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Actors Lifetime Should've Cast As Colonel Sanders Instead Of Mario Lopez

Lifetime and KFC, two titans of damaging American hearts, have teamed up at last. On December 13, this powerhouse duo will release A Recipe for Seduction, a special mini-movie that seems poised to answer the question "does Colonel Sanders get down?" True, at only 15 minutes in length, this television event lasts roughly as long as the average post-fried chicken bathroom tenure, but that hasn't stopped it from becoming, without a doubt, the must-see production of mid-December.

The story's main character is one Harland Sanders, whose rank is left unexplored in the promotional material. The part has historically been reserved for master impressionists and highly respected performers like Darrell Hammond, Billy Zane, and RoboCop, but will, in this instance, go to '90s heartthrob Mario Lopez, best known for his work on Saved by the Bell and the 2020 reboot of Saved by the Bell. Lopez's acting chops will, with any luck, lend themselves nicely to this iconic purveyor of breaded chicken thighs, bringing out the depth and emotion inherent in his devout adoration for dipping bird carcasses in hot oil.

Still, any big casting announcement regarding a beloved property is an invitation to fans, begging them to imagine what could have been. The folks over at Mashed had a few ideas, each more finger-licking acceptable than the last.

Gordon Ramsay would make a hell of a Sanders

As a man, much has been written about the real Harland Sanders, founder of and ambassador for Kentucky Fried Chicken. In 1964, the good Colonel sold his franchise, but became incensed at a perceived drop-off in food quality following the sale. A 1970 New Yorker piece on Sanders described him as "haunted by the fear that someone, somewhere, is doing something to hurt his chicken," and outlined his many unannounced visits to franchisees, during which he would denounce their gravy in particular. He called KFC's post-sale gravy "wallpaper paste," and was quoted as having shouted at some fast food worker, "How do you serve this [profanity redacted] slop? With a straw?"

Few men in the public eye could bring that sort of energy to the television landscape, but one celebrity in particular has made a substantial living by screaming at hospitality workers when they made him food that wasn't yummy enough: Gordon Ramsay. Is he British? Yes, but Norm Macdonald is Canadian and everyone was cool with it when he played the Colonel. Maybe Ramsay wouldn't bring the same nuance to the character as Mario Lopez, who played the voice of Zeus the labrador retriever in 2015's The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation. But he would have done something about the gravy.

Nic Cage would bring a Colonel of truth to his performance

Nicolas Cage is remarkable for many reasons. He had to have his Ghost Rider tattoo covered up so that he could play Ghost Rider. He named his kid after Superman, and was once in possession of a stolen T-Rex skull. He was in The Vampire's Kiss, which, even putting aside his many noteworthy accomplishments, makes him an immovable monument in the landscape of popular culture.

More importantly, the 56-year-old erstwhile Coppola works. He works a lot. According to his IMDb page, Cage has appeared in no fewer than 27 films since 2015, with six more projects currently at various stages of production, including an eight-part Joe Exotic mini series. The point is, he probably wouldn't have turned down A Recipe for Seduction if somebody had thought to ask.

Maybe nobody at KFC bothered to send an email. Maybe Lifetime lost his agent's number. But a world in which Nicolas Cage plays an amorous Colonel Sanders — even just for 15 minutes — is a world we'd all be lucky to live in. Maybe next year, or the year after that, we might be so lucky. Until then, the KFC production process remains, if only in one regard, Cage-free.

Ryan Reynolds wouldn't be too chicken to take the part

Imagine for a moment that you're making a Lifetime Original Movie. What do you want from your leading man? You want charisma. You want symmetry. You want someone who's available to shoot in Toronto. In short, you want Ryan Reynolds, who is dripping with all three of these characteristics like a used KFC bucket turned upside down.

True, Reynolds is plenty busy, what with his cellphone company, his gin company, his upcoming film roles, his three children with Blake Lively, the football club that he co-owns with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Rob McElhenney, and his regular recreational annihilation of Hugh Jackman's ego on YouTube, but playing the Colonel would be a win-win for the actor. If the movie turned out well, it would only serve to further his already remarkable career. If it didn't, its failure would provide literal seconds worth of jokes in Deadpool 3. If nothing else, it wouldn't be worse than Blade Trinity.