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The CAPTAIN CANUCK "Movie" Page

Lord West before the cameras

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This was a page I had toyed with doing for many months -- a kind of imaginary, all in fun, what if there was a Captain Canuck movie...? page. Well, recently (July 2005) it has been announced that Richard Comely has signed a deal with a production company and there is talk of both a movie and an animated series. Obviously, this is tentative. Just because a deal has been signed, or C.C. has been "optioned", doesn't mean a movie will actually be made. But it does mean it's a possibility. So, just for fun, I've decided to do a page speculating about such a project. And if you want to know more about these people, check out Northern Stars, The Great Canadian Guide to the Movies & TV and the Internet Movie Database.

And if you aren't familiar with these comic book characters, check out my pages on heroes and villains of Captain Canuck.

I first worked on this and posted it a few years ago -- adding or changing things from time to time. I realize that it's been long enough that something's change -- actors get older, new actors come along. New "signature" roles come along (I refer to Laurie Holden, but not to "The Walking Dead", because I posted this before that series). Sadly, some have passed away (such as Winston Rekert and Gordon Tootoosis). So for the moment I'm leaving it as is, simply as a look at the way I saw things a few years ago. Maybe I'll re-think it at some point. ALSO -- as of 2013, apparently a Captain Canuck animated webseries is being made (not rumoured, not planned, but actually in production)!


First off...Casting! ****

At the moment, I'm sticking to "Canadian" actors in my choices...which is a loosely defined definition, I know, since people both emigrate to, and from, the country. I'll also list movies/TV shows where you can check out appropriate performances (I'm not saying whether the movies themselves are great, merely that it might give you an idea as to whether the actor could play the part in question).

Since there have been three different Captain Canucks, a movie might feature any one of them...or a fourth interpretation entirely (although the original version is still the one most people think of when they think of the character). But since this site is focused to a large extent on the original C.C. -- that's the one we'll consider. So who should play Captain Canuck/Tom Evans, hero of millions and champion of Canada? Well, as a kid I was always rather impressed with the notion of Captain Canuck being "part Indian", referred to in a couple of issues. Some dialogue indicated that he was visibly part Indian (or metis) and he was often coloured darker than the other characters. I kind of get the impression not everyone thinks of C.C. that way, so I suspect that's not really going to be seen as important in any casting decision. But that's how I envisioned the character reading the comics as a kid and since I'm speculating about a "dream" movie, I'm factoring that in...because what's more quintessentially Canadian than a multilingual metis super hero?

So who could be short-listed as possible candidates for C.C....?

tahmoh penikettSince I first posted this "what if..." page a couple of years ago, another actor has come along who might shoulder his way to the upper echelons of candidates. Tahmoh Penikett probably has one of the best physiques for the job of the actors on this list, and even has a bit of that signature George Freeman-drawn lantern jaw. Penikett doesn't quite have that "part Indian" look attributed to the character -- except, I think I read that he really is part Native Indian! How perfect is that? Hmmm...wonder how good his French is? Penikett also has experience playing heroes with a lot of moral tenacity in series like the revised Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse -- and though those series are more "cult" shows than mainstream hits, nonetheless a sci-fi fandom recognition factor might not be a bad thing when doing a super hero/sci-fi movie.

raoul trujilloRaoul Trujillo (picture from www.raoultrujilloinfo.com) also comes prominently to mind. Versatille actor Trujillo (he's played everything from psycho villains to sex symbols to nice guys and leading man hero types) is Native Indian, of wildly mixed ancestry (I think everything from French to Mexican Indian). With a background as a dancer, he probably still has the physique (or could get back into shape). Another plus: Trujillo, I think, speaks French (at least he did in L'autumn sauvage), ideal for our bilingual hero. Negative: he might be pushing the top end of an appropriate age for the character. Viewings: episodes of Destiny Ridge. TV movies Black Fox, Trial at Fortitude Bay and Betrayal.

adam beachAdam Beach, another Native actor, Beach has been getting some high profile work even in American movies like Windtalkers and a series of TV movies based on Tony Hillerman's  Reservation-set mysteries. Beach definitely has grown as an actor and these days has that hero-thing going for him (investing a lot of compassion and heroic determination to some of his roles) -- plus he's got that Tom Cruise smile that should impress the ladies. Viewings: The Art of Woo, Harry's Case, Skinwalkers, A Thief of Time, Coyote Waits.

But, as I said, I suspect there are a lot of people who don't really focus on the "part Indian" thing, so who else would be an obvious front runner?

paul grossPaul Gross, naturally. Probably English-Canada's biggest domestic star, Gross has the heroic looks and the considerable talent to play just about any part. Plus: he's famous and has already played an iconic hero (Due South). Negative: he's already played an iconic hero. Viewings: Due South, Buried on Sunday, the TV series Slings & Arrows.


Of course if you're thinking of an animated series, so the actor doesn't have to quite fit the physical type (ie: can be getting a bit older) a front runner in my mind would be metis actor Tom Jackson, who's got that great, bass voice. In fact, if Richard Comely were to sit down with CBC Radio and try and sell them on doing a radio play/series based on CC (I'm a big propponent of radio drama) Jackson would also be my numero uno choice. Viewings: North of 60, Trial by Fire.

