Its hard to believe that its been 12 years since Ben 10 first crashed onto the scene back in 2005 on Cartoon Network. A lot has happened in 12 years and a lot of things have changed, but one thing remains and that’s our love for Ben 10. When it aired I think Ben 10 was one of the most original and cool ideas that I’d seen on TV in a really long time. The show was extremely fun and had a array of interesting characters that as the years went on we would get to know more about as the series expanded. The show centered around 10 year old Ben Tennyson, his grandfather Max, and his cousin Gwen and their adventures on their cross country trip for the Summer. However their first night camping would forever change not only their lives forever but the lives of the entire galaxy. When Ben finds an alien pod a device quickly attaches itself to his arm giving him the ability to transform into any of 10 aliens. The series would focus on Ben becoming a hero and defending the earth against the evil Vilgax as well as a host of other villains. Ben 10 would go on to become so popular that it resulted in 4 sequel shows, video games, live-action TV movies, popular action figure lines, and other merchandise. Even though the series has already resulted in multiple made for TV movies, I’d still love to see a fresh reboot done as a film series meant for theaters that’s given the same love, care, and nostalgic lens that we love giving to all of our old nerdy obsessions.
Miles Brown as Benjamin “Ben 10” Tennyson
Ben is exactly what you would expect a 10 year old boy to be: rambunctious, full of energy, loves to joke, hes cocky, and extremely immature. However Ben is also an extremely good hearted kid with great intentions and a strong and genuine desire to help those who cannot help themselves. He is extremely loyal and willing to go the distance for any one of his friends. On more than one occasion, Ben turned out to be a lot smarter and resourceful than people expected him to be. Whether it was because the Ominitrix didn’t work as he had hoped or because the situation was dire, Ben always managed to pull out a win. Ben loves comics, action figures, and video games, and has a sincere joy that was a pleasure to see. Anyone who has seen ABC’s hit show Blackish can tell you that Miles Brown is perfect for Ben. Miles is extremely adorable, great at playing immature, cocky, and good-hearted. I can totally see him riding around in the “Rust Bucket” with Grandpa Max and Gwen completely bored because they’ve been riding for what seems like FOREVEEERRRR.
Saniyya Sidney as Gwendoline “Gwen” Tennyson
To a degree, Gwen was the complete opposite of her cousin Ben. She was extremely well mannered, mature for her age, responsible, and the bookworm between the two. That doesn’t mean that she wasn’t prone to her own outbursts of immaturity and childishness (for lack of a better word) when it came to interacting with Ben. The two knew exactly how to get under each others skin, but when push came to shove you better believe they were always on each others side and always there to defend one another because that’s what family does. She had her cocky spells as well, she was smart and she knew it, and often times that would get the better of her because she always thought she knew what she was doing or what was best. Saniyya Sidney is an actress that’s pretty new, but shes been everywhere from Hidden Figures to American Horror Story Roanoke to Fences. Saniyya has been killing the scene and I chose her because she definitely feels like Gwen, smart, adorable, and always ready for action. She seems like she has the perfect attitude and stage presence to bring Gwen to life.
Frankie Faison as Grandpa Maxwell “Max” Tennyson
Grandpa Max is the definition of the phrase “The Goat”. Max Tennyson is the conscious of the group aside from being the only real adult presence. Throughout the series, we find out that while he has never been a risk taker he has live quite the interesting life. At one point we find out that Max was an astronaut who actually would have been the first man on the moon had he not quit the program before the Apollo Moon Mission. Grandpa Max is the voice of reason, wisdom, and knowledge not just for himself and his grandkids, but for many other characters who come and go from the series. We find out that Max at one point was a member of “The Plumbers”, an intergalactic law enforcement group tasked with the duty of protecting the universe from any and all alien threats that might come up against them. Max being a retired Plumber actually becomes a large plot point in the show and it becomes a huge part of his character and the role he takes not just within the team but within the lives of his grandkids. Frankie Faison was the easiest choice in the world for Grandpa Max, because he just has that warmth and genuine charm that Max has. Frankie is the type of actor that can make you laugh, cry, and feel like he just taught you something useful.
Bill Nighy as Azmuth
Azmuth is the often irritable and no nonsense creator of Ben’s Omnitrix. Azmuth is a Galvan from the planet Galvan Prime. He is a revered and extremely well respected scientist and inventor known throughout the entire universe for his skills. For as important of a character as he is, he doesn’t frequently appear in the series, but when he does it usually is in a moment of dire need. Whenever Azmuth appears it usually comes with an upgrade to Ben’s Omnitrix, but you better believe it also comes with Ben getting an ear full about being responsible and worthy of the power that he wields. He can be a little rude and extremely paranoid, but it’s mainly because of the fact that he is usually in hiding. I chose Bill Nighy because he is perfect at conveying a level of gravitas and annoyance. Azmuth requires someone like Bill whose voice is also dripping with intelligence and superiority to match Azmuth’s complex.
