Casting A Live-Action Red Dead Redemption Movie

Okay, I know Red Dead Redemption 2 is two years old, but when I first played it, I kind of just stopped. I don’t really know why, but I just didn’t get hooked. However, that changed when I was stuck in quarantine and had nothing to do besides catch up on some quality gaming time. I revisited Red Dead Redemption 2 and I realized what I was missing. I guess thanks to quarantine, I got the chance to actually beat the game and explore the world. Since it’s Red Dead Redemption 2, there is a lot to explore and experience. By that, I mean there’s a lot of shooting and killing, and yes, it’s very, very fun. There’s a lot to discover, but I’m glad I got the chance to at least complete the incredible story.

Speaking of the story, I kept wondering how this would play out as a movie. It had many great characters and the actors playing them did a phenomenal job. As I played my way through the story mode, I tried imagining what Hollywood actors would suit these characters the best. Now these are some great characters, so my theoretical casting wasn’t easy. However, I feel like the actors I have chosen would do the best job at bringing these characters to life in a live-action Red Dead Redemption movie.

Let’s also keep in mind that there are a lot of characters, so I didn’t choose an actor for EVERY character. I thought it was sufficient enough to cast the main characters and the ones that impacted the story the most. So, if you’re expecting a casting for Irish, or Seth Briars, or Eagle Flies, you won’t see it. The important thing is that I casted the most crucial characters that made us spend so much time playing.

Act like you would enter duel mode and get ready, Red Dead fans.

Josh Brolin – Arthur Morgan

After coming off of Thanos, I think it’s time that Josh Brolin got to shift his acting talents as a more heroic character. One thing I love about Josh Brolin is that he’s capable of playing both good and bad guys. From the last two Avengers movies, to True Grit, even looking at Gangster Squad, the man has certainly proven he can be a diverse actor. For the sake of Arthur Morgan, however, that kind of protagonist isn’t exactly your textbook hero. Now I realize it was always up to the player on how Arthur would behave, but I always played him as the ultimate anti-hero. He was more often a brutal thug, but not incapable of showing mercy. Despite his brutality, everything he did was to protect his gang, who he considered his family.

The difference between him and most anti-heroes is that when he was at his most vulnerable, he chose to use the time he had left to be a better man. In other words, Arthur put the “redemption” in Red Dead Redemption 2. I believe Josh Brolin is the best actor to embody this type of character, because we’ve seen him deliver that type of range in his acting before. If we’re talking Western-type characters, just look at True Grit and No Country For Old Men. He can play the tough guy with the Arthur-like voice, but he can also play his characters at their lowest. Watching him play as Arthur when he’s dealing with tuberculosis would truly show the best of his acting ability. Hey, he made Thanos look emotionally vulnerable. Think about that.

Karl Urban – John Marston

A severely underrated actor, Karl Urban really needs more spotlight. Much like how I believe Josh Brolin can embody Arthur Morgan physically, I think Karl Urban can do the same with John Marston. Simply put, I just look at John in the game and instantly see Karl Urban playing him. The man just has that badass cowboy look to him, except all he needs is the scars. Urban has a good history of playing tough characters, but playing John would give him the chance to show his acting ability. The main reason why is because John can be a ruthless outlaw, but he also becomes a loving family man.

Urban has played roles similar to that as Billy Butcher in The Boys, or even as Eomer in Lord of The Rings. Those characters didn’t have families in the same fashion as John did, but they did fight for the ones they cared about. Playing John Marston would be a step up from those roles and really give Urban some well-deserved spotlight.

Russell Crowe – Dutch Van der Linde

Now this was a tough one. Dutch is arguably the best character in the franchise for many reasons. The reason I went with Russell Crowe on this one is because frankly, he is just phenomenal at playing heroic and villainous characters. Dutch, in his early years, was a hero in the eyes of his gang. As time went on, his sanity began to fade away and with it, his morality. He’s a character that went from a loving mentor to a ruthless agent of chaos. Russell Crowe has played these type of characters before and that’s why he’s perfect to play Dutch. I’d imagine it as him going from Robin Hood to his character in Unhinged, a total fall from grace.

Colin Farrell – Colm O’Driscoll 

This movie needs a villain and the most prominent enemy of the Van der Linde gang was Colm O’Driscoll. If this movie was to take a different route and show what was going on before the events of the game, I’d picture it as the Van der Linde gang fighting the O’Driscoll Boys. Who better to lead them than Colin Farrell, who is indeed Irish. I always loved watching Farrell play the villain, but we need to see him play one with his natural Irish accent. I suppose you can count Bullseye, but I’d rather see it done properly. In other words, he’s not unnecessarily comedic, just totally psychopathic, but with his Irish accent. Seeing Farrell as the cruel gang leader opposing Russell Crowe’s Dutch would be very fun to watch.

Olivia Wilde – Abigail Roberts

It wouldn’t be Red Dead Redemption without the badass females. Abigail probably isn’t on Sadie’s level, but the thing about her is that she’s stronger in a more deceptive manner. Since she was a prostitute before she joined the Van der Linde gang, she is often pushed aside unless the members want to get with her. On paper, this sounds like a bad female character, but this actually makes Abigail stronger than her fellow gang members. She takes a lot of hits, but when you least expect it, she’ll hit back. Just remember how she killed Agent Milton. Yeah, who honestly saw that coming?

Olivia Wilde is a great actress to portray her because she’s played that kind of character before. Just watch the very underrated A Vigilante and you’ll see exactly that. Think of it as the victim of constant abuse who decides to no longer be a victim. As Abigail, Wilde doesn’t have to shoot more people than Arthur, but she will kill someone when you least expect it. That makes her the most cunning and, in a way, the most deceptive member of the gang. Plus, Wilde’s character was immensely devoted to her son, much like Abigail was devoted to Jack. She can crush playing her.

Joel Edgerton – Bill Williamson

Honestly, how can I leave out Bill Williamson? Now this is one character that surprised me in the game, given how he was in the first one. When we first saw him, he was the most despicable and back-stabbing scumbag you can think of. When we saw what he was like before that, however, it turned out he was actually a decent man once. Yes, he was still an outlaw, but he was fiercely loyal to the gang. As a character, he stood out by being the impulsive hothead of the group who loved his whiskey.

A good choice to play this kind of character would be Joel Edgerton. Like the other actors I’ve chosen, Edgerton can play many types of characters. If he’s playing Bill, just go back to his role as Falstaff from The King. He played that character as a drunken fool, but when push came to shove, he was a loyal friend. In the beginning at least, that’s who Bill was and that’s the kind of performance Joel Edgerton can deliver. On top of that, he would be the biggest comic relief.

Final Thoughts

There you go, Red Dead fans. That’s just a short theoretical casting list of the most vital characters of the story. If this movie were to happen, I’d imagine it would be best to show us what was going on before the second game happened. That means before they met Saddie, Charles, and even Micah. They were all new additions to the gang before the story began, so having them in the movie wouldn’t be practical. However, movies don’t always have to follow the same story as the game, so perhaps there will be more casting in the future. Hey, a man can dream.


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