First, let’s set the mood.
Holy hell I love this movie.
With news of the 1999 comedy classic Galaxy Quest, a perfect film about the cast of Star Trek being mistaken for actual heroes by aliens in need, being rebooted for television back on everyone’s radar, there are a lot of questions to consider: Will the original cast return? Will the reboot follow the cast of Galaxy Quest: The Next Generation? Can anyone ever own every frame of every scene he’s in as masterfully as Tony Shalhoub does in this film?
I’m assuming that the answers to these questions are ‘no,’ ‘nah’ and ‘that’s not possible in our lifetime’ and that the TV reboot will follow a slightly newer version of the same crew, along with some new stock Trek archetypes. But who will play Alexander Dane with the commitment that Grabthar’s hammer deserves? I don’t have answers. But I have some good ideas.
Also known as TV’s Commander Peter Quincy Taggert. Tim Allen put in a fantastic “in over his head/world weary TV star” performance in the Galaxy Quest movie. Who can fill his shoes?
Keegan Michael Key
Key has both the charisma and the comedic chops to hold an ensemble series together, and it’s about time we made this guy a leading man. Of course, why does Nesmith have to be a man?
Why bother being creative? Just let an actress best known as the lead of a beloved sci fi television series play an actress best known as the lead of a beloved sci fi television series. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Anderson in a comedic role, but I’ve never seen Tim Allen do anything funny either, and he surprised everyone! ZING.
It’s a fantastic connection to the movie, and Rockwell is one of the greatest actors that has ever lived.
I mean, Bojack Horseman and Jason Nesmith are basically the same character.
Cast as the eye candy whose job is repeating the computer in the film’s original Galaxy Quest show, DeMarco more than comes into her own when faced with actual alien peril. Sigourney Weaver is the best.
She herself is strange and unusual, and in a need of a fun comeback. Plus you can already hear her yelling “well fuck that!” at the unnecessary obstacle strewn death trap that is the ship’s lower decks.
If we’re doing some gender swapping with roles, there is no one on TV better right now at being completely aware he’s nothing but shallow eye candy. Jaime Camil is the funniest part of Jane The Virgin, one of the strongest shows currently on TV. If any man can handle telenovela levels of “beautiful man in a gratuitously torn shirt on alien planet,” it’s Jaime Camil.
The adorable child star of the Galaxy Quest series is now a young adult that’s had to grow up around all of these washed up asshats.
Bryant is one of the funniest people in the world, and her committing to the reality of having to fly an actual spaceship out of a docking station would be worth the entire series.
I felt like Glee completely lost sight of what it was supposed to be after a season or two and cast members like Colfer weren’t able to shine comedically anymore, but Chris Colfer is a solid anchor for a comedic ensemble. I’d completely buy him as a miserable former child star. Plus he’s a talented guy and seems to take himself really seriously, so I want to hear him have to say ridiculous space words.
A child star we’ve watched grow up playing a child star we’ve watched grow up. I want to see Alia Shawkat play sci fi Jason Bateman, is I guess what I’m trying to say. Isn’t that what we’re all trying to say?
I’d argue that this is Alan Rickman’s greatest role, and I don’t care that he lived on a Hogwarts set for 17 years. Alexander Dane played Doctor Lazarus in hope of being able to focus on a career in theatre afterwards, but instead has to show up at fan conventions to quote his overdramatic Spock’s catchphrase on an endless loop. Rickman turns in some of the best moments of the film, and this is high praise when you are talking about a movie that is nothing but a string of best moments.
Marc Evan Jackson
Jackson is one of the best deadpan performers I’ve ever seen, and if anyone deserves the ‘heir to Leslie Nielsen’ mantle, it’s this guy. He’s a fantastic actor that could drop in just the right amount of dramatic pathos to make the disciple of Grabthar’s Hammer his breakout role.
This one is honestly a no brainer. Tim Meadows is the man. He’s responsible for a line from SNL that has basically shaped my entire life: “let’s pretend like this is going really well.” He’s one of the all time most underrated comedic performers and he’d crush this.
Everything needs Elisabeth Shue in it. I will never not include her in a dream casting list. She was also my pick to play Ultron and The Rock’s role in the FF franchise and Bill Jumanji. I’ve never seen Jumanji, but is it about a guy named Bill Jumanji? Whatever. By Grabthar’s Hammer, Elisabeth Shue ya’ll.
