On the news that Disney will be releasing a Star Wars film every year for the foreseeable future bouncing back and forth between various lead characters, Drew Taylor over at Studio System News decided to list 11 characters from big Hollywood franchises that he thinks would make for worthy spin-offs in the never ending struggle to squeeze every last bit of life out of an idea. While a couple of his choices seem worth exploring (Dutch from Predator and Q from the Bond films), I feel he’s reaching on most (The Worms from Men in Black and David from Prometheus) and there is no reason to. There are plenty of much better characters to draw inspiration from.
I think these seven movie characters deserve their shot at the lead role. And as an added bonus, I’ll even use my excellent casting director skills to cast the roles.
1 & 2 – Clemenza and Tessio from The Godfather I & II (1972, 1974)
This might seem sacrilegious as it would be poking fun at one of the most celebrated movie families, but hey it’s the mob – let’s have it. I ain’t out to glorify the mafia so this would be a kind of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead comical thing. The two long-time friends and underbosses to Vito Corleone fend for the family during the same time-frames as Godfather Parts I & II where certain scenes get to overlap. Vincent D’Onofrio as Clemenza and Hugh Laurie as Tessio would make a perfect madcap match.
3 – Quint from Jaws (1975)
A prequel. The young seaman is back from surviving the sinking of the ship that delivered the bomb in WWII and fighting off the sharks that terrorized the survivors. Suffering from PTSD, he retreats to Amity Island to reconcile the demons and begin his revenge against the shark. I’d give this part to Tom Hardy.
4 – Prof. Henry Jones from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Indiana Jones’ father played by Sean Connery made quite the impression in the 3rd and final installment (Kingdom of what?) in the Indiana Jones trilogy. Fellow Scot Ewan McGregor would make for a classic young professor traversing the globe during WWI days. We’ll just swap Nazis for Bolsheviks!
5 – Doc Brown from Back to the Future (1985)
Come on now, how fun would it be to follow this mad scientist inventor in 1950s Hill Valley as he embarks on the journey to discover the secret to time travel – the flux capacitor. The final moment of the film of course being a knock on his front door from some kid claiming to be from the future. If you can think of someone better than Bill Hader as the Doc, let me know in the comments.
6 – Billie from The Sting (1973)
This is really just an excuse to go back to the days of prohibition, speakeasies, graft and the big con, only this time we’ve got a dame in the driver’s seat. Diane Lane would have us eating out of her palm.
7 – Domingo Montoya, Inigo’s father from The Princess Bride (1987)
Technically this character not in the original film, but I would love to watch the tale of a great swordmaker, his young son and the Six-Fingered Man who destroys their bond. Who would we cast to play this wise, deliberate and honest man, why, Mandy Patakin of course! And let’s get Robert Downey Jr. as the Six-Fingered Man.
Which characters do you think deserve their own film?
Matt Edwards is a filmmaker in his native Los Angeles. He is an alumnus of the 2011 Taliesin Nexus Filmmakers Workshop, a 2014 Liberty Lab Fellow and the current editor of SCC. Matt is also host of the The Rear View film podcast. Follow @TRVpodcast and @mattchrised on Twitter.