Fancast Friday: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
I want to start off by saying that this is a fancast I have been waiting a while to do as it is one of my favorite movies. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, released in 2003 and based on the comic book of the same name by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill, follows a team of Victorian era literary figures who act as superheroes in an attempt to stop Fantom from sparking a world war by bombing a meeting of world leaders. In my humble opinion, this film came out seven years too early, when there was not much enthusiasm to be found for films adapted from comic books. A reboot now would certainly be well received and has the potential to be incredibly diverse.
First up is Allan Quatermain. Previously portrayed by the legendary Sean Connery, Quatermain is the main protagonist of H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines and serves as one of the main characters in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and is a supporter of colonization efforts in Africa. David Strathairn would be ideal to portray the rugged, fearless leader of this group and the “civilizing” of Africa could easily be adjusted to something much less problematic.
Captain Nemo, previously portrayed by Naseeruddin Shah, serves as an antihero and staunch opponent of British colonialism in Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and, in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as owner of the Nautilus submarine in which the league frequently travels over long distances. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, an Indian actor and relatively new face in the west would be great for this role as he maintains the maturity and composure required in portraying this particular character.
Dorian Gray is probably my favorite character in this film and one of my favorite literary figures. Previously portrayed by Stuart Townsend in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Dorian Gray is the primary protagonist of Oscar Wilde’s classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, wherein he is a vain socialite who is obsessed with maintaining his youth and beauty and, ultimately, sells his soul so that his picture rather than himself will age over time. Gael Garcia Bernal, whose most recent roles include the critically acclaimed Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle would be ideal for this role as he would easily be able to portray the vain, selfish, and beautiful aspects of this character.
Though this role was previously portrayed by just one person, Jasom Flemyng, it could be very interesting to have two people in the role of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde because the characters are, essentially, two different people. Both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are characters taken from the 1886 novella by Robert Louis Stevenson titled The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Cillian Murphy, whose previous roles have included Peaky Blinders and Batman Begins, would be great in the role of Dr. Jekyll as he is able to play a mad scientist that gradually becomes unhinged over time. Mr. Hyde, both in the film and book, is noted as being physically intimidating and very quick to anger though he is cognizant of Jekyll and his actions. For this, Hafthor Bjornsson, who is probably most familiar as The Mountain on HBO’s Game of Thrones, would be perfect in this role.
Mina Harker, previously portrayed by actress Peta Wilson, is a character taken from Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror novel Dracula who is bitten by Dracula three times and helps Abraham Van Helsing pinpoint the whereabouts of Dracula to kill him. Mina is also a love interest of Dorian Gray in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Rhona Mitra, whose previous acting credits include Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and The Last Ship would be a great fit in this role as the sleek and commanding Mina Harker.
Rodney Skinner (The Invisible Man) was previously portrayed by Tony Curran. His character was taken from the science fiction novel The Invisible Man by H.G Wells and, in the film, is a notorious thief. Though he is suspected to be working for Fantom, it is revealed that he is attempting to help the league by using his powers of invisibility to tail M and Dorian, who is later revealed to be a traitor. For this role, Colin Salmon, whose previous roles include Arrow and Master of None, would be great. It would be interesting to see him in a role as an antihero of sorts.
Tom Sawyer, portrayed in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Shane West, is taken from the infamous Mark Twain novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In the film, Sawyer is an agent of the United States Secret Service and helps to fend off attacks against some of the league members earlier on. An actor like Alfred Enoch would be the perfect balance between youth and composed fighter that would be necessary to play this role.
Professor Moriarty, who was last played by Richard Roxburgh, is the primary antagonist of the film. His character is taken from the iconic Sherlock Holmes story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the film, it is revealed that Moriarty is both M and Fantom and used an alias after his apparent death at Riechenbach Falls. Tom Hardy would be great in this role thanks to his previous experience in Mad Max: Fury Road, The Dark Knight Rises, and Peaky Blinders as both a protagonist and villain.
So what do you think? Would you like to see a rebooted and more diverse version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Are there other literary characters that were not in the film that you would love to see in a reboot?