One thousand years ago, superstition and the sword ruled.
It was a time of darkness. It was a world of fear.
It was the age of gargoyles.
Stone by day, warriors by night,
we were betrayed by the humans we had sworn to protect,
frozen in stone by a magic spell for a thousand years.
Now, here in Manhattan, the spell is broken, and we live again!
We are defenders of the night!
We are GARGOYLES.
Look, I’m not here to explain the appeal of a decades-old children’s series about living architectural flourishes to you. Either you saw it, and you understand the unique blend of Shakespeare, European folklore, the pain of centuries of isolation and the ultimate problem of mortality, redemption arcs, and pretty solid action scenes that made Gargoyles stand out during an already-rich era for cartoon-based storytelling, or you think I’m trafficking in reflexive nostalgia and all you see is this:
What I’m trying to say is that this is your chance to exit the ride safely if you don’t think you’re going to have a good time. The rest of you, I am fairly certain, are willing to follow me to the gates of insanity and death.
I am going to try my best not to cast Jeff Bridges in this movie, but I cannot make any promises.
I am resisting – I am resisting hard – the urge to reflexively cast Ron Perlman as Goliath. It’s lazy, right? Just because of Hellboy, to go for him? Let’s give it to Dave Bautista, then. He’s gravelly-voiced enough, and his whole “dead family” monologue in Guardians of the Galaxy was very affecting, even if I am sick unto death of making tragic male characters by pinning a bunch of dead wives and children about their necks. Besides, Perlman would really make a better Brooklyn. Bautista it is, then.
UNLESS IT SHOULD BE MORRIS CHESTNUT? BE HONEST DO YOU THINK THAT MORRIS CHESTNUT HAS THE ACTING ABILITY TO PULL OF “TRAGIC DAD OF THE CENTURIES” OR DOES HE JUST HAVE VERY KIND EYES??
YOU BE THE JUDGE, I’M NOT SURE.
(When I say “live action,” by the way, I’m thinking Dave-Bautista-in-Guardians, not a bunch of guys in rubber masks with fake wings, nor an entirely motion-capture-based set of dudes in green suits. You know. Classy.)
Goddammit I can’t fucking not put Jeff Bridges in this movie. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. He’ll probably die in a stupid noble sacrifice, too, because I am a goddamn sucker and I want to see him tenderly reach out to Dave Bautista while holding back tears. I’m sorry, you know? But I am a conventional person with conventional tastes and I was never a part of the revolution to begin with.
John Leguizamo or Aziz Ansari. Leguizamo if we’re going for something really tragic and dark, Ansari if it’s a bit more lighthearted. UNLESS ANSARI’S LEXINGTON DIED IN SOME SORT OF TRAGIC MISUNDERSTANDING, WHICH I AM HONESTLY ALREADY TEARING UP OVER EVEN THOUGH IT HAS NOT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
John Leguizamo, you have such a wider range than “sad weird guy,” but you play that guy so well that I can’t bear to cast you as anything else. Remember his Tybalt? His Toulouse-Latrec? Shit, he even broke my heart as that weird-nosed wallaby in Ice Age. You know the one I mean, the weird furry thing that talked with a lisp. Leguizamo can break your heart in any form.
Ron Perlman, it must be noted, looks a little bit like a tragic Will Ferrell with a pituitary gland issue. We were so right not to cast him as Goliath. I want to see him grappling with rage and delivering bitter barbs to Demona before getting punched in the face.
Terry Crews. Hates guns, loves Shakespeare and cooking; it’s pretty much already Terry’s character from Brooklyn 9-9.
I can’t just put Vin Diesel here. I can’t. He’s the Andy Serkis of heart-wrenching voice work. He’s already given us Groot and the Iron Giant. It’s time for him to get the lead in a Tom Stoppard play or something. We can only ask so much of one man. I’m giving it to Brent Spiner (YES I AM CASTING DATA IN THIS MOVIE, WANNA FIGHT ABOUT IT) because I think he can pull off weird/adorable/partially sentient in his sleep.
I feel a little bad giving Gugu Mbatha-Raw a third “naive ingenue” role, after Belle and Beyond the Lights, but she should have thought of that before she was born with luminous, shimmering eyes that contain the pain of every single living thing that has ever been or ever shall be.
NIA LONG NIA LONG NIA LONG NIA LONG NIA LONG NIA LONG
I would watch Nia Long do anything. Do you remember that scene in The Best Man Holiday where she tenderly and calmly puts Mia to bed, then crawls into the bathtub and starts sobbing? Nia Long could play the skyline of Manhattan and I would believe it. She’d make an incredible anti-villain, all compromise and steely eyes and self-assurance. HELL YES, NIA LONG.
It’s got to be Andrea Navedo (I’d love to cast Q’orianka Kilcher, but she was born in 1990 and that makes any possible romantic interaction with Goliath fairly creepy). She’s so great on Jane the Virgin (are you watching that?) and this character would be a nice change of pace for her, without becoming too much of a stretch. I wanted to cast Bianca Lawson, but I don’t know if I can see her as a non-teenager at this point.
Serious question: how do humans and gargoyles have sex? I just…how do they do it? It didn’t come up on the children’s series, obviously, but we’re going to have to figure out how to address it at some point, and I just don’t have the heart.
A multi-billionaire member of the Illuminati known for his incredibly complex schemes and inability to feel love? I shouldn’t even have to explain this to you.
Sam Rockwell. He can pull off the creepy, manic Puck scenes as easily as he can pull off the creepy, dour Owen scenes. It’s a double dose of creepy, and Rockwell can do lovably creepy in spades.
Ken Watanabe! I love Ken Watanabe, and I want to see him in more movies, and he has that great deep Shakespearean voice, so Macbeth it is. Tell me you can’t imagine Ken Watanabe and Nia Long eternally battling one another for mastery and grudging respect.
Keith David. Because he deserves something, even if he is too old to play Goliath (and friends, he is too old to play Goliath. I’m sorry, but there it is.)
The Weird Sisters
Eva Green, Emma Thompson, and Bernadette Peters.
This movie will be perfect and make $100 million opening weekend, easy.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.