Welcome to Dream Cast, a new series of articles where we examine questionable casting choices from Hollywood’s history of nerd-centric adaptations and try to re-imagine them in a perfect world where money is no object and egos don’t exist. Today’s subject: Another go-round with AMC’s ultra-popular skull muncher The Walking Dead.
Last week we took a look at the early days of Kirkman’s undead opus and an alternate reality take on the casting of AMC’s first season of the TV adaptation. This week we move forward in time to the more recent books in the series and the villains our heroes have faced down against. Mild spoilers for the last few collected editions follow:
Charlize Theron as Alpha
The Whisperers of the WD comic take a truly horrifying concept, humans disguised as zombies hiding amongst the horde as a means of both camouflage and to more intelligently dispatch the dwindling humanity still struggling against the shambling apocalypse, and execute it with chilling flawlessness. At the center of this twisted cult is Alpha, an incredibly determined and capable bald woman whose fought tooth and nail to not only survive but thrive in a savage, male dominated hellscape at the end of the world. Sound familiar? Sure, Charlize Theron probably wouldn’t want to be pigeonholed in this type of role again, especially on basic cable of all places, but hey, that’s why this article is called “dream cast” and not “stuff that could feasibly really happen cast”.
Kiernan Shipka as Lydia
We’re first introduced to the Whisperers when Lydia is taken prisoner after their vicious attack on Maggie and Jesus’ people from The Hilltop. Through her burgeoning relationship with Carl we learn that Lydia is daughter to Alpha and that the Whisperers have a reprehensible idea of what it means to be a “family”. As Mad Men’s Sally Draper, young Kiernan Shipka had no problem staying strong and level headed beyond her years in a tug of war between morally bankrupt parents, and she’s an AMC alum to boot!
Danny Trejo as The Governor
No offense to David Morrissey, his unhinged southern gentleman take on The TV Gov made the character into the Sabretooth to Rick’s Wolverine, the Venom to his Spider-Man, the Akuma to his Ryu, and so on and so forth. In the comics though an even more savage Governor was clearly based on B-Horror hardcase Danny Trejo in the same way that similarly seasoned but ageless badass Samuel L. Jackson was the template for The Ultimates’ Nick Fury. It’s a shame then, that Trejo never got a chance to fill those boots on film in the explosive Prison/Woodbury arc as Jackson has so deftly in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Negan
Rick vs. Rock would be a more satisfying showdown than anything the WWE has produced since it was the WWF. The recent legitimate casting of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan is good news indeed, bringing the same sociopathic charm he displayed as The Comedian in Watchmen. But Negan’s massive and imposing comic book frame would be much better filled out by The People’s Champ, who could shed his eternal nice guy image and show the same type of range he did as a desperately drug addicted criminal in Michael Bay’s way-better-than-it-had-any-right-to-be Pain and Gain.
That’s our take on Rick and the gang’s diametric opposition. What’s yours? Casting idea? Future article subjects? Let us know via social media or email.