The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Okay, a word of explanation before we begin the beguine on this one.  We have cast the first four books of the trilogy.  On the subject of the fifth book we are split down the middle here at SDI headquarters.  Some of think it is infuriating genius, others think of it as infuriating garbage.  Rather than have either a debate or fisticuffs break out, or a bout of dead cat throwing, we have opted to cast the first four books.  All this to say that if you have not read them, you are in for SPOILERS. So click on the book you need and go get them from Amazon if you haven't had the pleasure: Book One, Book Two, Book Three, and Book Four. And what the heck, go get Book Five and then let us know if it's such a controversy.

And if you need even more info, your best bet is Floor 42. All Adams, all the time.

Now that we're all read up, let's get into it...


Book One: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Voice of the Book Patrick Stewart
Arthur Dent Richard E. Grant
Mr. L. Prosser Leo McKern
Ford Prefect Rupert Everett
Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz (voice) Richard Ridings
Zaphod Beeblebrox Kenneth Branagh
Tricia “Trillian” McMillan Julia Sawalha
Vogon Guard (voice) Michael Dorn
Marvin (voice) Stephen Moore
Eddie's First Personality (voice) Eric Idle
Sub-etha Radio Announcer (voice) Tom Baker
Gag Halfrunt Dudley Moore
Any other doors and elevators (voice) Michael McShane
The Voice of Magrathea Patrick Macnee
The Whale (voice) John Hurt
The Bowl of Petunias/Agrajag (voice) Rowan Atkinson
Eddie's Second Personality (voice) Michael Palin
Slartibartfast Peter O'Toole
Deep Thought (voice) James Earl Jones
Lunkwill John Hannah
Fook Hugh Laurie
Majikthise Richard Briers
Vroomfondel Jonathan Pryce
Phouchg Chris Barrie
Loonquawl Tony Slattery
Benjy the Mouse (voice) Michael Caine
Frankie the Mouse (voice) Michael York
Magrathean Cop #1 Simon Callow
Magrathean Cop #2 Rik Mayall

Book Two: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Zaphod Beeblebrox IV Freddie Jones
The Secretary Insect (voice) Tracey Ullman
Roosta Michael Maloney
The Gigantic Black Tank (voice) Alan Rickman
Pizpot Gargravarr (voice) Michael Gough
Transtellar Cruise Autopilot (voice) Terence Stamp
Zarniwoop Tom Wilkinson
Waiter at Milliways (voice) John Cleese
Hotblack Desiato Graham Chapman
Hotblack Desiato's Bodyguard Vinnie Jones
Max Quordlepleen Terry Jones
The Cow (voice) Derek Jacobi
Zarquon John Neville
Number Two Alfred Molina
Number One Robbie Coltrane
The Captain Herbert Lom
The Ruler of the Universe Anthony Hopkins
The Marketing Girl Helena Bonham Carter

Book Three: Life, The Universe and Everything

Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged David Prowse
Zem the Mattress (voice) Eddie Izzard
The Documentary Man Paul Scofield
Krikkit Pilot Douglas Adams
H.H.J.S. Judiciary Pag Ian Holm
The Clerk of the Court Tim Roth
Screenplay Writer Who Likes Belgium Tom Stoppard
Thor Brian Blessed
Hactar (voice) Geoffrey Rush
Prak Gary Oldman

Book Four: So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

Rob McKenna Bob Hoskins
Russell Cary Elwes
Fenchurch Kristin Scott Thomas
The Raffle Girl Joanna Lumley
John Watson/Wonko the Sane Albert Finney
Murray Bost Henson Michael Gambon
Mrs. Watson/Arcane Jill Joan Plowright

This DreamCast forged by Cardinal Fitts, Cat, Cosette, Doc Ezra and Widge.

Why The Hitchhiker's Guide? Well, like with most of our endeavors here in this Lab, we present you with this DreamCast because we know that the film in the "real world" (wherever that is) will show up eventually. And we're not too keen about the idea of someone in Hollywood adapting this, since they will probably want to base it in Manhattan or something. However, the main reason for this big-ass Casting is because the books are just funny as all high hell. They're widely considered the in-road to get people interested in British comedic literature. You get somebody hooked on the Guide and then it's easy to leapfrog to Good Omens and other such madness. So here you have it, Vogon warts and all.

