If Blizzard ever decides to produce an Overwatch feature film adaptation, these are the performers we would cast to play the game's 23 different playable characters.
History has shown that it's difficult for Hollywood to successfully adapt video games into movies. The general rule of thumb is that most video game movies are bad, but fans have been waiting for a film to break the "bad video game movie" mold. One game-to-film adaptation that could get it done is a movie version of Overwatch, a title rich in lore that's hardly touched on in the game itself, but could be thoroughly explored in a feature film.
When we talk about an Overwatch movie, though, it's important to think about who should be cast to play the game's many playable characters. We initiated our own Overwatch Recall and selected the most suitable performers for all of the game's Offense, Defense, Tank, and Support heroes.
Before he became a cyborg ninja, Genji was living a life of luxury, enjoying the splendors of his family's organized crime business without having to get his own hands dirty. His playboy lifestyle stood at odds with the strictness of his family, leading to a life-altering encounter with his brother Hanzo that saw Genji nearly killed, and then later revived as the cyborg ninja Overwatch fans are familiar with.
Japanese actor, voice actor, and professional wrestler Kazuchika Okada embodies a similar personality to that of young Genji, and his rivalry with Hiroshi Tanahashi in New Japan Pro Wrestling somewhat echoes Genji's conflict with his brother. What's more, his experience as a professional wrestler could help him perform the stunts necessary to do Genji justice on the big screen.
Back when Matthew McConaughey was appearing in films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, few would have predicted that he would become the star he is now. His spellbinding performances in Mud and the first season of True Detective eliminated any doubt about his talent as an actor, and also proved he can pull off the gruffness required to play the gun-slinging cowboy McCree.
Like some of McConaughey's most famous characters, McCree has a complicated past and is more complex than he seems on the surface. McCree was once a member of the violent Deadlock Gang, but after being captured by Overwatch, he joined the team's covert Blackwatch division instead of serving time in prison. After his stint with Blackwatch, McCree became a vigilante, hoping to do enough good in the world to right the wrongs of his past.
Egyptian-Canadian actress Christine Solomon hasn't had a very prolific career so far, but the work she has done has earned her numerous awards. A high profile appearance as Pharah in a hypothetical Overwatch movie, with whom Solomon shares a resemblance, could help her break into more mainstream film and television roles. Pharah's complicated relationship with her mother Ana could make for some great dramatic scenes where Solomon could really flex her acting muscles and prove herself to mainstream moviegoers.
Mexican actor Demian Bichir is the perfect age to portray the cunning mercenary and terrorist Gabriel Reyes, aka Reaper. Bichir is talented enough that there's no doubt he would be able to convey Reaper's rage over his past, as well as the calm demeanor Reaper tries to maintain on missions. Since Reaper is the former leader of Blackwatch and plays an integral role in Overwatch's story, it's important to cast an actor with the talent of Bichir.
If anyone needs convincing that Stephen Lang could pull off the intense military-type that is Soldier: 76, they just need to check out his appearance as Col. Miles Quaritch in Avatar. His similar appearance to the character and his raw talent for acting make Lang a desirable casting choice for Soldier: 76.
Even though most of Giselle Itie's acting work has been restricted to Brazil, Itie is not entirely unknown to audiences in other regions. She appeared in the 2010 action flick The Expendables along with a number of high profile talent like Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, and more. Her experience working with some of the action movie genre's biggest stars should go a long way in helping Itie portray hacker extraordinaire Sombra on the big screen, assuming she can properly convey Sombra's cheery demeanor.
Adorning the game's cover and featured in many of its marketing materials, Tracer is arguably the face of Overwatch. The sometimes controversial but consistently popular character would likely be one of the lead roles in an Overwatch movie, so a capable actress would need to be tapped to play her on the big screen. Former Harry Potter star Emma Watson somewhat resembles Tracer, but beyond that she is a proven actress with the significant name recognition needed to get even casual fans to buy a ticket to the theater.
Andy Serkis is best known in the film industry for his performance capture work, bringing characters like Gollum from The Lord of the Rings and Supreme Emperor Snoke from Star Wars to life. Since Bastion is a robot that can transform into a turret and a tank, we imagine the character would need to be CGI, so Serkis' award-winning performance capture work would come in handy.
The award-winning Ken Watanabe is one of the most recognizable actors from Japan, appearing in a slew of blockbuster films as well as smaller, critically-acclaimed releases. Based on Watanabe's experience, he should have no problem pulling off the subtle complexities of Hanzo's character, who is very torn up about his past conflicts with his brother Genji, as seen in the epic "Dragons" animated short.
In case his alternate skin as a jester didn't tip you off, it seems like Junkrat is directly inspired by The Joker. But rather than suggest Jared Leto as a candidate to play Junkrat, we think a more appropriate choice would be Jack Gleeson. Loathed by many for his chilling portrayal of the sociopathic Joffrey Baratheon on Game of Thrones, Gleeson seems to have the right look for Junkrat, who would most likely be one of the villains in an Overwatch movie. As one of the most hated television villains of all time, Gleeson definitely knows how to play the bad guy – of course, we would need to convince him to come out of retirement first.
China has started ramping up its presence in film, resulting in a number of rising stars that have even managed to garner international appeal. One such star is Gao Yuanyuan, a talented and experienced Chinese actress that should be able to bring the spunky optimism of Overwatch's Mei to life. Mei seems to be one of the more popular characters in Overwatch, with the Winter Wonderland event practically themed after her, and so it's important to cast someone that would do the character justice, like Yuanyuan.
