If like me you were born in the ’80s. You will probably remember an animated series called Ulysses 31. Created and written by Jean Chalopin. This show was a retelling of the Odyssey in space. As ’80s kids will no doubt remember Ulysses 31 had a hilariously cheesy opening theme. And the show itself was incredibly dark. This writer believes that a live-action remake would be great. Given how far CGI has progressed. Read on for my Ulysses 31 fancast.
Ewan McGregor as Ulysses
McGregor is most widely known for playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. For this reason I believe he would be a great Ulysses. Possessing as he does the ability to outwardly portray goodness and decency. Which was how Ulysses came across in the original cartoon. Moreover, the ’80s show’s world was immensely dark and scary. For this reason, I think someone like McGregor would be a good fit for the main character. Being a kind man who wants to help his children.
Jack Veal as Telemachus
I admit I’m only familiar with this actor through Loki (which we reviewed earlier this year). Because of this I think however that he would be able to show Telemachus’s curiosity about the universe. Which could play well off of McGregor’s Ulysses. As for Telemachus’s father, who well understands how terrifying their universe really is. Additionally, I’d like to see Veal play an older brother role to Yumi’s character. Trying to protect her from the dangers of a hostile galaxy. Indeed, this would challenge this young performer to play a slightly more mature role.
Poppy Polivnick as Yumi
Based on her role as young Peggy in Doctor Who this year. I’d say that this actor would be great at portraying Yumi. Showing this young girl who possesses telepathy and telekinesis. Yumi’s character often leaned into the sick-girl trope in the original cartoon given the actor’s young age, perhaps they could sidestep this by having Yumi read other characters’ minds and gain the knowledge our heroes need that way. Moreover, I think a sibling relationship between Veal’s Telemachus and Polivnick’s Yumi could be absolutely heartwarming.
Corina Boettger as Nono
Boettger has the perfect voice for Nono. Evidently from listening to her YouTube live streams for this reason I believe this performer could give Nono manic energy. Which would endear him to younger viewers. Personally, I think that a Nono voiced by Boettger could deliver some really good humour that would go above children’s heads. But would make the adults laugh. For this reason, I think this actor could portray this character without becoming annoying or grating.
Fady Elsayed as Numinor
Yumi’s older brother whom Zeus placed into an enchanted sleep. Elsayad I believe could show Numinor’s heroic qualities well. This character is only in three episodes of the original cartoon. Notably a modern Ulysses 31 could expand Numinor’s role alternatively, we could get to know his character through flashbacks. Significantly, Elsayad would be great at showing a younger Numinor caring for his baby sister before the events of the series proper. We could see how Numinor’s positive qualities influenced Yumi making her a curious and intrepid space adventurer.
Carey Mulligan as Shirka
Shirka is Ulysses’ ship’s computer who communicated with our protagonists at times during the cartoon. In reality, Mulligan would probably have no interest in this role. I believe she has the skills and the voice to do it though. For one thing, Mulligan’s fanbase would support her in this casting by watching the show even if we never actually saw the actor onscreen. Again, we could see the former Sally Sparrow appear as a hologram interface that interacts with Ulysses and the other characters. Notably, Mulligan is a feminist so the writers would have to avoid female computer cliches and the sexism that they sometimes entail.
Peter Serafinowicz as Zeus
I’m basing this choice on the actor’s role as the Fisher King In the Doctor Who episode Before the Flood. Serafinowicz can in my view imply worlds of terror and darkness just by using his voice. Which would be perfect for Zeus. It seems likely that this actor could perform various gods and mystical entities’ roles. For instance, they could run this performer’s voice through a vocoder to play Poseidon or Hades. Serafinowicz to me has the ability to be the voice of all our nightmares made real. Also, we could see his Zeus toy with and mock our heroes like a cat playing with a mouse. Surely this would bring the fear factor.
Clearly it’s impossible to make a live-action Ulysses 31 darker than its source material. However, the show could take inspiration from Classic Doctor Who and portray a dark universe in which humans are as monstrous as the aliens and mythical creatures. For this reason, it would require a truly god-tier writer to do this while making Ulysses 31 a show that everyone could enjoy. I still think that Ulysses 31, at least as a concept, is chockful of potential.
Would you like to see a Ulysses 31 live-action reboot? Do you agree with my fancast? Please leave a comment and remember; good is so good we think evil can be explained, evil is so evil we think good must be an accident.