Netflix's new animated feature film America: The Motion Picture takes a gleefully anachronistic view of American history, imagining George Washington and other prominent figures in American history engaged in a violent, superpowered battle for survival. The film is gleefully tongue-in-cheek, with Washington wielding Wolverine-esque chainsaw claws on his hands, Thomas Edison shooting energy beams out of her (yes, her) hands, and Paul Revere armored up like RoboCop. Nothing is historically accurate, and that's the point.
The film comes from director Matt Thompson (Archer; Frisky Dingo) and writer David Callaham (The Expendables; Zombieland: Double Tap), and it boasts an all-star cast of voice performers, starting with the recently elusive Channing Tatum as George Washington. So who else is in the cast of this Revolutionary revision and who are they playing? Read on.
You know Channing Tatum from his roles in Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL, 21 Jump Street, White House Down, Foxcatcher, and Logan Lucky. While Tatum hasn't appeared in a live-action film since 2017's Kingsman: The Golden Circle, he has lent his voice to such films as Smallfoot and The Lego Movie 2. In America: The Motion Picture, he plays George Washington: founding father, hero of the Revolutionary War and emblem for both paper and coin money.
Jason Mantzoukas is one of the hardest working comedic actors on television. His breakthrough role was as Rafi on the FX comedy The League, but he's also had featured parts on shows like The Good Place and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. When it comes to vocal performances, he's nearly unmatched, voicing characters on shows across the television landscape, including HouseBroken, Invincible, Big Mouth, Solar Opposites, and Bob's Burgers. He's also the current voice of Mr Mucas in those Mucinex commercials. In America: The Motion Picture he voices a re-imagination of patriot Sam Adams.
America: The Motion Picture's version of Thomas Edison is voiced by a woman, in this case Olivia Munn, best known for her roles as Sloane Sabbith on HBO's The Newsroom and as Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse. She's also a former correspondent on The Daily Show, and she starred opposite Channing Tatum in Magic Mike.
Bobby Moynihan plays Paul Revere, the lengendary silversmith who rode into history with his midnight ride to warn the colonials about encroaching British troops.. Moynihan spent nine seasons on Saturday Night Live, playing such memorable characters as Guy Fieri, Chris Christie, Fox and Friends' Brian Kilmeade, and of course Drunk Uncle. He starred on the short-lived CBS sitcom Me, Myself, and I, has appeared on Drunk History, Playing House, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and currently stars opposite Ted Danson and Holly Hunter in NBC's Mr. Mayor.
Judy Greer has played often quirky (and sometimes slightly evil) supporting characters in movies like Jawbreaker, 13 Going on 30, 27 Dresses, Jurassic World, and Ant-Man, although she may be best known for her role as unhinged secretary Kitty on Arrested Development. In America: The Motion Picture she plays Martha Washington, wife to George Washington and future first First Lady of the United States.
Will Forte is perhaps the best and most prolific voice actor of his generation, and America: The Motion Picture is giving him the chance to revisit one of his defining roles in animation: Abraham Lincoln. Back in the early 2000s, Forte voiced an animated, teenage Abe Lincoln in the underrated MTV comedy Clone High. It remains one of his best roles in a career that has included stellar work in Saturday Night Live and the FOX comedy The Last Man on Earth. Most recently Forte has been starring on Netflix's Sweet Tooth and lending his voice to FOX's animated HouseBroken.
Raoul Trujillo is an actor, dancer, and choreographer who;s probably best known for his role as Taza on Mayans M.C.. He's also starred in Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, Terrence Malick's The New World, and Denis Villeneuve's Sicario. In America: The Motion Picture he voices the role of Geronimo, the great Apache leader.
Rapper, actor, and activist Killer Mike voices the role of a blacksmith in America: The Motion Picture. He's a Grammy Award-winning recording artist who's worked with the likes of Outkast and T.I., has starred in films like Idlewild and Baby Driver, and has been an outspoken activist for social justice and the Presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders.
English actor Simon Pegg's breakthrough roles came in the films of his friend, director Edgar Wright. He starred in and co-wrote Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End. He springboarded from those films to a spot in two of the most enduring film franchises around: Mission: Impossible (in which he plays Tom Cruise's ally Benji) and Star Trek (where he plays Scotty). Most recently he had a stint on the Amazon superhero series The Boys. In America: The Motion Picture, he plays "King James," the monarch that this film has decided will rule England during this fictitious revolution.
Andy Samberg spent seven seasons as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, becoming one of the show's most celebrated cast members and introducing the Digital Short concept to the show. From there, he's gone on to star in Brooklyn Nine-Nine as well as films like Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and Palm Springs. He voices Benedict Arnold, the infamous Revolutionary War turncoat and thus a ready-made villain for America: The Motion Picture and its team of bombastic historical heroes.
America: The Motion Picture drops on Netflix Wednesday June 30th, 2021.
Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.