Follow TV Tropes

This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.


Hypothetical Casting

Go To

"[H]e called me up and said, "We have this crazy fun role. We had a Jon Hamm type in mind, but then we thought we're not going to get him, so what about you?" And I was like, I'm often offered Jon Hamm's hand-me-downs, so..."

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. Many times, when a creator is pitching a work to a production company (such as a new series to a TV network), the creator will use existing photos from previous works to help others visualize the characters - for example, Jeff Eastin used a photo of Leonardo DiCaprio circa Catch Me If You Can, to help visualize the gentleman rogue con man of White Collar's Neal Caffrey. It can also be done in interviews or other extratextual materials, such as screenplays or via Line to God.

Compare Comic-Book Fantasy Casting, where the appearance of a character in a visual medium is overtly derived from a real celebrity without being an explicit parody of that celebrity; No Celebrities Were Harmed, where a character is a blatant parody or fictionalized version of a real person; Ascended Fancast, where a fancast actually gets the role; and Textual Celebrity Resemblance, where a character's resemblance to a celebrity is mentioned within the work. See also Creator-Chosen Casting, when the creator actually does get to choose who plays the characters.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama has said on at least one occasion that a younger Jackie Chan would be the ideal live-action interpretation of Son Goku.
  • Saiyuki - Previous to its animated adaptation Artist Kazuya Minekura (jokingly) suggested that resident Stepford Smiler Cho Hakkai be voiced by Akira Ishida, and so when time came to actually cast him, the animators decided that Ishida was indeed the best candidate for the job.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 

    New Media 
  • In-universe within the Whateley Universe, Phase - having just bought out Marvel Comics (in 2007) - ends up in a discussion with his teammates about a possible Iron Man movie and why it wouldn't work because of the casting difficulties.
  • Towards the end of At War's End, that guy from that show started working on a cast list for a hypothetical film adaptation and asked his fellow players for actor suggestions. Note that this cast list is largely based on the actors' credentials rather than their appearances, so the casting picks are not intended to give readers a better mental image of characters' appearances.



    Video Games 
  • For Brütal Legend, Double Fine based the main character, Eddie Riggs, on something of a caricature of Jack Black. Once Black himself took the role, this led from Eddie's character going from a No Celebrities Were Harmed design to a full-on Ink-Suit Actor.
  • The original Castlevania has for the credits a list of well-known horror movie actors "cast" as the bosses of the game.
  • An in-universe case in Curses. Examining the demon and angel tells you that if you were to cast a film of your adventures so far, you would hire Donald Sutherland to play the demon and Judi Dench to play the angel.
  • Valve wanted someone with the vocal talent of Louis Gossett Jr.. to voice the extra-dimensional beings known as the Vortigaunt in Half-Life 2, based on his performance in Enemy Mine. They ended up with the man himself, albeit he didn't return for the following episode releases.

    Visual Novels 
  • Hatoful Boyfriend, as a Doujin game, has no voice work, but each love interest's introduction names a voice actor whom the creator would like to play them if it did.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons
  • The creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender wanted somebody who sounded like Jason Isaacs to play Zhao, as they got the idea for the character from Isaacs' character in The Patriot — but the real Jason Isaacs wound up taking the job instead.
  • Transformers: Animated art director Derrick J. Wyatt often shared his ideal picks for voices for characters who either didn’t speak in the show or only appeared in printed media such as the comics. Among his picks were:
  • The pilot of Archer read on the script "think Jessica Walter in Arrested Development" to describe Malory Archer. Sure enough, Walter's manager got hold of one script and she became interested in the role.
  • In the original casting calls of Gargoyles, the last paragraph of Hudson's biography is a single sentence: "Hudson hates spunk", implying they were seeking an Edward Asner type. Asner came in to audition and thought he botched it, especially as he wasn't expecting to have to do a Scottish accent, but got the part.

Alternative Title(s): Hypothetical Cast, Hypothetical Voice Casting