Signing the Cast: A-Team remake movie

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Signing the Cast: A-Team remake movie

Let’s say Hollywood called me one day and said, “CT, you can make one movie, whatever you want to do, we’ll fund it.” What do I say I want to do? Without hesitation, I answer, “I want to make The A-Team remake movie.”

You see, I love The A-Team more than I probably should. Faceman explains it best in a second season episode that apart, they are just a bunch of social misfits, but together they’re something special. That’s certainly the case as they proved week after week for five years in the mid-80s. With Col. John “Hannibal” Smith in command, these soldiers of fortune helped the common man and showed that freedom is something to be lived, not squandered. Redundant plotlines and unrealistic action aside, this was a fun show that rarely got into anything too deep. But even in its simplicity, it could often times turn into something much more.

This remake is bound to happen one day, and odds are I’m going to want nothing to do with it. They’ll probably make it a comedy. The show was funny, but it was not a comedy. Or maybe they will make it an action movie, but just grime it up. Whatever happens, the perfect A-Team movie exists in my head and that’s very likely where it will stay. Except, I’ll give you a glimpse of what I have in mind for The A-Team as far as who I think is the perfect cast. I’d be tempted to just let the pictures below speak for themselves, but I shall explain and defend my choices anyway.

Col. John “Hannibal” Smith : Mel Gibson
Gibson is and has been old enough now to play a seasoned character like Hannibal. But even as far back as Lethal Weapon 1, we can see the slightly crazy persona someone would need to play a role like Hannibal. Gibson can play the cool, collected leader, he likes cigars, and he can play a role that’s based on formulating plans and executing them. All the while, when things go wrong, he can have a huge grin on his face.

Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck : Luke Wilson
My fellow Nerd Lunch contributors will probably disagree with this choice believing I have chosen the wrong brother. And for sometime now, my A-Team movie has had Owen Wilson mentally cast as Face. But, it’s never felt completely right. And as I’ve recently rewatched all of The A-Team, I think Luke Wilson fits the slick pretty boy with a heart of gold much moreso than Owen Wilson does. Besides, between Starsky & Hutch and I, Spy, Owen Wilson has already been recast enough as old TV characters.

Capt. H. M. “Howling Mad” Murdock : Damian Young
This was another I recently recast in my mind. For the longest time I had Michael Ian Black in this role. I still reserve him as backup in case Damian Young drops out (but it’s my dream so Young won’t). I came across this actor recently while watching some old episodes of The Adventures of Pete & Pete. In it, Young plays Bus Driver Stu, a guy who’s very easily pushed to the edge of sanity. In one episode, Stu is driving the kids for a field trip and in it, we see Stu go well off the deep end in a very comedic way. Combine that with a Dwight Schultz look and I think we have the perfect Howling Mad Murdock.


Sgt. Bosco “BA [Bad Attitude]” Baracus : Mighty Rasta (Lester Speight)

The thing about BA on the show is that so much of that character is Mr. T. So in trying to come up with someone who can play the new BA, one has to find an actor who can infuse his own personality into the role and yet still be BA. We don’t need someone trying to do a Mr. T impression. No need for all the gold, a mohawk, and “I pity the fool” being thrown around. But the guy needs to have a presence and be someone who can still show off a bad attitude, and have a sense about how to make it funny, too. I can think of no better person to fill this role than Lester Speight, aka The Might Rasta. Best known for his performance as Terry Tate, Office Linebacker, Speight shows as much enthusiasm and attitude in those shorts as the Clubber Lang actor ever did on The A-Team.

That clears up the main cast, but there are several other regulars that need be cast.

Col. Roderick Decker : Clancy Brown
Appearance alone doesn’t make this the perfect casting choice. Remember when Decker would have The A-Team surrounded and he’d pick up the megaphone and with that awesome deep voice, he’d yell, “Alright Smith, give it up! You’re surrounded!” Well, imagine Clancy Brown doing that with his deep voice. That’s just as awesome.


Amy “Triple A” Allen : Kristen Bell

Amy was a good character for most of the first season. She proved her worth and even Hannibal considered her part of The A-Team. But, somewhere near the end of the first season, she went from being “one of the guys” to the one who would roll her eyes at what the team was doing. Her catch phrase became, “oh you guys…” and in turning her into that character, her departure was a good thing for the show. Having someone like Amy can be a good thing, but she has to be on the jazz to some extent herself. She can’t be doubting this team. So, I suggest someone like Kristen Bell who showed us in Veronica Mars that even she can have plans and can love them when they come together.

Frankie “Dishpan Man” Santana : Adam Rodriguez
I see no need for this character in my A-Team movie. Although one idea I had was to make Amy a documentary filmmaker instead of a newspaper reporter. And then Frankie could be her camera man. Should he need to be included in the first movie or any movie, I suggest Adam Rodriguez. He’s got the look and it’s not a difficult role to play.

Gen. Hunt Stockwell : Dirk Benedict
I wouldn’t want to exclude any of the original cast members. Cameos would be needed for the three surviving cast members, but I can see one of them taking on this expanded role. Even as early as the first movie, a team like The A-Team wouldn’t go unnoticed by members of secret organizations within the government. Why not drop in references to Stockwell and his group early on? It could be explored further in the sequels.