What's the scoop? Arthur Dent is an ordinary average guy having an ordinary average day until he looks out his window and sees yellow. You see, his house is about to be demolished. But then, so is the entire planet Earth. Oh, and his friend Ford happens to be from Betelguise. And it just gets stranger from there.

We've tried to make this DreamCast a slew of homages to various British sci-fi and comedy shows, in case you don't get that just from perusing the DreamCast list. This would be the kind of film you'd watch and go, "Hey, wasn't that--?" A hoot to be sure.

Patrick Stewart as The Voice of the Book: Okay, you're going to need a narrator type voice to not only be the Guide when someone's actually looking up something, but also to serve as the one who fills us in on the other info that's going on, such as the bit about the digital watches. Anyone care to argue over the Voice we've picked? Didn't think so.

Richard E. Grant as Arthur Dent: Now here's our deal with this: When we first starting kicking this DreamCast around, my first thought was Hugh Grant, because he is the epitome of in-over-his-head British bumblery. But there's a snag, you see--any film that Hugh Grant is in quickly turns into guessed it...Hugh Grant Film TM. There's nothing wrong with that, but I'm just afraid that he would overpower the rest of the ensemble. For that reason, we went with his cousin, Richard E. He does British bumblery just as well, but without the baggage. We think it would work.

Leo McKern as Mr. L. Prosser: Mr. Prosser was the man who had the bulldozers. He also gets the Jedi mind trick from Ford and takes five in the mud, if you remember. He's played many a role, but his mangling the pronunciation of the word "Beatle" in Help! still has a warm place next to my heart. We think he'd have a great time with the cameo.

Rupert Everett as Ford Prefect: When we were working on the cast's major characters, Everett was the first one who sprang to mind. He's the perfect guy to tell you the most insane information about the universe and do so with a straight face. Sure, he was in Inspector Gadget, but everyone makes mistakes every now and then.

Richard Ridings as Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz: Ridings was one of the only reasons to go see The Messenger. His role as La Hire was most amusing, and he's got this unbelievably low gravelly voice. He was the first and only choice we came up with to read that hideous poetry. I can hear it now, and oy, it makes my eyebrows itch. Oh, and another quick note. We would want to go whole hog and have the Vogons CGI'd in. It was tempting to bring in Henson Creature Shop, but we wanted something really REALLY hideous for these blokes.

Kenneth Branagh as Zaphod Beeblebrox: Okay--before you start throwing rocks, give me a second. This was the cause of much heated debate here at headquarters. First, there was the head debate. Yes, he has two heads, but do you have one actor playing both heads or an actor for each? We had a few people who wanted to see a different actor for each head, but I thought that would look a little goofy. I know, I know, I've seen the BBC version and I can say something would look goofy. Whatever. So one actor. Then, who to cast? The other major actor for the part was Kevin Kline, but it just didn't gel for me. The reason why is that Zaphod's defining moment as a character is when he steps into the Vortex, finds out he's the center of the universe (or that universe, rather), and is not surprised by this in the least. He's the most conceited creature in the known galaxy, bar none. Have I made my case yet? Anyway, give him one brown-haired head with a beard and then a blond-haired head as well. And put them together with a little of that whacky CGI.

Julia Sawalha as Trillian: Here's the thing about Trillian: when you think about the cast of whackos on the Heart of Gold, she stands out as probably the most sane of the bunch. You've got Zaphod, the megalomaniac; Marvin, the paranoid; Ford, who's insane in his own private and special way; and then you've got Arthur. And if you think Arthur's sane, you should remind yourself that he spends almost the entire five book trilogy in a bathrobe. So in trying to come up with a young woman who could play that role of sanity, we thought of Sawalha, who certainly did a good job of dealing with two lunatics in Absolutely Fabulous. So why not?

Michael Dorn as the Vogon Guard: Can you think of a better voice to yell "Resistance is useless!" Nope, neither could we.

