March 31, 2023

With the holiday season underway, many holiday lovers may have already begun decorating their trees or blasting Mariah Carey’s timeless tune. Another popular tradition is rewatching the popular 2003 Christmas comedy, Elf.


Then I started thinking. What if Elf were remade today with a hip-hop cast?

Here is my recasting of a Hip-Hop Elf Movie.

Played pitch perfectly by Will Ferrell, Buddy is a grown-up kid who wholeheartedly sees the best in everyone he meets. The youthful exuberance he has upon the simplest of things including elevator lights and revolving doors comes across with total sincerity. 

No one in the rap game could capture Buddy’s ball of energy quite like Lil Dicky. The comedic lyrics and stylings of the “Professional Rapper” artist make him the perfect choice to don the iconic lime green suit.

As one of the hardest hitting rappers in the game, it’s only fair that Eminem plays the quick-tempered curmudgeon Walter Hobbs. While he has a few acting credits under his belt, he’s shown on more than one occasion that he’s willing to make fun of himself, as evidenced by his cameo appearances in Funny People and the 2014 satirical comedy The Interview. 

Jovie, the love interest of Buddy the Elf, was played by Zooey Deschanel, before her breakout starring roles in the romantic comedy 500 Days of Summer and FOX sitcom New Girl. The character starts as an insecure retail employee trying to get through the holidays. 

Throughout the film, she warms up to Buddy’s optimism and plays a crucial role as the film wraps up (pun intended). 

R&B sensation Tinashe would be the perfect foil to LD’s Buddy, given her past acting experience and dulcet vocals on tracks like “Jealous” and “All Hands on Deck.”

As a prominent figure in one of the first white acts to emerge in the hip-hop scene with the Beastie Boys, and a decent actor to boot, it’d be “sabotage” to not feature Adam Horowitz AKA Ad-Rock. There’s no question many of today’s rappers were brought up on tracks like “Intergalactic” and “Brass Monkey,” so it’d be a great wink to the audience to cast a veteran in the rap game.

Who else could play St. Nick other than the coldest-named rapper? Another artist-turned-actor sure to entertain a new audience would be Ice Cube playing Santa Claus. His past work in films like 21 Jump Street and  Are We There Yet shows his ability to entertain both older and younger audiences. 

Emily is Walter’s wife and his voice of reason. If the film were written as a hip-hop musical in the style of Hamilton, casting Remy to play Emily would be a great move. With the right beat, Remy and Em’s flow, would yield much success.

As the younger brother to Buddy, Michael looks up to him as he discovers how cool he is at snowball fights and decorating the Hobbs’ apartment. At the same time, Buddy looks up to Michael as he’s been on Earth for longer, so often he nudges him in the right direction when asking Jovie out or how to spread Christmas cheer to fellow New Yorkers. 

His humor and heart come through on screen, and Jacob’s work in film and music would make him a great choice to play Michael. 

On the topic of diverse casting, Halle Bailey was recently the victim of racist comments online for her upcoming portrayal of Ariel in the Little Mermaid. SOHH has put together celebrities that we would cast in the film’s remake. 

Check out our list to see if your favorites made the cut.

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