Making a Dream Cast for Netflix’s ‘Making a Murderer’

by Rande Iaboni 1:35 PM PST, January 05, 2016
Photo: Netflix

Coming off the success of the Serial podcast and HBO’s The Jinx, every murder-mystery lover out there has a brand new case to obsess over. Netflix dropped all 10-episodes for streaming of the docu-series Making a Murderer in December, and in less than three weeks it has taken the world by storm.

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For those who haven’t binge-watched the addicting show yet (what were you doing over your holiday break?), Making a Murderer tells the story of Steven Avery, a man falsely imprisoned for sexual assault and later exonerated after 18 years in prison, who after his release was subsequently charged for the murder of Teresa Halbach. Filmed over the course of 10-years by filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, the series takes a closer look at the prosecution’s investigation, shedding a light on the potential injustice in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.

To reveal any more information would be unfair as the show must be experienced first-hand.

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The show, like Serial and The Jinx before it, is ripe for the Hollywood treatment. And given that high-profile celebrities -- Ricky Gervais, Chrissy Teigen, Emmy Rossum, Mia Farrow, Rosie O’Donnell, Mandy Moore, Mindy Kaling and more -- have all tweeted about the show, we rounded up a few stars we think would be perfect if Making a Murderer ever gets a TV or film adaptation.

Joshua Jackson as Steven Avery

Photo: Getty Images

It may seem like an unlikely choice given Jackson’s hunky status in Hollywood. Jackson is the last person you would expect him to play is a convicted murderer, but that is exactly why he is perfect for the role. In addition to their facial similarities, Jackson and Avery both possess boyish innocence in their smiles -- you immediately think there must be more to the story than the crimes they are convicted of. And anyone who has watched Jackson star in Showtime’s drama The Affair knows how perfectly he can play a troubled man plagued by his family name. Only qualm? Jackson would need to put on a few pounds to portray the older version of Avery.

Paul Dano as Brendan Dassey 

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Dano may be a bit on the older side to play Avery’s nephew, Brendan, who is just 16 when we first meet him in the docu-series, but physically this casting is a no-brainer. Dano has proven he can play a confused young man involved in a potential crime (Prisoners) and he is perfect at playing the silent type that Dassey is (Little Miss Sunshine).

Kyle Chandler as Defense Attorney Dean Strang

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Audiences everywhere have collectively swooned over defense attorney Strang since the series’ debut in December. He is an impeccable attorney, incredibly intelligent, and approachably hot. Like your friend’s dad that you kind of have a crush on. Cue, coach Taylor himself, Kyle Chandler. The actor has the perfect combination of smarts and superiority to play the series’ breakout star.

David Hyde Pierce as Defense Attorney Jerry Buting

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Not much needs to even be said here. The resemblance is uncanny. Plus, the Frasier actor can also pull off intelligence without missing a beat, something definitely required to play Buting.

June Squibb as Delores Avery

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The Iowa-born actress would have no problem excelling at the Wisconsin accent required of Steven’s outspoken mother. Also, the Nebraska actress has that thoughtful and somber appearance that just makes you want to give her a hug, something viewers easily felt towards Delores.

John Goodman as Alan Avery

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Avery’s father is a frightening man -- and not in a criminal way, but in a papa bear type way. He will protect his kin at all costs. Goodman fits the bill physically and his acting ability is also a fair match. Anyone who has seen him on Roseanne knows how convincing he can be when portraying a proud father.

Eric Stonestreet as Prosecutor Ken Kratz

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The comedic actor may appear to be an ill-fit for the prosecutor who has been labeled as the villain by many viewers. After-all, audiences are used to seeing him as the lovable family-man Cam on Modern Family, but people should not underestimate his abilities. He is more than capable of playing an unfavorable guy, one needs to look no further than his roles in Bad Teacher and The Loft. Stonestreet is up to the task.

Chloe Sevigny as Jodi Stachowski

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To play Avery’s sweet and supportive fiancée, you need an actress who is able to pull off naivety while remaining tough in the face of tragedy. Bring in Sevigny, a tremendously underrated actress who is no stranger to pulling off mid-western accents (Boys Don’t Cry) and while you would want her to be your best friend, you’d also know never to get on her bad side.

Taryn Manning as Barb Janda

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Avery’s conflicted sister -- and mother of Brendan -- is a juicy role any actress would petition for, and Manning fits the bill. The actress portraying Barb would need to easily transition from a sweet supporter of her brother to an angry mother looking for answers. We know Manning has an interest in playing real-life characters (Cleveland Abduction) and we know she can pull off a tough woman from the wrong-side of the tracks (Orange Is the New Black). Sign her up.

Rashida Jones as Local News Reporter Angenette Levy

While Levy is not exactly a main-player in the series, she is a constant presence throughout reminding the audience that even the local press on the scene were skeptical of the prosecution’s investigation of Halbach’s murder. Oh, and Jones tweeted out the likeness herself, so we couldn’t resist. 

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Who would you cast in the Making a Murderer movie? Play casting director in the comments and let us know what you thought of the docu-series by tweeting #ETnow.