Armchair Casting Director: Good Omens

Published on November 26th, 2010 in: Books, Movies |

pete postlethwaite


The modern-day Witchfinder Sergeant—who is, ironically, bankrolled by both Aziraphale and Crowley—is one of the book’s more comic figures. Terry Gilliam has said that his choice to play him is actor Peter Postlethwaite. I don’t know much about Postlethwaite, but he was last seen by American audiences as Cillian Murphy’s father’s character in Inception. I think that Robin Williams, if he simply must be in this movie, would be much better as Shadwell than Azirpahale, but Neil Gaiman has indicated that Williams’ name is not in the mix.

emma thompson

Madame Tracy

This spiritualist and medium acts as a foil to Shadwell, an intuitive, feminine counterpoint to his machismo and fear of the occult. Emma Thompson would be a natural in this role. It would be similar in some ways to her turn as Cassandra Trelawney in the Harry Potter series, but sexier and saucier. Tilda Swinton or Cate Blanchett would also do well as Madame Tracy.

photo not available

Adam Young and the Them

The roles of the 11-year-old Antichrist, his friends, and their rival clique should go to actors who aren’t yet known in the world of film. After all, that strategy gave us the brilliant young actors of the Harry Potter series.

clare kramer

The Horsepersons of the Apocalypse

Death, War, Famine and Pollution—because Pestilence retired. There are potentially fun roles here for a number of British actors, such as John Cleese, Hugh Laurie, Rowan Atkinson, or Timothy Spall. The face of the actor playing Death will not be recognizable, but that would be a great vocal role for Bill Nighy or Alan Rickman.

One that I’m sure about, though, is War. Clare Kramer, who played the Hell-God Glory in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, need only dye her hair red to be perfect for the part. Glory had a ruthlessness and sensuality that would translate well to War. In the book, when the Horsewoman takes possession of her sword and says, “Aaaall right!” I can hear Kramer’s voice delivering the line in my head.

(Feel free to submit your casting suggestions Lesser Horsemen such as Grievous Bodily Harm in the comments.)

It’s a shame that the film adaptation of Good Omens will not be ready for us this holiday season. Hopefully one day, fans of the book will be able to while away a winter evening (or escape the summer heat) in the company of Aziraphale and Crowley. No matter who is cast, it’ll be worth seeing. The real question is: will it be the same without footnotes?

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One Response to “Armchair Casting Director: Good Omens

  1. Magda:
    December 7th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    You think Johnny Depp is overexposed? Personally, I wouldn’t go that far, but I had to laugh at the Yahoo! article which was published yesterday or day before which claimed that J.D. wasn’t a “star” until “Pirates”. Really? Where have they been for the last 20 years? Odd people.
    I’m curious. How would you consider Eve Myles conventionally beautiful?
    I love the fact that you stuck with mostly non-American actors. It is only natural and I’m glad there is a trend for such things right now.
    Emma Thompson, who was the first choice for God in Dogma, would be a fun Madame Tracy. It almost balances that oversight. Oh, did you know she did play an Angel in Angels in America?
    “Photo not available”- nice illustration of your point! Tee hee

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