With the recent news that Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be heavily involved in the impending Fraggle Rock film, we are left with questions. So, so many questions. Like, a billion questions.
Will this movie actually happen now? There’s really no reason to think any different as we did before. We first heard rumblings about a Fraggle Rock movie 10 years ago, and the announcements with different combinations of writers and producers are made every few years. We don’t actually have much reason to think this will be any different until filming begins.
We’ve heard that JGL will be serving as a producer of the movie, and we have no idea what that entails. Does it make the movie more likely to come out? Is it just so the film can use his name recognition to get better product placement? Is he just, like, really good at producing things?
So, the only question left that’s worth speculating over is: Who will Joseph Gordon-Levitt play in the movie? He’s reportedly set to star, but as whom? Since we have so little information at this moment, we’re just gonna go ahead and throw a bunch of guesses against the wall, and then we’ll be able to say “I told you so” when one of them comes true. Assuming the movie is made, of course.
Let’s start guessin’!
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Young Doc
Can someone say “reboot”? It will be tough to tell a story about the Fraggle Five interacting with Doc without taking the final episodes into account, when Doc finally acknowledges Gobo? If they want to use Doc as a character, it’s likely that he’ll be a younger, good-looking leading man, just moving into his new (old) workshop with his trusty dog, Sprocket. That sure sounds like something JGL could handle.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Doc’s Grandson
Or maybe Doc himself is too iconic to reboot (especially considering the recent passing of Gerry Parkes). The film could give proper acknowledgement of Parkes’ tenure as Doc by having his grandson take over the workshop as well as the mystery of the Fraggle hole, proving that you cannot leave the magic, as long as you keep it in the family.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Gobo
This might be the one we’re most afraid of. Nobody here wants a human being playing a Fraggle. No amount of prosthetics or motion capture suits would make it anywhere near as good as a real puppet. Of all the known Fraggles, JGL would most likely play Gobo, who’s pretty much our de facto protagonist, but that doesn’t mean he should. Here’s hoping Gobo can just be Gobo.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Gobo’s Voice
Okay, so what if Gobo looks like Gobo, but his voice is provided by some A-list talent? Pretty great idea, right??? Yeah, I’m not fooling anyone. That would be terrible. Not only would it be an insult to the memory of Gobo’s original performer Jerry Nelson, but it’s an awful way to perform a Muppet. Let the puppeteers do what they do best and keep the celebrity voice casting to a minimum (preferably none at all).
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cantus
But what if JGL had to play a Fraggle? It may not be the most conventional answer, but I might go with Cantus. No one will ever be able to fill Jim Henson’s shoes (or gloves, I guess), but I could see Joseph Gordon-Levitt channeling his inner Sandman (who is also rumored to be playing in another 1980s franchise adaptation) to bring a little wisdom and gravitas to the Rock. Still a bad idea, but maybe the best of the worst.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a Gorg
If any of the old Fraggle Rock species would be reimagined in a completely different form, it would likely be the Gorgs. The Fraggles are really iconic, and the Doozers are more recognizable than they have been in years thanks to the new cartoon. But the Gorgs may be up for interpretation. Why not use some crazy prosthetics on a human actor? Sure, it wouldn’t be as cool as seeing the return of Junior, Ma, and Pa Gorg in their classic, furry forms, but that could be a clever way to fit some comedic actors into the Fraggle movie without the need to stuff it full of new human characters.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a Doozer
You can’t tell me that JGL wouldn’t look adorable in an oversized helmet and a criss-cross tool belt.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Ned Shimmelfinney
But then we wouldn’t see him at all, and that would be sad.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a Different Silly Creature
This one seems the most likely out of any option. Joseph Gordon-Levitt would play some new guy who happens upon the Fraggles, helps them out of whatever jam they’re in, and is changed for the better. The situation pretty much writes itself, which raises all new questions about potential predictability, but that’s another article for another time. But since kids won’t remember Doc or Ned Schimmelfinney or the Captain (and his fellow international versions of Doc), the film may not try to shoehorn continuity into their lead actor’s backstory. That would be sad for Fraggle purists like us, but understandable from a storytelling perspective.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philo and Gunge
No, I don’t think he’d be quite right to play the Trash Heap, but JGL might be the right type for her snarky sidekick rats Philo and Gunge. It would certainly be a challenge for the actor to play such distinctive characters. I mean, he’d have to be all gray for Philo and all pink for Gunge. No wait, it’s the other way around. Ah, who are we kidding? Not even Dave Goelz and Richard Hunt could tell those two apart.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a New Fraggle
Could it be possible that a new Fraggle Rock movie may not feature the familiar Fraggle Five? Maybe it’s best to leave Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, and Red (we’ll keep Traveling Matt) behind in the TV show while we let a new cast of Fraggles (and newer, younger performers) take the lead. Or not. I don’t know. I can’t decide. This game is hard.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tommy Solomon
Could Fraggle Rock be Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s backdoor plan to revitalize his 3rd Rock from the Sun character?? Oh wow, they both have the word “Rock” in the titles! I totally just realized that. Spooky.
What did we miss, Fraggle fans? How else might JGL fit into the Fraggle world?
Click here to envision Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Large Marvin on the ToughPigs forum!
by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com