There probably isn’t a Christian alive who doesn’t know Adventures in Odyssey. If you were a child of the 80’s or early 90’s, this was the series that accompanied every car ride or family vacation. Produced by Focus on the Family, Adventures in Odyssey delivered the best Christian entertainment a cassette tape could offer. Its episodes tackled a whole range of spiritual issues, from Church attendance to Dungeons & Dragons, and were beloved for their clean humor and stellar voice cast. Given the show’s overall popularity among listeners, its surprising Odyssey has never received a live-action film.
That’s what blogger Tyler Huckabee thinks, anyway. In an utterly brilliant article for Relevant Magazine, Huckabee gave readers some background on the classic series, before sharing his thoughts on who should play the iconic characters. Huckabee writes,
“For the uninitiated, Adventures in Odyssey centered around the many adventures of John Whitaker, a portly, aging inventor who owned and operated an ice cream parlor where kids would go when they needed a moral lesson tacked on to their daily lives. The ice cream parlor also had a time machine, which did not make it nearly as popular a tourist destination as you might think.”
“I assume the reason an announcement for a live-action remake hasn’t happened yet is that nobody’s sure who to cast, a problem we aim to rectify…”
Recreating childhood cartoons as live-action films certainly has become all the rage in Hollywood. Disney is churning out more remakes than a vintage clothing store, while MARVEL and D.C. both have a laundry list of superhero films prepared for the next five years. So if Adventures in Odyssey did get its own live-action remake, who would you want to see? Below you’ll find Huckabee’s initial choices along with some suggestions from yours truly,
- Huckabee’s Pick - Jurnee Smollett (Friday Night Lights)
- But maybe consider - Emma Stone (Birdman, The Help)
Connie Kendall was the hardworking everygirl of Adventures in Odyssey, helping solve problems with her mixture of sass and common sense. Who could better to capture her brand of charisma than Emma Stone?
- Huckabee’s Pick – Andrew Garfield (Amazing Spiderman 2)
- But maybe consider - Ben Whishaw (Skyfall, Cloud Atlas)
One of the few non-Christians among Odyssey’s characters, Eugene was the brilliant intellectual who sometimes had a hard time understanding faith. As for Whishaw, he already proved he could play the brainy genius in Skyfall. The man could probably portray Eugene just by slapping on a pair of glasses.
- Huckabee’s Pick – Morgan Freeman (Lucy, Dolphin Tale 2)
- But maybe consider – Brendan Gleeson (Calvary)
It’s hard to beat Morgan Freeman, but for the role of Mr. Whitaker, Brendan Gleeson would be a good runner-up. As the leading Christian figure in Adventures in Odyssey, Mr. Whitaker is the one who usually steps forward to guide other characters through their troubled times.
*Bonus Round* Dr. Regis Blackgaard
- Has to be – Alan Rickman (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)
Dr. Regis Blackgaard was Odysseys’ ultimate villain and longtime nemesis to Mr. Whitaker. He practically oozed wickedness every time his voice came on the radio, so you know he can’t be played by just anyone. That being said, nobody does evil like Alan Rickman. The guy has been playing villains since the first Die Hard, who else could fill this role?
What about you, would you like to see a live-action Adventures in Odyssey? Who would you cast for your favorite character?