Released in 2001, Disney’s animated adventure, Atlantis: The Lost Empire was a film that (in my opinion) never got its due credit. In comparison to some other animated features, Atlantis did not do as well at the box office as Disney had hoped and did not do extremely well with critics – but despite this, it is one of my favorite Disney films. It did not need any song and dance and the visuals for the storied lost city – its people, its technology, its creatures was stunning. I still remember seeing it in the movie theater as a kid and being blown away by it.
This is why I believe it’s a property that Disney should re-visit in the form of a live action film. So, here’s my hope for the cast if it ever came to fruition.
“… in a single day and night of misfortune, the island of Atlantis disappeared into the depths of the sea.” – Plato, 360 B.C.
Ben Tavassoli as Milo Thatch
Milo Thatch is one of the only believers in Atlantis. Working as a linguist and cartographer, he’s hired by Preston Whitmore to search for Atlantis and be the team’s guide on what is sure to be a dangerous mission. British-Iranian newcomer, Ben Tavassoli has appeared in television series such as Tyrant and New Blood which proves he doesn’t shy away from any daunting or complex roles. He would make a great Milo Thatch.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Princess Kida
Princess Kida is the backbone of the film and I knew that in casting her, I would have to choose who I believe to be the most perfect choice – after all, the film is depending on it. Kida is courageous, compassionate, patient, intelligent and curious. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is and will always be my first choice for Princess Kida. Mbatha-Raw is a great actress who really needs to be in way more projects. She can easily embody all of Kida’s traits with ease and I cannot be the only one thinking that she’d rock the heck out of that white hair.
Kate Winslet as Helga Sinclair
Every good leader needs a great second-in-command and for Commander Rourke, this comes in the form of Helga Sinclair. She’s a no-nonsense woman who has a keen eye for detail. She knows her strengths, as well as the strengths of the people she surrounds herself with and she plays an integral part in recruiting Milo to the Atlantis search team. She can also kick some major butt should the occasion arise and she’s definitely a jack-of-all-trades.
Jeff Bridges as Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke
Things begin well as far as Commander Rourke is concerned. The charming military man is in charge of the mission to Atlantis, all of the crew following his orders to a tee. However, there is more to Rourke than meets the eye and he’s ultimately revealed to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, threatening the lives of the Atlantean people who still survived for his own selfish gains. Jeff Bridges can play both the ‘nice guy’ and the villain with ease, so portraying Commander Rourke would be a walk in the park for him.
Melonie Diaz as Audrey Ramirez
Audrey Ramirez may be the youngest member of the team, but that doesn’t mean she shies away from a challenge. The Puerto Rican mechanic is always fixing something with expertise beyond her young years. She too is weary of Milo in the beginning but the pair become fast friends, even though she enjoys teasing him with fake punches before deeming, “two for flinching”. She’s fun, sassy and blunt, something I’ve seen Melonie Diaz do well in past films like, Fruitvale Station and The Belko Experiment.
Jean Reno as Gaetan “Mole” Moliere
Direct from France, Gaetan Moliere is the team’s geologist. He has a nose for gemstones and all manners of earth, soil and dirt – and very much acts like the creature to which his nickname refers. Very animated and not easily trusting, Mole is one of the first members of the crew that Milo meets at the beginning of their long journey. Jean Reno was the only actor that came to mind. Aside from the fact that he’s also from France like the aforementioned characters, but because he’s been in films that have action, comedy and drama, making him a perfect fit for Moliere.
Henry Simmons as Dr. Joshua Sweet
Dr. Sweet is the resident physician on the mission to the ‘lost city’. He is fast-talking and doesn’t take any nonsense from any of the crew. Always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need with a bright smile on his face, Dr. Sweet is one of my favourite characters in search of Atlantis. There were a few actors that came to mind when I initially thought of who to cast in this role, but Henry Simmons was the standout. From his role in shows such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, the action parts of the film would be no problem. Couple that with his mega-watt smile, Simmons is the perfect fit for Dr. Joshua Sweet.
John Turturro as Vinny Santorini
Vinny Santorini is the resident demolitions expert. He is the point-man on anything that requires dynamite and he’s the best he is at what he does. Vinny is an animated, brash-talking New Yorker from an Italian family who wants to own a flower shop once he’s done in demolition business. John Turturro certainly embodies many of Vinny’s characteristics, as well as some of the details of his personal background. Just like Vinny, Turturro is a native New Yorker, specifically from Brooklyn and is also of Italian descent. Recently having seen him in the film called, Landline, he can perfectly portray Vinny’s easy-going and laid back nature.
Morgan Freeman as King Kashekim Nedakh
King Kashekim is the ruler of Atlantis and has been for many centuries. As Kida’s father, he is steadfast and strong, an emblem of hope to her and his people. Originally voiced in the animated film by Leonard Nimoy, I knew I had to choose someone who also had a distinct, commanding voice but who could also be soft-spoken and kind. I instantly thought of the talented, Morgan Freeman. His voice fit the bill and this topped with his acting range made him an easy shoe-in for the role of the king.
Donald Sutherland as Preston B. Whitmore
Preston Whitmore is the eccentric businessman who has spent most of his life attempting to find Atlantis to no avail. When he hears that young researcher, Milo Thatch is on the right trail, he dispatches his team, funds and any technology at his expense to help Milo and the team find famed city. No one seemed better suited to take on the role than Canadian actor, Donald Sutherland. He has the sharpness and wit needed for the role of Whitmore and I think he would give a great performance.
Be sure to let me know what you if you’d be interested in seeing a live action remake of the animated film on the big screen and your overall thoughts on the fancast in the comment section below. Hope you enjoyed the fancast for Atlantis: The Lost Empire!