Monday, September 16, 2013

Fan-Casting DC's FIRESTORM: Part 5

Click here to review part 4.

So far: 
In the second Firestorm movie, titled The Fury of Firestorm, Professor Martin Stein helps his former colleague, Crystal Frost, develop a thermafrost research chamber.  But when the experiment goes wrong, Crystal is transformed into Killer Frost.  Firestorm is unable to stop her during their first confrontation.  After the battle, Professor Stein is killed.

Immediately following the death of Professor Stein (David Strathairn), we get one of those now-classic sequences where the music kicks up and all the in-scene sound is muted.  The tempo slows down as Ronnie (Reid Ewing) wakes up and rushes to his mentor's side.  He cradles the body, crying, screaming in rage, all in slow motion while the score reaches crescendo.

After Stein is dead and buried, the rest of the second act sees Ronnie (or Jason) having to deal with the death of his friend.  There is a lot of unresolved emotional baggage, because they were fighting before Stein died, and Ronnie feels like he never committed as much to being a good, responsible hero like he should have.

At this point we'll also see an agony and vengeful Ronnie attempting to harness the Firestorm matrix without merging with Stein.  The result is something similar to the Elemental Firestorm-era of the comics.  He tries to attack Killer Frost (Mena Suvari) in this form, but cannot control the powers and endangering even more lives than her.

Ronnie knows that Firestorm is the only being powerful enough to stop Killer Frost, but he cannot control Firestorm alone.  He needs to fuse with another person to fully capture the Firestorm matrix.  He needs help.  He needs a new partner.

Firestorm 2.0

This next part is contingent on who our main character has been for the first movie-and-a-half.  If the protagonist is Ronnie Raymond, then he partners with Professor Stein's last protege, a young scientific genius named Jason Rusch.

Firestorm/Jason Rusch (Luke Youngblood)

Wait, wait, waitaminute! you say.  Didn't you already cast Donald Glover as Jason Rusch?

Indeed, I did, but that was for a different role; that was for a Jason that would carry the franchise on his shoulders.  I think Donald Glover is capable of--and overdue for--driving a superhero adventure series on his own.  So if Jason Rusch was our hero from the onset of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man, I would definitely cast Glover.

If he wasn't, though, if Jason Rusch doesn't appear until the second movie, and then as a replacement for Stein, functioning more as a supporting character than lead, well, then Glover's talent and star power would best be served with a different character (and yes, I'll name that character at another time).  In that case, I'm going with my second choice, Luke Youngblood.

Youngblood is chameleonic in his ability to capture different characters on screen--and no character is more different than Magnitude on Community.  He's also a Brit, and I think letting him keep the accent would be cool way to further differentiate him from the All-American athlete Ronnie.

On the other hand, if our main character always was Jason (played by Donald Glover, remember) but written more like Ronnie, then his new partner in the Firestorm matrix would be his girlfriend.

Gehenna (Liu Yifei)

Okay, cards on the table, I don't know who this young woman is.  There are lots of other, perhaps more recognizable Chinese actresses, but most of them I'd already cast in other roles.  But Liu Yifei's imdb credits testify to her talent, and a google images search testifies to her sweet, wholesome beauty.

Now we have two options for Firestorm, each dynamic and interesting in its own way.  By the third act, a new Firestorm is born.

In the third act, Firestorm confronts Killer Frost again.  This time, with Jason (or Gehenna) providing some clutch insight into thermodynamics, Firestorm realizes that using fire and heat against Killer Frost only empowers her.  That cold is actually her enemy.  Firestorm uses his powers to lower the temperature somehow/somewhere and Killer Frost is shut down.

Ronnie, of course, wants to kill her to avenge Professor Stein, but Jason talks him out of it.  Killer Frost is immobilized and taken into government custody.  Ronnie and Jason (or Jason and Gehenna) mourn Stein's passing, but move on as a newer, stronger version of the hero, Firestorm.

