A Judge of Character: “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”

Aug 20th, 2004 | By | Category: Columns

Recently, I had the dubious honor of watching The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a summer blockbuster film that seems to have been made purely as an experiment in British character actor screen saturation. While subjecting myself to the three hours of steampunk ambivalence (perhaps it wasn’t three hours – more like eight? I’m not sure), I found myself wondering what on earth the character sketches must have looked like.

Of course, being an intrepid journalist*, I have managed to secure this document for myself, and I present it here, for your edification.



We’re thinking Sean Connery, mostly because he wouldn’t leave us alone until we hired him. Quatermain is also the leader of the League, because Sean Connery thinks it would be better that way. According to him, women can’t lead. (Look into this; if we have women on any major aspect of production, and Mr. Connery is correct, we’ll have to have a hiring reshuffle.) He’s already rented the Indiana Jones hat, so we don’t have to worry about that.

She should be foxy. She’s the only woman, so it is imperative that her foxitude be at maximum levels. I recommend Peta Wilson for the role, because she played Nikita for years, so even when she’s covered up the audience can remember what she looked like when she was more naked. Also, she should be a vampire, because then we kind remind people of Dracula a lot, and then maybe call the Van Helsing people and see if we can charge them for the plug. And in the graphic novels she’s protrayed as the leader, and extremely intelligent; obviously, that won’t fly in this movie. Can we make her turn into bats instead of being intelligent?

You know who would be great for this? The guy who didn’t get Aragorn.

We have been contacted by the British Character Actors Right to Work Association about our recent importation of Australian actors to play British people. They insist they’ll revolt unless we start putting them in big-budget movies. So we picked two British people’s names out of a hat. One of them is this guy. We think he’s a good actor; we actually haven’t seen any of his movies, but he’s a registered character actor, so we can escape legal action. He’ll be tormented, so we can cut to CG a lot. It’ll be okay.

And this was the other guy. Thank God he’s invisible.

He’s ethnic, so that fulfills the diversity quota for this movie. Also, because he’s ethnic, we decided to make him smart, yet urban, so we made him invent a really pimped-out submarine. He also has a big sword, which makes him even more ethnic. We gave him some philosophies, too. It’s very Zen, and if we decide to give the movie a theme or some subtext or anything, we can have this guy talk about it. And the submarine has, like, a hundred hood ornaments.

We really need an American in this, or we’re going to have a movie that’s overrun with British people, and that would be too confusing. He can be a Secret Service agent, because that would mean he’s a good shot, and a rebel. Rebel is good. We were thinking of cashing in on the WB’s reputation for nurturing the careers of truly gifted actors (instead of the cookie-cutter “hotties” so often favored by Hollywood in these times) and hiring that guy from that one show.

You know who would be great for this? The guy from Van Helsing.

* No.


Genevieve is a prolific writer of speculative fiction living in New York, but you’ll never find her there because millions of people live there and Genevieve likes her privacy. Examples of her fiction can be found in Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, Federations, and numerous other magazines and anthologies. Her first novel is forthcoming in 2011. Also? She has terrible taste in movies.

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.