Friday, December 20, 2013
2013 Martian Manhunter Movie Fan Casting: Ray Liotta as Despero
In my first fan casting for Martian Manhunter characters in 2000, I assigned the role of Despero to Clancy Brown, based mostly on a fifteen year old performance as The Kurgan. My understanding of Despero has grown considerably since then, as well as my desire for greater nuance. Despero was born a mutant with telepathic abilities who was despised by his people, and retaliated for a lifetime of mistreatment by conquering his world. When his tyranny was ended by the Justice League, it increasingly became the Kalinorian's mission in life to make the heroes suffer. Despero isn't in it for money, fame, or even power. Despero hurts... he hates... he seeks expression for the misery he endured by relishing the torture of those who have wronged him. Despero is a nerd rageaholic, emotionally crippled, defined by the degree to which he can childishly lash out at others. The role doesn't require a brute, but a damaged being.
Ray Liotta has been playing emotionally unstable, wounded, violent, hyperbolic man-children for decades. He seems to be a bit of a nut in real life, and his career hasn't been what it should, but when this guy lights up it's mega-wattage. I think Liotta can play the anger and the angst equally well, and turn Despero from DC's Hulk stand-in to the cunning, toying, complex villain he's meant to be.
Diabolic Movie Fan Casting