I'm sure we're all well aware that the stigma of bad video game movies is still in the air. No film has yet to right that wrong. But while Blizzard Entertainment's big-budget adaptation of Warcraft didn't do so hot with critics, it did manage to take in the largest box office of any gaming-based movie adaptation to date. As far as I'm concerned, Blizzard pushed the genre in the right direction.
Now, with a bit of Hollywood experience under its belt, what if Blizzard continued its cinematic endeavors with a live-action adaptation of Overwatch? Sure, it'd make way more sense for a feature-length Overwatch film to be completely computer animated — the Pixar-esque Overwatch shorts are brilliant — but it's always fun to speculate! Here's who I think would likely be cast as each of the heroes in a live-action adaptation of Overwatch...
Gal Gadot As Pharah
Gal Gadot certainly has the look and the action chops to do the character of Pharah justice (pun intended). Gadot's military background is also a perfect mirror to this loyal and duty-bound soldier. The matchup is so perfect that I honestly can't picture any other actress in this role.
Think Gal Gadot would be the perfect Pharah?
Shohreh Aghdashloo As Ana
As with Gadot playing Pharah, there was really only one actress who could portray Ana. Shohreh Aghdashloo manages to encapsulate everything that makes up the character: her warmth, experience, and her aptitude for being one powerful woman.
Would Shohreh Aghdashloo be a good Ana Amari?
Stephen Lang As Soldier: 76
Who better to play a grizzled war hero than bona fide badass Stephen Lang? No one, I say. Actually, I thought about Liam Neeson for a second, but Stephen Lang edged out the part of Soldier: 76 for me. It's his square jaw that won me over. But really, Lang already played the part of Jack Morrison in Avatar and in the ill-fated Terra Nova. He'd likely own this role, hard.
Stephen Lang? As Soldier: 76? Think he'd work?
Demián Bichir As Reaper
For Reaper, I looked for an actor who would be a good physical foil to Lang's Soldier: 76, since the two characters have a lot of history together in the lore. Both Lang and Bichir have that square jaw, perfect for the typecast soldier role. I figure Bichir would be under the Reaper mask the whole time, but he does bear a resemblance to pre-Reaper Gabriel Reyes in the flashbacks.
So Demián Bichir as Reaper. Yay or nay?
Toby Kebbell As Winston
Toby Kebbell is no stranger to performance capture work, and he's also a Blizzard movie veteran. This casting just. Makes. Sense. And he also has experience portraying a hyper-intelligent ape! With what Kebbel did with the character of Durotan in Warcraft, I feel like Blizzard is indebted to him. The guy is a rock-solid performance capture artist.
Think Toby Kebbell would do Winston fans proud?
Natalie Dormer As Widowmaker
Natalie Dormer is beautiful, seductive, alluring, and she does speak a bit of French, though she's not fluent. She was also a gun-toting heroine in the two Mocking Jay films. So along with her disarming looks, her acting experience would also aid in bringing the resident femme fatale of Overwatch to life. But I mean, her looks, though. Just look at the photo comparison! Dormer is Widowmaker.
Does Natalie Dormer have the look of Widowmaker?
John Tui As Roadhog
Roadhog is a big dude, so I need a big actor! And while Roadhog's ethnicity is said to be Australian, I'm certain he's Polynesian, which is why I chose Tui for this role. Tui was also Bolg in The Hobbit films, so he has a bit of performance capture experience. Which is great! Because I think Roadhog would be a completely CG character akin to Durotan in Warcraft or Hulk in The Avengers.
John Tui as Roadhog. Thoughts?
Tom Hiddleston As Junkrat
Hiddleston has played the maniacal Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films quite well, I'm sure you'll all agree. I've no doubt that he'd portray the deranged, unhinged, crazed Junkrat with similar tenacity. While his performances as Loki have been truly villainous, I think Hiddleston cutting loose and going nuts as Junkrat would be loads of fun to see on the big screen.
Tom Hiddleston as Junkrat. Penny for your thoughts?
Rebecca Ferguson As Mercy
She might not be Swiss, but Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson has both exquisite beauty and the charisma that I think would gel really well with the compassionate character of Mercy. She was a total badass in Rogue Nation, so I think it'd be cool to see Ferguson glide around as Angela Ziegler in epic action set pieces, all while damage boosting Gal Gadot.
Think Rebecca Ferguson is a good choice for Mercy?
Iko Uwais As Genji
Iko Uwais kicks ass, plain and simple. His stunt work and martial arts sequences are among the craziest I've ever seen on film. It's real easy to see why he'd be able to make Genji do incredible physical feats in live action. But I'd maybe leave Genji's voice work to a traditional Japanese actor, since Uwais is Indonesian. That said, I'd cast Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai, Sunshine) to voice Genji.
How do you feel about casting Iko Uwais as Genji?
