FANBROS FANCAST: The Wicked + The Divine
The Wicked + The Divine Fancast
Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.
The Wicked + The Divine is a comic book series by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson and Clayton Cowles that has been published by Image comics since 2014. Boiled down to it’s bare bones it’s about a bunch of deities who get reincarnated into the bodies of humans and for two years serve as the world’s greatest muses and artists every 90 years in an event called ‘The Recurrence’. The current recurrence sees the deities become pop stars spanning across multiple genres of music, and the series introduces us into this insanely clever world by way of a pantheon fangirl named Laura.
The comic has been well received over the course of it’s ongoing 4 year run (at the time of this article, it has a score of 8.5/10 on Comic book round up), and in 2015 it was announced that Universal TV would be adapting the property into a television show. There hasn’t been many updates surrounding the development of the series for screen since; and because of that I couldn’t think of a better piece of media to kick off the FanBros Fancast series.
WicDiv is a favorite title of not only myself, but O.G. Fanbro and captain of the spaceship, DJ Benhameen and for good reason. WicDiv is effortlessly cool, can be unexpectedly heartbreaking, and another twist is seemingly always around the corner. With a cast of characters that span a myriad of different ethnicities, cultures, and subcultures, the fan casting landscape is ripe for the picking so without further ado, let’s jump right into casting our Pantheon.
What better place to start than with the character that brings us into the world of WicDiv, pantheon fangirl turned literal goddess, Laura Wilson/Persephone? Passionate to a fault (even when she’s’ unsure of her actions), more than a little obsessed at times, and ruthless when she needs to be, Laura is one hell of a human protagonist and complex enough to not seem like a complete bore when she’s surrounded by rock stars who just so happen to be gods. Most, if not all of the characters looks are influenced by real world artists and it’s said that Laura’s appearance is inspired by acts such as Sky Ferreira, MIA, Siouxsie Sioux, and FKA Twigs. I think Kiana Lede not only has the right aesthetics to bring our Persephone to the screen, and her work in the second season of the Scream tv series shows that she can pull off sassy, smart, and vulnerable. Plus the girl in real life is a singer with serious pipes so she’d kill Persi’s concert scenes.
Despite being killed off fairly early on in the series, Luci has left an impact on WicDiv fans, often being a favorite when it comes to cosplay. Her androgynous aesthetic is reminiscent of Bowie in his prime, and her character in particular has really resonated to the queer community. In a perfect world, my dream Lucifer would be Westworld’s Evan Rachel Wood who can rock a short cut/suit combo like nobody’s business. But at 30, Wood is sadly too old for the (roughly) 18 year old Lucifer. Still, I think my actual pick, Cara Delevingne would make a fantastic Lucifer. Arguably, Luci embraces the rockstar lifestyle more than any other members of the pantheon, and despite her not being an actual rockstar, her persona in the public eye gives off that vibe enough that she could easily channel into the princess of darkness.
Reminiscent of Florence Welch, Amaterasu has my vote as most likely to have rolled up in one of those black cars in ‘Get Out’. So friendly and unassuming (by her own definition her bisexuality makes her boring) that you almost forget the stench of cultural appropriation wafts off of her like a perfume. Besides the signature red hair, what I looked for in casting in the sun god was an ability to play both docile and quietly frightening. My first choice was Riverdale’s Madeline Petsch, who I still think is an okay choice, but at the end of the day I think Sophie Turner has exhibited her capability in portraying similar traits not only as Jean Gray, but Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones.
A prince in the eyes of many readers for his warm personality (though like all of the other gods in the pantheon, he could have a mean streak as well) and as far as physical appearances go very reminiscent of…well… Prince, Inanna, I have to admit was tough, but not my toughest. The WicDiv wiki describes his ethnicity as either south or west Asian and I wanted to honor that as best I could. In a perfect world where all cultures and creeds had better representation I wish I could have fan casted an actual south or west Asian genderqueer or non-binary person. Since we’re not in a perfect world, I think SKAM’s Cengiz Al is still a pretty good choice for the ‘ethical slut’, mostly because his portrayal of the loveable and woke Yousef Acar in the Norwegian teen drama, Cengiz can make being instantly liked seem effortless.
