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Actors We Want To See Play Kratos In A God Of War TV Series

A live-action adaptation of the beloved video game series "God of War" has been rumored for well over a decade at this point. In that time, fans of the PlayStation franchise have speculated wildly about which actor might take on the role of the iconic Kratos, with a variety of names thrown into the ring. There has always been one nagging question, however: How do you turn a raging ball of wrath into a protagonist that makes sense in any other medium? It seemed like an impossible task until the critically acclaimed 2018 reboot of "God of War" pulled off a nuanced new take on the character.

We've known since 2020 that Sony has major plans when it comes to adapting its PlayStation properties. In March 2022, Variety revealed that Amazon was interested in making a "God of War" series, leading to fresh speculation about the potential cast. These are the actors that we would love to see as Kratos.

Gerard Butler has been linked with the role for years

Gerard Butler has been a frontrunner to portray Kratos for years. The Scottish actor proved that he had it in him to play an imposing figure when he appeared as King Leonidas in Zack Snyder's "300." The stylish action flick hit cineplexes in March 2007, just days before "God of War II" dropped to critical acclaim. The overlap between the two Greek war epics was undeniable, and Butler was an obvious choice for Kratos. The rumors came to nothing, but they didn't go away — unconfirmed reports that he had been tapped to play the lead in a "God of War" movie did the rounds as recently as December 2020.

Now that we know Amazon is in talks with Sony over a "God of War" series, it seems as though any potential movie is either dead or on the backburner. That doesn't mean Butler is out of the picture, however. The actor would still be a good fit for the older, more grizzled Kratos that we saw in the 2018 reboot.

Dwayne Johnson is working on a secret video game adaptation

In January 2022, Dwayne Johnson revealed that he was working on a video game adaptation. "We're going to bring one of the biggest, most badass games to the screen — one that I've played for years," the former WWE superstar told Men's Journal. "I'm really excited to bring it to fans around the world." Given Sony's push to adapt its properties for the screen, fans immediately began to speculate on whether or not Johnson was talking about "God of War," though some were more enthusiastic about the idea of him as Kratos than others.

While he's certainly got the required physique, Johnson brings a lot of charisma to his movie roles, and Kratos has always been more of a strong silent type (the big Greek god has been through a lot, after all, and he's not exactly a people person). Since Johnson made his comments to Men's Journal, unsubstantiated reports suggesting that he is actually working on a "Call of Duty" movie have surfaced. Given that Johnson referred to his unnamed video game project as a "movie" rather than a series, it seems unlikely that he will play Kratos, as much as we'd love to see it.

Jason Momoa could be an inspired choice for Kratos

Of all the superhero actors that fit the Kratos mold, Jason Momoa is perhaps the most ideal. The Hawaiin actor debuted as DC's Aquaman in 2016's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and then reprised the role in 2017's "Justice League." His 2018 standalone movie cemented his position as an A-list action star. Momoa's take on the historically derided character won him widespread praise, and he could be an inspired choice for Kratos, especially as "God of War" seems destined for the small screen.

The big difference when it comes to starring in a series over a movie is variety: There will need to be some depth to Kratos. Whoever gets the role will have to be capable of displaying a sense of honor and duty — but also a sense of humor to some degree. If anyone can take an over-the-top character and turn them into a fun, grounded hero, it's Jason Momoa.

Christopher Judge has already played Kratos

Christoper Judge might not be an actor you've heard of, but he could be a perfect fit for Kratos. Why? Because he voiced the character in 2018's "God of War" and will do so again in the upcoming sequel game "God of War Ragnarök." Judge is who fans of the franchise now associate with Kratos, and some believe that it's only right he gets a shot at the live-action version of the character. "Kratos in Amazon's 'God of War' series should be Christopher Judge's job to lose," argued Mashable.

The new version of Kratos was developed more as a character when compared to the earlier games. He was sympathetic for once. His backstory was more than a cliché. Fans of the franchise loved it, and this was due in part to Judge and his take on the character. The actor (who is otherwise best known for playing Teal'c in numerous "Stargate" projects) knows all about Kratos, so why don't we see what he can do with the character in a live-action medium?

Dave Bautista is one director's first choice for the role

Another actor from the world of superhero movies, "Guardians of the Galaxy" star Dave Bautista could be perfect as Kratos. His version of Marvel's Drax is one of the best parts of James Gunn's "Guardians" movies, and Bautista had a menacing presence as Glossu Rabban in Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's "Dune." The former WWE wrestler has some range, and that could come in useful should "God of War" go beyond a single season.

Bautista was actually linked with the role of Kratos back in 2018. Director Steven DeKnight ("Pacific Rim Uprising") talked about his interest in adapting "God of War" during a chat with ComicBook.com in June of that year, and he revealed that Bautista was his number one choice. "Somebody [on Twitter] asked me, 'Well, who would you have to have Kratos?'" DeKnight said. "And immediately for me: Dave Batista would be the man. I think he can do anything. You can do drama, real emotion, humor, action."

Travis Fimmel has history with video game films

Australian actor Travis Fimmel would have to bulk up a bit if he was going to take on the role of Kratos, but he could be an excellent pick for the character for several reasons. For starters, Fimmel was the star of the hit series "Vikings." This show had one foot in mythological ideas, the other in prestige character drama. Games like 2018's "God of War” followed this trend, which has arguably become an even more popular aesthetic in video games thanks to the success of the reboot.

