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Casting Call

Friday 10 February 2012, 16:32

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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I posted recently asking you to nominate the worst performance by an actor in a really good film. The response was overwhelming. Here I pick out some of your suggestions and ask a brand new question on the subject of casting.

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    Comment number 1.

    Finding a cast around my faviourite movie, 'The Fly' by David Cronenberg is a hard feat but I think I've managed it. Replacing Jeff Goldblum I'd insert Kevin Bacon. Bacon to me can manage that fine line between hero and villain which is essentially what Brundlefly is, teetering perfectly on both sides. After watching Drive I'd have Carey Mulligan represent Geena Davis as after seeing her reaction the brilliant portrayed elevator scene, I believe she could pull it off naturally. As for John Getz? I'd personally like to see Jeremy Irons in that role as he is an actor who can really show a seedy character.

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    Comment number 2.

    Imagine Kingdom of heaven if Heath Ledger had been cast instead of Orloondo Bland.

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    Comment number 3.

    Seeing as A Clockwork Orange is my all-time favourite film (two places above the 1992 Dracula), I'd recast the film with the following actors I can think of, although some may find my choice perhaps a little odd,

    Matt Smith-Alex DeLarge
    Russell Tovey-Dim
    Stephen Fry-P.R. Deltoid
    John Hurt-Mr. Alexander

    For Matt Smith as Alex, I don't know why I thought of him, perhaps because he looks a little bit like a young Malcolm McDowell, maybe because I'd like to see Smith portraying other types of characters, or because a demented part of me wants to see the wacky Doctor Who engaging in ultra-violence to the sound of the old Ludwig Van.
    As for Stephen Fry, I think his camp but still hilarious sense of humour somehow reminds me of Aubrey Morris in the original film and just how enjoyably funny he was in the film.

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    Comment number 4.

    I heard recently that they're looking at re-making The Princess Bride with Paul Rudd as Westley. This sounds like the worst recasting possible. I'm sure this discussion will yield some very interesting casting choices but when it comes to remaking classic films Hollywood seems really bad at this game.

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    Comment number 5.

    As much as I love 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', it's nothing like the novel. I'd love to re-make it as a 30's film starring Jean Harlow as Holly. She's much closer to the character in the book: blonde, sassy and not afraid to use her sexuality. And George Peppard's character I would recast with one of her on-screen partners- a young Jimmy Stewart. He could have pulled off the bewildered, naive writer brilliantly!

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    Comment number 6.

    As a child of the 90's I really loved The Ghost and the Darkness. Now as an early twenty-something i look back in anguish at Val Kilmer and his appauling acting. I think Viggo Mortensen would have been a good shout for the role as Lieutenant Colonel Henry Patterson. He does rugged outdoorsman down to a tee.

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    Comment number 7.

    I love Amelie and think that if it was recast (or, heaven forbid, remade), Carey Mulligan would be perfect at capturing the charm of Audrey Tatou. Stick Tom Hardy in for Mathieu Kassovitz, and you got a lovely film on your hands.

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    Comment number 8.

    The trouble is doctor Kermode. Don't you think that the performance of an actor in a given film is almost always completely subject to the performance of the director and should be viewed as a complete package?

    If you take Jack Nicholson for example, his performance in 'The Shining' was awfully crass, this might be down to the fact that he was directed by Stanley Kubrick who despite his many talents, getting a good performance out of actors wasn't really his forte. But if you look at Jack Nicholson's performance in say 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' where he was brilliant, this might of been influenced by director Milos Forman who is more of an 'actor's director'.

    Anyway those where my thoughts...

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    Comment number 9.

    not sure wether i am allowed to use dead actors or not

    Jurassic Park

    Jeff bridges - dr grant
    Sylvester stallone - Robert Muldoon
    Harrison ford - Dr. Ian Malcolm
    Kate winslet - Dr. Ellie Sattler
    Phillip seymour hoffman - John Hammond
    Nicolas cage - Donald Gennaro
    Mel Gibson - Ray Arnold
    Steve Buscemi - BD Wong
    haley joel osment - Tim Murphy
    Hailee Steinfeld - Lex Murphy

    Wayne Knight as Dennis Nedry

    you know you would watch it

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    Comment number 10.

    Cary Grant as James Bond, perhaps not at the expense of Connery but after North by Northwest it would have been great to see him in those '60s Bond movies.

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    Comment number 11.