Ahh, The Morrigan, the member of the pantheon who was once my absolute favorite, but over time it was discovered that she is absolute trash. The three in one goddess gives off a completely rock and roll look that reminds me a lot of Amy Lee of Evanescence or PJ Harvey. Immediately, I thought of someone like Margaret Qualley in the role, remembering how compelling she was as Jill Garvey in the first season of HBO’s The Leftovers. Then I remembered Jade Tailor exists and my mind was pretty much made up – she is my Morrigan and if you doubt for a second that she had the ferocity and rock and roll attitude to pull off the mistress of darkness, just check out her work as Kady Orloff-Diaz in The Magicians.
Of course, we can’t talk about The Morrigan without Baphomet who, for better or worse (worse, 100% worse) can most likely be found by her side. Flamboyant, sarcastic and showy (despite secretly being an uber nerd), Baphomet would be a role perfectly suited for a younger Ian Somerhalder…too bad he’s way too old. Baph was actually tougher to pin down casting wise than I thought, but in the end I think Matthew Daddario would be an interesting choice for our beloved Nergel, and not just because I have the sneaking suspicion that boy would look fire in a leather jacket (but that too).
How can you not love a character so obviously based on Kayne West? The answer is you can’t. Baal is something of the leader of the pantheon, especially when things go to hell later down the line, he’s the one who holds things down. Arrogant, and aggressive, but with a gentle side, Baal was actually the easiest to cast for me — Lucien Laviscount. A British import to boot, Lucien started to crossover a few years back, and his filmography is nothing to play around with, but it was his performance as…well an aggressive and angry rapper in the 2014 movie Honey Trap that sowed this one up for me right away. Plus…just look at him, wouldn’t you believe him as a full of himself lightning god/rapper with a fragrance line that has a tagline as cheesy as ‘capture lightning in a bottle’?
Woden is easily the Joffrey Baratheon of WicDiv, if you like him then that is serious grounds for side eye, because boy, calling him the worst doesn’t even cut it. Woden conceals himself in a suit reminiscent of Daft Punk at all times under the guise that he’s disfigured, but it turns out he’s less ‘Deadppool’ and more ‘Al Bundy’, as in really he’s hiding the fact that he’s not a teenager like the rest of the pantheon, but a middle aged man who only pretended to be the reincarnation of Woden, but really keeps his son, imprisoned in order to use his powers as Mirmir to build things. There are plenty of 40 something white, male actors to choose from, so mostly I went by who gave me a good enough creep vibe, and for that I’m going with Rufus Sewell. Nothing against the guy, I’m sure he’s fantastic, but you’ve got to admit, he’s pretty unsettling to look at.
Mimir, sweetie I’m so sorry you have to be associated with this dumpster fire, Woden, but such is life. Mimir’s dad, David has a gross and well documented tendency to fetishize Asians (re: his valkyries), and no doubt Mirmir’s mom was no different as he himself is half-Asian. There’s isn’t a lot of information about him as of yet in terms of his personality, so I’m going almost exclusively on appearance here, and selecting Australian entertainer, James Reid.
Skahmet is a lot of things, but ‘good person’ isn’t counted among them, but damaged? 100%, in fact, that’s maybe the understatement of the century. Sakhmet, along with John is the perfect example of how dangerous godhood can be when it falls into the wrong hands. Physically modeled after Rhianna, it was tough trying to figure out who could play her in a live-action version. In fact, I was just going to cast Rhianna, but decided to save my technicality vote for another pantheon member. Chanel Iman, Jasmine Sanders, and Zendaya all became contenders at one point or another, but when I thought of using Kiersey Clemmons, it was pretty much a done deal. Kiersey is the kind of actress who is highly capable of transforming herself depending on the given role, and someone as complicated as the sometimes cannibal who takes pride in feeling nothing could be one of her greatest roles yet.
