Created By: AmyJade on August 20, 2011 Last Edited By: AmyJade on August 30, 2011
Troped

Hypothetical Casting

"Casting" actors in a fictional project they're not actually involved in.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Formerly Virtual Cast. Possible redirects: Virtual Cast, Wishful Cast, Hypothetical Cast. Rolling Updates. Description updated.

When someone involved in a fictional project makes a list of actors who would best represent a cast of fictional characters.

The purpose of a hypothetical cast may be to give the reader of a fictional work a better picture of how a character looks and acts. This is common practice for online virtual series and sometimes used by authors of commercially published works. It can also be part of a hypothetical discussion by fans of a work.

Related to Comic Book Fantasy Casting, where a comic book character's appearance is based on a real actor. Compare Textual Celebrity Resemblance, where a character's resemblance to a celebrity is mentioned within the text.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Anime Insider had a regular column that listed who they'd like to see in a live-action adaptation of an anime.

Comics
  • Scud the Disposable Assassin always listed the voices of actors that the creator of the comic imagined would be voicing the characters.
  • Wizard Magazine had a regular column about what actors should play what roles in comic book movies.
  • Meta example: At one point in The Ultimates. they sit around while being transported via cargo plane talking about who would play them in the movie of their lives. Naturally Nick Fury says Samuel L. Jackson (on whom Ultimate Nick Fury was based).

Fan Fic/Web Original

Literature
  • In the back of Inkheart, Cornelia Funke mentioned that she always imagined Mo to be a bit like Brendan Fraser, and then the casting went like that for the movie.
  • In the back of Dark Fire, Cris D'Lacey made a list of all the actors he imagined playing each of his characters in response to a question.
  • This fan-made credit sequence for a hypothetical Good Omens movie.

New Media
  • The chromatic recasting meme on LiveJournal and Dream Width, in which posters recast parts in TV shows and films with actors of color to prompt conversations about race in the media.
  • On DeviantArt, this is known as a casting call.
  • In online RPG, players often use pictures of real people (actors or otherwise) to represent their characters. This is called a PB, or "played by."

Tabletop RPG
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Tabletop RPG made a lot of hay out of the televised nature of its inspiration; the GM position is called 'The Director', and individual adventures are called 'Episodes' and meant to be part of a larger 'Season'. To top it all off, the rulebook encouraged players to identify the actor who would play their character if the game they were in was actually a TV show.

Theatre
  • In a PBS documentary on the making of The Producers (stage musical) Cast Album, Nathan Lane jokes with Mel Brooks about who will star in The Movie. Lane says Danny DeVito will be playing Bialystock. Brooks assures Lane that he'll be in the movie.

Web Comics
  • Legostar Galactica (particularly its wiki) occasionally includes information on who is playing the various (Lego) characters. One of them is played by Scott Bakula, apparently.

Western Animation
  • In response to a remark about who should play Homer in a live action Simpsons movie, Homer exclaims, "Isn't it obvious?! It should be Gary Oldman!"

