Welcome to Geekenstein’s first edition of “Casting Call” where we pick our favorite actors to portray characters from our favorite games and comics. This series is going to be a combination of creative writing and photoshopping. First up, a personal favorite of mine: Gears of War. Enjoy!
Awhile back, the folks at Epic Games were in talks with major Hollywood studios to bring their Xbox exclusive game, Gears of War to the silver screen. One such rumored production company was Legendary Pictures, the company that created Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Saga and the upcoming Superman movie, Man of Steel. But talks never panned out and the game’s lead designer, Cliff Bleszinski only wanted to do the fans justice or not do anything at all, a move I totally respect.
For those not familiar with the game, Gears of War tells the tale of Delta Squad, a group of four soldiers lead by Marcus Fenix in their battle against the Locust Horde. The Locust emerged from the underground on the planet Sera to wipe out all humanity. It’s Delta Squad’s duty to deliver a light-mass bomb to the Locust underground headquarters in their attempt to whip out the alien threat. But it won’t be easy, because the Locust’s commander, General Raam, is hot on their tails.
As a huge fan of the Gears of War franchise, I was really excited about the prospect of a movie, but a bit apprehensive since historically video game movies such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Doom may have done well at the box office, but were deemed somewhat unworthy by fans.
So let’s pretend for a moment that Gears of War was legitimately coming to theaters. Who would play the our beloved heroes? Here is my list of potential actors to properly portray Marcus Fenix and the rest of the Delta Squad COG soldiers.
David Bautista as Marcus Fenix
To get Gears of War proper, it needs a proper leader of Delta Squad. Marcus Fenix is gruff, strong and a natural leader even though he doesn’t want to be. He is a bit of an anti-hero being an ex-con and a deserter, but for the right reasons. Recently I saw The Man With the Iron Fists. When the character of “Brass Body” hit the screen, I immediately thought, “God damn, that’s Marcus Fenix.” That actor is former WWE Superstar turned MMA fighter, David Bautista. He fits all the criteria: deep raspy voice, mucsles, and intimidating look. Internet rumors had John Travolta playing Fenix, but thank god that never happened. Here is David in an interview talking about his character “Brass Body” from The Man with the Iron Fists.
Franky G as Dominic Santiago
You can’t have Marcus without Dom, the Latino soldier whose main motivation for fighting is to find his wife Maria who was separated from him. One actor that the entire internet has been talking about is Franky G, born Francisco Gonzales, who has starred in Manito, The Italian Job, and the upcoming Dead Man Down. But the role I think really highlights what he can do for Dom’s portrayal is when he was in Saw II. Franky G is a body builder and a spitting image of his Gears of War counterpart. Check out the video below that showcases his past acting gigs.
Lester Speight as Augustus Cole
Augustus Cole, aka “The Cole Train” is a former professional Thrashball player. He’s a celebrity in the same way Americans hold NFL players in regard. He provides the comic relief, but is also the conscience of the team. Now while some people would say the perfect person to play the Cole Train is Expendables star Terry Crews, I say why not use the action star that is actually the voice over actor of the video game character, Lester Speight (Transformers: Dark of the Moon/Faster). Lester is my number one choice, and if you think I’m wrong, watch Lester in his Reebok “Terry Tate: Office Linebacker” commercials and tell me different.
Dominic West as Damon Baird
Damon Baird is the wise crackin’, smart-ass mechanic of Delta Squad. He’d be the leader, but his mouth keeps getting him busted back down the the rank of Private. Initially I was thinking of actors that play great smart asses. Immediately Ryan Reynolds and Sean William Scott came to mind. I was actually stumped so I consulted fellow Geekenstein movie nerd, David Rhinehart. He suggested Dominic West. His reasoning was, “Dye his hair and bulk him up a bit and McNulty would make a great Baird.” McNulty referring to West’s role in The Wire: The Cronicles. I’ll let you be judge. But for me the first time you hear West speak in the clip below, it’s apparent that he may be a pretty good choice.
Stephen Lang as Colonel Victor Hoffman
Colonel Victor Hoffman is the COG Commanding Officer of battalion that Delta Squad is a part of. He goes toe-to-toe with Marcus Fenix because Fenix once deserted his post to save his father. Hoffman is the one who sends him to jail for desertion and dereliction of duty for over a decade. If he was A LOT younger, R. Lee Ermy, the Drill Instructor from Full Metal Jacket, would be a perfect choice. So what’s a good modern day substitute? How about Stephen Lang? He has a background in Sc-Fi/ Fantasy movies such as Conan The Barbarian, but the perfect example is his role as Colonel Quaritch in James Cameron’s Avatar.
Jason Scott Lee as Lt. Minh Young Kim
Lt. Mihn Young Kim is the platoon leader of Delta Squad before he is brutally murdered by General Raam. He doesn’t last that long in the game, but he makes a reappearance in Gear of War 3’s prequel DLC, Raam’s Shadow. For this role you need a strong Asian star. I was considering Rick Yune (The Fast and The Furious/The Man with the Iron Fists) and Ken Watanabe (Inception/Batman Begins), but I think Jason Scott Lee would be a better fit. He’s played Bruce Lee in the biopic, Dragon and has experience playing a military personnel in Soldier. Plus he knows how to die a dramatic death. Check out below when Kurt Russell finishes him off.
Yvonne Strahovski as Lt. Anya Stroud
Lt. Anya Stroud is the dispatch intellignce officer for Delta Squad. Whatever Marcus and the gang need, Anya helps them out via their comlinks. In a sea of testosterone, Anya needs to be played by a woman who isn’t just a pretty face, but is also strong. That role would be perfect for Yvonne Strahovski, the star of NBC’s Chuck and Showtime’s Dexter. Yvonne is blonde and stunningly beautiful, but also can kick ass and handle weaponry. But don’t take my word for it, check the video below on why she was chosen for her role as Sarah.
So there you have it, our choices for the Gears of War movie cast. Who would you pick? What game or comic would you love to see on the big screen?
Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!