Recasting 13 Classic Athlete Roles in Non-Sports Movies
Total Recall, Judge Dredd, Footloose, Godzilla, The Longest Yard -- by now it's safe to say that if a movie has been made in the past 100 years, it either has, or will, be remade at some point. With this is mind, we decided to look back at some of the classic roles played by athletes in non-sports movies and re-cast them with more recent athletes for the inevitable remake (or re-remake).
Bombaata in Conan the Destroyer
Originally played by: Wilt Chamberlain
Recasting pick: Greg Oden
Oden is the pick because his 7-foot, 273-pound frame almost exactly mirrors Wilt's (who was 7-foot-1, 275 pounds), and he has some experience in front of the camera. Of course the question remains whether a player with Oden's injury history would get the green light to participate in the necessary fight scenes for such a role, but there's little question that he has the look to pull off Bombaata.
Roger Murdock in Airplane!
Originally played by: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Recasting pick: Tim Duncan
This feel like a natural fit given not only Duncan's prowess as a basketball player, but his mostly unassuming nature as a human being. Besides, Tim Duncan moonlighting as a pilot just because he enjoys that sort of thing doesn't really sound that outrageous.
Jesse in Firestorm
Originally played by: Howie Long
Recasting pick: A rock with Howie Long's face drawn on it
More acting range.
President Camacho in Idiocracy
Originally played by: Terry Crews
Recasting pick: Richard Sherman
Unlike many movies on this list, Idiocracy actually is a film deserving a remake (eventually). And assuming Terry Crews wouldn't be available to reprise his role, our pick to replace him would be Richard Sherman.
The Seahawks cornerback clearly has the demeanor to pull off the role: "I'm the best president in the game! When you try me with a sorry republic like China, that's the result you're gonna get!" *fires machine gun in air*
Annette Kellerman in Million Dollar Mermaid
Originally played by: Esther Williams
Recasting pick: Natalie Coughlin
Esther Williams won three gold medals at the U.S. Championships when she was 17-years-old, but regretfully never got to compete at the Olympics because of World War II. She appeared in numerous films that displayed her swimming prowess, but according to her New York Times obituary, she viewed movie stardom as her “consolation prize,” as her heart was set on Olympic gold. With this in mind, there probably is no better way to honor Williams' memory than to have her role of Annette Kellerman in Million Dollar Mermaid be played by one of the most decorated female Olympians ever.
Nordberg in the Naked Gun series
Originally played by: O.J. Simpson
Recasting pick: Metta World Peace
Once I imagined Metta playing the role of Nordberg, it was difficult to picture anybody else doing it.
Jesus Shuttlesworth in He Got Game
Originally played by: Ray Allen
Recasting pick: Steph Curry
As the dominant long-range shooter in the NBA, Steph Curry is clear pick to play the classic role of Jesus Shuttlesworth in a supposed remake of He Got Game. As a bonus, Curry's youthful look would easily make him passable as a high school senior (or if we're being honest, sophomore).
Shep Ramsey in Suburban Comando
Originally played by: Hulk Hogan
Recasting pick: Gordon Ramsay
Never occurred to me how close this character's name is to Chef Ramsay. The entire trailer is distracting because of it. Just so this pick is related to the prompt, Gordon Ramsay apparently fabricated being a professional soccer player. Okay, so he probably doesn't count as a former athlete but this movie is never getting remade, so who cares?
Mongo in Blazing Saddles
Originally played by: Alex Karras
Recasting pick: Paul Wight
Better known as "The Big Show" from his wrestling days, Paul Wight, gigantic at 7 feet, 450 pounds, seems to be a solid pick to replace Mongo if Blazing Saddles were to be remade. Here's a glimpse of Wight from one of the most glorious eras in modern history:
Al in Failure to Launch
Originally played by: Terry Bradshaw
Recasting pick: Older Terry Bradshaw
Moses Hightower in Police Academy
Originally starring: Bubba Smith
Recasting pick: Phil Loadholt
This one is difficult to peg, but for some reason Vikings tackle Phil Loadholt jumped out at me as the obvious choice.
Fezzik in The Princess Bride
Originally played by: Andre the Giant
Recasting pick: Shaquille O'Neal
A The Princess Bride remake was actually rumored to be in the works in 2011 (these rumors were later shot down). But if the film were to get a reboot, the Big Aristotle, with his friendly nature and deep voice, would be a natural fit in Andre the Giant's role.
Nada in They Live
Originally played by: Roddy Piper
Recasting pick: Sean AveryJonathan Lethem said of Piper's performance: "Roddy Piper trying to turn himself into an action star is the equivalent of a member of the underclass trying to penetrate the alien sphere of privilege. And so it kind of can't be improved." But if anyone can provide the necessary mix of stilted lines in a Canadian accent, high energy, and hand-to-hand combat, it figures to be one of hockey's many fighters. Nada is a drifter who mostly laughs at the realization the world is out to kill him, a position Avery took his whole career.