    The Elephant Man (2012): Director: David Cronenberg; John Merrick: Michael Fassbender; Dr. Frederick Treves: Viggo Mortensen; Mrs. Kendal: Natalie Portman; Carr Gomm: John Hurt; Mothershead: Judi Dench; Bytes: Russel Crowe; Plumed Dwarf: Warwick Davis

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    Comment number 12.

    I wouldn't recast my favourite film (Casablanca), simply because it would cease to be my favourite film, I mean, why on Earth would you want to?! However, I can only wonder what Star Wars would have been like had Kurt Russell got the role of Han Solo. His screen test on the documentary Empire Of Dreams on the DVD boxset release is simply brilliant and in my opinion an improvement on Harrison Ford's performance.

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    Comment number 13.

    In the inevitable sequel to the prequel of the remake of The Thing, Kurt Russell should star, not as McReady but as Jack Burton (from Big trouble in little China), they could call it The Thing.

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    Comment number 14.

    I don't want to be an old stick in the mud, but how can you re-cast films that you like? The casting is part of the love, i think. Off the top of my head - Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction and Jaws. It can't be done. Even the thought of switching Robert Shaw, in Jaws, for Spielbeard's original choice of Lee Marvin, interesting as it sounds, would take away from the film as it is.

    Films that could be made better with a different cast. That's the assignment.

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    Comment number 15.

    Given that I love The Silence of The Lambs recasting would be near impossible but:
    Dr. Lecter- Cillian Murphy
    Clarice Starling- Ellen Page
    Jack Crawford- Daniel Day-Lewis
    Jame Gumb- Christian Bale (a bit left-field, I know but I reckon he could handle the part)
    Fredrick Chilton- Nicholas Cage
    This was very hard for me as I don't think you can really replace the original cast but I think Murphy is really waiting for the sort of role that will show a "mainstream" audience just how good he is.

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    Comment number 16.

    Having recently watched Arsenic and Old Lace it made me think that Cary Grant would be a great replacement for Jim Carrey in most of the comedies that he's done. Films like Eternal Sunshine and Man on the Moon have shown that Carrey is capable of giving great performances but all too often his acting chops are too busy munching on the scenery in the most unfunny way possible. Seeing Grant's over the top yet endearing performance in Arsenic made me think that he could pull off those sorts of performances without being ungodly annoying like Carrey so often is. Grant would also be my choice for someone different to play James Bond, not at the expense of the great Sean Connery, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to see a Bond similar to Grant's sharp witted and snarky character from North by Northwest.

    I'd also like to have seen what Kurt Russell would have done had he been given the role of Rambo in First Blood. Russell, despite being a great actor, never really became a household name and I think this sort of role would have advertised his credentials perfectly. I fully believe he could give the character a sense of true menace plus give the emotional break down at the end a lot more weight, as opposed to Sly's slurred near unintelligible delivery which drew a few chuckles out of me at times, not that I'm I like him, but this is a recasting I'd like to see.

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    Comment number 17.

    Nicholas Cage replacing Michael Douglas in Falling Down (1992). Just place Cage in LA gridlock traffic on the hottest day of the year and see what happens… oh, and it should be directed by Werner Herzog.

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    Comment number 18.

    While this is far from my list of favorite films, I get the idea that Orson Welles would have done a better job than Leonardo DiCaprio in "J. Edgar." J. Edgar reminded me of Citizen Kane, especially how a young DiCaprio can be aged by decades and still be a believable character---Orson Welles perfected this in Citizen Kane.

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    Comment number 19.

    A really obvious one: Brian Cox as Hannibal Lecter in all three films with Sirr Aenthohny Haapkins.

    Hopkins is a good actor, but only when not doing his pantomime villain.

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    Comment number 20.

    The Vow - Replace Channing Tatum with Justin Timberlake or even someone who knows the word and term Acting. The movie is truly wonderfully made and surprisingly enjoyable but Tatum brings it right down with his personality of a wooden stick

    Man on a Ledge - Replace Sam Worthington with Edward Norton, make the running time past 2 hours and for once please give us some proper back story of the movie. Loved the movie but god, Worthington struggles to realize what is an American accent and Australian accent - switches back and forth non stop during the duration of the movie

    Avatar - Replace Worthington with Ryan Gosling or even someone like Casey Affleck, not sure why Cameron would want to cast someone of Worthington's stature as the guy was switching back and forth with this American and Australian accent not knowing which one to go for


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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

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