Doug: The Non-Animated Movie

I like to think that my head is full of undeveloped, percolating ideas that will one day change the world. To be honest, most of them are silly, strange or downright irrelevant to society. But this one I’m about to share with you is the exception.

I’ve been writing a lot about the nineties lately, from “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to John Stamos. But there’s one show that I think any kid who grew up in the nineties is familiar with and that’s Doug.

The show lasted four seasons from 1991-1994 on Nickelodeon, and then was purchased by Disney and shown for three more, lower quality, but still acceptable seasons form 1996-1999. Anyone remotely close to my age could probably watch seven straight hours of Doug without complaining. Its theme song holds ground with the Beatles’ “Let It Be” and Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” as three of the greatest musical works of all time.

My proposal is that Hollywood creates a Doug movie. But here’s the twist: a non-animated movie. That’s right, a full feature movie about Doug, hopefully sometime in 2013. America is ready.

Doug and his buddies were in the sixth grade (they definitely seemed older at the time) in the show. I suggest the movie places them in high school or even college.

Just about all of the regular Doug watchers are in their twenties by now so I think you could add a little edginess to the script and maybe bump it up to a PG-13 rating while still appealing to some younger kids. The filmmakers could even take a big risk and make it an R-rated movie.

Try to tell me you don’t want to see Doug handle the stresses of college applications or Skeeter teaching him how to play beer pong. I’m not a screenplay writer, I’m just a sports writer/random idea guy/Don Cheadle enthusiast. I’ll leave the plot to the professionals. For now.

If you’re still not sold let me break down casting possibilities so you can really visualize the project.

Casting:

Doug Funnie

Michael Cera

Alright, picture Doug Funnie in your head right now (or just look at the image above). Now, picture Michael Cera in your head. Let me ask you a question. Did the person in your head even change clothes? Was the new image in your head still wearing a sweater-vest over a white t-shirt, shorts, and scrunched up socks?

I know, right?

Cera is quickly running out of awkward, timid high school characters to play and this might be the role he was born for. He could totally pull off the insecure, creative dreamer that is Doug Funny. Just go look through the episode index of the show and read the titles. Episodes like “Doug’s Career Anxiety/Doug’s Big Brawl” or “Doug’s Huge Zit/Doug Flies a Kite.” It’s pretty much what I imagine Cera’s daily journal titles to look like except with “Michael” instead of “Doug.”

I also have absolutely no doubt that Cera would totally nail this nine second song in the video below:

Skeeter Valentine: Chris “Ludacris” Bridges

Alright, so this is kind of a touchy subject, but I’m not the only one who thinks Skeeter was definitely black, right? That’s not racist is it?

I mean, I know he’s blue, but I pretty much just always imagined him as a black guy. Not for any physical reasons or anything. But I think we can all agree that already nerdy-Doug looked even more like a square when placed next to the coolness that was Skeeter Valentine, which tends to be the case when you place most white males next to a black dude. There’s also the episode that Skeeter teaches Doug how to dance, which has to count for something.

Look, I’m not trying to get into a racial thing here, I’m just saying I think Ludacris should play Skeeter. I think Luda’s got some legitimate acting potential. And Skeeter’s a complex dude. It will allow him to escape the typical “Fast and the Furious” carjacker characters that he’s often type cast in.

Ludacris could also help out with the soundtrack, which would be a huge plus. Imagine how great the remix of “Bangin on a Trash Can” would be with Ludacris on the track.

Judy Funny: Zooey Dechanel 

Judy is Doug’s beatnik older sister. She’s the artistic type and was always talking about how boring her family was. I feel like I remember her being obsessed with Shakespeare. Dechanel is definitely quirky enough to play this part.

It would basically be the same role she played in Almost Famous except a little bit meaner at times.

Porkchop: The dog from “Modern Family”

I’m open to suggestions on this one. A lot of different angles one could take…

Patty Mayonnaise: Hayden Panettiere

This was a tough one, but I think Panettiere is the right choice. The role of Patty Mayonnaise is absolutely crucial to the success of the film.  I think Panettiere still has some of that childhood innocence leftover from when she was the little girl in Remember the Titans.

But she has to be totally likable in this role because Patty is an angel who wouldn’t hurt a fly. I hear Panettiere’s character is pretty sassy in that new series, Nashville. She’s going to have to drop that sass for this movie, but the southern accent would fit in perfectly.

Roger Klutz: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

I think JGL could definitely pull off Doug’s arch rival. Roger’s a total douche bag who makes fun of Doug in every single episode.  It would be a good chance for Gordon-Levitt to switch things up and play a bad guy.

Roger is also obsessed with Doug’s sister, Judy. The back-and-forth between Gordon-Levitt hitting on Dechanel and her shooting him down in a clever way would bring a whole new element to the movie.

Bernard “Bud” Dink: Bryan Cranston 

Mr. Dink is the funny, slightly-crazy neighbor who gives Doug advice and shows him his “very expensive” gadgets. Cranston would be perfect for this role. It would be like a combination of the only two roles people really remember him for: Walter White and the dad from “Malcolm in the Middle.”

To be honest, I kind of had a suspicion that Mr. Dink was cooking up meth in his basement anyway. I’m not sure I even knew what meth was when I was watching “Doug,” but the thought still crept in my head somehow.

I think I have outlined enough potential for this film to be successful. All I can hope is that this article reaches a few higher-ups who understand how great of a project this could be.

Spread the word, people. Let’s make “Doug: The Movie” a reality.

-Jonny Auping

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