If I have a movie, if no else is good enough to play these parts, and if I can find them, then maybe, I’ve got my A-Team…

By | 2017-03-17T01:05:16+00:00 September 9th, 2007|Categories: Article|Tags: , , , |13 Comments

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Nerd Lunch co-founder and podcast co-host

13 Comments

  1. Jeeg February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    I've always enjoyed Catherine Bell and she obviously can pull off the tough yet beautiful angle.

    Though I do like the idea of going with younger actress, because it then becomes very easy to write Amy into the story. A cub reporter is trying to crack a big story to make a name for herself. By demonstrating some cleverness that intrigues the A-Team, she's allowed to tag along. She then realizes that she had no idea what she was getting into, but finds out that being "on the jazz" is even more exciting than a big story. Perhaps a bit trite, but, heck, it nearly writes itself.

  2. Mike February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    Catherine Bell (MAC from JAG) should play Amy.Gibson should be Decker his build is not muscular like that of the late George Peppard.Gibbson's build favors the puny build of Col. Decker.Tom Selleck would be a better choice for Hannibal.Did you ever think about Jim Carey as Murdock?

  3. Carlin February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting E.N. Though, I've got to say I'm not too jazzed about your choices for the cast.

    In the series, BA would comment from time to time how crazy Hannibal was. Even going as far as saying the Hannibal was crazier than Murdock. Clooney hasn't shown me that subdued amount of controlled-crazy that Mel Gibson has.

    Ving Rhames doesn't really strike me as being as blue collar as Mr. T. was with BA. And I'm not sure that he'd bring the energy to the role that Mr. T. did. Again, that's why I suggested The Mighty Rasta from the Terry Tate, Office Linebacker videos. Here's one of his many audition tapes.

    Terry Tate

    As for Matthew McConaughey, I really don't think I've seen a lot of his work, so I can't speak to him. I will say that my impression is that he's less Dirk Benedict Faceman and more Tim Dunigan Faceman.

  4. E. N. February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    Hi Guys,
    Been discussing an A-Team cast with my wife for years now and we just happened to stumble across this website.
    This is what we came up with for cast:

    George Clooney – Hannibal Smith
    Ving Rhames – BA
    Matthew McConaughey – Face

    and we thought of Steve Buscemi for Murdock until we saw the audition tape for Damian Young, he's hired!

    What do you think?

  5. Carlin February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    I concur Plee. An origin story is not necessary. It wasn't until the fifth season premiere that they ever showed the origin story. And even before that, the actual "crime they didn't commit" was described in limited detail.

    I would begin the movie much the same way the show began. We're ten years into these guys being on the run. This group is somewhat of an LA urban legend. Amy Allen is the first reporter to get through their screening process. Impressed with her savvy, they invite her to tag along on the next mission.

    I like the show for all it's small simple stories. Helping the local farmer or diner owner was more interesting to me then any of the bigger foreign missions they'd go on.

    But, for a movie, there is a need to make things big. So I'd start it out small and escalate the danger from there. Maybe they're hired to rescue a kidnapped victim, but they soon uncover that's part of a larger plot that would lead to them taking on terrorists or something. Eh…I don't really like that idea all that much, but I think you get my drift.

  6. Jeeg February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    Damian Young, you're hired. And since we don't know when it will make it to DVD, bring in the video of Das Bus for us to enjoy.

  7. PLee February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    THE PLAN COMES TOGETHER MAY 31, 2008.

    Great premise, great characters, and readily adaptable.

    Not sure if an origin movie is necessary . . . maybe show them breaking out of the secret CIA prison before the opening credits,
    and then flash forward to present.

    Keep some funny in there, but really, play up just how good these guys are. They are James Bond, MacGyver, and a Green Beret team rolled into one.

  8. Carlin February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    If that Pete & Pete episode weren't enough, here's Damian Young's audition tape for Murdock in my movie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2ZKyorOOp4

  9. Carlin February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    WHY DID I CLICK THAT LINK?! "Ugh" is right.

    You know, if the producers went with this cast except chose Owen over Luke, I'd still be very happy.

  10. Jeeg February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    We've discussed it many times, but I think you have a winner, CT. You're right, I do prefer Owen Wilson over Luke and I have thought he would make a great Face since seeing his turn in Shanghai Noon. Though I may be drawing on too many characteristics of Harry Smilac from Body Slam there.

    Any quibbles aside, you're miles ahead of the riveting debates at the IMDB message board for the pending A-Team movie. Rutger Hauer as Hannibal or Ving Rhames as BA? Ugh.

  11. -=~n~=- February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    I'm loving this thread..

    I'd have to go with Ice Cube as B.A.

    Just Because… haha

  12. ufcfan February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    i love the cast above i think each member is perfect for roles required
    roll on the movie so looking forward to it.
    Heard that UFC fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
    was offered the part.

  13. Anonymous February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    My preference would be:

    BA – Ice Cube (no 2nd thoughts)
    Murdock – Johnny Knoxville (not a great actor, but perfect for the role)
    Face – Rob Lowe (I think Rob would be great at this, but I could also see David Duchovny or Mark Wahlberg.)
    Hannibal – Phillip Seymor Hoffman (He has the whole package. I like Bruce Willis or Mel Gibson too though. Not sure they can get either for this role though.)

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