Kevin Durand as Vilgax
Vilgax is the overall series villain who makes his first appearance in the first episode of the first series. Over the years, his appearance has changed, but one thing remains and thats Vilgax hatred for Ben and his longing to have the Omnitrix. Vilgax is an intergalactic conquerer and warlord which makes him someone that The Plumbers are quite familiar with. Extremely power-hungry, cruel, and vicious, Vilgax will stop and nothing and go to any length to get what he wants. Vilgax is extremely intelligent, manipulative, and boy, can he hold a grudge. He is quite familiar with Max due to Max’s days as a plumber. Vilgax and Ben would go on to hate and despise each other over the course of 3 different Ben 10 sequel shows, but the fact would always remain that Vilgax was no match for Ben and his team. Kevin Durand is amazing at portraying villanous characters with immense rage. He is a very large actor that usually makes for an intimidating and large character and performance and that’s exactly what Vilgax needs.
Peter Capaldi as Doctor Aloysius Animo
Doctor Animo is one of the overall series most reoccuring villains. Doctor Animo is a mad scientist obsessed with genetic experimentation on animals to the point that he would often times increase their size or splice their genes together creating chimera’s. Just like all the others though, Animo’s plans consistently failed which eventually drove him to the point of further insanity and delusions. His overall goal was always to mutate the world into some twisted fantasy. I chose Peter Capaldi mainly because of his performance as The Doctor on the hit BBC show Doctor Who. As the Doctor, Capaldi displays an immense well of energy, excitement, sarcasm, and zany shenanigans. Capaldi would make the perfect mad scientist and he would be insanely fun to watch as Animo.
Babs Olusanmokun as Hex
Hex is the self proclaimed “Master Magician” whose main goal is and has always been to use his immense magical powers to rule over the entire world. He is magic obsessed=, and always seeking power and ways to increase his own, and quite often this puts him at odds with Ben and his team. However, Hex is actually more of a villain to Gwen. As the series advances we learn that Gwen has some degree of magical powers which she cultivates and increases as the franchise goes on. This puts her and Hex in direct odds with each other when quite often Gwen is the only one who can actually fight him. He is originally arrogant, mean, bitter, and down right ruthless, which as the franchise progresses we see start to change. I chose Babs Olusanmokun because honestly he just fits to me. He feels like he would be a cocky self proclaimed “Master Magician” seeking power and respect to rule the world.
Yara Shahidi as Charmcaster
Charmcaster is the niece of Gwen’s archnemesis Hex. She is quite often treated harshly and downright cruelly by her uncle who demands that she respect him and follow his orders. She is in the care of her uncle because her father was murdered. Charmcaster is often torn between following in her uncles villanous ways and between living a life of honor and doing the right thing. Just like her uncle, her ire is quite often turned towards Gwen mainly because Gwen and her share a use of magic as their primary weapon. When she wants to be, Charmcaster is actually quite charming and likable to the point that she is sociable.
Tony Todd as Zs’Skayr
Zs’Skayr, or as Ben called him, “Ghostfreak,” was originally one of the aliens in Ben’s Omnitrix but he eventually learned to control his form and escaped. He would go on to become one of Ben’s most fearsome and dangerous villains. Zs’Skayr was the High Ecto-Lord of the planet Anur Phaetos. He is extremely sadistic and twisted, and loved hurting and causing harm to all those he deemed inferior or unworthy for his own amusement. During the series, he was shown to enjoy torture and to the be extremely intelligent and a master planner and strategist. I chose Tony Todd to voice Ghostfreak because honestly the man is one of the masters of horror. Tony’s voice is iconic: for it’s breathy and terrifyingly soft yet ghoulish quality.
Jeremy Irons as Driscoll The Forever Knight
Driscoll is a former Plumber who was disavowed and kicked out of the organization after it was discovered that he was taking advanced tech and using it for his own personal gain. Driscoll would later join the Forever Knights and eventually work his way up to the rank of Forever King. In the original Ben 10 series, Driscoll creates his own group of Forever Knights whose main goal is to conquer the world while gaining revenge on the Plumbers that Driscoll believes wronged him. In the Ultimate Alien series, Driscoll is summoned by the original Forever Knight Sir George, unbeknownst to him. Jeremy Irons is perfect for the role of the disgraced and dishonored Plumber turned Forever Knight. Irons has a certain regality to him that I think is required for Driscoll. Jeremy Iron’s has a way of portraying sophisticated, bad ass, and fed up that very few actors can do.