Gears of War Movie Cast
Movie is greenlit
Yes, just as Mass Effect has been greenlit for a movie so has Gears of War. Also like Mass Effect, Gears of War is one of my favourite (<== this is correct spelling in Scotland) game franchises or all time. As a loyal fan I just wanted to add my voice to casting ideas. Agree with them or not, you might find it an interesting read.
Like before, lets assume a few things in terms of how this movie could be made. While a Mass Effect movie would require performance capture and use of a lot of green screen, I've always seen Gears of War as a John Carpenter like story. On the big screen today of course CGI will be used, but a lot could also be done practically. Most of the vehicles and weapons could be built for real and the locust soldiers could all be done with makeup and prosthetics.
Now that that's out of the way lets get started.
Marcus Fenix - Dominic Purcell
There's a few key things to get right when casting Marcus Fenix: the build; tough yet sympathetic and of course the voice. Purcell fulfills almost all three. The only exception is that his voice is much finer. However with this choice I think it would be a damn shame to pass up this choice. Purcell has proven time and again in many TV roles and movie appearances that he can truly act his socks off when he puts the effort in.
Marcus has always been a character that conveys absolute authority and badassery (not a real word), but also someone who is fare from a superman who always does the right thing. Fenix manages to demonstrate a certain humanity and vulnerability which is what makes him such a good protagonist for the games. Purcell's performance in prison break is exactly that: a badass, but with feelings.
I personally believe in this choice from a performance standpoint enough that I think a little vocal work would be enough to secure Purcell as the perfect on screen Marcus Fenix.
Dominic Santiago - Karl Urban
On the flip side, Dominic Santiago is more like the every man of the Gears of War cast. Sure he is a good soldier, but that's not what defines his character. What does define his character is his down to Earth (or down to Sera) personality. Dom manages to come across as just some guy and as a result the focus of his character is his personal story.
So in terms of performances to match this look no further than Karl Urban in Doom. And yes I know how bad that game-movie adaptation was, but Karl Urban was the best part because he put the most effort into it. He came across as exactly what I just described: a down to Earth soldier who's easy to relate to and invest in.
Plus, with a beard and jagged hair he fits the look perfectly.
Damon Baird - Chris Pine
Baird is best described as a cocky and wise cracking, but ultimately very useful and delivers when he has too. So when looking to actors who could get that across the most obvious and best choice is captain James T Kirk - Chris Pine. This choice was made because Pine as captain Kirk already conveys many characteristics of Baird: cocky and laid back, but still good at what he does.All Pine needs to do is change his hair colour, turn up the asshole factor a little and we have a solid Damon Baird.
Augustus Cole - Lester Speight
To prove my point I could just say "look to the right". For the role of Cole (hey that rhymed) I would've considered someone like Terry Crews or Rampage Jackson...that is until you see what Lester Speight actually looks like: the guy is f***ing huge! He's already proven that he owns the role from an acting standpoint and once you see the 6 foot 5 inches bodybuilder in cosplay armour any other considered choice for the part is out the window.
Colonel Hoffman - R.Lee Ermey
What do we need from Hoffman? We need a loud mouthed, in your face, stereotypical drill sergeant with a presence that could rob the screen from any other cast member. So you go to R.Lee Ermey. This guys barely needs an introduction. This real life ex-military drill sergeant stole the show in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket and would bring everything Hoffman is in the game to the screen.
A few may question this choice considering the guy is on the elderly side, but then again Lester Speight is 50 years old. Modern film technology also allowed Christopher Lee to lightsaber duel with Samurai like grace in Star Wars 2 and 3. So even if R.Lee Ermey is taken over by a stunt double for a lot of the film, it's still worth it to have him deliver as the perfect movie Hoffman.
Sergeant Minh - Jason Scott Lee
Here's the thing with Minh...nobody really cares. He was really just there to get killed so Marcus could replace him as leader of the squad. That being said however, Jason Scott Lee would be great choice mainly because he is fare from forgettable. Jason Scott Lee has undeniable on screen charisma in every role he's in so in a movie he could actually inject some life into Minh that was missing in the first game. Anyone could play Minh, but Jason Scott Lee looks the part and could bring his own style to the role. This would make it way more significant when Minh does get a giant dagger through his chest.
P.S Lee also gets bonus points for actually being able to fight and fight well. It would be awesome to see locust troops get kung-fu flipped into walls.
Anya - Tricia Helfer
I just want to get rid of a misunderstanding which has been annoying me for a while, but is perfectly understandable: Tricia Helfer is not just eye candy. Like anyone with five working senses I can of course see that Tricia Helfer is gorgeous. However I also know a good actress when I see one. Many forget that Helfer's role as number six in Battlestar Galactica was in fact her first real acting gig. Considering that in the course of BSG she played about seven different versions of the same character we should all acknowledge that she does have some acting chops.
In the first Gears of War Anya is mainly relegated to a voice on the end of a radio so many might think it would be insane to use Tricia Helfer for her voice alone. Once again I understand this argument, but point out that Tricia Helfer has already gained fans for a voice part alone in Mass Effect 2. True she was a A.I but it was still a good vocal performance.
Letting Helfer take on the role of Anya would let her prove once and for all that she is a talented actress. Although I'm not saying her stunning looks couldn't grace the screen in Gears of War sequels.
General Raam - Manu Bennett
Despite the acting requirements of general Raam essentially boiling down to saying "hostels" or "blaaagh" he's still an effective villain who deserves attention. Manu Bennett of Spartacus: Blood and Sand has the build and is already playing Azog in The Hobbit so he'll be used to the make-up/performance capture work needed to play a locust.
Simple, but effective.
Chairman Prescott - Michael Shannon
Can you tell I recently saw Man of Steel? As I said before in my Mass Effect list: Michael Shannon has gravitas! Who better to deliver those great speeches than general Zod? Michael Shannon also has the physical stature for an audience to believe that he was a Gear himself. More of a minor role in the first installment, but one which Shannon could excel at in future.
Locust Queen - Cate Blanchett
Much like Shannon and Helfer, Blanchett's part would be small in the first film, but become more significant in the sequels. Also like Helfer's role as number six, the locust Queen is a villainess that you find yourself routing for. Blanchett has the graceful presence of an evil Queen and can be just as terrifying. Remember that bit in Fellowship of the Ring? You know what I mean.
Again with the Mass Effect cast, I'll talking about the sequels when they get this movie right. That's all for now. Comment below with your own choices - I'd love to read them.