Comic Book Casting: MADMAN Live-Action Movie

Madman2The Batman has his batarangs. Captain America has his shield. Madman? Pop guns and yo-yos.

And that’s what makes him marvelous.

Created by pop-art auteur Mike Allred, Madmen is one of the most vibrant heroes created on the independent comics scene — and the man himself is as crazy as they come. Madman, who goes by the name of Frank Einstein, is one-part Frank Sinatra and one part Albert Einstein, put together in a hodge-podge body a la Dr. Frankenstein. With his memory blank as to a past before he woke up in this state, Madman goes forward in life with a unique set of powers and an eclectic group of friends and foes including mad scientists, robots and aliens.

For years, Hollywood has hovered around the Madman comic hoping to bring it to life. Sin City‘s Robert Rodriguez has been the book’s biggest admirers, working hand-in-hand with Allred for years trying to get it made. But with almost a decade of talk and nothing to show for it, we’ve created our own dream cast of actors and a director that could bring Madman to life.

The Concept:

Allred has created Madman comics for over twenty years now, but the best place to start — as a reader or someone making a movie — is the “Oddity Odyssey” story-arc. This story bounces between earnest silver age style and some dark slapstick humor.This volume shows Madman coming to life at the hands of Dr. Flem, and put on the path to face off against the evil Mr. Mondstadt. And his soon-to-be girlfriend Joe steals the show in this, showing that even good girls can date dead guys.

The Director:

As I said earlier, Robert Rodriguez has hovered around this project for years but never seemed to be able to take it to the next level. I’d recommend he step back into a producer’s role and find somebody even crazier than him; namely, Christopher Guest. This Best In Show helmer is a powder keg of talent as a director, writer and actor, and I’d love for him to take his left-of-center ideas on humor and drama to the Madman story.

The Cast:

Madman / Frank Einstein / Zane Townsend – Nathan Fillon: Nathan Fillon is on many people’s list of guys they’d like to see in superhero movies, from Green Lantern to Ant-Man, but when you think about it those roles wouldn’t take advantage of everything the Castle star has to offer. Imagine him as Frank, using his comedic shops and his dramatic side to really bring heart to this reanimated super-hero in an off-beat movie.

Dr. Gillespie Flem – Eddie Izzard: I had a long list of actors in my mind for the role of Flem, but I happened to see a picture of Eddie Izzard and it all clicked. Although perhaps a bit younger and less lithe than how Allred portrays him in the color, Izzard has the personality, emotion and range to really come into the role like few others in Hollywood.

Josephine “Joe” Lombard – Alyson Hannigan: Another Whedon alum, and someone who’d be a real force with Fillon-as-Madman. Hannigan is more than just the girlfriend actor as seen from How I Met Your Mother, and I’d love for her to bring that here.

Mr. Monstadt – John Lithgow: People remember John Lithgow for different things; some see him and think 3rd Rock From The Sun, while others think Dexter. For me, he will always and forver be known to me as the passenger in Twilight Zone: The Movie.Take all of that, boil it down and you could have a killer Mr. Monstadt that could be both threatening and comedic for Madman and Christopher Guest.



  1. I agree with all of the casting except for Nathan Fillion. He just doesn’t seem quite right.

    I’d like to see someone like Zachary Levi from Chuck in that role.

  2. Madman is something that I always wanted to read but I didn’t ever know what to read. I saw on Amazon the 3 Madman trades Image put out in 2007 (which I guess is the Tundra/Dark Horse/Oni stuff) are still in print and so is the
    Madman Atomic Comics trades from the Image comic of that era. Which should I try first?

    • I’d personally recommend starting from the beginning. The later stuff in ‘Madman Atomic Comics’ seemed to divide fans as Allred was trying more far-out and experimental storytelling.

      I believe Image has 7 trades out and the correct reading order would be – Madman volumes 1 – 3, Madman & the Atomics vol. 1 (although if I remember correctly this series was coming out concurrently with the stuff in Madman vol. 3), then Madman Atomic Comics volumes 1 – 3.

      I highly recommend it, it’s one of my favourite series of all time, there’s nothing quite like it.

    • Madman has been heavily recommended to me but I’ve never read it either. @Viperpilot, is it “accessible” to anyone, or is it something that might be an acquired taste? Some books that I read I hated the first time (Preacher for example) but I tried them a few years later and enjoyed them.

    • @IthoSapien I’d say it’s “accessible”. I’d recommend it for those who enjoy lighthearted, fun superhero comics in the same vein as Mark Waid’s Daredevil or the Palmiotti/Gray/Conner Power Girl series.

  3. I’ve never read “Madman” before, but it seems like a natural progression for superhero movies to go toasted if/when the general movie audience tires of them. I’ve been watching Eddie Izzard in “The Riches” and I’m surprised he doesn’t do more movies, he actually did play a mad scientist in “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” so maybe that’s a qualifier for Dr.Flem? Probably the biggest obstacle with this movie tho is the trippier movies have a had time being made (Sandman) or done correctly (GL, Last Airbender, etc).

  4. This i so wanna see =)