Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Casting Call

There's been just so much interesting casting news lately that I can't really ignore it. Here's a list of what's been going on recently.

1. Ted Danson joins CSI in place of Laurence Fishburne:

Okay, I've never really watched CSI, but I might have to start. Ted Danson in the show's lead role sounds great and just plain weird.

2. Chris Pine might be Robocop:

A  lot of people aren't happy about the Jose Padilha-helmed Robocop remake and I can see why. Plenty of loyalists don't want it because the original is so good and perhaps doesn't need updating, others don't like it because Darren Aronofsky was previously attached to the project and moving forward without him just seems like a missed opportunity.

I, on the other hand, have faith in Padilha (whose Elite Squad is a pretty awesome film) and believe an updated version of the now-classic film might be pretty cool. However, one of the major problems I see this production having is casting. Verhoeven was at the top of his game with the original, for certain, but he was lucky to have someone like Peter Weller in the title role. Apart from being a decent overall actor in his own right, Weller really goes the extra mile physically to make the somewhat ridiculous character premise believable. Having some pampered Hollywood celeb as Robocop just doesn't seem feasible. I imagine a lot of the character will be computer animated, so that might take a little bit of the strain out of the performance, but it's still going to be hard.

I'm really very high on top-contender Chris Pine normally, but I don't know if he's right for the role. His limitation isn't is his acting ability - perhaps he will show just how good he is and give an excellent performance - his drawback is that he's just too darn charismatic. Why have him play the role of an android? Personally, I'd rather see him in a different role, like Bob Morton (played in the original by Miguel Ferrer). I'd buy that for a dollar. Anyway, this is all purely academic at this point. Who knows if this film will ever actually get made, let alone stick to its original casting wishes (which no large production ever seems to do).

3. Josh Brolin might take on the lead in Oldboy remake:

This is a big "meh" for me. Oldboy is another remake film-fans are already contemptuous toward. Blah blah blah, you love the original, why remake it? blah blah blah. For my money, Oldboy isn't all that good to begin with, so remake it or not, I don't really care. A Spike-lee helmed, Americanized version could be interesting, but whatever, it's taking forever to get this project off the ground as well, so we'll just have to wait and see if this becomes reality.

4. Edward Norton might be villain in next Bourne film:

Can't a franchise just end these days? Enough with the Bourne movies already. This one doesn't even have Bourne in it. I like Jeremy Renner as a replacement and Tony Gilroy as a director, but I can't help but feel that their talents are wasted on this. This news is the only thing that makes this project worthy of notice. Norton is a fun actor to watch and a pretty good heel, so he could give this film a much-needed shot in the arm.

5. Schwarzenegger chooses role for acting return:

And it's just the one I was hoping he would. The various Terminator rumors surrounding Arnold were somewhat interesting, but I'm kind of rooting for him not to return to the series when it gets its inevitable reboot. For his return, he'll be taking on some baddies at the border in The Last Stand, Kim Jee-Woon's (The Good, The Bad, and the Weird and I Saw the Devil) American feature debut. When the film was first announced, Liam Neeson was in line for the role, which I was all in favor of, though it was a little on-the-nose. Arnold makes for a more interesting choice, though, and I'm excited to see how him and Jee-Woon work together.

Here's a synopsis for the film:
Schwarzenegger will be starring as Sheriff Owens, a man who has resigned himself to a life of fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction after leaving his LAPD post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with failure and defeat after his partner was crippled. After a spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy, the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the hemisphere is hurtling toward the border at 200 mph in a specially outfitted car with a hostage and a fierce army of gang members. He is headed, it turns out, straight for Summerton Junction, where the whole of U.S. law enforcement will have their last opportunity to make a stand and intercept him before he slips across the border forever. At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately accepts responsibility for one of the most daring face offs in cinema history.

No comments: