Saturday, October 31, 2009

Casting the Batwoman Movie

After my post on adaptations, I got to thinking about a Batwoman movie. So I posited a question on Twitter: Who would I cast as Kate Kane? I already knew who my Montoya would be. Then I started thinking about the other roles in the series, and I had a lot of fun just clicking around the internet looking for good fits, so I decided to turn it into an entire blog post, with pictures, pros, cons, and various geekery.

Enjoy.

Hopefully. :)

Kate Kane/Batwoman - My friend Stewart suggested Amy Adams. At first I reacted "huh, Giselle?" and then I remembered her as Amelia Earhart in that movie about the museum with what's-his-face from Zoolander. I know Amy Adams can be adorable. I know she has red hair and very little skin pigmentation. But can she be Kate Kane? I think playing Kate Kane may be even harder than playing Batwoman. After all, with Batwoman you have the costume to get you into character. Once you put that symbol on your chest, I think it makes a huge difference (even with nipples, Clooney did better at Batman than Christian Bale does). But Kate is a non-stereotypical lesbian. She's neither completely butch nor completely femme, and Hollywood generally doesn't know what to do with that (that includes writers, directors, casting directors, and actors). And of course there's that whole spectrum of what it means to be butch and femme, blah blah blah.

I guess I wonder if Amy Adams can pull it off. I don't know. I maybe wouldn't mind seeing her try. She doesn't make any less sense than, say, Heath Ledger, and everyone thought he was a great Joker. Okay, she makes slightly less sense than Heath Ledger.

For a very different and competing opinion, I sort of like Christina Hendricks in the role. I know, I know the curvy Joan of Mad Men is ultra feminine, and Kate isn't, necessarily. But, well, Kate's drawn busty (like almost every other comic book heroine), and Christina Hendricks has done a good job at playing kick-ass, during her two episode stint as Saffron in Firefly. And, actually, Joan is sort of kick-ass herself, in that bound-by-the-sixties sort of way. (For any MM fan interested in a really interesting article about how Joan is a more interesting character than Peggy, read this.)

Here's the thing. I think Hendricks could pull of not only Batwoman (who has a tendency to be hyperfeminine and sexual) but also Kate Kane, whose femininity is a bit more restrained, but who is still a ballsy, alpha-type woman. And, again, the way Kate is drawn is actually very similar to Christina Hendrick's body type.

Yeah, I think I've found my Kate Kane.


Renee Montoya/The Question: Sarah Shahi. Hands down, no questions, absolutely Sarah Shahi. I know there are people that like Michelle Rodriguez for this role, but no.

This woman should play Renee:

Uh huh.

Now, there's more than just looks to back this one up. First, she's played a cop before. Dani Reese in Life, who was a hard-ass, wise-cracking, recovering-addict detective. Basically Renee Montoya. Second, she's played gay before. Carmen de la Pica Morales in The L Word, where she had weird toilet sex with Mia Kirshner. Once you act out weird toilet sex, playing a faceless, kick-ass lesbian PI who macks on Batwoman and gets involved in a Religion of Crime should be a cake walk.

Third, she's a brown belt in karate, which means she could at least be quasi-believable in some of the Question's martial arts-heavy fight scenes.

Fourth, she's Renee Montoya.

Case closed, appeals denied.

Maggie Sawyer - With the understanding that she's going to be somewhat important as the series develops, I figured "what the heck." I like Laura Harris from Dead Like Me and Women's Murder Club, but she definitely seems a bit young/soft for the job. Then again, if Amy Adams is Kate, well. We're skewing a bit younger than I think the characters actually are in the books anyway. So maybe she could work.

Stewart suggested Mariska Hargitay, and I can't say I disagree with him. Around seasons 3 and 4 of Special Victims Unit, she was perfect. But that was a lot of years ago, and I don't know if she could pull Maggie off right now.

So while Laura Harris might be too young, Mariska Hargitay might be too old. Not that I couldn't see having Maggie be a bit older than Kate. That could work, too. And since this is sort of a dream cast, I guess we could just take that Mariska Hargitay from back then and put her in. Hm.

I could go either way, really. I'd have to sit in on the audition and see who has the best chemistry with our lead, because Kate and Maggie already have some very nice chemistry in only a few panels of one issue of Detective Comics. I am, however, a Renee/Kate shipper, so I'm sticking fast with that. Still, definitely important that the actress be able to do well against our Batwoman, since Maggie's apparently going to be her version of Commissioner Gordon.

Edit: A reader, Nikki, has recommended Katee Sackhoff for the role of Maggie. DUH. Wow, great suggestion. She's a great balance of feminine and masculine, can kick ass, and can command a group of people. Also I wouldn't mind seeing her in a tux, either.



Alice - Mia Kirshner. I know I'm sort of double-dipping in the The L Word pot, but take a look:

Now imagine her white-blonde.

Yeah.

Mia Kirshner is a fantastic actress. If you're not familiar with her work, go rent more independent films (she also played Sarah in The Crow: City of Angels, so there's that comic link), and her character, Jenny, on The L Word was completely nuts by the last two seasons (check out this great compilation from S5 NSFW). She'd be perfect.


Colonel Kane - I'm going to go with JK Simmons on this. I just really like the guy and think he has great range (have you seen him in Oz or Law and Order: Special Victims Unit?). I think he could pull off a ex-military, sort-of-traumatized, loves-his-daughter-but-worries-about-her kind of dad. Kind of like a cross between the Juno dad and the SVU shrink. Totally. It's also occured to me that I don't know Colonel Kane's first name (besides "sir" or "dad"), so maybe I'm not particularly wed to the character just yet. Still, I think JK Simmons could pull it off, and be good in the roll. And I'm a fan of the guy.

Okay, there we go, my picks for the main roles of a Batwoman movie. I'd love to get input if you've got any. Or if there are any other roles out there you think I ought to cast (I've already cast Kate Spencer/Manhunter, and am daydreaming of a legal drama where she defends Wonder Woman and they smolder and spar together. Cough.) let me know that, too. This is a fun way to pass the time.

13 comments:

  1. Sarah Shahi = VERY YES. Whenever I was trying to get fellow geeks to watch Life, I told them that it was essentially the awesome Question & Renee Montoya bits from 52 sans superpowered craziness.

    I'm just starting the 2nd season of Dead Like Me, so I'm now imagining Maggie Sawyer introducing herself to everybody like "Daisy, Daisy Adair!". XD

    I'm really torn between your Batwoman choices. Amy Adams is a pretty amazing actress (Junebug was a heartbreaking film) but Christina Hendricks isn't exactly a shrinking violent either. I hope you won't think me too terribly shallow if I lean towards Christina Hendricks just because she's so ridiculously attractive. ;)

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  2. I don't knwow Amy Adams but I did love Saffron in Firefly so Christina Hendricks works for me.

    Your Renee choice looks perfect.

    Can't really comment on the others as I've stopped reading the book.

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  3. Kate Spencer actually did defend Wonder Woman (on federal charges related to her killing the mind-controlling Max Lord in semi-self-defense) in one of the later story arcs of Manhunter's own title.

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  4. @K.D. - YES. The isntant I watched the pilot of Life, I was old on her as Renee. She's absolutely perfect. (Daniel Lewis, I think, wouldn't make a half-bad Vic Sage. I sort of wonder what those writers are fans of. Ahem.)

    I've never seen Junebug. I'll throw it on my Netflix queue. I'm a huge fan of hers, and find her awesome in pretty much everything I've ever seen her in, but I know she's typecast as more cutesy. I'm sort of torn, too, but lean towards Christina Hendricks because 1) she seems a bit older/wiser and 2) I'd love to see her in a headlining action role. That would be amazing.

    No, believe me, I don't find you shallow AT ALL. ;)

    @Saranga - Amy Adams is pretty big over here. She's sort of typecast as cute-and-small-but-feisty, but has also played more serious roles, so it's possible. But, yeah, I think I like Christina Hendricks for the spot. Thanks on Renee. Like I said above, as soon as Life came out, I knew immediately.

