A Variety article announces that Dreamworks is remaking Rebecca. There have been many adaptations of the Daphne DuMaurier novel, the most famous of course being Reese Witherspoon’s favourite movie directed by her favourite director Alfred Hitchcock. If you don’t get the Resse reference, it’s because you weren’t stupid enough to have seen This Means War. This re-adaptation also means that this is the girliest thing Steven Spileberg has ever touched second to “Smash.” Anyway, and despite my questions about such a homophobic movie being remade, or how Walter Hollman has had farts better than my casting posts, let’s begin!
MAXIM DE WINTER – Originally played by Sir Laurence Olivier. My Choice: Michael Fassbender. What? I just want the Jane Eyre crew together. I’d even want Judi Dench to play the Florence Bates role. My second choice would be Orlando Bloom who theoretically would bring in the young female fan base. But seriously Bloom has turned down so many roles from the Dominic Cooper Role in An Education to the Aaron Johnston role in Albert Nobbs. And I know this is just a fantasy list but I still want someone who will actually show up.
THE SECOND MRS. DE WINTER – I mean we’re never going to find someone as glowingly beautiful as Joan Fontaine. Stars before her looked like Betty Boop and the ones after her, even ones more elegant like Grace Kelly, were sun-kissed girls. She hasn’t come out in public since the 80’s but during Rebecca she was blond and alabaster. Infuriatingly lily white yet incomparable. Without considering tanned beach regulars of contemporary Hollywood, my main choice is either ones who look too mousy or one who might grow up too fast (and yes, I resent this girl for being just six months older than me and I know someone who knows something about her that’s not embarrassing yet I can’t print here). I choose beauty over age. I choose Sarah Gadon.
MRS. DANVERS – Originally played by: Dame Judith Anderson. A picture is worth a thousand words. My ‘research’ has already shown me that more American actresses – of difference races to boot – can do this faster than their British or Australian counterparts do. I can also just put up Helena Bonham Carter or Charlotte Gainsbourg who has proven themselves to be able to play matronly. But of course this exercise is about new perspectives so let’s give Olivia Williams, still beautiful yet still beautifully evil in The Ghost Writer, this chance.
JACK FAVELL – Originally played by: George Sanders. British actors of the late 1930’s had smarmy gravitas in their early thirties while actors of the same age these days still look like they came out of a dorm room’s uterus. I almost put Fassbender to fill Favell’s shoes so that someone like, as I previously said, Bloom or pretty boys like Cillian Murphy to take the de Winter role. But then I remembered a man who has given us four and a half years of creepy hot yet play the most human role Sanders has ever played: Benedict Cumberbatch.
MRS. EDYTHE VAN HOPPER – Originally played by Florence Bates. But can she be funny? It’s really the only requirement, as the role and the actress who plays her are somewhat on lower billing. She’s a memorable Hitchcockian caricature like all Hitch caricatures are. But how about actresses today. How about someone humble enough to play bit parts yet have won an Oscar for playing someone who talks too loud in restaurants and make a really bad first impression as well as receive bad first impressions of others? My Choice: Emma Thompson.
The news about Jonathan Franzen was picked up locally – he and his new novel “Freedom” had moved around for a book tour with a stop at Toronto two months earlier and meant everything to the city now – because of his appearances at the IFOA. According to very flattering reviews in the city’s alternative weeklies, Franzen made an epic splash tackling both the professional and private lives of the fictional Berglund family whose story spanned from St. Paul to Washington. While the blogger was wallowing with self-pity because of being unable to pay for tickets to see someone who was practically a living literary genius, the blogger contended with reading the 500 plus page tome by himself months later, and realized that the first thing he was thinking about was who would play the characters in a movie version which MAKES HIM A PRIME SUSPECT RIGHT? Then again, a film version would be in the spirit of the ambition in this book, and regardless the parts that were in Joey’s perspective, which is practically Franzen channeling Bret Easton Ellis, and even if certain plot points are revealed twice, the book can compel and break the hearts of the readers each time.
The blogger kept thinking about what it would have been like if this movie was set in the late 1980’s with a cast like Danner-Redford-Goldblum, or Kristine Sutherland (Buffy’s mom)-Kline-Goldblum, or a mid 1950’s cast consisting of Taylor-Hudson-Dean. But what is done is done. The blogger will give a set of names that also depends on which director the movie version would make the film, and how ambitious and cool-headed this director is.
JESSICA BERGLUND. Walter and Patty’s intelligent, ethically sound older daughter. She’s daddy’s girl but their relationship isn’t as poisonous as Patty and her brother Joey’s.
My choice. Emma Roberts. It’s weird casting a younger actor who’s only more than ten years younger than the actors playing his parents. The only thing I’ve seen her in is the trailer for It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Hope my instincts aren’t off.
CONNIE MONAGHAN. The girl next door to the Monaghans. She’s an outsider from the neighborhood and Joey’s girlfriend.
My choice. Kristen Stewart. This girl’s probably going to be too cool for school after On the Road is released or when, by lucky stars, she gets the role of Kate for the new East of Eden. But as much as I liked her in The Runaways, when you read about a character that’s feral and sexual and has no ideas of her own, who else could I have thought of?
LALITHA. The young woman of Indian descent who has two passions – anti-overpopulation and her boss, Walter Berglund.
My choice Freida Pinto. The book describes Lalitha as having round features like Aishwarya Rai, who isn’t on the age range as the character. There’s a calming sense to her performance in Slumdog Millionaire, and the sexual element is obviously in there as well.
JOEY BERGLUND. The wonder boy who’s rebelling from his parents through sexual relations with Connie Monaghan and through Republicanism.
