The adventures of Nikolai Dante ran in legendary British comics anthology 2000 A. D. from 1997 to 2012. Its story focused on Dante. A thief and adventurer in the 27th century. Think Han Solo crossed with Robin Hood. Our hero discovers he is a Romanov; one of the resurgent noble houses in Imperial Russia. Thus begins the story. Dante outrages noble society with his antics whilst attempting to woo Jena. The Tsar’s daughter. Yours truly; believes that Dante’s adventures should be adapted for the small screen. Here’s why.
Beneath Dante’s debauchery is a good man who would do anything to help the poor and dispossessed. This is absolutely vital for a Dante live-action show to get right. I think that showing someone who is by no means the most powerful person in his universe. But who retains a desire to do the right thing would be incredible to show on TV. Obviously, the writers would have to strike a balance between Dante’s roguishness and his kindness. Which done right could make fantastic television.
Nikolai Dante began in 1997. Evidently, the world was much different then. We see this in Dante’s characterisation as a womaniser. This presents a double-edged sword for anyone attempting to adapt Dante. Tone down Dante and be accused of getting him wrong or caving into wokeness. Perhaps a way around this would be for Dante to discover that he has a daughter. Who is an action girl and the new leader of Katarina Dante’s pirate crew. This would be an interesting perspective flip; as Dante’s mother is the pirate queen in the comics.
Every show needs a lead actor. Dante is no exception. Here are 5 actors I think could do it:
Gyllenhaal has been called the finest actor of his generation. While I’m only familiar with him in Donnie Darko and Spider-Man: Far From Home. I believe this performer could show us Dante’s intensity and sly humour. I’m also basing this choice on the actor’s turn in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Which I got a strong Nikolai Dante vibe from. Although Gyllenhaal might not be able to do the physical stunts a run as Dante would require I think he has the acting skill to pull off the two sides of Dante’s character, as I mentioned earlier.
This actor was born to play Nikolai Dante. Everything about him is perfect for the role. Farrell could bring the comedy and devil may care attitude of the gentleman thief as well as the rage and intensity of Dante’s fight scenes. I also believe this actor could show the deeper layers of Kolya’s character. He certainly has the ability to do this. If they go with the idea of Dante’s daughter being a major character in this series. Then Farrell could play an older and more reflective version of the character.
The Arrowverse’s first Mxyzptlk would be a great Dante in my opinion. He has the charisma and the almost tongue in cheek rakishness to pull off the Russian rogue. I also feel Gadiot could deliver the darker and more serious scenes as evidenced by his work in Queen of the South. I wonder perhaps if this actor might not deliver such a loud and brash Dante as Gyllenhaal or Farrell. That part of the character has to come across so that he’s not just a generic rogue. Against that, Gadiot certainly looks the part and is young enough to cope with Dante’s action scenes.
In contrast to my previous choice. Oscar Isaac has the energy and rough charisma to be an excellent Nikolai Dante. No disrespect to Gadiot intended. I just feel like Isaac would have the explosiveness and extroversion to portray the hero of the Revolution. I also think his dark and brooding charisma would be perfect for the serious scenes. Like Gyllenhaal, Isaac has the ability to portray all aspects of Dante. I believe that they would have to be careful that an Isaac Dante did not just become another Han Solo or Poe Dameron. Which there is a risk of if the comic is translated to screen badly.
A criminally underrated actor. Gjokaj could portray Dante’s masculinity well. Additionally, I believe he could put across Dante’s humour in an understated way. Which would make his version of Dante a firm fan favourite. Like Isaac, Gjokaj has the energy to be Nikolai Dante but perhaps like Gadiot he is more introverted. This is not how Dante comes across in the comics. Don’t get me wrong. Gjokaj and Gadiot are fine actors and it’s possible they could make Dante more introverted depending on the storyline. Furthermore, Gjokaj would kill it as an older, battle-scarred Dante from the Romanov/Makarov conflict.
Would you like to see Nikolai Dante in live action? What comics and books would you like to see adapted for film and TV? Please leave a comment below and remember, I’m too cool to kill.
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