See the Cast of 'Wing Commander' Then and NowLuke Brown |
In 1999, video game cinema was not much more different than it is now. In short, it was terrible. One of the leading guilty parties was 'Wing Commander,' an adaptation of the extremely popular PC space-shooter franchise. While the video sequences for the games starred the likes of Mark Hamill and Malcom McDowell, the feature could only draw actors from the severely less talented pool of teen heartthrobs like Freddie Prinze, Jr and Matthew Lillard. It's not that hard to understand why this is one of the most universally panned video game movies of all time. The only question is, what in the world ever happened to these people?
Freddie Prinze, Jr, Lt. Christopher Blair
Then: Prinze, hot off the heels of the 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' films and 'She's All That,' decided it was time to up his action game. He played Blair, a pilot who could navigate space by feel, which is completely stupid.
Now: Prinze voiced Lt. James Vega in Mass Effect 3, and will next appear in 'Star Wars: Rebels,' where he'll probably navigate space with the Force, which is completely different and awesome, and not in anyway silly or stupid.
Matthew Lillard, Lt. Todd Marshall
Then: He annoyed the hell out of everyone in 'Hackers' and 'Scream,' but somehow the box office success of those movies allowed Lillard to keep acting. Eventually he landed the co-starring role of "Maniac" Marshall in 'Wing Commander.'
Now: Prinze and Lillard began their burgeoning friendship in 'She's All That,' and continued it into 'Wing Commander' and several 'Scooby Doo' movies. Since the late '90s, Lillard has actually become more than just a goofball, and was most recent seen on FX's crime drama, 'The Bridge' and in the well-received Clooney film 'The Descendants.'
Saffron Burrows, Lt. Cmdr. Angel Deveraux
Then: Deveraux was the group's wing commander, and as such, helped lead the final assault (in the movie, at least), against the Kilrathi. Burrows played a female pilot who had about as much depth as Denise Richards in 'Starship Troopers,' but (surprisingly) had a better supporting cast.
Now: Burrows overcame the '99 double-feature of 'Deep Blue Sea' and 'Wing Commander' to go on and have a rather successful acting career. You can now see her as Victoria Hand on 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'
Tchéky Karyo, Commodore James Taggart
Then: Karyo was born with the face of a man who was destined to be a Bond villain (which he once was). He's played the bad guy from time to time, but in 'Wing Commander,' he was a decent dude who captained the merchant ship, Dilligent.
Now: Karyo continues to act in France, but his roles in worldwide features have greatly diminished from the days of 'Bad Boys.'
Jürgen Prochnow, Cmdr. Paul Gerald
Then: Born with a face only a mother could love (what is with the foreign guys and the evil villain face?), Prochnow was tapped to play Cmdr. Gerald in 'Wing Commander.' While he wasn't quite as hard-assed as he was in 'Das Boot,' he still brought his trademark "charm."
Now: Prochnow's resume is all over the place, and he's been the evil mastermind as often as he's played the good guy with the bad looks. While the roles have slowed since he was on '24,' Prochnow still picks up the occasional part back in Germany.
David Warner, Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn
Then: As the Admiral of the fleet, Warner played the man who gave Blair his orders to lead the suicide mission to stop the Kilrathi.
Now: Warner's a bit of a geek idol, having voiced Ra's al Ghul in 'Batman: The Animated Series,' Lord Azlok on 'Dr. Who,' and of course, Edward Dillinger in 'Tron.'
David Suchet, Capt. Jason Sansky
Then: As Capt. Sansky, Suchet acted circles around everyone else in the movie, while somehow saying demonstrably less than nearly every other actor in 'Wing Commander.'
Now: Suchet, a respected and well-known actor in the U.K. who somehow got roped into this travesty, is best known for playing Hercule Poirot in 'Poirot.' He rules.
Ginny Holder, Lt. Rosie Forbes
Then: Rosie makes the mistake of falling in love with Miller. The two disobey orders to go fight some Kilrathi, only Rosie isn't so good at landing her ship on the way back. She dies a horribly unglorious death on the runway. She's then unceremoniously pushed off the landing strip by a bulldozer. Into space.
Now: Holder was busy through the early 2000s, but hasn't appeared in anything since her character exited the BBC's 'Holby City.'