During our weekly chin-wag about all things comics and comic related, me and my friend Bart hit the point in our nerd-versation where we discuss the ongoing slew of comic movie announcements. We were opining about the announcement a few months back about Benderspink and Illuminati Entertainment joining forces to produce a movie based on Dreadstar.
Both giant Jim Starlin fans, we had nothing but enthusiasm for a project of this scope. Starlin’s cosmic epic, revolves around Vanth Dreadstar, lone survivor of the now dead Milky Way. Bonded to a sword of immeasurable power, Vanth leads a band of rebel outcasts against the pan-galactic military force of the Church of Instumentality, led by the ruthless Lord Papal.
Dreadstar first appeared in Marvel’s Epic Illustrated Magazine, than got his own Marvel Graphic Novel and then finally his own titular series, first under Epic, than First Comics. Starlin’s work in this book shaped not only my comic collecting habits, but my viewpoints on religion and government as well. I never would have dreamed the idea of Dreadstar movie was even a possibility.
Now, as we were fresh off our previous conversation of our ongoing t.v. show watching habits, Bart made one of those epiphanic statements that sent my mind reeling and led to me writing this article. He simply said ” Hey, what about Charlie Hunnam as Dreadstar ? ”
Who better to play The Cold Man than Jax-frakking-Teller, Outlaw President of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club ( a moment of silence please) ? This was shear genius ( you’re welcome old man !) Not only does Hunnam have the look of Starlin’s deeply tortured protagonist, he has the depth and acting skills to elevate the character to a stature he deserves. Not to mention the popularity of his amazing run on S.o.A helping ticket sales, this seems a no brainer. Plus he can use his natural British accent and add some class to the role, as English actors are wont to do.
But it didn’t stop there in my head, so after hours of thinking, googling, imdbing and random texts between me and Bart, we came up with the following casting and production crew for Dreadstar: The Movie
Dreadstar – Charlie Hunnam
Besides all the reasons stated above, the transition from biker outlaw to sci-fi space outlaw is just a damn cool idea. Hunnam has the range of emotions to cover Starlin’s more adult version of a space opera, with Vanth being the centerpiece of this dark fantasy epic. Vanth survives the destruction of the Milky Way ( a feat in which he was an accomplice…but that’s for the prequel!! ) only to arrive in a galaxy embroiled in a centuries old war. The Monarchy ruled half the Galaxy and The Church of the Instrumentality ruled the other.
The war has raged for so long, both governments economies have become centered around it, leaving no end in sight. Vanth found peace for awhile, on the planet Caldor, amongst the pacifist Cat-people farmers who lived there. He even fell in love with a human scientist who relocated there.
It is her death, and the genocide of the cat people by the Monarchy that leads Vanth Dreadstar on a bloody bath leading to confrontations with both the Monarchy and the Church of the Instrumentality. Hunnam killed it in his tortured-biker role, and his range and utter screen presence is exactly what this movie deserves. Plus there is a bit of story symmetry…..
Both Leaders of an Outlaw Gang:
Has issue with father figures:
Death of their wives set them on a bloody path of vengeance:
Prefer hoodies as part of dress code:
But enough of the over-obvious Dreadstar/Gunnam likenesses…. really Casting Agents out there… you don’t even have to turn a page to solve this one… on with the rest of the cast:
Syzygy – Mark Strong
Giving us a star performance as Sinestro, Mark Strong is perfect for the role of Dreadstar’s enigmatic mentor and wizard-priest of the dark arts. It is Syzygy who finds Dreadstar on Caldor after prophecies led him to Vanth to prepare him for the coming galactic conflict, something Vanth wants nothing to do with. Syzygy was once a priest in the Church of the Instrumentality, and sacrificed both parts of his body and his dearest love to gain great mystical power in a bid for vengeance.
Oedi – Djimon Hounsou
Since it’s Hunnam’s first foray into world of comic Cinema, its only fair to surround him with those who have dipped their toe in it. Playing Korath in Guardians of the Galaxy, Hounsou, like Strong, is familiar with the subject matter, yet has the gravitas to shine through what would be a lot of special effects. Playing the formerly peaceful farming cat-man, turned deadly warrior after The Monarchy eradicated his people, Hounsou can add levels to an emotionally charged character. As Vanth’s right hand man ( his Opie to Vanth’s Dreadstar ), Hounsou will get plenty of active screen time battling the forces of the Instumentality side by side with Vanth.
Willow – Saoirse Ronan
The much underrated star of Hanna, can not only pull off playing the blind cyber-pathic girl saved by Dreadstar and Syzygy and drafted into the cause, the production company can save lots of dough on special effects with this light eyed cutie. Formerly an orphaned slave of the Instrumentality, Willow was blinded while overcoming a mental block preventing her from accessing her full powers. With the coaching of Syzygy, Willow overcomes her horrific child hood trauma and uses her new found telepathic ability to communicate with machines to help overthrow the oppressive church. She uses a pet Monk as her eyes through a telepathic connection.
Skeevo -Seth Rogen
Who else but America’s favorite funny guy, to play the hard drinking, hard gambling, cigar smoking tough guy mercernary who first joins the crew for profit, but ends up becoming one of their most steadfast members. Rogen has the easy charm and swagger to bring Skeevo to the big screen in all his purple lamb-chop bearded glory.
Lord Papal-John Goodman
Hear me out on this one ( this was another epiphany moment between me and Bart ). I’m not talking about Dan from Roseanne, or Walter Sobchak from Big Lebowski. Have you seen the trailers for the Gambler?? with Mark Wahlberg? Where Goodman plays a scary as hell crime-lord ( which just screams Kingpin by the way ) who lends an obscene amount of money to Wahlberg’s character? Goodman has that booming voice and scene stealing persona, plus he can put a little Southern Baptist religious zealotry in the Darth Vader like leader of the Church of Instrumentality.
Dr. Anton Mezlo– Peter Dinklage
Well this might seem a little obvious, but c’mon; Dinklage is the Billy Barty of the 21st century, and has experience playing a diminutive techno-genius villain,….. but this time it’s in Spaaaaaceeee!
Seriously though, his name carries weight and just like Hunnam bringing in the S.o.A crowd, Dinklage has a legion of Game-of-Throners willing to follow him to the silver screen.
Teutun – C.M. Punk
Because, that would just be cool!
And because Stan Lee gets to mug it up in every Marvel Movie……
Jim Starlin as King Gregzor, the ruler of the Monarchy, blackmailed into a reluctant ally against the Church by Dreadstar.
Producer- Ronald D. Moore.
Since Dreadstar & Company is a cross between Guardians of the Galaxy and Battlestar Galactica, it’s only fitting for Moore to be involved. Let’s not forget the guy knows his way around a galaxy as well, with dozens of Star Trek: Next Generation & DS9 episodes under his belt.
The creative genius behind the Riddick moves, has the ability to capture both the grand bombastic battles of a cosmic epic ( as seen in Chronicles of Riddick ) as well as the up close and personal intense fisticuffs( like in Pitch Blackwithout losing the personalities and storylines in mindless fighting. His directing is moody when it needs it, and loud and aggressive when called for. Teamed with Moore, the two cam give cinematic credit to Starlin’s master piece.
So, oh mighty Gods of the Cinema, please, please allow this to happen. I don’t care you don’t use any of my fanboy suggestions, just make Dreadstar the movie a reality. Not only is the time ripe for it, it’s also a timeless tale that will bring loyal fans to the theater, and make new fans of the uninitiated.