Monday, June 25, 2012

Billy Purgatory: I am the Devil Bird Casting the Movie

So, thanks to the powers of the internet and Twitter’s general bad-assery I got into a discussion with the author of the book (@JesseJFreeman on twitter. You guys should follow him! He’s really awesome and personable and seems like a genuinely good guy.) and a few other people talking about who should be cast in the movie if ever there was one made based on the book. I… took this as a personal challenge to see if I could cast it. Below is my ideas and thoughts on casting the movie if it were to ever get made. And that  idea is simply:

Bruce Campbell as everyone in Bruce Campbell: I am the Bruce Campbell. (Thus endeth an inside joke I had with the author in which we both heartily concurred that Bruce Campbell should be cast as everyone. Yes, I know it’s not very funny on the outside looking in, but trust me, Its Hi-larious!)

Rib-ticklers aside, I’m dividing up the casting for each character in two different sections, when applicable. The first is the “In a perfect world, if only it could be done” dream-casting of the character and the second is a better real world option.

12 year-old Billy Purgatory

Dream-casting – All the best parts of Christian Slater from the 80’s. I’m talking I want Gleaming The Cube bad-ass skater boy rebel era Christian Slater with smart mouthed hell-raiser Heathes Christian Slater with just enough Legend of Billy Jean Christian Slater mixed in for good measure. Because that’s exactly who Billy Purgatory is, plain and simple.
Real world casting – I…. have no idea. I don’t know enough about up-and-coming twelve year-olds to say for sure. But if I was forced at gunpoint to pick somebody, I’d say the kid who had to play young Snape in those flashbacks in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2. But that’s mainly because he has an edgy look but I’m not sure he could pull off sullen and smart-mouthed the way Billy is in the book.

Adult (ish) Billy Purgatory

Dream-casting – See above. Grown up Billy Purgatory still needs to be all the best parts of Christian and I’d add in a little bit of Pump Up the Volume era Christian Slater with just a dash of Kuffs Christian Slater. Remember that scene in Pump Up the Volume where Christian Slater takes off his shirt and kind of dances with the girl? That’s the kind of attitude Billy Purgatory has and would be needed to pull him off on the big screen, period.

Real world casting – Again, I’m kind of tapped here to figure out a perfect match. My best stab in the dark would be J.B Ghumman Jr. and that’s mostly because of his punk bad-ass character in Dakota Skye. Based on his role in Bickford Schmeckler’s Big Ideas I never would’ve guessed him for the punk bad-ass type, but I think he grunged himself up good and proper for Dakota Skye and I think he’d be good in this, but it’s really hard for me to tell if he could embody that 80’s Christian Slater bravado the part is screaming for, so who knows. Also, I wouldn’t put it past Patrick Fugit to pull the character off. Just a thought.

12 year-old Anastasia

Dream-casting – All the best parts of Beetlejuice era Winona Ryder with “My teenage angst bullshit now has a body count” Heathers era Winona Ryder period. Because Anastasia? That bitch is fierce ya’ll. First of all, when I hear the character as described, Winona’s black hair from Beetlejuice flashes into my mind. I know Anastasia has striking green eyes and Winona doesn’t, but there’s so much Winona in Anastasia that I can’t help but picture her in the role.

Real world casting – Ok, she’s probably too old now, but Chloe Moretz. Ok, hear me out. First of all, she’s already got the chops to play a vampire, so there’s that. I also think she’s got the right amount of intensity and come on, she brought it in Kick-ass. Yes the movie sucked, but it wasn’t her fault, not totally, so yeah.

Adult (ish) Anastasia

Dream-casting – See above. If Winona was a little younger, tell me she wouldn’t knock it out of the park.

Real world casting – She also might be a little to old for this, but the chick who played Ruby in the fourth season of Supernatural. Anastasia’s got to be sultry, beautiful, and sexy, but she also needs to know when to bring the terrifying. I think this girl exemplifies that to the T.


I have no idea who could make this work, twelve year-old version or grown up version. She’s only sparsely described and I can’t get a good sense of her physically to determine who could play her. I know she’s got strawberry blond curls, so maybe Emma Stone could play the adult version? Maybe? I dunno.

Uly Purgatory

Billy’s dad is such an oddball that the author had mentioned Crispin Glover, and you know how I love Crispin Glover, so I kind of agree with this decision, although not totally. For the first part of the book, Crispin as the sad, kooky old drunk father makes sense, but for the later part of the book, with the flashbacks to his army days and his crazy jaunt into the forest? Crispin couldn’t pull that off I don’t think. But I really think Jeff Kober can. He’s equal parts menace and soulfulness. I think he could pull off the very hard-core action sequences as well as the heartbroken old man we know in the first half of the book. Also up for consideration, Brad Dourif, even though he gives me the heebie-jeebies. And a close third would be Clifton Collins Jr. (If he combined his role from Boondock Saints II  with his role in Sunshine Cleaning).


Uncle Priest

Dreamcasting – Blue-Velvet era Dennis Hopper (RIP) plain and simple. Both are shudder inducing and menacing to the max.

Real World casting – Brad Dourif, because of the heebie-jeebies essentially.



Strangely enough, Cybil Shepherd, but only if she looks like this again.



Ok, hear me out. Tilda Swinton. I don’t really have an argument as for why, but it’s Tinda Effing Swinton! I shouldn’t need one.


Emelia Purgatory

Strangely enough, Naomi Watts, but she has to channel her character in Mulholland Drive to pull it off.


Mudder Kilroy

Dreamcasting – Dozer from Mask. Full disclosure. I freaking loved me some Dozer. There are many moments in Mask that get the tears to flow, but when he stutters how proud he is of Rocky? I lose my shit every freaking time. I just think he would be a good fit for the role, plain and simple. (edited to add! He's still alive! My dream casting went to real world casting post haste! Let's make this happen!)

Real World casting – Don’t ask me why, but Norman Reedus, if he buffed himself up a bit. He’s already proved he’s a bad-ass. I mean Boondock Saints anyone? What? No? Then Boondock Saints II bitches.(Yes, I'm obsessed with the Boondock Saints franchise. Shuddup!)



The character as written sounds like he’s built like a brick shithouse, my brain can only conjure up images of brawny WWE wrestlers and The Rock. But I know there are better options. Actually, I totally changed my mind. This new, more craggy version of Dolph Lundgren would fit the bill nicely, methinks.


The Devil Bird

Jesse J Freeman came up with this idea and I can’t refute it in the tiniest. Tom Waits would narrate the hell out of this part. 

So there you go. Are you listening Hollywood? Make this into a movie! I've already done most of the casting groundwork for you! You're welcome!


Jesse James said...

I'm gonna show this to Slater next time we go bowling!

(the Ruby From Supernatural one is my favorite)

The Bloody Munchkin said...

Make it happen! Also, tell him he and Max Perlich should do another movie while you're at it.

She was kind of crap shoot, but when she came to me, Ruby was like a bolt of lightening.