It’s 2022 and we still haven’t gotten a BraveStarr reboot or a live-action movie? What’s happening, Hollywood?
Marshal BraveStarr, the Native American superhero from New Texas in the 23rd century is a beloved ’80s cartoon character and toy figurine. He was developed by Filmation, producers of animation and live-action programmes for television and toymakers Mattel. BraveStarr had one season which aired on television from September 1987 to February 1988. The same year the series ended, seeing the demise of Filmation as well. Despite the company’s previous success with He-Man, BraveStarr never reached the same level of popularity.
Nevertheless, fans of the cartoon series have been calling for a reboot of BraveStarr for years. Whether as a new animated feature or a live-action film. Fans are mystified as to why the series has been forgotten, especially as the recent ’80s nostalgia wave sees many other cartoons, series and films from the era given new life on the screen.
He-Man, for example, has been resurrected by director Kevin Smith for Netflix. Sony will adapt a live-action He-Man film too.
While BraveStarr was not as successful as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, it has enjoyed a cult following and is ideal material for film and animated studios. Diversity is all the rage now and a Native American hero in the lead should be a producer’s dream. The original cartoon’s steampunk, sci-fi cowboy aesthetic was amazing and one of the strong suits of the show, something which filmmakers could explore and dazzle viewers with.
If studios feel BraveStarr is too risky due to lack of popularity perhaps teaming him with He-Man in an animated feature could boost the character’s profile. If Netflix’s animated He-Man show gets a second season, perhaps it could feature Marshal BraveStarr and his New Texas cohorts.
Licensing or film rights should not be a problem. DreamWorks, famous for the Shrek films, owns rights for He-Man and BraveStarr.
Such a scenario seems inconceivable but could kick-start an Avengers type ensemble where He-Man and his fellow Eternian heroes like Battle Cat and Man-At-Arms team with BraveStarr, Thirty-Thirty, J.B., etc.
While an animated feature is easier to produce, what fans really dream for is BraveStarr’s debut in a live-action film.
Why Haven’t We Seen A Live-Action BraveStarr Film?
While many of Filmation’s productions were created purely to sell toys, the BraveStarr series was something else. Not only was it a high-concept space western, but it was also an important step forward for diversity in animation. As we mentioned, having a Native American as the titular hero on a TV show broke away from many stereotypes and paved the way for other diverse characters to appear.
Even though the show only lasted 65 episodes, it left a huge mark on those who watched it and we have no doubt its concept would find more success today. Yet, despite the strength of the idea and a storied world already in place, we’ve yet to see anyone attempt to revive the franchise or even tackle a live-action film. In fact, it kind of makes you wonder why 2011’s Cowboys & Aliens wasn’t a BraveStarr film in the first place, right?
Casting a Live-Action BraveStarr Movie
We are now at a time when reimagining and readapting those retro characters is all the rage in Hollywood, so we thought it might be high time to cast our own dream BraveStarr live-action flick.
Shaman – Wes Studi
Shaman is the mentor figure for Marshal BraveStarr: a wise and powerful mystic that stopped one of the greatest evils New Texas has ever seen. His story ties directly with the series’ main antagonist, so it would be utterly impossible to leave this character out of the live-action adaptation.
Wes Studi is a Native American actor with a rich history of appearing in some of cinema’s most praised Native films. He’s starred in The Last of the Mohicans and Dances with Wolves, so him showing up in a live-action BraveStarr would lend the movie an advantage in terms of acting quality.
Judge J.B. McBride – Anya Taylor-Joy
Fresh off The Queen’s Gambit, Anya Taylor-Joy has proved two things to audiences everywhere: 1) she has some serious acting chops, and 2) she looks amazing with red hair. These two things combined make her more than fit to play the role of Judge J.B. McBride, one of the main heroes of BraveStarr.
J.B. is as capable a warrior as she’s smart: she wields a high-tech weapon known as the ‘Hammer of Justice,’ a weapon that fits her role as a judge of law. She also offers legal advice to Marshal BraveStarr and has been seen as the hero’s romantic interest from time to time.
Doc Clayton – Idris Elba
Although he only appeared in four episodes of the original show, Doc Clayton has become a fan favourite character due to his pacifist views, being the voice of reason. And his name having been inspired by one of the most famous real-life gunslingers. He’s also one of the only African American characters in the show, and having him in our movie would make the cast even more diverse.
