After thinking about it a little more though, I guess it’s fine. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love the first Mrs. Doubtfire, but only because Robin Williams gives a legendary comedic performance. Is the movie going to suck? Yes. But if Robin Williams is coming back, it’s hard for me not to see some value. –DC

Thumbs Up: While it might not be an amazing concept for a film, getting Robin Williams to return for one of his most seminal roles is a great move. Imagine they replaced him with someone else like a Jason Sudeikis or Mike Meyers? Terrible example, but you get my drift. –BB

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Jessica Chastain as Marilyn Monroe (Blonde)

Thumbs Up: Jessica Chastain is one of the best actresses in Hollywood today. Her as Marilyn Monroe – perfect. –DC

Thumbs Up: If Michelle Williams can get an Oscar nod for playing the famed blonde, then Chastain certainly will too. –BB

The Jungle Book Round-Up: Lupita Nyong’o as Rakcha the wolf (voice), Scarlett Johansson as Kaa the snake (voice)

Thumbs Up to Both: Expect Lupita Nyong’o to be attached with many other projects in the coming months. The Oscar winner can do no wrong right now. The last time Scarlett Johansson did a voiceover, it was Her, so I have no complaints about this one. With Idris Elba already in the mix, I’d be excited for this movie if Jon Favreau weren’t directing. –DC

Thumbs Up to Both: Two strong actresses attached to a movie with a lot of potential and directed by someone with something to prove after a string of super-commercial films. Sounds good to me. –BB

Jem and the Holograms Round-Up:

Aubrey Peeples as Jem
Stefanie Scott as Kimber
Hayley Kiyoko as Aja
Aurora Perrineau as Shana
Nathan Moore as Zipper

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Thumbs I Have No Clue What This Is: I’ve never seen a single frame of Jem and the Holograms, but I’m aware that it was a popular 80’s cartoon, so I felt compelled to include it on the Casting Couch. I guess it’s about some girl who goes by the alter ego “Jem,” and she plays music with a computer program or something, I don’t know. I have no idea who these actresses are, but hopefully this will turn out better than Josie and the Pussycats. Yeah, that was a live action movie. Look it up. –DC

Thumbs Down: Sorry 80s babies by this incarnation of your favorites 80s cartoon is going to be a YA movie with a YA cast for this generation. Once again, your childhood dreams are dashed and stomped on. –BB

Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg (Untitled Man of Steel Sequel/Batman Vs. Superman)

Thumbs I Don’t Even Know Anymore: If there was ever a movie that personified the term “wait and see” more, I’d like to hear about it. Cyborg. He’s in this movie now. As far as the choice for Cyborg goes, Fisher is a stage actor, and that’s always a good thing. I’ll say this about “Batman Vs. Superman,” or whatever they end up calling it. I loved the first Man of Steel movie. I trust this creative team. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt. With Cyborg attached now, I can’t defend this movie to the haters anymore. If Aquaman got announced tomorrow, nothing would surprise me anymore. At this point, we are in wait and see mode. It is what it is. –DC

Thumbs Down: DC is really going to try and pull a Marvel here, aren’t they? They’re going to have Cyborg appear in cameo form, most likely in the credits, to signal a Justice League movie. How completely unoriginal. First off, do mainstream audiences even know who Cyborg is? I think it’s going to be lost on the majority of audiences. Marvel was able to use their “cameo” scenes and incorporate big time Marvel Universe characters into them. Here, using Cyborg and not someone of merit is a waste for mainstream appeal. As for Ray Fisher, who could be great, but his lack of a resume doesn’t impress on paper. –BB

Related Articles:

Star Wars Episode VII Casting Reaction (Daniel Cohen)

Casting Couch: March News (Bill Bodkin & Daniel Cohen)

Casting Couch: February News (Bill Bodkin & Daniel Cohen)

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