Casting Jonathan Maberry’s ‘Department Zero’

It would seem that my post regarding the announcement of Joe Ledger coming to life has sparked some intrigue from the online world. Since I hit “publish” on July 10th, the entry has received over 100 hits from Twitter, Facebook, and search engine inquiries. I’m a bit proud of this, not going to lie.

Also since publishing that entry I’ve been asked by some about what my thoughts on casting are.  Since Monday’s have kind of turned into a “Josh Update” day rather than digital world entries, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my thoughts. But first:

Disclaimer: Please note that I am just a REALLY big fan of the Joe Ledger series. I have no information other than what has been posted on Mr. Maberry’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. I’m not even sure if Department Zero is still the working title for any possible show. It should be though…it should be.

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That being said- I’ve had to change my thoughts a bit since it’s been announced that they will be starting the series with the fifth book “Extinction Machine.” Even so I am still throwing out names for characters from that book as well as previous entries in the series.

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Victor Garber in Alias. Image courtesy of TVGuide.com

I have been surfing through IMDB looking at actors I know of and discovering a few I hadn’t heard of in an effort to pick out the perfect cast. It hasn’t been easy since I’m trying to base my selections on acting abilities more than their physical match to the character.

Victor Garber as Mr. Church: If his work on Alias has proved anything it’s that Victor Garber has what it takes to play the stone
cold leader of the Department of Military Sciences. His role on the aforementioned show earned him three Emmy nominations. I would have to say that Garber is my top choice for Mr. Church. His career speaks for itself with a range of comedic to dramatic work, proving he can fit in with any cast of characters. I would love to see him take the reins of the DMS and kick some serious bad guy butt!

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Ryan Reynolds. Image courtesy of .tumblr.com

Ryan Reynolds or Josh Duhamel as Joe Ledger: Ok this was a tough one to cast. I love everything about Joe Ledger and I think any actor would have his work cut out for him when it comes to the role. My mind instantly went to Jeffery Donovan and Jensen Ankles as lead contenders for the role. Donovan just coming off of Burn Notice would be a great choice but I don’t know if he could play the younger Joe Ledger who is in his early 30’s (Donovan having just celebrated his 46th birthday in May). Ankles is tired to Supernatural and as far as I can tell- that’s not heading out any time soon. That leaves Duhamel or Reynolds. I think both have the right wit and charm for the role and aren’t afraid to get physical.  Both are amazing actors and would be a great fit.  Close runner up would be Chris Pratt but with his new ties to the Marvel universe, I doubt there’s room in his contract to play another character in a sci-fi series.

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Emily Blunt. Image courtesy of OuchPress.com

Emily Blunt as Grace Courtland: Honestly Emily Blunt was the first actress to pop into my mind while reading Patient Zero and she has lived there ever since. She has proved that she can kick some major butt and look good while doing it. There’s no question in my mind on this one. Get on it Hollywood!

Aaron Yoo as Dr. William Hu: Haven’t heard of him? Watch the 2008 film 21 and you’ll have an idea why I’m giving Yoo the role. Like Grace, my mind went immediately to this actor when reading Hu for the first time and he has stuck there ever since. He knows how to play the genius as well as the fool and Hu is a combination of both.

Jessica Biel as Dr. Circe O’Tree: I feel like I grew up with Biel but didn’t really like her as an actress until I saw her kick some major vampire butt in Blade: Trinity. That’s what inspired me to consider her for this role. I think Biel would do Circe justice on only on the human side of the character but the one that doesn’t take nonsense from anyone and can handle herself in a fight.

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Josh Gunderson (Me). Image courtesy of joshgunderson.com

Josh Gunderson as Jerome “Bug” Williams: Did you really think this wasn’t going to happen? We really don’t get a taste of Bug until Dragon Factory but he’s the heart of the DMS. He has a playful personality and is just as much of a geek as Dr. Hu but he isn’t as much of a jerk. I think I could do a character like this justice and it’s the dream role for someone who knows he isn’t going to be playing an action hero any time soon. It would be a dream to play a small part in this universe and I think Bug is the role for me. I can be a geek- anyone who has ever seen my programs on anti-bullying or even my stand up would agree. I have heart, I have soul and I am a massive nerd.

Whoopi Goldberg as Aunt Sallie: Just read the books. Seriously. It would be hilariously amazing. Anyone who disagrees should be fired from life.

So those are my thoughts for now. Echo team is amazingly difficult to cast right now. I have a lot of thoughts but I’m going to need to do some movie/TV watching to get a good feel for who I’d like to see on the team. I would really love to see Michelle Rodriquez in there somewhere. I absolutely love her in everything and she can kick some major butt.

I’d love to hear what others think about these casting choices and offer up suggestions of their own! You can feel free to comment below (so many people e-mail me, I promise you can comment below without a wordpress account!).

Until next time!

-Josh

Main image courtesy of Jonathan Maberry’s Facebook fan page.

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