Casting Comic To Film Adaptions: Opportunities

Some time ago I came saw a discussion about which actors should play the main character in a live-action movie of a particular comic series. I don’t remember what triggered this discussion, and I don’t remember what comic series they were talking about. But I think it’s a cool game to play, to think about how a comic you like might be cast for live action movie or television.

I invite you to join me in casting some of my favorite webcomics, all of which have been mentioned in previous post on Provocative Praise. I will look at each webcomic in a separate post (hopefully interspersed by posts about other topics; I don’t want to become too predictable). Let’s have some fun!

I’ll start with Opportunities, which would be best adapted as a TV show rather than a movie.

I’d give it an unconventional narrative structure:

Remember, the webcomic starts with a four-page teaser that goes in medias res with full-blown action before the story rolls back four days and starts building up tension gradually.

In the TV show, with a first season of 13 episodes, the first twelve episodes tell the story starting from four days back, but the teaser of each episode, if spliced together, tell the in medias res action, and at the end of episode twelve the back storyline finally joins the teaser storyline, making episode thirteen an action-packed finale that resolves everything.

The main challenge of this structure is the arrangement of the episode teasers. Each one needs to have some meaning for the corresponding episode, the sequence of the teasers must form a coherent narrative, and the teasers must not reveal too much, compared to the progress of the episodes up to that point.

Now for the cast:

I list roles with the actor names, to indicate which look and acting style I consider fit for the character. I try not to go to far back in time, but  every movie or TV show from the 21st century is fair game, and actors can change a lot in 15 years. With alien characters, I distinguish between casting Rubber Forehead Aliens and Voice Actors. The former are aliens that would actually be played by actors, like Yondu or Thanos, and the latter are aliens were only the actors voice is used, like Rocket and Groot. [I don’t care about technicalities like whether motion capture is used etc.]

  • Sara Emmet: Carla Gugino (Dr. Molly Caffrey in Threshold)
  • Jack Frost: Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad)
  • Baron: Neil Patrick Harris (Barney Stintson in How I Met Your Mother)
  • Dr. Irving Stone: Chris Noth (Peter Florick in The Good Wife)
  • Irene Vanderwitt-Fitzwilliam:  Christine Baranski (Diane Lockhard in The Good Wife)
  • George Fitzwilliam: Colin Firth (Harry “Galahad” Hart in Kingsman)
  • Collin Parish: Bob Saget ( Theodore „Ted“ Evelyn Mosby in How I Met Your Mother)
  • Cortez: HTF do you cast Cortez? I drew a blank here. Please suggets a suitable actor!
  • Kyan – Rubber Forehead Alien: Cote de Pablo (Ziva David in NCIS)
  • Rex – Rubber Forehead Alien: Michael Weatherly (Tony Dinnozzo in NCIS)
  • Nate – Rubber Forehead Alien:  Sean Murray (Timothy McGee in NCIS)
  • Atticus – Voice Actor: Bryan Cranston (Walter “Heisenberg” White in Breaking Bad)
  • Vigi – Voice Actor:  Pauley Perrette (Abigail “Abby” Sciuto in NCIS)
  • The Janitor – Voice Actor: Alan Tudyk (“Wash” in Firefly)
  • Tath Seti – Voice Actor: Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Frings in Breaking Bad)

Just in case you wonder, I didn’t have the heart to assign an actor to Ben Montiel. And I did’n find it useful to assign an actor to The Briefcase.

Do you agree or disagree with my choices? Do you haver other sugestions? Do you have favorite casting choices for other webcomics? Tell us in the comments!



  1. Wow! These are all crazy spot-on!

    I gotta say, the only cast picks I’m resisting is Nate’s, (who I imagined to be a black man before he was a bugbear) and Baron’s (Which is irrational, because I KNOW Neil Patrick Harris can pull off some serious creepiness… especially after I saw Gone Girl.)

    Duuuude, and Sara is too perfect. Of course you’d have her pegged!

    Sincerely says Cortez should be Mario Lopez from Saved by the Bell (But I am partial to Michael Pena for the role, heheh.) It IS kinda tough, though. I haven’t drawn him that much outside of background scenes and (wildly inaccurate) fantasy scenes, so I haven’t really had a chance to feel him out.

    It’s funny, because I probably would’ve never thought of Aaron Paul for Jack, but he’s GREAT. And there is something wonderfully fitting about Jack and Atticus cooking meth together.

    God, these are great!


  2. Yup, Carla Gugino as Sara was what started this. Between Threshold, Karen Sisco, and Sin City, she has shown everything we need for Sara.

    I had trouble to find Jack, but once I came up with Aaron Paul it was settled. Much to my surprise, Jesse’s mood swings between effective professional behavior and self-indulgent moping fit the bill. Bryan Cranston as Atticus is similarly strange, but inspired by the way Walter is upset by Jesse’s immature acts several times.

    I agree with regard to Nate. It was an offhand choice that came as by-product of casting Kyan and Rex. These two I think are really cool; Kyan “is a weapon!” just as well as Ziva.

    Baron, yes, NPH; come on!

    Finally, I’m not happy about not being able to pick the perfect Cortez.


  3. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention something you might find interesting.
    We had a lot of trouble figuring out what Dr. Stone should look like. He’s pretty important – I wanted him to look kind and unassuming, but also menacing at the drop of a hat. Caricature isn’t one of my strengths, but we sort of wound up using Harrison Ford as a point of reference even though he isn’t my go-to actor for Dr. Stone. ( )


    1. That reference image is great.

      I can see the trouble with Stone. In fact, my choice of Chris Noth is questionable, because his Peter Florick is, in his nicer moments, jovial rather than kind, and he is never unassuming. Also, he has to much charm for Stone. The latter argument would also speak against another possible choice, Christopher Coiusins (Ted Bernake in Breaking Bad).

      We could switch Colin Firth and find another actor for George Fitzwilliam. From the top of my head I’d name Gary Oldman in the style he use to play George Smiley. Or even let him play Stone. (But IIRC, you never saw Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy?)

      To be frank, if someone gave me the couple million dollars to realize the show, I’d trust any of these actors to pull it off; acting out roles, even in ways we have not yet seen them do it, is their job, after all.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s