Other names that might make a short list for a live action movie would be Nathaniel Arcand, Steve Bacic, Roy Dupuis, Peter Kelly Gaudreault, Peter Outerbridge, Chris Potter, Ryan Reynolds or maybe newer talent like David Alpay or Stephen Lobo.


Mr. Gold...

winston rekertIf a movie employed Gold as the foe, someone like Michael Ironside would be an obvious choice as a default villain actor (though Ironside's a heckuva lot more versatile than that). But physically, I've always thought that Winston Rekert (pictured) looks a little like Gold, and might be an interesting casting-against-type choice (Rekert often more associated with hero roles). And having once starred in the spy series Adderly, it might be fun seeing Rekert play the heavy opposite another spy/hero. Rekert could also convey that rough, self-made man air I associate with the character.
 

Heather...

laurie holdenObviously, a lot of these characters are sufficiently ill-defined (often appearing in only a few issues) that there's a lot of latitude in casting. But I've always thought Laurie Holden would make an ideal Heather. Trivia note: Holden acted with Raoul Trujillo in the TV series Destiny Ridge. Viewings: TekWar: Teklab, The Majestic, various X-Files episodes.


Kebec and Redcoat are kind of flexible, hard to pin-down parts (heroes, but sidekicks) -- maybe for Redcoat David Alpay (Ararat, Whiskey Echo) -- whom I also mentioned in my list of possible CC actors -- or even Rainbow Sun Francks (yeah, the ethnicites wrong, but in Stargate: Atlantis Francks has already tackled the "slightly green, junior officer" part) and, oh, I dunno, Marcel Jennin (Snakes & Ladders) for Kebec.

General Sunn: Someone venerable -- say, Gordon Pinsent, or if you've got the money, Donald Sutherland. Someone you could bill as "and ___ as General Sunn". Less famous, but adept at playing authority/boss figures, is Serge Houde. Burly Jacques Godin has the grizzled features of the character (as he was drawn in later issues) -- sure, we all assumed Sunn was an anglophone but, really, do we know? I mean, what sort of a name is "Sunn" anyway? Actually, ignoring ethnicity, I'd lean heavily towards Gordon Tootoosis as someone who might suit the character quite well.

Lord West: Christopher Plummer or Gordon Pinsent (again). Though Canada has a lot of English-born actors, so maybe it would be appropriate to look for someone from that pool (Chris Wiggins leaps to mind).

Stardance: Again, not necessarily a clearly defined character, or physical type (other than ethnicity). I'd lean towards Lorne Cardinal.


Plot-wise...

I've often felt that super hero movies tend, too often, to be super hero movies, rather than movies that happen to be about super heroes. By that I mean, most super hero movies are often poorly plotted and illogical, where if the story wasn't about a man in a costume with powers, it probably wouldn't have been made. Makers of a C.C. movie should try and focus on coming up with a good plot, first, regardless of whether the hero wears tights (particularly as the character alone might not attract a big audience). Think spy movies like James Bond or Mission: Impossible. Or, since a recurring theme in C.C. was one of paranoia, maybe some sort of conspiracy plot would be appropriate, with Mr. Gold plotting a coup. Or a movie could take its cue from the Chariots of Fire storyline (in issues #11-13), and do a thing about mind control, maybe in an Invasion of the Body Snatchers/Puppet Master way. I don't mean all the space battle stuff used in the comics (probably too expensive), but do a story set on earth about CC uncovering mind-control within CISO.
 


Scriptwriter...

Oh, I dunno. How about...me. Okay, just kidding (sort of, though feel free to check out my writing credits here). I suppose we could look to Canadian-born Hollywood scriptwriter Graham Yost (Speed) or Paul Haggis (Due South). But, you know, I almost wonder if the writing team of Paul Gross (yeah, the actor) and John Krizanc might warrant a phone call. They've already tackled THE Canadian buddy comedy (Men With Brooms) and THE Canadian political thriller (H2O) -- maybe they'd been intrigued to take a whack at Canada's most famous super hero? Would Gross be willing to write it if he didn't get to star? Dunno.


Director...

Tough one. It's not like Canada doesn't have some experienced action movie directors -- Christian Duguay and TJ Scott come to mind. But, y'know what? I really, really don't like their style (all pretentious "look at me!" slow motion and swinging cameras). Not directors you want for plot and characterization. Maybe Hollywood heavyweight and comic book fan James Cameron -- if you're dreaming big. But I'm pretty sure ex-patriate Cameron has next to no interest in revisiting his Canadian roots. Maybe Charles Biname (H20, Seraphin).


Cinematographer...

Just for pure stylish gloss, Guy Dufaux (Jesus de Montreal) is always a good bet...but it would depend on what the filmmaker's are going for.

Composer...

Hard to say, since a good composer is often someone you don't notice, and it depends on the tone of the movie (action vs. suspense, jaunty vs. sombre). But I seem to recall thinking Lawrence Shragge (the John Rhys-Davies/David Warner version of The Lost World) has done some nice melodies for adventure-type movies.

More thoughts when they come to me...

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