Fucking Tara. Really, what can you say about fucking Tara? If you’re me, then the answer is a whole lot. Sakhmet is a tragic figure who refused to feel, while Tara is one who possibly felt too much. Hands down, the most enigmatic member of the pantheon, Tara, up until issue 13 was only name checked here and there, and never in a positive manner. The other members of the pantheon (even almost literal sunshine, Ameratsu) either dismissed or talked shit on Tara constantly, there was never a nice word uttered about her, not even from Laura’s mouth. I already loved WicDiv from issue one, but it was Tara’s issue, issue 13 that elevated the material from a piece of media to a piece of art. I’m literally stopping myself from going on, and going to refrain from giving away any spoilers (in an article full of them), that’s how much I love Tara and I can’t recommend her issue enough, do yourself a favor, seriously. Has my intensity for the goddess come across enough yet? Well you can only imagine how much I want to do justice to her casting. I kicked around the idea of Naomi Scott for a while, and the fact that she’s also a singer made the notion even more tempting, but in the end, I think Meaghan Rath, who produced amazing work in the U.S. version of Being Human as housebound ghost, Sally Malik, is someone who could blow audiences away with her portrayal of the modern tragedy that is Tara.
When I think of Dionysus the first thing that comes to mind is a dope skull tattoo, the next is his ability to make a shirt that says ‘YOL∞’ work, and then how kind hearted he actually is. Ameratsu or Inanna would probably be considered the somewhat sweethearts of the group, but it’s selfless Dionysus who captures my vote. Believe it or not, the bald head over everything else is what made Dio so hard to cast, but in Hollywood there’s a million workarounds for that, so putting that to the side I think Avan Jogia would be killer in the role. He’s the kind of actor who does understated really well, but also can display a certain kind of chaotic and almost dangerous energy, something that could come in handy in a scene depicting one of Dio’s shows, and he’s another actor on this list whose musically inclined, which can only be a plus despite Dio is less of a singer and more of a human rave.
Oh man, child actors are tough, even tougher? Younger teenage actors around the 13 year old age, but this year gave us a gem of a Netflix show called ‘Everything Sucks’ and with it a gem of an actress in 14 year old Peyton Kennedy. Kennedy was so convincing as a closeted high school sophomore that I was pretty stunned when I found out that she herself wasn’t even close to being of legal age to drive, and for fans of Everything Sucks, The fact that the actress can handle adult oriented material is a given.
Advisor and guide to the pantheon, Ananke is (arguably) the antagonist of the series. She’s the woman making all the moves behind the scenes for what she believes is the greater good, so of course her actress needs to be a good one. Probably because I’m a fan of the Insidious series, Lin Shae came to mind, but I figured I can do better, and I think I have it – 3 words; Dame. Judi. Dench. The woman is a beast in the acting game, 8 minutes of screen time got her an Oscar, for Shakespeare in Love (and that movie isn’t even that great)! What locks her up for Ananke for me in particular is her performance in Notes on a Scandal where she played an Ananke-esq psycho who could go from killing someone with kindness to ruthlessness at the drop of a dime.
Cassandra Igarashi/Urdr (and by extension, The Norns)
Remember when I said that I had a technicality vote somewhere in this article? Well here it is, Fanbros, because I concede on trying to cast the skeptical, sarcastic, kind of bitter, but for a while there, Laura’s (sort of) ally, Cassandra. Representation matters and it matters a lot, so it didn’t really sit all too well with me to compromise on changing the fact that the character is Japanese or Trans. The pool for trans actors is bigger than it was a few years ago, but still pretty small so I can only imagine (hope) that the creators would put in the work to find a dope trans actress to portray the argumentative reporter.
There it is, Fanbros, my The Wicked + The Divine dreamcast. How does it stack up against your own? Let me know in the comments down below, and keep it here on Fanbros.com for more Fanbros Fancasts.