Stephen Moore as Marvin: Stephen is the only person that is reprising his role from the original BBC series. Normally, we wouldn't look at the original cast members, but you have to understand that Stephen IS the voice of Marvin. There isn't anyone else that could do it justice. If you haven't heard the classic "Marvin, I Love You" song (a staple of the Dr. Demento radio show) or listened to his performance reading the Trilogy on audiobook, you are missing out.

Eric Idle as Eddie's First Personality: If you recall, this is Eddie the Computer's first personality, the very friendly one. Annoying friendly to the point where you would think he was about to nudge you...

Tom Baker as the Sub-etha Radio Announcer: If there's anyone that the universe might listen to when told to bang the rocks together, it's our own favorite Doctor. The one with the kick-ass scarf.

Dudley Moore as Gag Halfunt: With certain characters there are just certain signature lines--and the actor or actress has to be able to deliver the line in a fashion that lends him or herself to being cast. Now imagine Moore saying the immortal line: "Well, Zaphod, he's just this guy, you know?" and you'll understand our decision.

Michael McShane as the doors and elevators: You've seen him on the original Whose Line is it Anyway?, you've seen him in such films as Drop Dead Gorgeous, and damn, is he funny. But he's also a master of voice work--he was Tuck & Roll (the acrobat bugs) in A Bug's Life. He's perfect. Any bit part that needs a voice, he's our man.

Patrick Macnee as the voice of Magrathea: This of course is the recording telling them to have a nice day, but they're about to be nuked out of the sky. No stranger to voice work, he was smart enough to simply use his voice for his cameo in the ill-fated Avengers, among other...shall we say...finer films.

John Hurt as The Whale: "I wonder if it will be friends with me?" This would be priceless.

Rowan Atkinson as Agrajag: Again, to have the immortal line spoken: "Oh no, not again" by Atkinson--and then to have him revealed as Agrajag! Perfection. Our Agrajag would be CGI, a la the Vogons.

Michael Palin as Eddie's Second Personality: Once Eddie's first personality is lost, it switches over to this one: very smotheringly concerned and motherly. Considering the number of times we've seen all the Pythonites in drag, any of them could do motherly, but we settled on Palin.

Peter O'Toole as Slartibartfast: At first, we were thinking John Neville for this part. I mean, that's a hell of a choice to make between Munchausen and Harry Wolper, but eventually we figured out another place where Neville could do his thing, and we wanted O'Toole to complain about the fjords.

James Earl Jones as Deep Thought: There is no one better to utter the immortal words: "The Milliard Gargantubrain? A mere abacus--mention it not." I would pay good money to hear that.

John Hannah and Hugh Laurie as Lunkwill and Fook: These are the two scientists who power on Deep Thought and are trying to get their answer. However, they are interrupted by...

Richard Briers and Jonathan Pryce as Majikthise and Vroomfondel: ...the two philosophers who may or may not be demanding facts or who they are or anything. Imagine the four of them in a room acting out that scene, with Jones' voice booming in the background. Oh, it would be a joy.

Chris Barrie and Tony Slattery as Phouchg and Loonquawl: These are the two descendants of the original IPL'ers of Deep Thought, who are left trying to come up with an appropriate question. If you know these two, you know it'll be pretty damn funny to watch.

Michael Caine and Michael York as The Mice: For some perverse reason, we wanted two immensely talented thesps to play...well, very intellectual mice. I don't know why, don't ask us.

Simon Callow and Rik Mayall as the Magrathean Cops: They really don't want to have any harm come to you, that is, until they really get into it. Be warned. But anyway, we thought it would be a nice juxtaposition--master thespian and...well, Prick. I mean, Rick.

Freddie Jones as Zaphod Beeblebrox IV: Damn, it hurts like hell to have to change this casting. Originally we cast Sir John Gielgud in the role, just because we wanted to hear his interp on the line "Conceited little megapuppy." But we very recently lost him and we miss him quite a bit. But the Cast must go on, so we racked our brains and came up with Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones' gargantuan filmography is most impressive, so we have tapped him for the role. Again, a two-headed Jones, probably one head with goatee and one without. And the one with the goatee, as we understand it, sleeps through the majority of his brief appearance.