(The laconic version erases when I edit. Is this a known error?)
Community Feedback Replies: 34
  • August 20, 2011
    randomsurfer
    At one point in Ultimate Avengers they sit around while being transported via cargo plane talking about who would play them in the movie of their lives. Naturally Nick Fury says Samuel L Jackson (on whom Ultimate Nick Fury was based).
  • August 20, 2011
    MorganWick
    One of these threads comes up every so often on the Order Of The Stick forums.
  • August 20, 2011
    Speedball
    Scud The D Isposable Assassin always listed the voices of actors that the creator of the comic imagined would be voicing the characters.
  • August 20, 2011
    AmyJade
    ^^ Do you have a link to a specific example?
  • August 20, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    I don't think 'virtual' is a good word. It brings to mind virtual reality. More like Hypothetical Cast. Or Hypothetical Dream Casting
  • August 20, 2011
    AmyJade
    Hypothetical Cast sounds good. I know I've used the term "Virtual Cast" in my own work, so that's what popped into mind, but I don't recall if I've heard it as a more widely accepted term. Anyone else have thoughts?
  • August 20, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    I like Hypothetical Dream Casting. The first word tells us it isn't an actual project in process, the second suggests that potential problems (project funding, actors' schedules, actors' preferences) are dispensed with.
  • August 21, 2011
    JRandomUser
    The Buffy The Vampire Slayer Tabletop RPG made a lot of hay out of the televised nature of its inspiration; the GM position is called 'The Director', and individual adventures are called 'Episodes' and meant to be part of a larger 'Season'. To top it all off, the rulebook encouraged players to identify the actor who would play their character if the game they were in was actually a TV show.
  • August 21, 2011
    PaulA
  • August 21, 2011
    dragongirlhellfire
    In the back of Inkheart Cornelia Funke mentioned that she always imagined Mo to be a bit like Brendan Fraser, and then the casting went like that for the movie. Also in the back of Dark Fire Cris D'Lacey made a list of all the actors he imagined playing each of his characters in response to a question.
  • August 21, 2011
    Micah
    Compare Textual Celebrity Resemblance, where this becomes explicitly canonical.
  • August 21, 2011
    smashingmelons
    Anime Insider had a regular column that listed who they'd like to see in a live-action adaptation of an anime.
  • August 21, 2011
    jaytee
    ^Wizard Magazine (a comic book publication) had the exact same column for comic book movies. (It's been years since I read Wizard, so they may not have the column anymore, especially since comic book movies were practically non-existent 10-15 years ago when I was reading it).
  • August 21, 2011
    AmyJade
    @dragongirlhellfire I put Dark Fire under Literature; let me know if that's not correct.
  • August 21, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    Hypothetical Dream Casting is much more misleading than the previous title. Dream invokes that a character is dreaming.

    This concept overlaps a lot with Fantasy Sports, but fantasy is most likely a Loaded Trope Word for the genre, so anything involving Fantasy Cast is out. Proxy Cast, Cast For Fun, Wouldnt He Make A Great Role... no, that's a phrase. I feel like this potential trope suffers greatly at the hands of Loaded Trope Words. But I'm sure the right name for it is out there.
  • August 21, 2011
    AmyJade
    How about just Hypothetical Casting, then?
  • August 21, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    As a working title, Hypothetical Casting is my favourite.
  • August 21, 2011
    CommanderPanda
  • August 21, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Why you no roll my Ultimate Avengers example in? Is wrong?
  • August 21, 2011
    69BookWorM69
  • August 21, 2011
    AmyJade
    ^^ It's under Film - Animated. Is that the wrong category?
  • August 22, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Ah, error mine, I give wrong title. Should be The Ultimates, the Comic Book. Apalogees. (Might also be in Ultimate Avengers but me no seen it, so IDK.)
  • August 22, 2011
    AmyJade
    NP, I'll fix it.
  • August 22, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    I've seen this on deviantart where it's called a casting call.
  • August 22, 2011
    AmyJade
    ^ Interesting. I don't think that would work as a title, as it's confusing with an actual casting call, but I'll stick it in New Media; is that all right?
  • August 22, 2011
    CodeMan38
    Would this credit sequence for a nonexistent Good Omens movie count?
  • August 22, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In a PBS documentary on the making of The Producers (stage musical) Cast Album, Nathan Lane jokes with Mel Brooks about who will star in The Movie - Lane says Danny DiVito will be playing Bialystock. Brooks assures Lane that he'll be in the movie.
  • August 24, 2011
    AmyJade
    ^^ Yes, and it's really awesome.
  • August 24, 2011
    OranjeLament
    In response to a remark about who should play Homer in a live action Simpsons movie, Homer exclaims, "ISN'T IT OBVIOUS?! IT SHOULD BE GARY OLDMAN!"
  • August 26, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    I've got a group for this on deviantart called Casting-Call.
  • August 26, 2011
    AmyJade
    ^ Could I have a link to add to the example?
  • August 26, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    There's a forum discussion thread for this on the Katherine Kurtz fan site, prompted by talk of a movie. The topic has also come up in weekly IRC chats.
  • August 29, 2011
    AmyJade
    ^ I don't think "X fandom does this a lot" are good examples, but if you link to a specific conversation I'll add it.

    Hoping to launch soon; any more thoughts on the name or more examples?
  • August 30, 2011
    BraveHoratio
    Legostar Galactica (particularly its wiki) occasionally includes information on who is playing the various (Lego) characters. One of them is played by Scott Bakula, apparently.
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