Fans of tough-as-nails, side-scrolling video games are about to be treated next month with an animated Netflix show, The Cuphead Show!, based on the acclaimed game of the same name.
The game, available on most major consoles and PC, features the rubber hose-style, surrealist, and subversive qualities of the works of cartoons from the 1920s-30s, such as those created by Fleischer Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Similar to those early cartoons, Cuphead also features a rogue’s gallery of strange and dark villains, such as King Dice, a man with a giant die for a head who is The Devil’s right hand man. In other words, if Betty Boop and Silly Symphony’s The Skeleton Dance are your jam, you’d probably enjoy the aesthetic and themes of the game and the upcoming show.
But since The Cuphead Show! will not be bringing back the original cast from the game, which was developed and published by Studio MDHR back in 2017, it begs the question: just what actors will be undertaking the very big cups to fill? Luckily, we’ve collated all the information right here for you, complete with a little bit about each actor and a little bit about the character they’ll be taking on.
Tru Valentino as Cuphead
Tru Valentino is known for his acting roles in everything from animated shows like Fast & Furious Spy Racers, to video games like Psychonauts 2, and even starring as Aaron Thorsen in the fairly well-received live-action cop drama The Rookie.
Valentino will be helming the role of the titular Cuphead, a cup-headed humanoid who resides on Inkwell Isle. An overall kind-hearted character in the games, his occasional flaws such as his slight greediness is known to sometimes imperil his brother, Mugman, who is the co-protagonist in the game. Speaking of Mugman…
Frank Todaro as Mugman
Another prominent voice actor anime fans will recognize is Frank Todaro, who has lent his voice for the English dubs of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure as Tamami Kobayashi, My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission as Salaam, and various minor roles in 2016’s Berserk. He’s also appeared in video games such as Morphite, Elex, Shardlight, Technobabylon, and Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles. In addition, he’s appeared in multiple Transformers shows, such as 2020’s Transformers: War on Cybertron Trilogy as Starscream.
Todaro will voice Cuphead’s brother, Mugman, distinguished from his sibling only by his blue straw, outfit, and slightly different nose and eye shapes. In the game, the fellow Inkwell Isle resident is slightly more careful and less rash in his decision-making compared to his brother, though Mugman is still quite fun-loving.
Luke Millington-Drake as The Devil
Something of a newcomer to Hollywood, Luke Millington-Drake, who is originally from London, England, is perhaps best known for a role in an episode of the web series Best Friend Fix, a show about a subscription service that delivers a new robot pal to you each month, with often disastrous results for the user. He also appeared in the short film Say Yes to the Dress.
Millington-Drake will voice the role of The Devil in The Cuphead Show!, the game’s main antagonist and final boss, King Dice’s superior, and the presumed ruler of Inkwell Hell. A deceitful trickster who lacks empathy for anyone and is prideful to a fault, the character is known for granting deals with people in exchange for their souls and servitude.
Joe Hanna as Elder Kettle
Joe Hanna is probably best known for his voice work in video games such as portraying Eddi Scarpa in Mafia II and additional voices in Mafia III. He’s also appeared in various roles in animated shows such as Archer, Robot Chicken, and playing James Gandolfini in Celebrity Deathmatch.
Hanna will portray Elder Kettle in the upcoming Netflix series The Cuphead Show! A secondary character in the games, Elder Kettle is the caretaker and grandfather of Cuphead and Mugman, all of whom live together in the elder’s house on Inkwell Isle.
Wayne Brady as King Dice
Wayne Brady is a hilarious actor whose name is ubiquitous with family-friendly TV entertainment. Perhaps best known as a standout player of the improv comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway, of which he is an executive producer, Brady is also known as the host and producer of the game show Let’s Make a Deal and for his appearances in shows like Chappelle’s Show and How I Met Your Mother. He was also the host and co-executive producer of his own daytime talk show in the early 2000s, The Wayne Brady Show.
As perhaps the most household name in the entire cast, Brady’s excellent physicality and singing ability, as showcased in Whose Line, makes him a pitch perfect casting choice for King Dice. That’s because the game’s secondary antagonist and right hand man to The Devil is heavily influenced by jazz singer Cab Calloway. Calloway made an epic appearance featuring his singing and roto-scoped dancing in the the 1933 Betty Boop cartoon Snow White, by the aforementioned Fleischer brothers, who were an influence on the Cuphead video game. Like Calloway, King Dice is also portrayed as a jazz-scatting emcee of a macabre board game in the trailers and clips we’ve seen so far for The Cuphead Show!
Jim Conroy as Ollie Bulb
Jim Conroy is a prolific voice actor who got his start with various roles in the stop-motion animated MTV2 parody series Celebrity Deathmatch. Animation fans may also recognize him for playing the titular roles in the shows FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman and Kenny the Shark. He’s also appeared on Saturday Night Live‘s animated Saturday TV Funhouse segment and in some video games, such as Red Dead Redemption II and Grand Theft Auto V.
Conroy will be portraying Ollie Bulb, an onion-like humanoid member of the Root Pack. Despite being bashful, generally well-meaning, and emotional, Ollie appears as a boss who does battle with Cupman and Mugman in the Cupman videogame.
Grey Griffin as Ms. Chalice
Grey Griffin is perhaps best known as the voice of Selina Kyle / Catwoman in the Batman: Arkham City videogame. However, she’s helmed a number of other roles in TV, movies, and anime, including 2018’s Bumblebee as Arcee, the 2014 anime When Marnie Was There, and the voice of Nandi in the Star Trek: Prodigy TV show. She also voiced Daphne from 2019-2021 in Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? An award-stacking voice actor, Griffin also boasts an impressive singing voice to boot.
Griffin will portray Ms. Chalice in The Cuphead Show!, who is a third protagonist in the Cuphead video game, first appearing in the trailer for the upcoming downloadable content of that game, Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course (releasing July 30, 2022). In the original game, the character appeared in spectral form as a non-playable character known as The Legendary Chalice who mostly fulfilled a “damsel in distress” role. But in her Ms. Chalice form, she’s been subjected to a redesign that will include being a playable character with a modified move set, including a double jump. The character is portrayed as a tomboy who is as friendly as she is headstrong, albeit a little bit stubborn on occasion.
The Cuphead Show!, for which you can watch the official trailer here, premieres on Netflix Feb. 18.