There are certain things in fandom life that are ubiquitous. We’ve talked about some of those things to death. Shipper wars. Fangirl drama. Fanworks. Bad screen adaptations. Great screen adaptations. You can set your watch by the life cycle of a fandom and its ensuing growing pains. They all go through that awkward adolescent, pimply-faced phase that morphs into the horribly arrogant yet ignorant phase of young adulthood.
But in the history of fandom, I have never seen this happen. Outlander Fandom, you finally did it. You finally did something I’ve never seen another fandom do.
Sam’s doubles applaud you. source
You got a fancast cast.
If that sentence makes no sense to you, let me help you define fancasting. A fancast (noun) or fancasting (verb) is when a fan or a fandom collective spends time hoping, praying, celebrating, campaigning and photoshopping a specific actor into their favorite role that has yet to be cast in reality. For example:
The thing is, fancasting is just for fun. It never pans out the way you want it to. Even if you have great premonition, or have great stalker skills and know an actor’s schedule, resume and casting director connections, no FAN or FANDOM has any clout or influence or even basic industry knowledge of how things work when it comes to getting an actor hired.
I remember that Evanna Lynch told the press that she really wanted to play Luna Lovegood, and petitioned and auditioned hard for the role in the Harry Potter films. That’s an example of a FAN ACTOR getting a role, but it’s about as close to a fancast getting cast as I’ve ever heard.
Certainly never this.
Fans Liked Richard Rankin for Roger Wakefield and IT HAPPENED
I can’t even type that sentence heading without marveling. You should have observed my shock last week when the announcement went down on twitter.
— Outlander (@Outlander_Starz) December 14, 2015
Because I knew I’d seen Richard as Roger stuff all over fandom: Twitter, tumblr, even the pit of fandom despair (Facebook). So I thought for a minute I was being punked. Surely the guy I’d seen a bunch of Outlander fans chatting with online didn’t actually GET the role of Roger, Character Second Only To Jamie in Dudes We Get to See Naked.
But it was REAL. It was happening. Fans started chiming in with happiness, googling him quick to see how well he fits or to see how tall he isn’t. So they could know if they were pro or con. But, me? I’m all:
And the #RichardIsRoger stans, the “Rank and File” fans … they were ecstatic. On top of a bit of this:
which they had every right to source
And I still have no idea how this happened. I talked to one fan (@rogerwakefield) about it because I knew she had been championing Richard for Roger for almost two years. Her gif sets on tumblr set a lot of that in motion in the fandom at large. It seems like the Richard fans were just as shocked as anyone that he got cast. Fantasy Roger? Absolutely. REAL ROGER? as;dlfkajsaf;lsdkfjhowisthishappening????
Well, they aren’t WRONG. source
So … will we ever know the particular bit of magic that made this happen? Did the producers see the plethora of tweets and look up Richard and ask him to come in? Did Richard see all the Outlander blather about him and call his agent to get an audition? Did a Barb sell her second born and a vial of ear hair to Grand Moff Tartan in exchange for the Roger of her dreams? We may never know. (But we probably will as soon as Richard does a junket for season 2).
In the meantime, don’t forget that Outlander season 2 is coming soon. As is this sweetness:
Did you have Richard in mind for Roger way before he was cast? Where did you first hear about him? How do you think the casting went down?