Recasting 13 Classic Athlete Roles in Non-Sports Movies

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Jesse in Firestorm

Originally played by: Howie Long

Recasting pick: A rock with Howie Long's face drawn on it


More acting range.

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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*

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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?

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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:

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Al in Failure to Launch

Originally played by: Terry Bradshaw

Recasting pick: Older Terry Bradshaw


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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.

via Getty Images

via Getty Images
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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.

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Nada in They Live

Originally played by: Roddy Piper

Recasting pick: Sean Avery

said of Piper's performance