    @marfisa - Oh, I know. I just think that would be a good arc for them to make a movie out of. It could be WW2 (if WW1 ends with the killing Max Lord) and would never ever ever happen, because the movie industry sucks and the DC comics movie department doubly so. :)

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  5. Kate Kane/Batwoman: Rumer Willis. Hear me out... I honestly don't know if the girl can act or not, but I think she can look the part (http://bit.ly/4lY5Vl). She just needs to work out a bit -- kind of like her mom in G.I. Jane. the only problem I see is that she's a bit younger than the other actors & that throws things off. I also think Scarlett Johansen could have done a good job, but now that she's been cast as Natasha/Black Widow she's "taken".

    Renee Montoya/The Question: Sarah Shahi OHGODYESYESYESPLEASEGODYES

    Maggie Sawyer: This is the hardest role to cast for me. I see her as being at least 10-15 years older than Kate (even though that might now be the case in the Detective series). I see her as a young Glenn Close/Helen Mirren type. I have to think on this one somemore.

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  6. @Nikki - Okay, first off... now I need to start watching 90210 again. Adriana was my favorite character last season (besides Silver before they skewered her) and knowing she'll be in a relationship with Token Gay Girl... SOLD. I watched The O.C. for the 8 episodes of the lesbian arc. I agree that she'd be a bit young, though that would make Mariska Hargitay work as an older Maggie with the younger Kate. I agree with you that Maggie should be a bit older than Kate (even though she's really not drawn that way).

    The problem is that Maggie should be younger than Gordon but older than Kate. So maybe early-forties (too young for Helen Mirren/Glenn Close) and that's one of those hard-to-cast ages for women. (Stupid Hollywood). Though, again, if Mariska Hargitay could sort of cut her hair and bulk up again, she'd work.

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  7. After cleaning house a bit, I think I've decided on my Maggie Sawyer casting.... Katie Sackoff. I thought about Jodie Foster, but it's not feeling quite right.

    My other question for you, if Kate & Alice are twins, would it make sense to have the same actress play both parts (CGI anyone?)? I don't see Rumer & Mia as same-age sisters. More to ponder....

    (follow me on Twitter: @bookgnome)

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  8. @Nikki - Katee Sackoff... good one. I like that. I'll edit the post to include her because... yeah. Wow. Nice!

    Well, yes and no. They're drawn similarly, but they don't look as alike as they do in flashbacks. Maybe they would if Kate weren't wearing her cowl, but we haven't really seen that yet. As for the age thing... I like Rumer, but I'm still sold on Christina Hendricks, and she's closer in age to Mia Kirshner. ;)

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  9. @Nikki - Katee Sackoff... good one. I like that. I'll edit the post to include her because... yeah. Wow. Nice!

    Well, yes and no. They're drawn similarly, but they don't look as alike as they do in flashbacks. Maybe they would if Kate weren't wearing her cowl, but we haven't really seen that yet. As for the age thing... I like Rumer, but I'm still sold on Christina Hendricks, and she's closer in age to Mia Kirshner. ;)

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  10. After cleaning house a bit, I think I've decided on my Maggie Sawyer casting.... Katie Sackoff. I thought about Jodie Foster, but it's not feeling quite right.

    My other question for you, if Kate & Alice are twins, would it make sense to have the same actress play both parts (CGI anyone?)? I don't see Rumer & Mia as same-age sisters. More to ponder....

    (follow me on Twitter: @bookgnome)

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  11. Sarah Shahi = VERY YES. Whenever I was trying to get fellow geeks to watch Life, I told them that it was essentially the awesome Question & Renee Montoya bits from 52 sans superpowered craziness.

    I'm just starting the 2nd season of Dead Like Me, so I'm now imagining Maggie Sawyer introducing herself to everybody like "Daisy, Daisy Adair!". XD

    I'm really torn between your Batwoman choices. Amy Adams is a pretty amazing actress (Junebug was a heartbreaking film) but Christina Hendricks isn't exactly a shrinking violent either. I hope you won't think me too terribly shallow if I lean towards Christina Hendricks just because she's so ridiculously attractive. ;)

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