John Rhys-Davies is perhaps best known for playing the dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings films, so we already know that he would be able to play a good Torbjorn. Torbjorn is Overwatch's resident dwarf with a penchant for crafting armor and building turrets, and it's hard to deny that his personality is similar to that of Gimli's. All things considered, it would be difficult to find an actor more capable of playing Torbjorn than John Rhys-Davies.
Marion Cotillard is one of the most well-known actresses to come out of France in the last decade, so she would certainly bring star power to the table if she were to play the stealthy assassin Widowmaker in an Overwatch movie. What makes Cotillard an even more desirable candidate to play Widowmaker is the fact that she already has experience working with video game movies, starring as the female lead in the Assassin's Creed film.
Bae Su-ji, also known by her stage name Suzy, is one of South Korea's biggest stars, winning awards for her singing and acting. The character D.Va is also a celebrity in South Korea, famous for dominating StarCraft II as one of the nation's top pro gamers, so Suzy seems like a natural fit for the role of Overwatch's mecha pilot.
Hafthor Julius Bjornsson's biggest claim to fame is his run on Game of Thrones as The Mountain, a massive man that brutalizes anyone that crosses his path. By contrast, Reinhardt is honorable, sticking closely to his strict code of ethics. While Reinhardt isn't much like The Mountain personality-wise, Bjornsson's incredible size makes him a strong candidate to play Reinhardt, though he will have to play a much different kind of character than he's used to, and Hollywood would have to employ some makeup magic to make him appear 61.
According to lore, Roadhog has spent most of his adult life terrorizing the Australian Outback, but evidence points to him being a New Zealander of Maori descent, so New Zealand actor John Tui seems like he would be a good choice to play Roadhog in an Overwatch movie. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Tui has experience playing intimidating characters, having appeared in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies as the orc Bolg, one of the film's primary antagonists.
Andy Serkis is used to playing multiple CGI characters in any given movie he's in, so we imagine he wouldn't have a problem slipping on the performance capture suit again to play Winston. Better yet, Serkis even has experience playing CGI apes, portraying multiple apes in the Planet of the Apes reboot film series.
While Serkis would do a fine job with the motion capture work for Winston, another actor would need to be selected to provide the voice. It seems like John Goodman's voice would fit Winston's personality very well, and so he would be our top pick to play the gorilla scientist in the Overwatch movie. Considering Winston's important role in Overwatch lore, it's likely he would be the male lead opposite Tracer, so Goodman's experience voicing lead characters in animated films will come in handy.
Gwendoline Christie has made a name for herself by playing strong, dominant female characters in Game of Thrones and the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Christie isn't Russian like Zarya, but we believe her strength, size, and experience playing similar characters would make her the best choice to play Zarya in an Overwatch movie, assuming she can pull off a believable Russian accent.
Shohreh Aghdashloo has proven capable of tackling a number of different roles throughout her award-winning film and television career. Aghdashloo would be able to provide the quiet dignity Ana exudes, and we imagine she would pair well with Christine Solomon's Pharah. Another reason Aghdashloo would be a smart choice when casting an Overwatch movie is due to her work in video games, having provided voices for characters in Mass Effect 2 and 3, as well as Destiny's Lakshmi-2 at The Tower. Her video game work should give her credibility with Overwatch fans, and may make them hopeful that the movie will be worth watching.
One of Brazil's most popular homegrown actors is Darlan Cunha. At just 28 years old, the young actor should be able to play a convincing Lucio, who is a 26 year old, internationally famous DJ during the events of Overwatch. Based on his previous work, Cunha should have no problem delivering the upbeat attitude Lucio demands as a character.
The subject of cosplay, fan art, memes, and much more, Mercy has emerged as one of Overwatch's most popular characters. Mercy's widespread popularity would require a more prolific actress to play her in a movie, and that's where Scarlett Johansson comes in. The characters of Overwatch are essentially superheroes, and Johansson has already cut her teeth in that genre thanks to her time playing Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making her especially qualified to take on the role of Mercy.
Named Miss World 2000 and having won numerous awards over her career, Priyanka Chopra is one of India's most celebrated actresses. Chopra would provide extra star power for the Indian audience, plus she has the experience necessary to play a quality Symmetra. Symmetra was once one of the least used characters in the entire game, but her recent buff has seen a surge of interest in the character, so it would be important to cast a capable performer like Chopra so the new Symmetra fans aren't disappointed by her portrayal.
The third CGI character Andy Serkis would help animate with a motion capture performance would be Zenyatta, the omnic monk, with Peter Dinklage providing the voice work. Dinklage's voice seems like it would fit Zenyatta well, but beyond that, he already has experience voicing video game robots, once providing the voice for Destiny's Ghost. While not everyone was thrilled with Dinklage's performance in Destiny, his other work speaks for itself, and his stock seems to rise with each passing season of Game of Thrones.
With all the playable characters in Overwatch cast, we would still need to find people to play some of the other roles. Terry Crews is a lock for Doomfist, but there are other characters seen in the various animated shorts that would need casting. For now, though, the casting of all 23 playable characters is a good start.
Who would you cast in an Overwatch movie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!