This is a series of columns in which wonderchroma staff cast movies that either haven’t been made or are in the pre-casting stages of development. To suggest a film for Casting Call, email email@example.com.
A mischievous boy and his stuffed tiger. That was the premise of Calvin and Hobbes. What could have been a banal exercise in simple antics and one-liners became one of the most cherished comic strips in modern history. Why? Calvin and Hobbes was simultaneously ponderous, winking and arresting. It embraced the youthful zeal of its protagonist while injecting his adventures with reflections both political and philosophical. It was wholly different from any other comic strip — then and since.
Sadly, We will probably never see a Calvin and Hobbes movie.
Its reclusive creator, Bill Watterson, is strongly opposed to any Calvin merchandising. That’s why you don’t see a stuffed Hobbes at Target or a Calvin-branded line of water balloons. The purity of the comic strip requires that it exist solely in its native form — on paper. Though Watterson once flirted with the idea of an animated Calvin feature, he ultimately decided otherwise.
But if a Calvin and Hobbes movie were to be made, this is the cast I would like to see:
Calvin – Frankie Jonas
Frankie Jonas is the youngest of the Jonas Brothers and comparatively under-utilized. He is the perfect age for Calvin, though his hair would have to be lightened. He would also have to resist bursting into song, an unfortunate trait exhibited by his elder siblings.
Hobbes – Voice of Conan O’Brien
This would be perfect. Hobbes gravitates from menace to ladies man to wry observer, depending on the comic. Conan’s range and exuberance would buoy Hobbes and provide an amused counterpoint to Calvin’s earnest intentions.
Mom – Maura Tierney
If you instantly associate Maura Tierney with her role on ER, please go watch old episodes of NewsRadio, where she demonstrated fine comedic form and timing. That’s the Maura I would like to see portray Calvin’s poor, tortured mother.
Dad – Paul Rudd
Calvin’s father was known for being casually malicious to his son, often giving implausible answers to Calvin’s questions for some small amusement. I think Paul Rudd’s everyman features and deadpan delivery would be ideal.
Susie Derkins – Iris Apatow
Iris Apatow (daughter of director Judd Apatow) was the cutest thing about Knocked Up. With darker hair and a touch of rehearsed menace, she would be great as Susie, Calvin’s femme nemesis (femmesis?).
Moe – Troy Gentile
Having twice played a young Jack Black, Troy Gentile has the youthful bully features (and build) necessary to embody Calvin’s playground tormentor Moe.
Rosalyn – Blake Lively
Calvin’s teenage babysitter would have a smaller role in the movie, but would have to be very memorable. And pretty, to ensure that the fellas in the audience pay attention. I think Blake Lively would do really well as Rosalyn.
Miss Wormwood – Bea Arthur
Hell hath no fury like Miss Wormwood’s math tests. When Calvin is rudely awakened from his Spaceman Spiff daydreams, it would only be fitting to have the iron clad countenance of Beatrice Arthur staring daggers at the drooling hero.
Though it is unlikely to happen, a Calvin and Hobbes movie would be a welcome blast of nostalgia for those of us who remember reading new strips each day. Just as long as the movie doesn’t end with an epilogue in which Calvin and Susie, now married, surprise their newborn son with an old stuffed tiger on his first birthday.
Too easy. They should give him a Transmogrifier instead.
By Efrem Rodriguez