With the news this week that Syfy has commissioned a pilot script for a one-hour drama based on DC Comics superhero Booster Gold (with whom this writer has a passing acquaintance), ComicBook.com has written a couple of articles following up on the news. Today, with most of the comics industry quiet for the holiday weekend, we're looking at casting a Booster Gold TV pilot, who might be a good fit for the characters and why. Feel free to contribute your thoughts in the comments section below!
James Roday, the star of the long-running USA Network show Psych, may have put on a few pounds and a half-dozen years since that show began, but his acerbit delivery and ability to transition seamlessly from comedy to drama makes him an ideal choice for a character like Booster, whose character demands a healthy dose of both.
Why not Eric Martsolf, who did an admirable job bringing the Greatest Hero You've Never Heard Of to life on Smallville earlier this year? Well, it's just an age thing. Ultimately, superheroes should start young and Roday is already over thirty--while Martsolf is over 40. By the time a script is written and greenlit, ev erything is put together and shot, Martsolf could be starring in his first pilot as the title character--playing an action hero which requires a good deal of physical work and who's supposed to be fresh out of college--closer to age 50 than 45. And why not Community star Joel McHale? He may have become an internet favorite within hours of the announcement, but he's probably a little too comical and acerbic for a one-hour drama and has never really shown an ability to play anything straight yet.
Roday has recently starred in a superhero-themed episode of Psych, and an early episode revolved around the two central characters solving a murder at a comic book convention, so he's no stranger to the comics community and the unique demands they can place on the people acting in its sphere--hell, the Psych cast have been fixtures at the San Diego Comic Con for a few years now, always to warm reception, and so he's already an invited guest in the genre TV jungle.
Skeets - Billy West
There's just no other choice. Billy West, who voiced Skeets in Justice League Unlimited and Batman: the Brave and the Bold, perfectly embodied Booster's bionic buddy. In the same way a previous article said that the pilot has to have Skeets, it's almost as important that Skeets have West's voice. Ross Douglas, who voiced the "stuck-in-Booster's-head" version of Skeets in Smallville did a fine job but just wasn't quite right.
Besides, after the return of Futurama, for West to return to a character he's voiced in the past just always feels right.
In spite of being best known as Mike Delfino on the ABC's primtime soap Desperate Housewives, Denton is a guy whose considerable skill as a voice actor has brought him to the DC Universe once before, as Superman in the recent direct-to-video release of All-Star Superman.
Going from zero to Superman in one move is a bit like deciding that you're going to play baseball and then going pro the next week, so we're guessing Denton doesn't have any self-confidence problems.
Besides looking good with a five o'clock shadow and a T-shirt, Denton embodies the way Rip Hunter has been depicted recently in that he's a little older than Booster, but not ACTUALLY old enough to be his dad. As Delfino, he's also had a decade or so of playing a character who's deathly serious in the face of crazy plot twists and insane people, but not entirely unwilling to crack a smile when the tension finally melts away. That's Rip all over.
Usually, Schram plays a bit of a delicate flower (which suits Trixie pretty well); the choice of image at right is really just inspired by its resemblance to a popular image of Katchoo from Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise. As we've seen in Unstoppable and her recent turn on Once Upon a Time, though (she played Cinderella), Schram is capable of taking that softness and vulnerability and adding a little edge to it, so that it feels to the viewer like her character is either pulling something or, at a minimum, could take care of herself when the chips are down. That's what I've always felt about Trixie Collins, Booster's personal assistant from Dan Jurgens' 1980s run on the title. She's also a great candidate for a will-they-or-won't-they arc, even if it's one-sided and Booster is a bit oblivious (that's how they played it in the comics).
Between Once Upon a Time and Falling Skies, Schram has also become something of a genre TV staple this year, and as a Veronica Mars alum, really who wouldn't like to see her succeed? Adding one more title that that part of her resume (especially in a featured role with a smaller cast than Falling Skies) might be seen as good for her, too--an opportunity to take her to the next level.
With Chuck wrapping up production any day now and no TV gig to look forward to, it would be great to see some of that show's cast find their way into big roles on other shows. And Gomez would have to lose the beard, but other than that, what's not to like about bringing Morgan Grimes over to the DCU to play Booster's longtime best pal and second banana?
Hell, a lot of the time it's basically the same character.
There's really no need to have a Ted Kord who can be an action hero as well, since Blue Beetle is likely off the table (Jaime is popular with younger viewers and has appeared as the character on TV before), but it seems likely that playing the show somewhat straight will require Booster to get technical and/or
historical help of the type he routinely needed from S.T.A.R. Labs and the Justice League in the '80s. That's a great role for Ted to fill, and placing him in it would allow DC Entertainment and Syfy to please all of the people all of the time, at least in theory.
Jack Soo - John Cho
Rip Hunter's assistant at S.T.A.R. Labs in the original Booster Gold series could be a great addition to diversify the cast a little, since most of the characters who hang around Booster are lily-white. Cho has the cache of having appeared in the Harold and Kumar and Star Trek movies, as well as a great screen presence both as a nice guy and an action hero, so whatever role they wanted to slot the character into, he could be equipped to handle it.
One of the few recurring villains in Booster's early series, Broderick was only a bad guy in the loosest sense of the term. As a police officer from the future, he becomes enraged when he thinks that Booster's fame and influence have been used to keep him from being prosecuted for stealing the time machine which brought him to the past (a capital offense, for reasons that are really pretty obvious when you think about it).
Bakula is, of course, no stranger to time travel as the star of one of the best-loved and longest-lasting genre TV shows ever, Quantum Leap. The inside joke alone would be worth making Broderick a somewhat larger character than he was in the comics, although Bakula's cache and paycheck might make him a one-arc character. Either way, I'd love to see this perpetually nice guy play a villain.
Having lost the wonderful Men of a Certain Age a year after Bakula's character was killed on Chuck, now is as good a time as any to try and convince one of TV's best character actors that now is the time to start leaping through time again.