Idris Elba would be a great choice to play the Doc. Even though Elba is British, we’re more than sure that the actor who has already played an African American Norse god is capable enough to do an American accent. Our point is that Idris Elba is awesome, and any movie with him is immediately 5 times better.
Tex Hex – Sam Elliot
When it comes to modern cowboys, most people think of Sam Elliot as their actor of choice. His iconic moustache and raspy voice have made him one of the most recognisable faces in the modern wild west business. It’s only fitting that he should play the role of one of the only characters in BraveStarr with a moustache as impressive as Elliot’s.
Tex Hex might be the sole reason why BraveStarr, the show, was created in the first place. The character originates from another Filmation’s property, Ghostbusters. No, not those Ghostbusters: we are talking about the animated Ghostbusters, the guys who drive an old car and have a gorilla as their partner.
A revenant well-versed in magic, Tex Hex is one of the show’s most iconic villains. He’s also the leader of the Carrion Bunch, one of New Texas’ most fearsome gangs. For our live-action movie, Tex Hex would obviously be the villain, even though we have someone else in mind for the role of the big bad of the show.
Stampede – Andy Serkis
You might already know who Andy Serkis is, even if you’ve rarely seen his face. This talented actor has starred in a multitude of film and TV shows and is most well-known for his motion capture and voice acting roles. You’ve probably heard his voice as The Lord of the Ring’s Gollum or as Caesar in the latest Planet of the Apes franchise.
Serkis would lend his voice to Stampede, the meanest entity in the whole of BraveStarr’s universe. Stampede is a massive dinosaur with a moustache and command of mystical powers. If Tex Hex is anything to go by, then we’d say that’s the deadliest combination in the world of BraveStarr.
Thirty/Thirty – Bruce Campbell
Finally, we get to the main characters of our flick, the duo around which all of the BraveStarr episodes are centred. Thirty/Thirty is BraveStarr’s most trusted companion: a hot-headed robotic horse warrior with a big ol’ blunderbuss named Sara Jane. He’s also the last survivor of an ancient civilization known as the Equestroids: a race of cybernetically-enhanced equines.
His no-nonsense temperament often clashes with the calmer ways of BraveStarr, but he’s proved to be a reliable ally on countless occasions. We’ve chosen Bruce Campbell to voice Thirty/Thirty for a very simple reason: they both love their guns.
Known for playing Ash Williams in the Evil Dead franchise, Campbell is no stranger to boomsticks. He’d also be a great fit for Thirty/Thirty’s attitude and wisecracking persona.
Who Could Be BraveStarr?
While some of the other roles were easy to fill, casting the main protagonist seems a lot more difficult. Who could play the man with the eyes of the hawk, ears of the wolf, the strength of the bear, and speed of the puma?
At the top of our list is Blair Redford from The Gifted. Heck, his character on the show, John Proudstar/Thunderbird, is basically another version of BraveStarr. While Redford isn’t exactly an A-lister by any means, he boasts a decent filmography and his physique should encourage producers to cast him in a superhero-type role.
Sadly, X-Men: Days of Future Past prevented Booboo Stewart from showing us what he’s made of. His role as Warpath was smaller than expected and he didn’t get much screen time as that stupid Mystique clogged up the screen. Despite this, Stewart has quietly built himself a decent filmography and could be a great pick for BraveStarr, even if he’s only 24 years old.
This one might be a little more controversial, but Jason Momoa does possess Native American heritage. Undoubtedly, out of these three actors mentioned, he’s the biggest name of the lot and has star power. The question is, does he have enough time to portray another superhero? We think so.
Forrest Goodluck would have to step into the shoes of our movie’s protagonist, Marshal BraveStarr. While Goodluck might be a bit young for the role, this movie would be an origin story of sorts, so the 22-year-old Native American actor would be great to play the film’s protagonist.
Taylor has the look and physique to portray BraveStarr and more importantly the ‘minority’ credentials as well. Lautner is part Native American and played Jacob Black, a Native American character, in the Twilight film series.
In a sane world, Lautner could resurrect his career if he starred in a killer BraveStarr movie.
Could A BraveStarr Movie Actually Happen?
The chances of ever seeing a movie are slim but BraveStarr aficionados can hope at least. If an animated reboot ever happens and succeeds it could be the launchpad for the film. The ’80s nostalgia wave is at its height and could soon dissipate. If ever we had a window of opportunity to produce a BraveStarr cartoon and movie the time is definitely now. We can only hope that someone at DreamWorks sees the value of the character and brings him back to the screen soon.