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…