Skip to main content

Wishful Casting: Santa Barbara: The Movie

With classic, daytime vampire operaDark Shadows, starring Johnny Depp, coming soon to a theater near you, I can't help but hope this development could start a trend toward seeing some of our more notable, favorite daytime sudsers being adapted for the big screen. I believe iconic, cult soaps like Ryan's Hope and Santa Barbara could definitely work as streamlined three-act, two-hour soapgasms. A good story is a good story, is a good story, whether it's on daytime, primetime, on the big screen, or being gleeped into your brain via digital signals in your earrings. Peyton Place proved that. That explosive novel by Grace Metalious was turned into a movie, a successful primetime sudser and ultimately led to novel and movie sequels and even a daytime soap opera. All it takes is executives who are willing to think outside of the box.


To help speed up the process, I've taken the liberty of doing a Wishful Casting for the one soap that simply has to find its way back onto the pop culture landscape—Santa Barbara. As Bridget and Jerome Dobson are my witnesses, I won't rest until Santa Barbara returns in some shape, form or fashion! Do you hear me Fronsie?

Wishful Casting
: Santa Barbara: The Movie

Robert Redford as Channging "CC" Capwell; King Lear-esque patriarch of the Capwell family; CEO and Chairman of Capwell Enterprises, comprised of oil holdings and hotels, with big letter "C's" that occasionally fall over and crush unsuspecting women to their deaths.

Blythe Danner as Sophia Capwell; CC's long-suffering wife, faked her death and abandoned the family in shame after accidently killing (Or did she?) her sexually-confused son Channing. She returns to town dressed in drag as a man. Is it any wonder her kids had issues?

Kim Cattrall as Gina Blake DeMott Capwell; CC's third wife, whom he marries to seize custody of his grandson Brandon, whom Gina has adopted. A shameless grifter, prone to popping prescription pills, Gina loves the Capwell money and power much more than she does the Capwell men.

Hugh Laurie as Mason Capwell; CC's alcoholic, sardonic eldest child from his first marriage to emotionally-unstable Pamela Conrad. Prone to Shakespeare-esque monologues about his wicked stepmother Sophia, Mason resents his younger half siblings, most notably Channing, his father's namesake.

Jude Law as Channing Capwell; CC and Sophia's first child together, or so CC is led to believe. Channing is actually the product of an illicit affair between Sophia and CC's business rival Lionel Lockridge. (Later in the movie it is revealed that Lionel's nefarious mother Minx had him switched at birth to prevent a Lockridge from being raised a Capwell!) Golden boy Channing is seen as the biggest catch in the state by California socialites. Too bad he's gay, not that it stops him from fathering an illegitimate child with the daughter of the Capwell maid, before being gunned down by his own not-so-mother. (Or did she?).

Scarlett Johansson as Eden Capwell; CC and Sophia's daughter, the ultimate heroine. Loves to gel her bangs backwards, and sometimes favors a crimping iron and occasionally splits into pesky alters that cause her to jump off cliffs to her presumed death. Eden falls hard for Mexican-American cop Cruz Castillo, much to her father's dismay.

Blake Lively as Kelly Capwell; Eden's naive younger sister. Has really, really long, glossy blonde hair, that she tends to wear over one shoulder. Is generally overcome by her explosive emotions (think The O.C's Marissa Cooper, only played by an actress who can, you know, act). Falls for bad boys. Her first love, Joe Perkins, is falsely imprisoned for her brother Channing's murder.

Zac Efron as Ted Capwell; youngest Capwell child. Becomes involved in a Romeo and Juliet-style romance with Lockridge heiress Laken. Really doesn't do much but stand around looking dumb and pretty. Basically Kelly with boy parts.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Betty White as Minx Lockridge; manipulative matriarch of the Lockridge family. Loathes the Capwells, so much so that she switches baby Channing at birth with some nobody toddler named Brick Wallace. She also shoots CC when he tries to evict her out of Lockridge Manor.

Donald Sutherland as Lionel Lockridge; CC's arch rival. Loves his wife Augusta, but just can't seem to stay faithful to her.

Susan Surandon as Augusta Wainright Lockridge; glamorous, society maven who looks down on her husband's on again/off again mistress Sophia. Dotes on her children, as well as her little sister Julia.

Julia Roberts as Julia Wainright, a modern day Kate Hepburn, legal eagle Julia Wainright is as principled and noble as they come, which is of course why she is drawn to drunken cad Mason Capwell, as well as his alter ego, Southern-fried Sonny Sprockett.

Owen Wilson as Warren Lockridge; eldest Lockridge son. Starts off a tennis and golf pro-type, before becoming a passionate reporter, dedicated to uncovering the illegal business dealings of the Capwells. More like a brother to his aunt Julia.

Emily VanCamp as Laken Lockridge; Lionel and Augusta's daughter, in love with Ted Capwell, even though her father disapproves. For some odd reason becomes a race car driver.

Channing Tatum as Joe Perkins; Kelly's first love. Jailed for the murder of Channing Capwell. Joe gets out of jail, driven by revenge and the desire to see Kelly put all of her hair over one shoulder again before they kiss passionately.

Gilles Marini as Cruz Castillo; heroic cop who falls hard for Eden Capwell and must fight to prove his worth to her father CC. He occasionally rescues Eden from sickos like Kirk Cranston. Hates shark-infested pits.

Kevin Spacey as Keith Timmons; corrupt district attorney, who routinely goes up against Julia Wainright in court. Finds a partner-in-crime in Gina Capwell.

Penelope Cruz as Santana Andrade; daughter of Rosa, the Capwell maid, in love with Channing. Mother of his son Brandon. Spend the entire movie trying to get Brandon back, even though any fool can see the kid totally belongs with Gina! Just give it a rest already Santana, sheesh!

Kiefer Sutherland as Kirk Cranston; really bad, bad guy. Hates Cruz and Eden, loves shark-infested pits.

Related: What the Santa Barbara Characters Are Doing 15 Years Later