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Casting Call: Diplomats

The ever-offbeat Dennis Rodman is no stranger to baffling and controversial antics (that one time he donned a wedding dress to promote his autobiography certainly comes to mind). Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx, gifted actor that he is, has likewise gotten his foot in his mouth more times than we can count, and this combination of sheer talent and a complete lack of filter is exactly what's needed in a portrayal of Rodman. Foxx is no comedy lightweight, having begun his career doing stand-up at open mic nights. With disparate but iconic roles in Ray, Jarhead, and Django Unchained (to name a few), Foxx has the range, skill, and eccentricity to bring Rodman to life on the big screen. Sure, he'll have to stand on a 12-inch box for most of the film (and/or the rest of the characters will have to stand in a 12-inch ditch), but Hollywood works around those sorts of issues all the time for Zac Efron and Tom Cruise.


Actress Jamie Chung is no stranger to comedy, having gotten her start with a cameo in the 2007 film I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and followed that up with recurring roles in The Hangover Part II and III as Ed Helms's fiancée. Chung's career is on the rise; she will be portraying female assassin Miho in the upcoming sequel to 2005's Sin City. In real life, Ri Sol-Ju, Kim Jong-un's wife, seems more like his nice-looking sidekick, but we wouldn't be surprised if Abrams enlarged the role, especially as the rest of the cast will probably be male-dominated. After all, we can only take so much basketball and testosterone. We think Chung is poised and ready to tackle a big comedic role.


The film, described by 20th Century Fox as a two-hander, requires a counterpart for Rodman's character who can more than carry his own weight. We think John Cho has the acting prowess to pull off the role of supreme leader Kim Jong-un, which we predict will be—at least in part—utterly ridiculous. Best known for his work in the Harold & Kumar films, American Pie 1 and 2, and the Star Trek franchise, Cho has proven time and again that he has the comedic timing needed in a film like this. He's been a familiar face in Hollywood for years, and it's time he gets the chance to come into his own a bit more. All he needs to do now is hit the pies...


We admit that our choice of Keegan-Michael Key for the role of former NBA player Doug Christie was influenced by their crazily similar appearances. But Key has plenty of comedic experience; he spent six seasons as a cast member on MADtv, and his Comedy Central Sketch series Key & Peele was recently renewed for a fourth season. Real-life Doug Christie is certainly quite the character: he and his wife reportedly throw themselves annual weddings—not anniversaries, actual weddings—and have recently ventured into the industry of adult films (production, not starring in them, but still). We basically think Key can handle anything, given that he's done impersonations of everyone from Ludacris to Eva Longoria.  He also once impersonated Kobe Bryant on MADtv, which gives him more than enough credibility in our eyes.


Former NBA player Kenny Anderson has had quite the colorful past, having recently being fired from his coaching position at a Florida high school for driving under the influence. We think legendary funnyman Chris Rock would be a great addition to Rodman's North Korea entourage, and not only because we think he would vibe well with Jamie Foxx. Rock's comedic roots obviously run deep, from Saturday Night Live, to Comedy Central, to HBO, and getting laughs has been at the heart of Rock's entire career. He's also cultivated an extensive film career, and this role seems like the ideal melding of film and comedy that Rock likes to go for.


Irish media personality Matt Cooper joined Rodman in North Korea this past January because he is in the process of making a documentary and writing a book about the former NBA star. Assuming Chris Pratt can tackle the accent, we think he'd be a great addition the cast. Pratt, known for the role of Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation and supporting roles in Moneyball, Delivery Man, and Her, has proven himself time and again as a Hollywood go-to when it comes to comedy. Also, the real Cooper told the media that Rodman's "Happy Birthday" performance for Jong-un was "cringe-inducing to watch." We can already imagine the cutaways to Pratt's genius facial expressions.