Yesterday we learned that Chris Hemsworth is starring in a Hulk Hogan biopic from director Todd Phillips. Personally, I’d just as soon this movie not get made, because it’s just going to end up glorifying Hulk Hogan. It’s not that I don’t think terrible people should be the subjects of biographical films. It’s just that with Hogan alive and involved, there’s no way this movie isn’t going to be spun to make him look like an awesome dude, brother. It just feels like part of his redemption tour, and it’s a little gross.
On the other hand, if you’re making a movie about Hulk Hogan, you’re going to end up having to find people to play a whole bunch of other 1980s wrestling legends. That interests a lot more than Hogan himself, because fantasy casting is something I’m pretty good at. So I couldn’t resist thinking about who should play some of the supporting characters likely to appear in the movie. I clearly wasn’t the only one, since it’s also been on Rusev’s mind:
I think Rusev’s right with one of those choices, and like Zelina Vega playing AJ Lee in Fighting with My Family, I’ve cast a few other WWE Superstars as their 1980s predecessors, as well as some actual Hollywood actors.
Nikolai Volkoff — Rusev
Of the parts Rusev mentioned, Volkoff seems like the most appropriate. He wasn’t as handsome as Rusev, but everybody gets handsomer in the Hollywood version (just compare Hogan and Hemsworth).
Mean Gene Okerlund — Jonah Hill
Obviously this will take a bit of a transformation — a bald head and a mustache to start — but I think Jonah Hill (Maniac) would play a great Mean Gene because he’s so good at reacting to things with just his eyes and the slightest change of expression.
Rowdy Roddy Piper — Wyatt Russell
Who better to play the star of They Live than the son of the star of Escape from New York? Wyatt Russell (Overlord) inherited a certain old-fashioned ruggedness that his father Kurt shared with Roddy Piper (probably why John Carpenter liked them both). He’s also got some of that same charisma.
Macho Man Randy Savage — Seth Rollins
The honest truth is that I just can’t imagine a non-wrestling actor embodying the Macho Man. It’s easier to envision Seth Rollins doing the voice (being a wrestler, he can probably already do it) in a wig and Savage’s unforgettable outfits.
Miss Elizabeth — Julia Garner
You have to imagine Julia Garner (Dirty John) with 1080s makeup and hair, but I think her slight build and delicate features will translate well, plus she’s a fantastic actress.
Sherri Martel — Rachel Brosnahan
Similarly, it’s hard to imagine the usually porcelain-skinned Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) with a 1980s tan and Sheri’s outrageous makeup, but Brosnahan’s great at being over the top when a role requires it, and I think she’ll be able to embody Sensational Sheri.
Bobby “The Brain” Heenan — Fred Savage
Fred Savage (Friends from College) will obviously need a blond wig, but he already looks a bit like Heenan, and he’s great at talking fast and emphatically, which is obviously the most important thing.
André the Giant — Big Show
The Big Show is a few years older than André was in the 1980s, but he’s also in much better health, so I think that balances out. He’ll need a transformational makeup job to play the part, but so would anyone else, and Big Show is one of the few who could come close to embodying him physically.
Those are all the choices I came up with. I also considered Killian Dane, shaved from the neck up, as George “the Animal” Steele, and I regret that James Gandolfini isn’t alive to play Gorilla Monsoon. Obviously Vince McMahon will probably be a character as well, but they can always just use the star of his biopic for that, and make it a shared cinematic universe.