Everyone is trying to create their own cinematic universe these days after the success of Marvel; frankly nobody has managed to capture the same lightning in a bottle so before you have be burned at the stake here is my idea for a modern update of the classic 80’s cartoon Defenders of the Earth.
If you’re old like me and grew up in the era of the best cartoons (as well as the best action movies) then you’ll remember Defenders of the Earth.
The premise of the cartoon was pretty straightforward and began with Flash Gordon and his son Rick escaping from Ming the Merciless, who has exhausted the natural resources of his home planet Mongo and desires to exploit Earth. Ming tries to brainwash Flash’s wife Dale Arden, but she resists until death, whereafter her psyche is later included in the Defenders’ supercomputer Dynac X. Later, Flash and Mandrake organize the Defenders against Ming.
I would maybe hold off killing Dale as people would only complain that there wasn’t a strong female character but as a way to start off this Cinematic Universe it could totally work. But what of the cast? Well I’ve had many a drunken discussion with myself about who to cast in this movie and I totally agreed with me.
I like the idea of the cast being in their mid to late 30’s seeing as they will have kids already.
Flash Gordon: Joel Kinnaman
I was watching Altered Carbon recently and it hit me that Joel Kinnaman would be a pretty spot on choice for Flash Gordon. He can have a dry sense of humour but could also look quite world weary which happens to us all as we get older. He could also pull off being a total hero as he brings this team together to save the universe.
Ming the Merciless: Donnie Yen
Donnie Yen could be perfect and would be able to provide a kick ass battle with Flash and co at the end and is a menacing villain. I also thought BD Wong could do a nice job too.
Mandrake the Magician: Jean Dujardin
In 2016 it was announced that Sasha Baron Cohen was set to play Mandrake the Magician but so far I haven’t seen or heard anything. So here is a way out there suggestion; Jean Dujardin won acclaim in the 2011 film The Artist and frankly I chose him because he can pull of the mustache and he looks exactly like Mandrake. is the character French? No, but who cares? He isn’t real so it doesn’t matter. I think Dujardin could pull it off with ease.
The Phantom: Scott Adkins
I don’t know if anyone could pull off that costume but The Ghost Who Walks has some mad skills and I think we can all agree it’s high time Scott was in a mega budget blockbuster in a major role. He’s got the fighting moves and it’s about time we got to see a superhero movie with truly great fight scenes. The character is also British so it’s kind of a slam dunk.
Lothar: Michael Jai White
Described as a powerful fighter, an able mechanic, and a master tactician I think MJW could do this in his sleep. He still has the moves but rather than Lothar being Mandrake’s “assistant” we up his role and give him some of the best fight scenes. MJW vs. Donnie Yen? Sold!
Supporting characters included their children Rick Gordon (son of Flash), Jedda Walker (daughter of the Phantom), Kshin (adopted son of Mandrake), and Lothar’s son L.J. so we can have a younger cast to bring in the kiddies.
I’m starting to sober up now so I’ll stop but I’ll leave you with the rad theme tune from waaaayy back in 1985. Enjoy!