Ralf Moeller As Reinhardt
Reinhardt is a big guy from Germany. Ralf Moeller is also a big guy from Germany. I best remember him as Brakus from Best of the Best II, but most of you will likely remember him as Maximus's big German friend in Gladiator. The actor is about the right age to portray Reinhardt, and he's in fantastic shape to boot. Can you imagine this guy swinging a big-ass hammer around? Epic.
Would Ralf Moeller faithfully portray Reinhardt on the big screen?
Gwendoline Christie As Zarya
Who wouldn't want to see Brienne of Tarth with short pink hair in power armor, while wielding a giant particle cannon? I'm sure Gwendoline Christie would have loads of fun in this role. Her energy and larger-than-life personality are equal to her own physicality, and I think those are the most important elements needed to properly put Zarya on display in a live-action adaptation.
Your thoughts on Gwendoline Christie as Zarya?
Bingbing Fan As Mei
Bingbing Fan's Hollywood sample size is a bit small at the moment, but I thought she looked cool (yes, yes) as Blink in Days of Future Past. Fan shares a similar look to Mei, and she would also draw in a sizable chunk of the foreign market with her popularity overseas. I was going to close this with another ice pun, but I think one is enough.
Do you think Bingbing should be Mei?
John Boyega As Lucio
John Boyega's spritely demeanor, both on film and in real life, could make a live-action Lucio the best character in a movie. Ever. I'm biased, though, as I spend most of my time in Overwatch playing as Lucio. I hear a lot of folk say that life can be rough as a support main, but Lucio is so chill that I never see it that way. And Boyega seems like a super chill dude, too, so he and Lucio? It's a match!
Would John Boyega make a good Lucio?
Jamie Chung As D.Va
Jamie Chung has a youthful exuberance about her, despite being older than the character. Chung also did the voice work as Go Go Tomago in Big Hero 6, a character whose personality is pretty similar to that of D.Va, i.e., they both can be sarcastic, but are strong and defiant. Plus Chung is no stranger to piloting mechs with a bunny logo (See: Sucker Punch). So it'd be like riding a bike for her.
Jamie Chung as D.Va — would it work?
Jack Black As Torbjörn
Whether or not Torbjörn is a fully CG character or an actor squatting around in a lot of prosthetic makeup, I feel like Jack Black would be up for the challenge either way. His spirited enthusiasm as a comedic actor would go over really well with Torbjörn's playful and mischievous nature.
Could you see Jack Black as the 'Overwatch' weapons expert?
Edgar Ramírez As McCree
I based this casting purely off looks, and Ramírez does indeed look like the former Blackwatch operator. Can he pull off McCree's lone cowboy persona? Sure — but how about the accent? Probably. Ramírez did a good job of masking his Venezuelan accent with an American one in Zero Dark Thirty. Throw a cowboy hat and a poncho on this guy and you've got yourself one damn good McCree.
Would Edgar Ramírez be your choice to play McCree?
Brian Tee As Hanzo
This "Drift King" of Fast and Furious fame is a great choice to bring the elder Shimada brother to the big screen; he's right around the age of Hanzo, and he has his physicality. Which is perfect since he'd likely be bare-chested for all of scenes thanks to Hanzo's traditional Kyudo garb.
Would Brian Tee as Hanzo be amazing, or what?
Doug Jones As Zenyatta
Much like Roadhog, I could see Zenyatta being an entirely CG character. However, I'd wager that Doug Jones would have no problem slipping into an actual, practical omnic suit. This lithe, slender, and underrated actor is responsible for creating some of the most memorable creature performances on film. Taking on a live-action Zenyatta would be a walk in the park for this seasoned character actor.
Do you think Doug Jones should be Zenyatta?
Priyanka Chopra As Symmetra
She's relatively new to most, but this former Bollywood actress is on the rise and quickly gaining fame throughout the world. Chopra has this regality about her that suits the likes of Symmetra. And let's not overlook the fact that Chopra is also the same height, and roughly the same age, as the Vishkar Corporation's best agent. This casting was meant to be.
Priyanka Chopra as Symmetra. Good or bad casting?
Felicity Jones As Tracer
Tracer is kind of the physical embodiment of the "manic pixie girl" trope. Felicity Jones? She has experience portraying the manic pixie girl type in Like Crazy. So not only does the actress share the same looks and nationality as Tracer, but she's also is very capable of channeling the character's frantic charisma.
Think Felicity Jones has what it takes to be Tracer?
Bill Hader As Bastion
Bill Hader helped create the voice for BB-8 in The Force Awakens, and it was recently announced he's voicing Alpha 5 in the upcoming Power Rangers reboot. If Blizzard were to cast someone who could help bring Overwatch's affably curious robot onto the big screen, I think Bill Hader would be their man.
Do you think Bill Hader would be good as Bastion?
Check out the full short below, Overwatch: The Last Bastion.
And there it is! I think I put together a decent ensemble for a live-action Overwatch film, but I want to know what you thought! Did you agree or disagree with any of my casting choices? Have an idea of who would be a better choice for a particular hero? Let me know in the comments below!