Sometimes it’s tough to watch Urbaniak and not get confused as to why he’s not animated and wearing a speedsuit. It’s like a kid that realizes Santa looks sort of like Dale, the old guy that lives down the street that’s always having yard sales. Basically I’m just picturing all of these actors holding a dying alien in their arms and giving in to saying the catchphrase that’s haunted them their entire lives, and based on his work in Difficult People, Urbaniak knocks it out of the park. In my fantasy brain.
This one is big for me. Fred Kwan is one of my favorite characters. Ever. In any movie. Tony Shalhoub’s performance in this movie is one of the most weirdly perfect things I’ve ever seen on film. He’s so over everything in his life that discovering aliens are real is something that he can’t even seem to bother processing and the result is spectacular. What I’m saying is that these picks are basically me naming a child after them and then giving them that child.
The first time I saw Park was a web series where he was running a backyard wrestling promotion and he said the following sentence: “How many times do I have to tell you guys that before you wrestle you need to take your keys out of your pocket?” And I was sold. This man can Shalhoub.
I mean, I don’t really need to explain this one.
Fleegman was basically a Star Trek red shirt in one episode of Galaxy Quest and the rest of his life has been defined by it. Sam Rockwell killed this role, which is like saying that cheddar biscuits taste good.
I dunno, I dig this guy. He’s not my favorite character on New Girl, but he is my favorite actor in the show. Does that make sense? Also, he can sure sell McDonalds sirloin burgers. Does anyone else think he’s really angry in that commercial? I think he’s really angry.
Miguel Ángel Silvestre
Silvestre was so fun and over the top in Sense8. Definitely my favorite character in the show. It’d be fun to see him apply that same energy to his inner Sam Rockwell. Also, he’s a very pretty man. Like, Final Fantasy final boss pretty.
I can’t be the only one that was like ‘but where does Cecily?’ when they announced the Ghostbusters cast, right? I think that the Red Shirt You Don’t Want to Talk to at a Party would be a major scene stealer.
Mathesar and the Thermians
Mathesar is the leader of the Thermians, the race that has mistaken the cast of Galaxy Quest as legit heroes. They are very loud and weird and have squid parts. Ok, they’re hard to describe if you haven’t seen the movie. Also if you haven’t seen the movie and you’re still reading this list, thank you and here’s a video:
Honestly, this list is less ‘people to play Mathesar’ and more ‘these people would be great Thermians.’
Joe Lo Truglio
Lo Truglio is The State’s Tim Meadows in terms of being super underrated. I’m glad he’s getting the love he deserves in Brooklyn 99, but I can’t watch him in Brooklyn 99. Because Andy Samberg is a migraine trigger. So let’s put Lo Truglio in more stuff. All the stuff. But let’s make him Mathesar first.
Give me as much Maria Bamford as you possibly can.
There are times when Another Period feels like an audition for Lindhome to play an alien pretending to be a human based on what she’s watched on an old low budget television show. She’s my pick for Jane Doe.
Fun fact! The internet does not find Brandon gif worthy. Sad, right?
Originally played by Justin Long, Brandon is the nerdy kid that knows the show inside and out, and would probably be furious if someone announced that the Galaxy Quest EU was being retconned. He’s basically the crew’s tech support, as he’s the only person that knows what’s going on.
Are you watching Black-ish? You should. This kid is great.
Do we really have to choose just one? There’s no reason why we can’t have a small room full of Brandons. They play D&D as a group and get mad when their mom makes them take out the trash. And eventually we get a scene where Micucci plays a fun song with a squid alien.
And in the spirit of multiple nerds…
BONUS NERD: Billy Eichner
I mean come on. I want to hear him shout corrections about nerd minutia at people more than I want to succeed at my own goals.
The alien Warlord threatening an entire alien race with genocide.
How awesome would Meloni be in full ridiculous alien makeup? Chewing scenery, doing crazy monologues… I am owed this for the cancellation of Surviving Jack. It’s time to pay up.
SO THOSE ARE YOUR ONLY OPTIONS, PEOPLE. Dig any of those picks? Am I an idiot for missing some obvious choices? Let me know. Politely. I’m very delicate today.