If there is any hot straight white man flourishing in Hollywood who deserves better, it’s James Marsden. We’ve discussed at length on this site how strange the trajectory of Marsden’s acting career has been, and how saddened we are by his perpetual B-List status, especially in a world where Chris Pratt is thriving and Scott Eastwood keeps trying to happen. How does a system set up to benefit hot white dudes with perfectly symmetrical faces fail Marsden, especially when he’s also charming, a good singer, a former Versace model, and an adorable husband and dad? Did he run over some studio executive’s dog or something? Is he secretly a nightmare to work with? What is going on? Yeah, it’s kind of wasteful to spend all our time lamenting a hugely privileged rich celebrity’s failure to be richer and more famous, but come on, James Marsden still deserves better.
It’s odd enough that he never soared to the top of the fame pile after the one-two-three punch of Hairspray, Enchanted, and 27 Dresses (shut up, it’s a sweet movie and he’s great in it.) What has proven even more perplexing is how Marsden of all actors has now become a go-to guy for family movies that require him to spend far too much time conversing with CGI animals. At least in Enchanted, he was a Disney prince, but what’s the deal with Hop? The release of Sonic the Hedgehog, a movie that’s not terrible but still beneath Marsden’s endless charisma, has cemented this new trope in his career. Thankfully, television is giving him better roles, between Netflix’s Dead To Me and the epic CBS All-Access adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, but perhaps Marsden is just super into being the straight human sidekick to wacky computer-animated critters? To each his own. With that in mind, we have a few pitches we’d like to run by him.
NEW TURNER & HOOCH REBOOT
James Marsden is Detective Hooch, a bright and handsome but jaded investigator who wants to be taken more seriously by his colleagues. He is, to his disgust, paired up with a wise-cracking pooch named Turner (voiced by Jim Belushi) who has crucial intel on a local crime syndicate that they’ve been ordered to bring down. Shenanigans ensue. The major piece of product placement will be Mountain Dew. Hooch will die at the end instead of the dog, and be replaced in the sequel by someone cheaper, like Noah Centineo.
THE SHAPE OF THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS
Guillermo del Toro returns with a brand new love story of inter-species beauty. Marsden is Henry Lovecraft, a strange but decidedly not racist or anti-Semitic lover of sci-fi and eggs who is part of a top-secret government facility that has captured a multi-tentacled cosmic entity of mind-melting proportions. Deep Cthulhu has no time for mere human emotions like love or a desire not to go mad, but Lovecraft is just so hunky. Michael Shannon will, of course, be the baddy. Hot Cthulhu will be played by Doug Jones. The sex will be scorching.
DOLITTLE 2: CARIBBEAN DRIFT
With a budget a quarter the size of the Robert Downey Jr. predecessor, this sequel to the biggest flop of 2020 so far will be a musical, as it always should have been, and Marsden will take over the lead role. His change in appearance will be explained away by drastic plastic surgery that became painfully necessary after the Rami Malek gorilla tore his face off following a confrontation over the sh*ttiness of Bohemian Rhapsody. Now, Dr. Dolittle sings and dances and talks to animals voiced by far less expensive celebrities. He takes a trip to the Caribbean where he bumps into some pirates who resemble but are totally legally distinct from certain Disney properties and engages in some high-seas galleon racing. The evil pirate will be played by Vin Diesel because Dwayne Johnson had scheduling clashes.
HELP, I’M A MONGOOSE!
James Marsden plays Bob Bitterman, a CEO for a high-flying evil corporation who’s too busy trying to help capitalism destroy the world to pay attention to his damn wiener kids. When he misses his especially whiny son’s bassoon recital, his long-suffering wife takes matters into her own hands. Through an unnecessarily complicated series of events involving a vaguely culturally offensive curse and a mystical figure played by Christopher Walken, Bob swaps bodies with Monty, the family mongoose. Said mongoose does not have Marsden’s voice because that’s not how mongooses work and I won’t let the verisimilitude of this project be put at risk by such nonsense. Marsden, however, will spend the next 90 minutes tearing holes into the furniture and trying to mate with the next-door neighbor’s ring-tailed lemur. He never turns back into a human and the big evil corporation still destroys the world, but as a mongoose, Bob is perfectly equipped to cope with the aftermath of humanity’s destruction and finally escapes the never-ending whining of his damn wiener kids.
PRINCE EDWARD’S CRITTER COUNTRY JAMBOREE
After returning to Andalasia and losing Idina Menzel to some sleazy diamond merchant who never stops sweating, the dashing Prince Edward of Enchanted fame has to consider his priorities as he comes ever closer to inheriting the throne. He’s not ready for that kind of responsibility yet, not when there’s a whole new world out there with TVs and junk food and buses (beautiful buses!) So, there’s only one thing to do — road trip! Edward gathers up his cutesy critters and takes a long journey around the American heartland, seeing the sights, enjoying the food, and never once having to deal with the consequences of his stupidity because he’s a rich white guy in a van! But he’ll still punch some Nazis. He’s a prince, after all. He fights evil.
Header Image Source: YouTube // Paramount Pictures