Kingdom Come (beautifully painted by Alex Ross, and masterfully written by Mark Waid) is my favourite comic, detailing a future world where a younger generation of super powered people battle with each other, taking little note of the danger that this causes to the average person on the street.
The story pulls the older generation of DC’s heroes – Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Flash, and others – into the modern world to impose their values and guidance, with escalating consequences. The events unfold through the eyes of Norman McCay, a preacher at the point of questioning his faith, and who acts as the mortal guide for the divinely powered Spectre.
Whilst this would be great for a movie, the quality of TV shows is in a golden age (e.g. The Newsroom, Hell on Wheels, Mad Men, etc) and offers a longer, paced way to tell the story and really explore the characters and events. I’d love to have the likes of Joss Whedon involved – given his ability to really show an emotional connection between iconic level characters – along with Aaron Sorkin‘s level of writing talent (The Newsroom, A Few Good Men, The West Wing).
This list showcases who I would put forward for a 12-episode version, and I’d be interested to hear your own thoughts on the actors selected with some of your own views.
Superman: Anson Mount
Superman has gone through a very difficult period and withdrawn from humanity. Kingdom Come follows his re-entry into the world and how he deals with the changes that have occurred since he left it.
My selection is based on Anson’s character in Hell on Wheels, Cullen Bohannan. Anson delivers a strong performance as a man whose world unravels, and then how he is pulled into a lawless community where his values help to pull them together. He has the required physical build and his aged look works well for the Superman of KC.
Batman: Bryan Cranston
Batman’s world has also changed, with his identity no longer a secret. KC also shows us Bruce Wayne wearing an exoskeleton, a result of years fighting crime.
Bryan Cranston showed a great dual identity in Breaking Bad, shifting between the hapless schoolteacher and feared drug lord. His eyes shine with a keen intelligence and we also see him skirt certain death through the force of his intellect.
Wonder Woman: Maggie Siff
The ageless Wonder Woman is a warrior in KC, taking a harder line on crime, expelled from her people due to her failure to convert humanity.
Choosing Maggie Siff for this role was much less obvious than some of the other selections. Her role in Sons of Anarchy, shows that she can have a strong focused side, however bulking up to represent the part in KC could be challenging.
Norman McCay: Scott Wilson
Norman McCay is the narrator of the KC story, showing us how events unfold, grounding us in through his humanity. As a preacher whose faith has been tested, he reveals the changing world through scriptural references.
In The Walking Dead, Scott Wilson demonstrates beautifully how his calm demeanor and strong values helps to guide people through difficult times.
The Spectre: Michael Trucco
The Spectre is the agent of the Lord’s vengeance. In the past he has been connected to a human host who grounds him, however in KC he instead works with Norman McCay as his guide.
Selecting Michael Trucco for this role was a simple choice, based on his role in the updated Battlestar Galactica TV series. Without spoiling anything for those that haven’t yet watched BSG, I’ll limit my summary to saying that physically he can pull the role off and his ability to demonstrate a detachment to events is also clearly covered.
Lex Luthor: Jeff Daniels
Lex Luthor has come to see his great fear realised as superheroes run unchecked. He has built an alliance with some powerful people to challenge the unfolding chaos.
Having just finished watching The Newsroom, I was blown away by Jeff Daniels character. Smart, in control and powerful – this would be a great Luthor, one who could carry the powerhouse presence required to represent a global corporate leader.
Magog: Donal Logue
Magog is the catalyst that gets the story moving. He is a physically powerful presence that shows the hard line that heroes are taking in the changing world.
I’m not as sure of this selection, however Donal Logue has demonstrated some very powerful roles (such as in Sons of Anarchy) as well as showing he can put in the physical work required to bulk up (check out Blade, from back in the day).
Von Bach: Hafþór Björnsson
Von Bach is a great example of the new ‘heroes’. He is one of the physically largest of the KC cast with an imposing frame and some questionable views on how to dispense ‘justice’.
In his role as The Mountain (from Game of Thrones), the former international strong man, Hafþór Björnsson, is a giant of a man. It would be great to see him throw down against Superman.
Captain Marvel/ Shazam: Joe Manganiello
Captain Marvel, a magically empowered superhero, commands the respect and fear of various factions within the KC story, and is a key player.
Joe Manganiello (from True Blood) has the ideal good looks of someone who might be blessed by a pantheon of Gods. His physical build was a key criteria in selecting him for this line up.
A 12 episode run for a first season seems like the right amount of time to show back stories, build a depth for the key characters, develop the world and dig into the wider moral issues. Whilst comics have moved along since Kingdom Come first came out, the cycle of change is timeless – with one generation pushing at the values and foundations that the previous generation put in place.
What do you think? Do you agree with the casting? Are there different people you’d cast in these roles?