Archer ended its seventh season on Thursday night with one helluva cliffhanger.
And while FX’s dearly beloved animated spy extravaganza hasn’t yet been renewed by its comedy giant of a network for an eighth go-around (fingers crossed), there is always constant chatter surrounding the potential of a full-length feature film based on the show.
When I posed the question to the series’ executive producers Matt Thompson and Casey Willis just prior to the Season 7 finale airing, they said that the final decision will, of course, come down to creator Adam Reed, who’s hand a hand in penning every single episode of Archer.
“It’s all up to whatever Adam [Reed] wants to do, but he and I have definitely talked about it,” Thompson tells The Daily Beast. “I think we talk about it once every two years. We vacillate between if you do it, why are you doing the TV show? And should it be live-action, or should it be cartoon? The talk is there, we just still haven’t decided. I don’t think there will be a movie before the last episode of Archer airs on TV. I don’t think we’ll make a movie before the series finishes.”
As far as casting Sterling Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) in a potential live-action Archer film, well, the team has only one actor in mind.
“It’s Jon Hamm,” says Thompson, firmly. “If Archer goes live-action, I do believe it will be Jon Hamm. Maybe you could do it with Jon Benjamin’s voice coming out of him? I don’t know. Adam is always like, ‘I don’t know if I want the movie to be live-action because I want it to be Jon Benjamin!’ But if it is live-action—and if it is not Jon Benjamin—it is our greatest hope that it would be Jon Hamm. I can say that with confidence.”
As fans of the show will know, Hamm guest-starred as Captain Hank Murphy, who takes over Cheryl’s brother Cecil’s underwater laboratory armed with missiles of VX nerve gas—only to be crushed by an off-brand soda machine. His cameo came in the two-part fourth season finale “Sea Tunt,” a parody of the ’70s animated series Sealab 2020.
When I asked Reed back in 2014 about casting Archer—who was modeled after real-life ex-model Jason Fitzgerald—in a potential live-action film, well, his mind went to Jon Hamm, too. Heck, there’s even a Tumblr called Sterling Archer Draper Pryce that mashes up Draper scenes with Archer quotes. “We’re working on a way to create an H. Jon Hamm Benjamin hybrid,” he told me, while also expanding a bit on how much Archer was influenced by the look of Mad Men. “The production and costume design obviously owe a great deal to Mad Men’s repopularizing the 1960s aesthetic, and Archer’s character model is just lucky enough to be that handsome in real life. Which is probably why he’s a model, now that I think about it.” While Archer does seem ripe for a feature, with its insane mix of dark humor, gory violence, and stunning locales, Thompson says he learned a valuable lesson from his old pal David Willis, the creator of the Adult Swim animated series Aqua Teen Hunger Force (who also voices the former ODIN agent turned vengeance-seeking cyborg Barry on Archer).“My friend David Willis, while Aqua Teen Hunger Force was still on the air—and at the height of its popularity—made Aqua Teen Hunger Force: The Movie, and he believes that that negatively impacted the viewing of Aqua Teen Hunger Force the TV show. That’s influenced our decision-making a great deal.”