As Sharknado 4 plunges ahead like a CGI shark towards a poorly thought out plot point, Syfy and The Asylum have begun ramping up the movie’s exciting social media marketing campaign. The crown jewel of the advertising is, of course, a tease revealing the fate of Tara Reid’s April Wexler character, whose future was determined after the last film by an online Twitter vote utilizing the hashtags #AprilLives and #AprilDies. (Presumably, the only reason Syfy didn’t also allow the audience to vote for the title of the next installment was out of fear they would choose to follow Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! with the obvious Sharknado 4: Just No.)
But if there’s one thing the series loves more than storytelling-by-Tweet-count, it’s stunt casting. So while the channel is keeping many of its sure-to-be-eye-rolling cameos close to the vest, it’s released a list of some of the new cast that, frustratingly, contains none of our nation’s most beloved celebrity sharks. In addition to the expected return of Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard, the press release also confirms repeat appearances from David Hasselhoff and Ryan Newman as Gil and Claudia Shepard. Beyond the predictable chum, there’s also a row of names that will almost assuredly be bitten in half by a clumsy assemblage of pixels at some point in the narrative. Let’s take a look:
- Gary Busey (Lethal Weapon, Celebrity Apprentice), as Wilford Wexler, April’s father and a lead scientist at Astro-X. He’s at the forefront of advances in the field of robotics.
The only surprising news here is the realization that Busey wasn’t in all of the previous movies.
- Tommy Davidson (Black Dynamite, In Living Color), as Aston Reynolds, playboy tech billionaire. Aston is the CEO of tech company Astro-X, developers of a revolutionary energy system that can stabilize the atmosphere and prevent the formation of tornadoes.
Note the wording: There is basically zero chance that, at some point, his character doesn’t slap his forehead and say, “We managed to prevent tornadoes from forming—but we forgot sharknadoes!”
- Cheryl Tiegs (“The Apprentice”), as Raye, Fin’s mother and Col. Gil Shepard’s ex-wife. Raye is a little bit of a former flower child, but not afraid to speak her mind or protect her family.
“Former flower child” = “consumed by sharks within minutes, probably after uttering some vaguely pro-enviroment message, because this is a universe where Mark Cuban is President.”
The casting also includes Cody Linley as Fin and April’s son Matt, Imani Hakim as his best friend, and Masiela Lusha as Fin’s cousin, who is described as being “chock-full of shark-busting attitude,” a phrase that likely also appears on the special promotional tie-in Axe Body Spray that will no doubt be developed in tandem with the film’s release. Sharknado 4 is still merely a working title, but by the time of its July release, there will surely be an official name, just as surely as you’ll probably be able to watch it while wearing Axe’s “Great White Embarrassment” scent.