This article was prompted by a discussion thread with my friends at Halo Podcast evolved. Some of the actors chosen here were also chosen in that thread by myself and others.
Hypothetically, if a Halo live-action movie were to be made, who would you like to see play the characters? Let’s not get bogged down with which era of the Halo-verse the movie would be in. Rather, let’s talk about key players and some not so key players who might be in the movie(s).
Before we go forward, suffice to say that if the voice actors would be available for the roles, they at the least would be best for the voice if not the action part. As in the case of Master Chief, Steve Downes would virtually be a must for the voice, but could be played by another actor for the live-action part.
Master Chief: Voice Steve Downes, Action Daniel CudmoreThese are easy choices. It would be hard to hear anyone else other than Steve as Master Chief. However, if he’s either not available or they’d want someone younger, then the voice actor for Chief in Forward Unto Dawn would be a good choice. Cudmore has enough of the height at 6’10” and again has already played Chief. He’s also known for his role as Colossus in the X-Men movies a character who is tall and armored (well in that he can make his skin steel-like).
Cortona: There is NO question who would do the voice here. Jen Taylor is the ONLY choice in my opinion. Anyone else just wouldn’t do justice to the voice/character, IMO. As for the action part, Mackenzie Mason, the actress who played the motion capture part of Cortana for Halo 4 would be optimal. There are several women out there though who could play the role. Would 343 go for a more well known actor here? Jennifer Lawrence could fit that role. Heh, she’s already been half naked and blue as her role of Mystique in the X-Men movies. So it’s not a stretch for her. She would obviously bring start power to the physical part of the role. Question is, would she want to be blue and possibly half naked again? LOL Also, would she do the part without having the voice too??
Dr. Catherine Halsey
Okay, I know you might want to have Jen Taylor again in this voice role. However, it’s not as important for the voice here. Could she pull off the acting for it? Of course. However, I think a little more star power might be needed in this role. Any one of the four women above would do great. Spacek looks much the part. Streep would be great but may be too pricey and might not want to have a role such as this. Helen Mirren would certainly bring the sass to the role. Sarandon would bring a bit of sass too but more Americanized.
Captain Jacob Keyes
Okay, again, voice actors notwithstanding (Pete Stacker is the voice for Keyes, and YES, that is his name. He also voices Sgt. Pete Stacker who was of course named for him), this character can be played by others. A young Keyes could be played by Brett Dalton of Agents of SHIELD fame. For a commanding voice Patrick Warburton I think fits this role well. Ty Burell is my wife’s choice. Maybe, but he’s not so commanding of a presence.
Commander Miranda Keyes
Regardless of choice from which version of Miranda, I do not think we could go wrong with either Emily Blunt or Lauren Cohan. Blunt might be a little more accessible what with Cohan playing Maggie on The Walking Dead. Both are English actors, so of course they’d have to drop that for the role. Cohan plays a convincing American already, so we know she could do it.
Sgt. Avery Johnson
There are TWO who immediately come to mind.
Skin color aside, (as we know, Johnson was much lighter in earlier games whereas he was changed to be darker complexioned in Halo 2 Anniversary), Dwayne Johnson would be awesome. He has that presences, has played military (GI Joe) and is BIG! Since Sgt. Johnson was an Orion, the precursor to the Spartan project, who’s to say he couldn’t be tall?? Idris Elba IMO, is the only other choice. He has the look for sure, has a commanding presences as well and as you can see from the pic, has played military too. Now, I know some of you may say, well what about Samuel L. Jackson. Yes, he’d be great in the role. However, he’s getting up there in age, and he’s been in just about everything. While Johnson in the games is supposed to be in his 60s, with the change in look from Halo 2 Anniversary, a younger actor would be more suited for the role. Both The Rock and Elba fit that here.
A side note, if the Rock didn’t get the part, he’d be FANTASTIC for a role as a Spartan or Elite or Brute! Again, his height and size would completely fit. Hmm, maybe Tartarus also? If not these, then Master Chief? Not the voice, but certainly the action part.
Chief Petty Officer Mendez
I am strongly supportive of giving roles to actors who fit the ethnicity of a character. The two above most certainly fit that for Mendez. Not only that though, both are strong actors. Edward James Almos may be too old for the part. However, Mendez is rather old by the time Chief is a full grown Spartan. We know Almos can do the role as he play Adama in the reboot of Battlestar Galactica. Javier Bardem would definitely bring a presence to screen. He has the look of a hardened career military man. He plays the role of Chigurh in “No Country For Old Men”. A powerful character to be sure.
Captain Tom Lasky
The voice of Tom Lasky is Darren O’Hare. He does the motion capture as well for the character. I like his bit of swagger, so I’d like to see him ultimately play the role. If however, he wouldn’t be chosen, Matthew MacFadyen of “Pride and Prejudice” fame would be a great choice. He’s about the right age for Lasky, has a soothing (albeit deeper) voice. He’s English, so again, he’s have to Americanize his accent to fit the role.
Okay, this may seem like a crowded field, so allow me to explain my picks here. Inset is Jennifer Hale. She’s the voice of Palmer in the games. She’s not as youthful as the character in looks, but would still be a great choice. Vedette Lim is the look of Palmer. Maybe a tag team again with Hale as the voice and Lim as the action? The other 5 actors are tall, so they fit that criteria for the character. Famke Janssen has that kind of ‘attitude’ look on her face that you expect from Palmer. Saffron Burrows I think looks the most like Palmer (outside of Lim of course). Adrianne Palicki is known for action roles now with her character on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. She was also slated to be the actor to play Wonder Woman before that project was canned. So she can easily fill the role as a leader. Rachel Nichols has been in pseudo military projects like GI Joe and her starring role in Continuum is a testament to her presence. Lastly, Gwendoline Christie is most definitely known for her height. I’m not a big fan of hers with regards to acting. However, she could definitely be the body under the armor and do the motion capture for any of the CG of Palmer that would be put into the movie.
So we all know that Mike Colter is the action (and was the voice) of Locke. His voice was replaced by Ike Amadi, who would be okay in the action role. My pick however would go to a veteran actor. That person is Morris Chestnut. He definitely looks the part and in my opinion is a MUCH better actor than Mike Colter.
Keith Szarabajka Is the voice of the Didact, so he makes sense to reprise his role. If not him then perhaps Hugo Weaving?
Less you forget, Hugo was the voice of Megatron in the Transformer movies. He most certainly can do a commanding voice, such as the Didacts..
The voice actor, Lori Tritel is of course perfect. However, if star power is needed, Kate Blanchett is an excellent choice. Not to mention if Hugo Weaving would be the Didact, there is that Lord of the Rings connection of he as Lord Elrond and her as Lady Galadriel.
So what do you think of my picks? Got any other picks for the characters I showed? Reply below. Oh, and if you feel the need to be critical of my choices, at least be nice about it.