Of course, Fimmel has been in a video game adaptation before: He played the leader of the human race, Anduin Lothar, in the "Warcraft" movie. The big screen adaptation of Blizzard's vast fantasy game scored a damning 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, but audience reviews were a lot kinder, with 76% approving of the film. Fimmel as Kratos would be outside of the box, but we would be down for it.

Kratos could be Winston Duke's breakthrough role

Rising star Winston Duke could make a great Kratos if his previous work is anything to go by. As M'Baku in "Black Panther," he proved he had the chops to play a stoic action hero. He's also known for playing Gabe Wilson, the father of the family that gets terrorized by versions of themselves in Jordan Peele's "Us." The doppelganger version of his character in that film is straight-up terrifying. Yes, he's not quite as physically imposing as many of the actors on this list, but if the age of superhero movies has taught us anything, it's that anyone can get jacked with the right training and a calorific diet.

We're not alone in wanting to see Duke get the chance to lead a "God of War" series. According to The Gamer, the up-and-coming star would be perfect for the part. "Kratos is covered in ashes, meaning a casual observer might not realize the inherent Blackness that has always been attached to Kratos," the website said. "In the brief scene where his skin turns to ash, it is clearly Black underneath. Terrence C. Carlson and Christopher Judge, the two actors to have played Kratos, are Black. White is so often seen as the default for everything from casting to medicine to emojis, but with Kratos, our default should be Black."

God of War's director wanted Djimon Hounsou to play Kratos

Djimon Hounsou grabbed the attention of film fans with his role in Ridley Scott's "Gladiator," but it wasn't until a few years later that the Academy began to take notice. He was nominated for best supporting actor for his turn in 2002's "In America," and again for his performance opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in 2006's "Blood Diamond." The following year, David Jaffe (director of the original "God of War" game) told Entertainment Weekly that screenwriter David Self had turned in a "really good script" for a "God of War" film and that he had an actor in mind for the lead role.

"Djimon Hounsou as Kratos," Jaffe said. "In terms of the way he looks and his acting ability and his physique — I can't think of a better choice." Despite the screenplay being completed, the film never came to pass. Hounsou is still waiting for that huge role, and playing Kratos could finally give him the leading man status he sorely deserves.

Faran Tahir looks just like Kratos

Another actor who could play a more mature Kratos is Faran Tahir. Over the years, Tahir has appeared in major blockbusters like J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" and "Iron Man," the first MCU movie. The Los Angeles native is a good match in terms of looks, as Reddit users have been keen to point out — side-by-side shots reveal that the actor shares an uncanny resemblance to the character. Tahir's look is a pretty perfect match for the PlayStation 2 era Kratos.

Of course, looks alone do not make for a perfect pick, something that people were quick to point out in the comments section of the aforementioned Reddit post. Could it be that they aren't giving Tahir enough credit? His track record as a strong presence in big budget movies suggests that he has what it takes to lead a TV show, but he's still very much an outside shot.

Fans are split over Dominic Purcell as Kratos

Dominic Purcell was an A-list name when rumors of a "God of War" adaptation first began to circulate. As one of the leads on the hit show "Prison Break," Purcell shot to stardom during the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 era of the "God of War" franchise. The English actor played Lincoln Burrows in the prison drama (which received a reunion season in 2017), but he is best known for his work on DC's Arrowverse shows nowadays, playing the pyromaniac Mick Rory.

Purcell definitely has the square-jawed strongman look that everyone wants from Kratos. Is he still as good a choice as he would have been back then? Fans are split on the idea of him playing the lead in a "God of War" adaptation, as one Reddit post from a few years back proved. The actor is used to playing larger-than-life characters, however, so we think Purcell as Kratos would be a knockout.

David Wenham could shine as an older Kratos

Australian actor David Wenham is best known for his portrayal of Faramir, one of the most likable characters from Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" films. Faramir and Kratos don't have a lot in common, but Wenham has proven that he has some range (and some abs) in the years since.

A few years after "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" dropped to widespread acclaim, Wenham popped up as Dilios in Zack Snyder's "300." His turn as the eyepatch-wearing Spartan showed that he can bring pathos to an epic character, and he proved that he was still capable of getting into great shape when he reprised the role in the 2014 sequel "300: Rise of an Empire."

This is what is needed to sustain a character across a season — or potentially multiple seasons — of dramatic television. Wenham has experience playing epic mythological figures, but he also knows how to craft deep characters that give audiences even more reasons to be invested in what they're seeing.

Nick Offerman is the Kratos you never knew you needed

We know what you're thinking, but hear us out. Nick Offerman as Kratos might seem bonkers, though we aren't the only ones who want to see the dry funnyman get a shot at playing the Greek god. Gaming Bible is leading calls for the "Parks and Recreation" star to become the first live-action Kratos, and fans are getting on board with the idea. Why does this make sense? Well, he already has the perfect beard, and most of Offerman's characters have a tough exterior until you get to know them.

That certainly sounds a lot like Kratos. Yes, he doesn't always have the sweet interior that Offerman's characters are known for, but if the touted Amazon show is to be based on the most recent game in the franchise, then Offerman makes total sense. This would be an older, wiser version of the character for sure, but one we desperately want to see.