Comic Book Casting: THE SIXTH GUN Television Series

sixth-gun1In the wrong hands, guns can do very bad, bad things. Now imagine there’s six guns out there with supernatural powers beyond merely firing bullets; what kind of sinister forces would seek out those weapons? That’s the story of Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt’s Oni series The Sixth Gun, and it follows the life of these guns and the consequences of one of these guns, the most powerful, ends up in the hands of the innocent but honest and earnest girl named Becky and the chivalrous Drake Sinclair who hopes to fend off the dark forces who want the gun’s power.

Late last year, news came out that Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse had signed up to develop The Sixth Gun into a television series, and the words coming collectively out of iFanboy staffers was “about time.” This isn’t the first time The Sixth Gun was picked up for a potential show, but hopefully Cuse can see this through. And today in this week’s Comic Book Casting, we’re going to provide some helpful prodding to give them the tools to get it made.

The Concept:

The concept is pretty simple, and television has a long history of excellent westerns from The Roy Rogers Show to Deadwood, and the possibilities Bunn and Hurtt cooked into The Sixth Gun offer a chance to delve into that well-worn territory while also adding supernatural elements. Becky Montcrief and Drake Sinclair are ideal lead characters, and General Hume is a great of a big bad as we’ve seen in recent memory on television. The key is to work it up into a narrative that works for television and to provide that hook that will draw people in and keep them glued to the sets the way The Walking Dead has on AMC.

Luckily, Bunn and Hurtt have done much of the heavy lifting in the comic series, providing essentially a rough draft of how it could be broken up. The first arc, “Cold Dead Fingers,” would be a perfect first season introducing the players and giving the great surprise twist that awaits at the last panel.

The Showrunner:

Carlton Cuse is attached to see this comic series to the big screen, but I don’t see him sticking around to run the day-to-day events of the show as a showrunner. Instead, I’d bring in Scott Rosenbaum, former showrunner to V … but don’t hold that against him. Rosenbaum wrote some of the best episodes of the two most different shows out there — The Shield and Chuck. The experiences there, and with V, could add up to a showrunner and head writer who knows diversity and knows how things can go wrong, and with the experience now to prevent it. Pairing Rosenbaum with Cuse also provides Cuse to act as interference hopefully with potentially meddling TV executives to not interfere with a focused vision for the show to make it stand out on your TV dial.

The Cast:

Becky Montcrief – Erika Christensen: Becky’s a preacher’s daughter in almost every fashion, and actress Erika Christensen, who’s currently starring in the comedy Parenthood,  is an ideal actress to step up into a lead role and step into this character. Montcrief came to fan from her creepy role in the movie Swimfan, but I didn’t really appreciate her work  until the sadly-ended Six Degrees show where she plays a young girl with a dark past. Playing Becky in The Sixth Gun will be mercurial compared to most other roles, but I think she has that innocent side that could be played out while still working well opposite Drake.

Drake Sinclair – Kyle Chandler: Currently on screen now in both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, the iFanboy staffers still think of him as Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights. I’d love to see Chandler return to the small screen for The Sixth Gun, as I think he could really flesh out Bunn and Hurt’s Drake Sinclair and give it some weight where other actors might play him as a stock character. Kyle Chandler can play the conflicted man like few others, and I’d love to see that play out as Drake deals with the guns, Hume and Becky.

Gord Cantrell – Eamonn Walker: There’s a wealth of actors who could potentially slide into the role of Gord Cantrell, and I had many in this slot before I re-discovered how great Eamonn Walker is. I loved Walker’s portrayal of Kareem Said in the HBO series Oz, but since then he’s been floundering in smaller roles as a guest star or a cast member of doomed television series. But he has an outsized screen presence few others can replicate, akin to George Clooney on ER, and I think anyone serious about doing The Sixth Gun would do well to consider Walker, although a little bit older than the character in the comics, for the role of Gord.

General Hume – Titus Welliver: Titus Welliver has all the makings for a great TV bad guy. On Lost he got near that but was harpooned by some bad choices by the writers in the final season, but that leaves him open to really personify a role and playing The Sixth Gun‘s General Hume could do just that. If you’re not sure, think back to Welliver’s first major role in Deadwood. You with me now?



  1. But who will play Billjohn?!

    • Yeah! I’d throw out Jim Beaver of Deadwood or James Spader (after seeing Lincoln), though he’d outshine everyone else too much.

  2. Kyle Chandler never crossed my mind, but now you’ve said it I won’t see anyone else!

  3. With a little accent reduction training, I think Karen Gillen could be a great Becky