Movies · TV

Solving Squirrel Girl’s Fan Casting Battle

By  · Published on August 4th, 2016

Kicking butts and eating nuts has never been so popular.

Now that Suicide Squad is finally out and the verdict is in, we can move on to another highly anticipated superhero property on the other side of the money-printing aisle: Squirrel Girl. Sure, there hasn’t technically been a movie or TV show announced and technically this is all speculation, but the reviews for Ryan North’s (of Dinosaur Comics fame) The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl have been unabashedly positive and its sales numbers, while having a drop-off after the debut issue, are comparable to the comics of something Marvel is turning into a film, like Captain Marvel.

If comics reviews and sales have little to do with the creative process behind adaptation (which is almost certainly true), then I’d argue that, aside from Iron Man’s rocket to fame, a character’s popularity among a certain demographic seems like as good a reason as any. And Squirrel Girl is nothing if not popular. Back at a 2010 Comic-Con panel, the announcement to her character was met with applause as vigorous and sustained as if Stan Lee had just made his trademark Confused Old Man cameo. She embodies post-ironic sincerity in a way that speaks to comic fans fed up with the angsty Hot Topic garbage of Jared Leto with a face tattoo. She goofs around with supervillains and makes them listen to, and ultimately like, her.

So we’re thinking there’s gonna be a Squirrel Girl something soon. Cartoon, movie, something. Marvel’s had her trademarked for the screen since 2014. But who’s going to play her? The internet has two main contenders. Let’s find a winner.

Anna Kendrick

Perennially perky goofball Kendrick may be unfamiliar with the source material, but that hasn’t stopped her from being very vocal about her potential to play half-rodent. Her leading roles in the Pitch Perfect series and Into the Woods has shown her solving problems through a Squirrel Girl-like method (singing) while she’s also been honing her snark in everything from Scott Pilgrim to Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. She’d be a bit more vulgar, musical Squirrel Girl, but a good fit nonetheless.

Shannon Purser

A new contender for the nuts is internet breakout from Stranger Things, Shannon Purser who plays ill-fated voice of reason Barb. Purser’s character closely resembles more recent Squirrel Girl art, a total nerd who’s a bit awkward in her own body. Her devotion to her friend despite being cast to the wayside and her struggles with supernatural evil bolster a strong performance of outcast dorkiness that makes her seem like a great candidate for the hero. If she can keep those glasses, I’d believe she was a computer science freshman at NYU (like Squirrel Girl). But can she hit the humor?

So let’s break it down. Which girl should be the squirrel?

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).