My choice. Anton Yelchin. This’ll be a jump from Yelchin, whose foray into science fiction films make him seem benevolent and dorky. But young minds can absorb. Plus he can still pretend to be in high school, depending on what the film wants him to be. The only questions are how he’s going to look with blonde hair and a little beer weight?
RICHARD KATZ. Truncated from the hardcover’s leaflet thingy, he’s an outre rocker and Walter Berglund’s best friend and rival. But what is he still doing in the picture?
My choice: Unknown This is a cop-out, but every source material has a role that’s hard to cast. It’s better for a casting director to scour the earth and find someone out of a thousand people other than saying Depp or Bale or Leo. Colin Farrell might do if he looked the part.
WALTER BERGLUND. As a nature lover, working for Big Coal becomes the career move that gets him in the New York Times. Has Freudian rivalry issues with his best friend, his son, his father and brothers.
My choice: Paul Rudd. Ageless Paul Rudd. We need someone sincere to open up to Patty as he talks about how mean her best friend Eliza is Sure he hasn’t done drama since The Object of My Affection, but you can’t lose that kind of training. His comic side might help reduce tensions in many scenes while arguing with Joey or his wife Patty and will help him while thinking about overpopulation statistics and going ballistic on a pill-addled speech that goes viral, pre-Youtube days. Thinking about Paul Rudd made me realize what a funny character Walter is.
PATTY BERGLUND nee EMERSON. The basketball star turned perfect housewife to bored, drinking housewife who wallows in self-pity and writes her autobiography for therapy.
My choice: Michelle Monaghan. ‘I’m 34. I’m a baby,’ Monaghan says in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang five and a half years ago. Although she looks more mature in Somewhere, the blogger is sure she can still fit in as a young blonde girl in a college basketball team and eventually transform herself into an older Washington housewife. She has the hardness in her voice to nail ‘Did Walter ever tell you I slashed Blake’s snow tires?’ and humour and goodwill to bring Patty to our sympathies.
This is my second time doing this. And this was the second thing distracting me during that little movie Al was in. I keep drawing from the well, aren’t I?
I hope I get this posted before actual negotiations between real people happen, and no matter what happens in the real level, and I hope they do a better job than I do, my fantasy Lear will always exist in my head and on the internet.
Lear – Al Pacino. Nothing we can do about that yet.
France – Guillaume Canet. I saw L’Affaire Farewell and he can stand his ground with someone like Al.
Burgundy -Ben Whishaw. I want someone younger for Burgundy but has good chops. And he’s played the not so smart young’n in Layer Cake, which is not the same thing but it’s a type.
Cornwall – Mark Ruffalo. He’s gonna be as explosive in this as he was in that one scene in You Can Count on Me.
Albany – Ewan McGregor. Like Ruffalo, he can interpret his character as either villainous or a goof. As long as the direction doesn’t make the characters too extreme.
Kent – Ray Winstone. He’s played the bad best friend, and Kent is a bit like that, getting into fights to prove his loyalty.
Gloucester – Jeremy Irons. He’s just a little younger than Pacino and they’ve worked together for The Merchant of Venice.
Edgar – Paul Bettany. He’s played benevolent characters before. And Edgar’s gonna be misunderstood, and Bettany can make Edgar duplicitous if he wanted to.
Edmund – Cillian Murphy. He’s known to make a lot of out secondary roles and he’ll be good as a juicy little villain and seducer. And there’s something in his eyes that makes him look like Bettany’s brother.
Fool – Diane Keaton. Emma Thompson’s played Fool against Michael Gambon’s Lear. And this will be a reunion and this will be fun.
Goneril – Kristin Scott Thomas. If there’s anyone who knows how to confront men, it’s her.
Regan – Olivia Williams. She was the perfect ice queen in The Ghost Writer, and I can’t wait to see her do another femme fatale.
Cordelia – Keira Knightley. She’s learned the silent defiance in Atonement and can bring Cordelia’s pain to screen without making her look like a weeper.
I’m scared because I haven’t done this before. This could have been a reunion film, but sadly, only one of them is still alive. I have rudimentary skills in looking for these names and faces, but I said that this was a good idea so here goes. And this is my blog, I can do whatever I want. And someone do this because obviously, time is running out.
John (Gianni) – Michael Douglas – He’s itching for a comeback and this can help on that leap. And he has that voice too that can be both calming and commanding at the same time. I kinda wanted Michael Caine in this role because di Gregorio reminded me of him, but I wanted a younger guy too.
Valerie (Valeria) – Elaine Stritch. Well if this is gonna be made, Betty White will have to take the meatiest role, but Stritch is more acidic.
Marina – Betty White. We love to see her be in a flirtacious diva role as always.
Mary (Maria) – Angela Lansbury. A conversation in the kitchen. Tempting another woman to eat macaroni casserole. Nobody can do it better.
Grace (Grazia) – Eva Marie Saint. She can knock a nostalgia monologue out of the park.
Al (Alfonso) – Jim Belushi. He played a suit in “The Ghost Writer,” he can play one here.
Doctor – Robin Williams. The perfect guy to light a fire on someone, and he’ll make a great impression on a small role. My first choice for this was Ian Holm, but again, age concerns.
Viking – Jeff Bridges. Everyone loves drunk Jeff Bridges. Unless he’d wanna do something different or larger from his Oscar-winning role in Crazy Heart, this is a fit for him.
“Mid August Lunch,” the only real version of the movie still with Italian actors, is showing at the Revue Cinema in Toronto from today until the 21st. Go see it now!