That '70s Show is one of the greatest sitcoms of the late '90s, and it holds a special spot as a wonderful and hilarious television series for all ages. The original cast of the show have almost all gone on to do big and important acting work. Laura Prepon was a recurring character in How I Met Your Mother and has is now in the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Mila Kunis has given a career-altering performance in Black Swan, and continues her comedic work in movies like Ted and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Aston Kutcher has done some great comedy films, but has also given impressive dramatic performances in Jobs and The Butterfly Effect.
It’s not easy to think of new actors coming in and taking these iconic and beloved roles, but hopefully these performers will be able to bring a little something familiar and a dash of something fresh.
So here it is, What If That '70s Show Was Cast Today?
It’s not necessary to spell out why having actual brothers (see entry #13) portray these two painfully funny siblings is a great decision. Kelso is the nitwit/daredevil, and Casey is the cool, calm, and uncaring older brother. It would be great to see these two real life brothers acting off of each other, and constantly at each other’s throats.
Franco is such an extraordinary comedic talent, and adding him to an already stacked roster of actors/actresses will really help to round out the different types of humor that will be on display in a program like That '70s Show. Franco has proven again and again, in films like Pineapple Express, The Interview, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and the Spider-Man trilogy, that he is a comedic and dramatic force to be reckoned with, and Point Place would be lucky to have him.
Randy was Eric Forman’s replacement when he left for Africa in the show, and when Topher Grace notably left to pursue more noble acting positions. Randy was cheery and delightful in the show, and even though a massive hole was left when Eric departed, Randy managed to hold the show together, and offer enough interesting new material to keep the remainder of the series fresh and engaging.
Lucas Till is a gifted actor who seems like he is waiting for his big break, and it’s almost guaranteed that he would fit with Randy’s character well. Best known for his roles in the X-Men films, Till always shines when he’s on screen, and deserves a defining role. Perhaps being given the opportunity to come into his own in a series would be the perfect opportunity for him to grow and move forward as a potential future A-list leading man in film.
Kitty Forman is quite possible the most criminally underrated character from That '70s Show. She always has the audience in tears, and most of the time it’s just from her incredible laugh. Kitty is the type of TV mom who feels real; she isn’t just a basic archetype - she’s an honest character with a complete arc of her own. She also cares deeply about the people in her home, and loves Red and Eric with all of her heart.
When casting Kitty, it’s crucial to find someone that you would want as your own TV mom. Mary Steenburgen is not only laugh-out-loud funny; she also has a very kind aura about her that translates into all of the television and film acting that she does. She was great as Nancy Huff in Step Brothers and as Buddy's step-mother Emily in Elf, and those roles fit very well with Mrs. Forman’s.
Bob is yet another in a long list of surprisingly hilarious supporting characters in That '70s Show, and it’s important to find someone who can pull off his goofball persona and tell a mean dad joke. Chris Sullivan shows this very specific set of traits week in and week out on the critically acclaimed new drama, This Is Us. Sullivan helps to bring a lot of much needed humor to the emotionally heavy series.
It’s tough to find someone to carry the weight of being consistently leaned on for quick bursts of humor, and Sullivan does it seemingly effortlessly. He was also in Ben Affleck’s new crime drama, Live by Night, and managed to pull off a great Boston accent, so here’s hoping his Wisconsin accent is just as convincing. Also, the more television and film opportunities that Mr. Sullivan gets, the better, because he’s going to have us laughing for a very long time.
Midge is basically the mom version of Michael Kelso. She’s very attractive, but when it comes to intelligent conversation, she falls pretty short of the mark. Katie Aselton almost always plays smart and confident woman, like in her hit television show, The League. In a show filled with comedic talent like Nick Kroll, Mark Duplass, and Paul Scheer, she manages to edge them out almost on a weekly basis with her fantastic comedic timing and her ballsy attitude.
Aselton plays this type of character to a tee, and so it would be great to see her go in the complete opposite direction with Midge. Jenny is always funny in The League because she manages to outwit all of the men that surround her, and Midge is always hysterical because she can’t manage to keep up with anyone around her. We're sure that she could pull off the switch, and like with Chris Sullivan, more Katie Aselton is never a bad thing.
Leo is an oblivious stoner who stands out in a television show based around oblivious stoners. And there is potentially no better known stoner then rapper/actor/thespian Snoop Dogg. Leo’s main joke was that he was always thinking of something slightly off-base from the rest of the characters in the show, and that kind of scatter-brained comedy would be great for Snoop.
Also, Snoop, much like Tommy Chong is no stranger to marijuana, so there wouldn’t be a great, stretch acting-wise, for the role. In fact, maybe the director could just pay Snoop Dogg to show up, get high, and just act like he normally would in that situation. Not to mention, Snoop Dogg has been an incredible guest star in so many great comedy films, like Old School and Popstar: Never Stop Stopping, so bringing his unique comedy every so often seems like it's well-within his wheelhouse.
Laurie was actually portrayed by two different actresses during her character’s time on That '70s Show, but she was always the adventurous, free spirited, and incredibly annoying sister. Laurie is a jerk almost exclusively, and she is always attacking Eric whenever she gets the chance.
Abbey Lee Kershaw was incredible in Nicolas Winding Refn’s new film, The Neon Demon, and she was a beautiful and catty model in the film, which feels like the perfect starting point for spring-boarding into the role of Laurie Forman. She was also a single move away from getting into a cat fight with every woman around her, which is also a staple of Laurie (like when she and Jackie battle it out in the basement). Some of the best comedic moments from Laurie happen when she is favored by Red over Eric, and Kershaw seems like the type of actress that would really excel in those scenes.
Taika Waititi is a film director/actor who may be very hard to convince to hop onto a long running television program, but this is a dreamer's list already. Waititi is so profoundly funny in all of his films-- most recently as a pastor in his newest film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which made us think he would be the perfect fit for Pastor Dave.
It also wouldn’t hurt to have a phenomenal director on board, and it would be a dream to have him actually direct the series as well. His work in What We Do in the Shadows also shows his innate ability to get his audience hurting themselves laughing at his screwball and dry material. Not to mention, it’s obviously important to diversify the cast a bit more than the original series. He also just so happens to be directing a little movie called Thor: Ragnarok.
Steven Hyde is the dry-witted and cool member of the group who is always ready to get in a fight with Kelso and more than likely hit him in the eye. Hyde is clever, hilarious, and more than anything, extremely laid back. It’s important to find someone who can pull off the lackadaisical attitude that Hyde is famous for.
RJ Cyler proved in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl that he can do all of that and more. He was hysterically funny, sluggish, and basically acted like a stoner for the entirety of the film. Cyler is also starring in this year’s hotly anticipated Power Rangers reboot, which if nothing else is definitely going to give him the extra boost of star power that he desperately needs to get more attention. Here’s hoping that RJ Cyler has the same obsession as Hyde about cars that run completely on water.
Kelso is the dim-witted member of the group who enjoys blowing things up, constantly getting himself hurt, and hitting on basically every female inhabitant of Point Place, Wisconsin. Kelso has to be able to pull of being a ladies man, he has to be convincing as a moron, and he also has to be comically clumsy.
The best fit for all of these qualities would be Dave Franco. He’s proven again and again in films like 21 Jump Street, Neighbors 2, and Now You See Me that he can have an audience roaring with laughter. The youngest Franco brother would be absolutely perfect for the role of Kelso, and it would be a great joy for the audience to see him making a fool of himself, jumping off the water tower, and “burning” everyone in the group with a barrage of pranks. Kelso is perhaps the funniest member of the group, and having someone as talented and experienced as Dave Franco would greatly help this new show.
Jackie Burkhart is a spoiled brat through and through, and she’s proud of that fact. She enjoys torturing Donna by calling her a lumberjack, picking fights with Eric, and basically toying with both Kelso and Hyde when they each have their flings. She is a diva, a heartbreaker, and only cares about one thing, Jackie. So it’s important to get someone with incredible range and a giant spoonful of crazy. No one fits the bill better than Hannah Marks.
Known best for her new television show, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Marks just so happens to bring the right balance of charm and wildness in that show to earn her a spot on this fan casting list. She is quick, intuitive, and extremely aggressive, and she would be the perfect fit to follow in the fabulous footsteps of one of television’s greatest brats. It’s hard to find someone that fits the mold better than the fantastic Mila Kunis, as she started acting in That 70’s Show when she was just 14, and tricked the casting directors into thinking she was 18 (total Jackie move).
Donna is the perfect girl next door. She’s kickass, intelligent, has great taste in music, and actually lives next door. She is the epitome of the perfect girlfriend and makes sure to keep Eric in line for the most part. Donna is a tough one to cast because she has so many great qualities, but the most obvious one is her innate likeability. When casting for a future Donna, it’s important to find someone brave and funny, but most importantly, it has to be someone you like.
As a young actress, Sophie Turner is extremely likeable despite the heaviness of her most famous role in Game of Thrones. She’s finally starting to come into her own as Sansa Stark, and was also a great Jean Grey in the newest X-Men film, X-Men: Apocalypse. She has the acting chops, the devoted fan following, and the fiery redhead spirit to portray Eric’s true love.
Fez is the mysterious man from an unknown location who is always in the mood for candy and adventure. Fez is only called Fez because the gang had no idea how to pronounce his real name, and they settled on “foreign exchange student” instead (and yes, student starts with an s). Fez is definitely the quirkiest member of the cast, and so it’s important to find an actor who can fit comfortably into that wheelhouse, and who can also bring whimsy and charm to the role.
Enter Tony Revelori, best known for his work in Wes Anderson’s film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. If you can safely navigate yourself through an acting job in a Wes Anderson film, then you have enough whimsy for the remainder of your time on this planet, and Tony shines next to the great Ralph Fiennes. Fez always knows how to make the gang and his audience smile, and Revolelori was incredibly endearing in his role. Also, seeing his acting relationship grow with Tom Holland from Spider-Man: Homecoming would be a real treat.
Red likes to yell and call people dumbasses. J.K. Simmons likes to yell at Spider-Man, Miles Teller, and Ryan Gosling, and he’s not afraid to belittle or demean anyone. J.K. Simmons was born to be Red Forman.
Not to mention, that it would be a nerd's dream to see the former J. Jonah Jameson yelling at the Marvel Universe’s new Spider-Man. Apart from all the yelling that Simmons loves to do in film, he’s also an incredibly gifted and hilarious actor. He’s one of the most memorable performers in arguably the two best Spider-Man films we’ll ever see.
It can be difficult to find actor to recaptures these memorable characters, but recasting Simmons was a no-brainer, as good as Kurtwood Smith was. Simmons also has the star power to attract many new fans to the new That '70s Show, and viewers would turn in just to see him play television’s angriest father. It would also give Simmons the opportunity to put his foot in someone’s ass.
Eric Forman is the heart of the That '70s Show cast. He is a lover of all things Star Wars, he’s in love with the tough red-head next door, and he can’t help but find new ways to anger his father. It’s important to find someone who can pull off his nerdy but also sarcastic demeanor, and no one fits the bill better than our new Spider-Man, Tom Holland.
In his short amount of screen time in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland proved that he can pull off Eric’s nerdiness (he even referenced Star Wars), but he also proved that he could be extremely quick with his retorts, even up against the great Robert Downey Jr. With Tom Holland leading his own massive franchise for Marvel Studios soon, he has clearly shown Kevin Feige and co. that he has what it takes to carry a series of films on his shoulders, so there can be no doubt that he could carry a show as well.
So what do you think, fellow That '70s Show fans? Would you watch this new iteration of the show? Do you have any other potential candidates? Sound off in the comments below!