Tracey Ullman as the Secretary Insect: One of the funniest exchanges in the series, in our not-so-humble opinions is between a frustrated Zaphod and this character, who is busy answering several phones at the offices of the Guide. We'd CGI the critter and then bring in one of our favorite actresses to voice it. She can feel free to pick any accent she wants.

Michael Maloney as Roosta: This is the guy who Zaphod meets on his way to Frogstar. The one with the tasty towel. The one who informs Zaphod about a fate worse than a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. We tapped Branagh amigo Maloney for this part, just because we feel he could bring to the small part a nice air of mystery--and he's a pretty amusing frood.

Alan Rickman as the Tank: This is the large black tank that Marvin tricks into eventually blowing the floor out from under itself. The perfect part for SDI fave Rickman, since when he's in evil mode you would expect him to have an electron ram.

Michael Gough as Pizpot Gargravarr: Since this is merely a voice part, we'll default to the best performance we heard of it--again from Stephen Moore's interp of the audiobook. Since Moore will be busy as Marvin and we want to cram as much talent into this as we can, we'll go with Gough. Imagine him doing a very tired, somewhat bored voice where he takes his time saying all the words. Then you'll have a Pot to Piz in. Sorry, it's late.

Terence Stamp as the Autopilot: We thought about whether or not to use a female or a male voice for this part. Then we figured there was a robotic stewardess and having the same voice do both wouldn't be as much fun. Besides, Stamp has got a great voice for demanding that Zaphod return to his seat.

Tom Wilkinson as Zarniwoop: Tom Wilkinson has taken the slightly questionable to downright evil all-business man and made a movie career out of it. For the man who wants to see the Ruler of the Universe, there's none better.

John Cleese as the Waiter: He goes from a waiter where a guy as big as the universe blows up to here where the actual universe blows up. In the book, he's a little green guy, so we'll CGI the critter and have Cleese do the voice. Perfect.

Graham Chapman as Hotblack Desiato: Some of you at this point might be a little confused. Well, it's like this: if you recall, Hotblack is spending a year dead for tax purposes. Because of this, my idea was to have Terry Gilliam actually play the role, slumped head down on the table at Milliways. Then you give Chapman the role in the credits as an inside joke, since unfortunately, we lost the brilliant Mr. Chapman some time ago. Now, there may be those of you out there who would think this in poor taste, or at least it might gain us the ire of the Python gang, whom we at SDI revere as comedy gods. There were some people here who thought the same, and may I remind all of you that at the Aspen Comedy Festival last year or the year before, Graham was represented by a singing urn of ashes which the Python guys proceeded to spill all over the place in a Marx Brothers routine. Our homage here is small biscuits compared to that.

Vinnie Jones as Hotblack's bodyguard: Vinnie is our favorite tough guy of today's movies, bar none. If you've seen Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (and if you haven't, fix that), then you know that our man Vinnie just needs to look a little more alien, and he's got it.

Terry Jones as Max Quordlepleen: Again, based on past experience, Terry Jones defined smarmy, slimy emcees for an entire generation. You've got Joel Grey and then there's Terry.

Derek Jacobi as the Cow: Again, we just wanted a great thespian to say the line "I'll just nip off and shoot myself." We admit it, we're sick people.

John Neville as Zarquon: Somewhere in his stint as Baron Munchausen we saw the spark that could be a cosmic messiah on a microphone.

Alfred Molina as Number Two: Alfred Molina is many things, but among them he's a master at comical pompous villains. His was one of the easiest roles to cast, since we couldn't picture anyone else interrogating someone about what they'd like to drink.

Robbie Coltrane as Number One: It's a part without much to do with it, but we just wanted to see Robbie in here somewhere, and where better than at the side of...

Herbert Lom as The Captain: of our favorite comical villains of all time, Dreyfus. This role would be a little less frenetic, since he's in a bath of one type or another the entire time and all. But still, he's the perfect captain for a ship load of loons.

Anthony Hopkins as The Ruler of the Universe: This we gave some serious thought to. After all, he is the man pulling the strings. All you need to do is give him the same hair he had during Instinct, and we'd love to see Sir Tony talking to his cat.

