Pop-Ed: Five Future Roles (We’d Like) for Sharlto Copley


Actor Sharlto Copley came onto the scene in 2009’s District 9, playing the lead role of Wikus Van De Merwe. He was funny, scared, heartbreaking, and even kind of a prick. For me, Copley was deserving of an Oscar nomination for that role. There is no denying this guy’s versatility. After playing the very meek Wikus, Copley went on to reteam with director Neill Blomkamp as the villain in Elysium, currently #1 at the box office. And later this year we’ll see him as another villain in Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy. Copley can definitely play a wide range of characters, so it got me thinking – what are some of the roles I’d like to see him in? Let’s take a look in my Top 5 Roles I’d Like To See Sharlto Copley Play Countdown!


5. Ace Ventura’s Brother (Ace Ventura Spin-Off):

Maybe it’s the twelve year old in me, but Ace Ventura is a character I’d like to see on the big screen again. I can’t imagine many people are with me on this. With Jim Carrey off to make Dumb And Dumber To, maybe he’ll get on a nostalgic kick and bring him back? I’m guessing not, but if there’s someone who could take the Ace mantle, it wasn’t a comedian who came to mind first, it was oddly enough Sharlto Copley. I don’t know, I could just see this guy being really funny hanging out with animals. He’d be perfect because many other people would just try and emulate Jim Carrey, whereas I think Copley would create his own character, but still be in the mold of Jim Carrey’s Ace. While he wouldn’t have the “Alriiiiiighty then” catchphrase, he could use “Hey, man” which he says in District 9 like 900 times.


4. Axel Foley’s Partner (Beverly Hills Cop IV):

You could argue we saw some of this in 2010’s The A-Team, in which Copley is also in. They’ve been talking about doing a fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie forever. Why not add a new wrinkle and bring this guy in? I don’t know, I can just see this working where Foley finds someone who’s more annoying than him. I see images in my head of Copley’s character being new to the force, or maybe he’s a witness that has to travel around with Foley on a case, and he keeps playing with all the buttons in Foley’s car like a little kid. Even if it’s not Beverly Hills Cop IV, some sort of buddy cop comedy would suit this guy well.

3. The Riddler (Batman Movie):

I had to throw a Batman villain in here. And while I have some other ideas for the Riddler, this role could tap into Copley’s versatility. In the trailer for Oldboy, even though it’s barely anything, if Copley is the guy I think he is in the trailer, we can see a genesis for this. Copley could nail the meek yet egotistical personality of the character beautifully, and do something totally different from the Jim Carrey monstrosity in 1995’s Batman Forever. For as great as the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy was, he still left fantastic Batman villains on the table that are just waiting for a definitive take. Casting Copley is certainly a step in the right direction for doing that.


2. A Ghostbuster (Ghostbusters 3):

Sometimes I stare out at the window into the night skies and wonder what is more likely to happen: The Cubs winning the World Series, or a Ghostbusters 3? It’s a tough one. But is Copley not a perfect fit for the Ghostbusters? Come on! I’m laughing already as I picture him in my head running away from a ghost as he screams his head off. It’s pretty clear at this point that the original cast of Ghostbusters just isn’t going to happen, so if they are going to do this whole “Younger Ghostbusters Team,” don’t get the obvious guys like Steve Carell, Will Ferrell, or Seth Rogen. Get guys like Sharlto Copley, who will surprise you at how funny he can be. For what it’s worth, here’s my dream Ghostbusters team: Sharlto Copley, Rob Corddry, Danny Pudi, and Daniel Day-Lewis.

1. A Wes Anderson Character (Wes Anderson Movie):

No one creates comedic characters like Wes Anderson, and there is absolutely a character in Anderson’s wheelhouse just waiting to be written for Copley. I actually feel quite confident this will happen at some point. Anderson could go in so many different directions with this. Maybe he’s a tortured prick like Herman Blume in Rushmore, or how about the drugged out ego maniac Eli Cash from The Royal Tenenbaums. You could even go classic deadpanned genius like so many of Anderson’s glorious creations. Whatever the case may be, Copley has a bright future, and I’m sure whatever he does will be great, whether it be in a Wes Anderson film, or voicing a robot in Michael Bay’s Transformers 4…wait, scratch that last one.

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.

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