It starts with a fatal explosion. Then, a toxic poison seeps into our nation's waters. Fish die. Birds die. Turtles die. Are people next? No one knows, and no one can figure out how to stop the awful brown flood.
Superman ain't suiting up. The X-Men are exhausted. It's up to mere mortals to make a happy ending out of this Doomsday scenario.
So goes the drama that is the BP oil spill, an epic disaster that makes "Deep Impact" look about as scary as "Scooby-Doo 2." Of course, should the story go to the big screen, it's likely to get a big dose of Hollywood fact-fudging, and naturally, a group of actors who kind of, sort of resemble the real-life cast in the crisis.
Below, check out who's who and what might go down in "Oilmageddon: Behind the BP Blowup."
They both hail from the U.K. They both have the same boyish looks and mop of brown hair. Sheen's the go-to guy when it comes to playing Brits -- he took on the role of Tony Blair for HBO's "The Special Relationship." And Sheen's role as Liz Lemon's bumbling boyfriend on "30 Rock" serves as proof enough that he can mimic Hayward's aloof attitude and lack of manners to a T. But it'll take more than lines like "I'd like my life back" to make Hayward a villain on par with the giant asteroid that usually threatens to destroy the earth in sci-fi/disaster movies. Perhaps he could have a megalomaniacal streak, a la Mickey Rourke's Whiplash in the latest "Ironman," or a hobby of testing the effects of oil inhalation on puppies.
The criticism: President Obama's not mad as hell and appears to be willing to take it some more. The solution: Will Smith. Smith can maintain a steely calm but kick ass when the occasion calls for it. Considering Obama said he wants to do the latter, Smith seems the right casting choice. Plus, Smith, ever the action hero, has dealt with the whole end-of-the-world thing many times before -- think "Independence Day," "Men in Black," and "I Am Legend." He's got credentials.
Bobby Jindal's made a big production of jetting about on helicopters and getting his hands dirty along the Gulf Coast. In case his photo ops in the sand and with the fishing nets don't say it loudly enough, he constantly reminds reporters that "We've taken matters into our own hands." Still, Jindal hasn't quite lived down his folksy, kindergarten-teacher-esque rebuttal of President Obama's first speech to Congress in February 2009, which makes his current show all the more worthy of satire.
Who better to pull it off than Aziz Ansari? The comedian of the moment clearly cares about the crisis -- while hosting MTV's Movie Awards, he belted out "F**k you BP" -- and as "Parks and Recreation's" Tom Haverford, he's versed in playing characters trying to game their way through government jobs.
Someone has to play the smart-aleck techie behind the scenes who's mocking BP via Twitter. (And judging from the disguise-clad, camera-shy twentysomething who controls the account and goes by the name Terry, it's not going to be he.) It's pretty easy to picture Rainn Wilson hunched over a PowerBook, glasses slipping down his nose, snickering maniacally as he taps out another quip/hit against the company. (A choice tweet from this week: "If you want to help clean up. Drive your cars fast and often. Let's melt those glaciers and dilute this mess! #bpcares.") Could that be because Wilson plays a similarly devious schemer on "The Office?" Probably.
Thad Allen's the man running the show, the Coast Guard admiral heading the effort to stop the oil billowing from beneath the Gulf. He talks tough -- he told ABC News "I'm the national incident commander" and dubbed the oil "an enemy that changes."
Comedian Brian Doyle-Murray, the older brother of Bill Murray, is known for his roles in "Caddyshack" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." He may not seem like the type of actor suited for such a serious part. But the picture doesn't lie -- put him in an admiral's uniform and he could be Allen's twin.
One thing the BP saga needs: more women. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu is one of the few females frequently speaking out about the oil spill, calling on the Obama administration to reconsider its ban on offshore drilling in an effort to keep area fisherman and drillers employed. She means business, and her message would resonate that much more in the throaty drawl of Kathleen Turner, who gets whatever (and whomever) she wants on "Californication."
You can practically hear the movie trailer voice announcing this one: "... and Kevin Costner as himself, the actor-turned-inventor with an army of oil-sucking machines that could save the earth." Maybe this story has a superhero after all.