Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Mel Gibson Gave Nate Parker Advice On Making 'The Birth Of A Nation' Mel Gibson Gave Nate Parker Advice On Making 'The Birth Of A Nation' The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More

Get A Grip: Why Your Favorite 'Firefly' Cast Member Is Never Going To Lead A Tentpole

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist January 3, 2011 at 3:10AM

There's not a lot of news knocking around in the week between Christmas and New Year, and so fairly ludicrous rumors that wouldn't necessarily get the time of day in busier periods get more traction than they would otherwise. Two stories were doing the rounds last week, stories that have a very significant connection.
3


There's not a lot of news knocking around in the week between Christmas and New Year, and so fairly ludicrous rumors that wouldn't necessarily get the time of day in busier periods get more traction than they would otherwise. Two stories were doing the rounds last week, stories that have a very significant connection.

Firstly, the director of the third game in the "Uncharted" series threw Mark Wahlberg's attachment to David O. Russell's movie adaptation of the series into doubt, and told that the fan campaign to cast Nathan Fillion as lead Nathan Drake was being listened to. Of course, the fact that this guy has no involvement with the movie apparently doesn't matter -- along with the goateed guy and his bored girlfriend who confronted Russell with the campaign at a Q&A, fans still seem to be determined that there's a chance that the "Firefly" star could land a lead role in the picture.

Furthermore, another "Firefly" cast member, Alan Tudyk, was linked to another high-profile property, when will-print-any-old-shit site, Comic Book Movie, reported the actor had been cast as Marvel hero Ant-Man, and would appear in both "The Avengers" and in the Edgar Wright-helmed "Ant-Man" movie (while Fillion was being 'largely considered' to cameo in the former as Wonder Man). Of course, the rumor was swiftly debunked by Wright.

Now, here's the thing. We like "Firefly" -- arguably Whedon's best, most consistent work to date. We like "Serenity" too. Nathan Fillion's a charismatic lead who probably deserves better than the ABC police procedural that he's currently stuck in. Alan Tudyk is a very fine actor indeed, and any time he turns up in a film, even lesser ones, it's generally a cause for celebration. But their chances of being cast in the lead role in a $100 million plus tentpole lie somewhere between zero and nought.

The reason why comes in Russell's response when confronted by a goateed fanboy. On being told he should cast Fillion, the director responded, presumably referring to the fanbase that, "If they wanna put someone in there who's not a big deal..." before following up, referring to Fillion, that "I don't even know him." And Russell's response is more than likely to be indicative of what 90% of Hollywood thinks.

The Joss Whedon fanbase is loud and vociferous, and they're as loyal as anything to the stars of their favorite shows, which is certainly to be commended, for sure. The fact that they are so vocal makes it feel like they have more power than they do; maybe, maybe, if "Serenity" had become a giant hit, then things could have been different. But the fact is that Fillion and Tudyk (or the stars of "Smallville," "Supernatural," "Stargate" or any of the other shows whose fans would like to see their cast turn up in big geek properties) barely register on the radar of casting directors, studio executives and A-list directors, and certainly not for franchise hopefuls like "Uncharted," or even the Whedon-helmed "The Avengers" movie, particularly in roles that Marvel hope to launch into stand-alone franchises; the company isn't about to let their crown jewels turn into extensions of the Whedonverse.

Recent history has demonstrated that big properties don't necessarily need A-listers on board -- Chris Pine headlining "Star Trek," Chris Hemsworth in "Thor" -- but with riskier, less well-known source material, they're going to need bigger names to launch "Uncharted" and "Ant Man." We're sorry, but it's true.

It also displays a certain lack of imagination on fans' behalf. Fillion's made a career from playing faintly rugged, wisecracking heroes, so of course he's going to be the most popular choice to play the firmly-cut-from-the-cloth-of-Indiana-Jones here of "Uncharted." But would his casting lead to the film feeling like anything other than the Indy knock-off it could so easily be? Russell certainly seems to be keen to push off in his own direction, which is a sensible move, frankly.

The rumors are not going anywhere -- as long as there are message boards and fans with too much time on their hands, it's going to keep happening. And, with Whedon helming "The Avengers," it's not inconceivable that some of his rep company will appear somewhere in the picture, but it won't be in a central role. Our point is that, really, sites who should know far better should think twice when the Summer-Glau-for-"Wonder-Woman" rumors rear their inevitable head.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Super Hero Films, Uncharted, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, The Avengers


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates