Fans of the hit spy spoof Archer certainly must have been excited last September when FX announced it was picking up the show for a 13th season. The entire main cast is slated to return, with the exception of Jessica Walters, who died in 2021.
There has never been an official attempt to adapt Archer into a live-action film or series, but that hasn’t stopped speculation. The series seems tailor-made for such adaptation, and some studio or production house will almost certainly make the attempt.
10 Woodhouse – Patrick Stewart
Archer’s faithful and long-abused domestic servant, Woodhouse was written out of the show following the passing of voice actor George Coe. Any live-action adaptation would have to cast someone with extreme class as well as excellent comedic chops.
Patrick Stewart would fit the bill on both counts. The regal elegance of his voice hasn’t diminished in his decades-long career, and when he turns that talent to comedy, the results are cinematic gold. Stewart would bring the right blend of sarcasm and acquiescence to the part.
9 Ron Cadillac – Gary Cole
The ex-car-thief-turned-car-salesman who stole Malory Archer’s heart, Ron is one of Archer’s most underrated characters. The cartoon version was portrayed by the late Ron Liebman, the real-life husband of Malory’s voice actress, Jessica Walter.
Cole’s range and comedic abilities would be excellent in this role. He has the easygoing manner and quick sense of humor that are Ron Cadillac’s trademarks, and he’s easily believable as a guy who knows how to do all kinds of shady stuff from a life he tried to leave far behind him.
8 Cyril Figgis – Joe Lo Truglio
Lana’s rebound boyfriend and a willing-but-not-always-able field agent, Figgis is the bottom man at ISIS (the fictional spy agency that pre-dates the real-life extremist organization) and a frequent target for ridicule by his peers. Despite the disrespect his fellow agents show him, Figgis often saves missions from disaster with basic competence rather than flashy heroism.
Figgis’ unassuming physical presence and manner would be embodied to a T by Joe Lo Truglio. He can play the quiet doormat with ease, but he can also turn it on for those rare moments when Figgis is forced to stand up for himself or prove his abilities as a spy. Lo Truglio’s penchant for quirk, as well as his capacity for genuine kindness fit Cyril Figgis like a glove.
7 Algernop Krieger – Michael Shannon
Krieger is the scientist responsible for the variety of gadgets ISIS agents use on their missions. Krieger is undeniably brilliant, but his hobbies range from harmless activities like poker and bowling to crimes against humanity and nature.
Shannon would bring this balance to the screen brilliantly. Titles like The Night Before and Knives Out put his comedic abilities fully on display, but what Shannon will give most to the role is the quiet menace that lies just below Krieger’s surface. It’s quite easy to see him, for instance, creating and then murdering his own clones just to see what would happen.
6 Pam Poovey – Jillian Bell
Having somehow secured the position of head of H.R., Pam Poovey is likely the most inappropriate member of human resources on television. Crude and hedonistic, she is nevertheless skilled in combat and has genuine affection for her coworkers.
A comic veteran like Bell is the ideal choice for the dolphin puppet wielding agent. In fact, Pam is quite similar to Bell’s character from the film Fist Fight, in which she plays a lecherous, vice-happy teacher. Bell also has the combat experience to play the part convincingly, as her fight with Jonah Hill in 22 Jump Street was nominated for an MTV movie award.
5 Ray Gillette – Billy Eichner
The explosives specialist part-cyborg in residence at ISIS, Ray is an effective and daring agent. Sardonic and lecherous like his fellow agents, Ray has a great deal of affection for most of his colleagues. The main exception is Sterling Archer, who is most often responsible for Ray’s frequent maiming.
Billy Eichner’s turn on shows like Parks and Rec highlights how readily he can manifest the sarcastic humor and sharp wit that is Ray’s trademark. The one possible caveat is that Eichner has never done a project with tons of action. Ray is one of ISIS’s best agents, so Eichner will have to bone up on bombs to do the role justice.
4 Cheryl Tunt – Ellie Kemper
Cheryl is Malory’s irresponsible and irrepressible secretary. It’s not always clear how stable she is, but Cheryl’s implied bevy of mental illnesses and psychoses is one of Archer’s most outrageous and hysterical running gags.
This might be a jarring casting to Kimmy Schmidt fans, as Cheryl is essentially the opposite of the uber-positive titular character. But Kemper unquestionably has the talent to pull it off, and would bring the exact chaotic energy that Cheryl injects into the group. It would also be a blast for fans to watch Kemper play so far against type.
3 Lana Kane – Zoe Saldana
Lana is probably the best agent at ISIS, possessing only one weakness: a lingering attraction to the walking disaster that is Sterling Archer. Ambitious and talented, Lana is consistently looking to climb the international super-spy ladder.
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A powerhouse of a character deserves a powerhouse actress, and Saldana certainly fits that bill. She has a metric ton of action blockbuster experience under her belt, including the Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Trek franchises. Saldana would add depth and dimension to an already compelling character, and her comedic chops are unquestionable.
2 Malory Archer – Helen Mirren
The head of ISIS and exasperated mother of Sterling, Malory Archer is already a rich woman, but still chooses to work with people she hates. As a result, she’s critical and belligerent, traits that are often compounded by the copious amounts of alcohol she drinks.
If Jessica Walter were still alive, there is simply no one else that could possibly be cast here. There are few living actresses who could do the role justice in that light, but Mirren is certainly on that short list. Her recent turn as Magdalene Shaw in The Fast and the Furious franchise demonstrates she can hang in a face-paced action comedy, and her withering criticisms are the ideal fit for Malory.
1 Sterling Archer – Chris Hemsworth
Sterling Archer is the prototypical international spy: debonair (at least in his mind), hyper-sexual, ruthless in pursuit of his various missions. His casual disrespect or outright contempt for his coworkers usually comes back to haunt him, but he never learns from his mistakes or their consequences.
It’s difficult to overstate just how absurd Archer’s behavior can be over the course of the series — take, for example, his obsession with an ocelot. Not every actor can pull off that specific brand of comedic acting, but Hemsworth has proven in films like the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder that he thrives in such roles. He’s got the timing and the charm to excel as the titular character.
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