What If ‘The Peanuts Movie’ Starred Real, Live Actors?

October 30, 2015 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

As a lifelong fan of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang, I’m more than a little excited about The Peanuts Movie. However, other than the holiday specials, the 65-year-old brainchildren of Charles Schulz have lost a lot of their cultural impact. My 5-year-old knows who Snoopy and Charlie Brown are, but just barely. I can’t wait to fully introduce him to these beloved characters in their big screen debut.

And yet, I can’t help but worry that some of the depth and nuance — the humanity — of the Peanuts gang will be lost in this glossy, animated translation. The comic strips always had a subtle, adult sensibility to their humor that I fear may get dumbed-down by Hollywood. I could be wrong, but just in case…

how AWESOME would it be if there was a version starring real, live, adult actors? I’m sure the kids doing the voice acting in the film will do a swell job, but having adult embodiments of the characters would definitely make them more interesting for this older-than-G-Rated-fan.

With that in mind, below is my fantasy cast. I doctored the actors’ headshots a bit to help sell the match-ups… in case that wasn’t clear. (Warning: not all links are family friendly or SFW.)

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THE REAL PEANUTS MOVIE

starring:

LOUIS C.K. as CHARLIE BROWN
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors: Louis CK as Charlie Brown

Who better to portray the film’s loser of a leading man than comedian Louis C.K.? A master of self-deprecation — and similarly doughy and balding — C.K. is the perfect grown-up (and slightly more bitter) C.B.

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LUCY LIU
as LUCY
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors: Lucy Liu as Lucy

Lucys Liu and van Pelt share more than a first name — they are both forces to be reckoned with. The animated version rules the playground with her bossy, advice-giving swagger. And her charms never fail to convince poor Charlie Brown to attempt to kick the football, no matter how many times she’s knocked him on his ass.

For similar swagger, charm and ass-kicking, check out Ms. Liu in Ally McBeal, Charlie’s Angels, and Kill Bill, Vol. 1.
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RYAN GOSLING as LINUS
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors: Ryan Gosling as Linus

Linus van Pelt, like Ryan Gosling, is a deep thinker and feeler. He enjoys reciting long monologues; he waxes philosophical in pumpkin patches; and he makes the ladies (like Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally) swoon.

“Hey girl, you wanna greet the Great Pumpkin with me?
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AMY SCHUMER as SALLY
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors: Amy Schumer as Sally

Like Charlie’s little sis, Sally, Amy Schumer is sweet but sassy; baby-faced but ballsy; and oh-so-obsessed with love. But in Amy, Sally has grown up, gotten over Linus, and is looking for love pretty much anywhere she can find it.
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NATASHA LYONNE as PEPPERMINT PATTY
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors

Brash tomboy? Check. Raspy-voiced redhead? Check. Fierce and freckle-faced? Check. Boy-crazy and chick magnet? Check and check.
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ELLEN PAGE as MARCIE
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors

Bespectacled Marcie suffers no fools, save her delusionally confident best friend (with benefits?), Peppermint Patty. Like Marcie, Ellen Page plays smart, quirky and dry-witted like none other.
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JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE as SCHROEDER
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors: Justin Timberlake as Schroeder

JT, like Schroeder, knows what it’s like to be a musical child prodigy… and to have the ladies incessantly throwing themselves at him. Though none quite as incessant as Schroeder’s main groupie, Lucy.
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WILL SMITH as FRANKLIN
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors: Will Smith as Franklin

In case you’re thinking I put little thought into casting Franklin, and just chose the most famous black actor in the world to play the Peanuts’ token kid of color, you’re a little bit right. But it was mainly the ears.
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CHARLIE DAY as PIG-PEN
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors

As Charlie Kelly, Day was the Pigpen of the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia gang, content to live cluelessly in his own filth and squalor. But always with a smile.
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WENTWORTH MILLER as VIOLET
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors: Wentworth Miller as Violet

Lucy may be the bossiest, but Violet is the OG Mean Girl. Flawless and full of herself, she’s best personified by Wentworth Miller. Don’t believe me? Check him out in all his sardonic glory on Popular (Ryan Murphy’s first TV show). Or as the icy Leonard Snart/Captain Cold on The Flash. Or just look at him — even his smile looks bitchy.
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RACHEL McADAMS as PATTY
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors

Patty is Violet’s less-mean BFF, continually alternating between sweet and snobby. Who better to portray her on screen than the actress who starred in both Mean Girls and The Notebook in the same year?
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NORMAN REEDUS as SHERMY
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors: Norman Reedus as Shermy

Very little is known about Shermy; but according to the film’s web site, he’s “An all around good guy. …dependable. And he also cuts a mean ‘zombie’ dance.

Dependable zombie guy it is.
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AMY ADAMS as LITTLE RED-HAIRED GIRL
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors

With a smile like sunshine and hair like flames, Amy Adams epitomizes the girl-next-door sweetness and beauty of Charlie Brown’s object of affection.
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BIG BIRD as WOODSTOCK
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors: Big Bird as Woodstock

Tweety Bird auditioned for this role, but was disqualified on account of not being real. Luckily, everyone’s dependable (and real) best friend, Big Bird, was available. Now we just have to teach him (her?) to fly.
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CORDELIA (AKA “CORDI”) as SNOOPY
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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors: My dog as Snoopy

While not a beagle, this adorable Portuguese Water Dog nonetheless fits the smart, fun-loving, and loyal spirit of top dog Snoopy. Besides, has anyone ever seen a real beagle colored like Snoopy?

(Full disclosure: this is my dog)
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KRISTEN WIIG as GILLY as FRIEDA

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The Peanuts Movie Starring Real Actors

Frieda’s only claim to fame is her obsession with her “naturally curly hair.” So yeah, that’s all I got.

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So what do you think? How did I do with my casting? Share your cheers, jeers, and suggestions in the comment!

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[Disclaimer: As part of the Fandango Family Digital Network, I have accepted free promotional codes and other compensation from Fandango in exchange for this post. However, all opinions are my own.]

Have you visited and liked the Designer Daddy Facebook page? AUUUGH!! What are you waiting for, you blockhead?! (If you didn’t get that reference, I apologize… and you should definitely go see The Peanuts Movie.)

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comments

4 responses to “What If ‘The Peanuts Movie’ Starred Real, Live Actors?”

  1. Jeannette says:

    Very funny!! but if the cast is grown up but not yet very old, I think a bit younger Charlie would be best, like Seth Rogan (minus all the hair) or Jonah HIll. I like your choice for Lucy but Pauly Perrette or Krysten Ritter always remind me of Lucy and Violet. Maybe someone important looks at this someday 🙂

    • Brent Almond says:

      Oh yeah — like your choices, too! I thought of Jonah Hill, but thought he might be too thin now. 😉
      And I love Krysten Ritter on Jessica Jones — she would be a Lucy/Violet NOT to be messed with.

  2. Raymond says:

    Wonderful list! (I’m glad you included Frieda; everyone seems to forget her for some reason).

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