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Here's How I Think "Stranger Things" Would Have Been Cast If It Was Filmed In The '90s

2 weeks ago 6
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If I could turn back time...

I've gotta say, her picks — including Drew Barrymore as Eleven and Harrison Ford as Hopper, plus actual Stranger Things cast members Sean Astin as Mike and Winona Ryder as Robin — were pretty inspired.

Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox

Because I was born in the late '80s, most of my favorite media is straight from the '90s, and the video got me thinking about who would've been cast if the show had been shot in the '90s.

Here are my personal picks:

Tina Majorino as Eleven

CBS Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images, Netflix

Before starring in movies and shows like Napoleon Dynamite and Veronica Mars, Tina Majorino was a bonafide child star in the '90s. It seemed like at least 40% of the time I turned on my TV, there she was, in movies like When a Man Loves a Woman, Waterworld, and Corrina, Corrina. Between this and her soft-spoken, subtle approach to acting, I think she would've been a great pick for Eleven.

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John Francis Daley as Mike

NBC, Netflix

Not to typecast, but...come on. John Francis Daley is probably best known for playing Sam Weir in Freaks and Geeks, and Sam and Mike Wheeler are basically the same person — they both have older sisters who are annoyed with them 98% of the time; they both play Dungeons & Dragons; and they even look similar.

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Bug Hall as Will

Disney, Netflix

Bug Hall was another actor I saw all over my TV in the '90s, in kids movies like The Big Green, Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves, and his film debut, The Little Rascals, for which he sported the iconic cowlick to play Alfalfa. Between his big puppy eyes and bowl cut, I could definitely see him as Will Byers.

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Josh Peck as Dustin

Nickelodeon, Netflix

Josh Peck was definitely more of an aughts child star — his first movie, Snow Day, came out in 2000 — but he's the right age to have played a tween in the '90s, and had the right energy to play the funny, and sometimes slightly manic, Dustin Henderson.

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Lee Thompson Young as Lucas

Disney, Netflix

The late Lee Thompson Young was literally the ultimate action hero (or at least he played a kid playing one on TV), and you know if anyone could hit a Demogorgon square in the "face" with a slingshot, it's Jett Jackson. I think he would've been perfect to play the smooth-talking, (sometimes overly) confident Lucas Sinclair.

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Michelle Trachtenberg as Max

WB, Netflix

I'll admit that while Michelle Trachtenberg did a lot in the '90s, I know her best from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In my opinion, there are a lot of similarities between Dawn Summers and Max Mayfield, from their unwanted younger sibling vibes to the sass they're able to easily lob at anyone and everyone. Plus, Trachtenberg proved she could hold her own against onscreen monsters more than once on Buffy.

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Kyla Pratt as Erica

Disney, Netflix

Max is far from the only one supplying plenty of sass on Stranger Things, and as a staple of '90s television (I'm pretty sure she was in at least one episode of nearly every show I watched back then), I think Kyla Pratt could have nailed Erica Sinclair's signature side-eye.

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Christina Ricci as Nancy

Paramount Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection, Netflix

It's hard not to notice a resemblance between Natalia Dyer and Christina Ricci, who, let's face it, absolutely ruled the '90s. She also clearly had (and still has) a propensity for the strange and spooky, having starred in the Addams Family movies, Casper, and Sleepy Hollow. I think she would have been a perfect Nancy Wheeler

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Devon Sawa as Steve

Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection, Netflix

Speaking of '90s teen royalty, Devon Sawa was great at playing the cocky, charming, pretty boy, and based on his performance in Idle Hands, he can seamlessly transition into a panicked demon-fighter willing to sacrifice his body for the cause. Plus, I for one would love to see him and Christina Ricci reunited once again after appearing in Casper and Now and Then together.

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Elijah Wood as Jonathan

Miramax Films, Netflix

Elijah Wood generally skewed pretty wholesome in the '90s, but his character in The Faculty — an unpopular high school loner with a camera — was just Jonathan Byers all over. He even had creep shots of his crush tacked up on his bedroom wall. Plus, it'd be yet another reunion between Christina Ricci and one of her onscreen beaus, after the two appeared in The Ice Storm together.

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Marla Sokoloff as Robin

Sony Pictures Releasing, Netflix

Like a lot of the others on this list, Marla Sokoloff popped up on my TV time and time again during the '90s, and she was great at playing the snarky BFF — and Robin Buckley is nothing if not a snarky BFF. If anyone could go head-to-head with Steve Harrington and keep him extremely humble, it'd be Sokoloff.

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Michael Pitt as Billy

WB, Netflix

A super hot bully with psychotic tendencies and baby blues? Sounds right up Michael Pitt's alley. As anyone who's seen Murder by Numbers and Funny Games knows, he's somehow able to be simultaneously threatening and non-threatening, making him the perfect choice to play Billy Hargrove.

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Adam Brody as Eddie

CW, Netflix

Adam Brody didn't do a whole lot of acting until the 2000s, but he's clearly good at playing witty, geeky high school outcasts who manage to charm queen bee types. Plus, as we learned in Jennifer's Body, he can do the whole guitar-playing bad boy thing.

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Bruce Willis as Hopper

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Netflix

This is probably one of the more unrealistic casting picks here, considering how huge Bruce Willis was during the '90s, and other than a couple of cameos, the only TV he did was voicing the title character in the cartoon, Bruno the Kid. But I think he would have been a perfect Hopper — apart from constantly playing action heroes, he had the whole overprotective dad thing down pat.

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Jamie Lee Curtis as Joyce

Dimension Films / courtesy Everett Collection, Netflix

Like Bruce Willis, Jamie Lee Curtis wasn't doing a whole lot of TV in the '90s, but watching her constantly go up against Michael Myers and (usually) win, I could easily see her taking on the monsters of the Upside Down to save her son.

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JK Simmons as Murray

Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection, Netflix

During the '90s JK Simmons was best-known for playing a very scary neo-Nazi inmate in Oz, but, having the benefit of post-Sam Raimi's Spider-Man hindsight, I'm having trouble thinking of someone more perfect to play a very smart, very funny, and very loud conspiracy theorist back then.

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Who would you want to see if Stranger Things were filmed in the '90s? Sound off in the comments.

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