That's the second movie, in a nutshell.  The dignified, iconic Martin Stein dies to be replaced by a younger, more ethnic character, because that's what comics do.  Ronnie goes through an emotional crisis and emerges stronger, more mature, more grounded, and a better all-around hero.

But there are still Firestorm stories to be told…

Beyond the Sequel

I won't get into additional movie synopses, but here are the casting choices for some more villains and supporting players.

Black Bison/John Ravenhair (Adam Beach)

Probably the biggest actor of Native American descent in Hollywood at this time is Adam Beach.  I've seen him play a soldier a couple times, and he's always kind of a good, noble guy.  I would like to see him stretch that range, playing a good, noble guy that succumbs to his darkest urges for vengeance as Black Bison.  And Wes Studi could play his great-grandfather, Bison-Black-As-Midnight-Sky.

Plastique/Bette Sans Souci (Clemence Poesy)

Clemence Poesy was the French girl from the fourth Harry Potter movie that competed for the Goblet of Fire.  She's the one who wasn't Robert Pattinson.  Beyond that, she's beautiful and she's French.  What more could you ask for in the sexy, explosive terrorist known as Plastique?

Hyena/Summer Day (Hilary Duff)

A bit of stunt casting, and a bit of my own weird sense of humor--casting an attractive, highly visible star to play a monstrous inhuman character.  (You'll see more of these from me in future DC fan-casting posts, trust me!)  My first thought, when picking Hilary Duff to play Summer Day, the cursed were-hyena, was the darkly comic juxtaposition between her beauty and a snarling, hairy beast.  My second thought was, she could easily play the sister of Dianna Agron, already cast as Doreen Day.

Slipknot/Christopher Weiss (Marlon Brando)

After the Joker and Catwoman, Slipknot is probably DC's most recognized villain.  To really do justice to this character, you need a serious Hollywood star.  Marlon Brando's breakout performances in On the Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire prove he has the acting chops to make this character every bit as formidable on the screen as he appears on the comics page.

Firehawk/Lorraine Reilly (Caroline Dhavernas)

Firehawk could make for a cool sidekick or professional rival in a third or fourth Firestorm movie.  I knew I wanted to use Caroline Dhavernas in my DC Universe fan-casting after watching her in the TV series Hannibal.  I wasn't sure what character she worked for until I remembered Firehawk.  Dhavernas still has youth and beauty, but she can also play stately and more mature, two valuable characteristics for someone like Lorraine Reilly.

There you have my fan-casted outline for two Firestorm movies.  I hope you enjoyed them almost as much as I hope Warner Bros. makes them.  My fan-casted Justice League trilogy will pickup again in a week or so.  See you then!


  1. I'm all about Marlon Brando as Slipknot, but it would be a shame if a Quebecoise wasn't cast as Plastique. I'm not even sure I've ever seen a French actress play a Quebecker! I can't even imagine the mangled accent it would likely produce!

    Yes, I know, I'm the only one who cares about this.

  2. This is the part where my American ass says, "What, there's a difference?" Despite living less than an hour from Quebec, I know precious little about differing accidents.

    Incidentally, Caroline Dhavernas, my pick for Firehawk, IS Quebecois. I'll revisit this at another time. Maybe I'll end up swapping Poesy out for another actress later.

  3. Think of the absolute worst American accents on British television and that's what it would be like I guess. ;-)

    Then again, it would be sweet revenge for all the Acadian characters played by clueless Quebecois I've had to endure over the years any time anything is meant to happen in my corner of Canada.

  4. Warner Brothers needs to get on the stick and bring you on board to film this mofo.

    Chop chop.

    Let's get Firestorm The Nuclear Man in theaters by 2017.

  5. Thanks, Aaron! I wholeheartedly agree with you!

  6. For those unaware, gave Drunkula's Fan Casting a shout-out over on FIRESTORM FAN!

  7. Yes you did, Shag. Not to the level of praise or analysis that Diabolu Frank did for my other Fan-casting project:

    But, yeah, you did give a shout-out. Thanks!