Helena Bonham Carter as The Marketing Girl: She was really the only one we considered for this role, seeing as how when she turns on the ditz, there's no one better. She could make you believe she needed focus groups to learn what people wanted from fire.

David Prowse as Wowbagger: Another cameo by a well-known sci-fi figure, who originally played Hotblack's bodyguard in the BBC miniseries, but here we'd like to expand his part slightly, giving him the benefit of insulting everyone in the universe. He can do this while he's waiting to see if he gets to play Darth in Episode 3. Good luck, Dave. We're pulling for you.

Eddie Izzard as Zem: I'm not sure what "floopily" is, but we'd like to give Eddie the chance to show us.

Paul Scofield as The Documentary Man: Another grand thesp, his voice required to boom impressively while explaining why the denizens of Krikkit are going to come and kick everyone's ass. Make the documentary a bit like a spirited episode of Cosmos and we'll be set.

Douglas Adams as The Krikkit Pilot: We figured the perfect way for the author to have a cameo is to have the immortal line: "It'll have to go."

Ian Holm as Judiciary Pag: Yet another SDI fave, he absolutely slays us in stuff like The Sweet Hereafter, but we're calling on the side of him that we witnessed in The Fifth Element. So you can understand why we want him to say of the people of Krikkit: "Okay, so you wouldn't necessarily want to share a Galaxy with these guys."

Tim Roth as The Clerk: A bit role, but any time you can cast Roth, you should.

Tom Stoppard as The Screenplay Writer: Another brief cameo, but an apt one. After all, this is the genius who brought us Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and saved Shakespeare in Love from being a common Julia Roberts flick. Huzzah.

Brian Blessed as Thor: So, can you think of any one else to wield Mjolnir and mack on chicks at a party? And if you say Fabio then get out. Get out and never return.

Geoffrey Rush as Hactar: Hactar is the lovely computer who just so happened to have created this cute little bomb that was designed to destroy everything that is. No big deal. We couldn't think of anyone better to voice a computer that needed a psychiatrist's couch.

Gary Oldman as Prak: Prak is the court witness who was giving out the truth--all of it. What convinced us to cast Oldman was how the main characters find him in the sealed off courtroom--lounging about, smoking a cigarette, having finished telling the Truth. I don't know why it fit, it just did.

Bob Hoskins as Rob McKenna: If there's a place to use SDI fave Hoskins, it's here. Being a miserable bastard of a Rain God...well, we won't say it's the role he was born to play, but damn, it just fits, you know?

Cary Elwes as Russell: It's a damn shame that the Dread Pirate Roberts has been reduced to playing a series of absolute pricks in recent films. But hey--he's so damn good at it. So he's Fenchurch's prick of a brother. We'll give him this role. But we'll make up for it and cast him elsewhere. Promise.

Kristin Scott Thomas as Fenchurch: Fenchurch is the reason that Arthur needed to be Hugh Grant...but could never be Hugh. The sequence in Chapter 20 where he discusses the bit with the biscuits at the train station with her is pure Hugh. But...well, you know our problem with that casting. But it's a no brainer as to who should be the beautiful woman whose feet don't touch the ground.

Joanna Lumley as the Raffle Girl: The raffle girl who's trying to get Anjie's kidney machine would be played to annoying perfection by Lumley--she's good at getting on one's nerves and smiling all the while.

Albert Finney as Wonko the Sane: Wonko's American, and there are many Brits who can play Americans convincingly well. As he showed recently in Erin Brockovich, he does it perfectly. Don't ask me why, but I just had this image of Finney standing on the beach on the inside of his house--and it worked.

Michael Gambon as Murray Bost Henson: Looking back over the characters, I needed someone who could say something like "my little green baize card table" in a lovely British accent and fast enough so you didn't know you were supposed to laugh until a couple minutes later. Gambon is perfect.

Joan Plowright as Arcane Jill: It's a small role, but we're going to give it to one of SDI's favorite Brit actresses. She can do any accent you want, so American is no big deal. She's the one to take our heroes outside/inside to meet her husband Wonko.

Originally posted 3/11/2000
Last updated 8/19/2000

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