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Casting Call

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Mark Kermode | 16:32 UK time, Friday, 10 February 2012

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.

  • Comment number 2.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Comment number 21.

    The Third Man...

    Jude Law as Holly Martins...
    Brad Pitt as Harry Lime...
    Jennifer Connelly as Anna Schmit.
    Ralph Finnes as Major Callahan... CalloWAY, he's english not Irish.
    Armin Mueller Stahl as Popescu, because he's non specifically European.
    Philip Glenister as Sergeant Paine.

    Reset the whole thing in post war Iraq and replace the wonderful zither score with music from the middle east. Now where's my check book? I have to make a few phone calls buy the remake rights and set this thing up. :-)

  • Comment number 22.

    One everybody missed on worst performances was Ray Liotte in Goodfellas, possibly the best film of the 90's ruined by a terrible performance in the lead role by Liotte (it’s up there with his Oscar worthy performance in Turbulence!). An alternative, how about Tom Cruise? I know some would disagree but a young Cruise would have nailed that role.

    Also replace Orlando Bland with Leo Dicaprio in Kingdom of Heaven and not only will you get a better lead performance but far better box office, plus with Dicaprio weight behind the project they could have released the director's cut version in the winter were it belonged away from the summer blockbuster.

    Plus big up UE on Sam 'worthless' Worthington.

  • Comment number 23.

    Wait.... Replace Ralph Finnes with Micheal Fassbender

  • Comment number 24.

    I like the Dark Knight, I definitely don't love it. Though before the casting of Heath Ledger (who I think does a good job incidentally), there were rumours that Paul Bettany was in the frame as the Joker. I cannot imagine anyone better.
    Bettany also would have made a better John Constantine than Keanu Reeves too.

  • Comment number 25.

    I would transplant 'American Beauty' to the mid seventies and i would cast either Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine or Rock Hudson and Doris Day in the leads. Linda Blair would play their daughter with a black actress as the teenage temptress. George C Scott would fill the Chris Cooper role and to top it off the film would be directed by Luis Bunuel.

    Another suggestion 'Unforgiven' with Gary Cooper and Lee J Cobb as William Munny and Little Bill Daggett respectively. Montgomery Clift would be 'Schofield Kid' Paul Robeson 'Ned Logan' Richard Widmark 'WW Beauchamp' and rounding of the ensemble Sir Laurence Olivier as English Bob.

  • Comment number 26.

    Here goes... How about Close Encounter of the Third Kind? I thought Richard Dreyfuss was fantastic in this but - bear with me when I say - replace him with Jim Carrey!

    I know it's mad, but I think underneath all the gurning (which I incidentally can't stand) Jim Carrey is possibly a very good serious actor just waiting for the right film. I was greatly impressed by his performance in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and my heart sinks every time I see posters and trailers of him once again being cast in some mindless comedy. I think he could do the everyman having a nervous breakdown every bit as well as Dreyfuss.

  • Comment number 27.

    Just notice someone else beat me to it on Jim Carrey. Ahh well.

  • Comment number 28.

    How about Inception recast with The Muppets

    Cobb - Kermit
    Mal -Miss Piggy
    Ariadne - Fozzie Bear (He can come up with some crazy ideas)
    Eames - Rizzo
    Robert Fischer - Animal (can you imagine his dreams)
    Saito - Sam the Eagle
    Yusuf - Pepe
    Miles - Michael Caine (he worked with them before) or Beaker

    Every moive can be made better with Muppets !!!

  • Comment number 29.

    I've been thinking of who would be good for a remake of John Carpenter's controversial asian mysticism meets 80s action-fest 'Big Trouble In Little China'. As the main lead Jack Burton (i.e. the unknowing white man in the middle of all the kung-fu fighting) I was thinking possibly someone like Hugh Jackman. Also his pal Wang I think would be well played by 'Lost' actor Ken Leung. Unfortunately, I could never think of anyone who could outdo James Hong as the ethereal villain Lo Pan. Perhaps someone else could help me out there.

  • Comment number 30.

    One of my favorite courtroom dramas is Sidney Lumet's 1957 classic "12 Angry Men," but imagine a remake utilizing the magic of computer imagery with just one actor playing the entire jury, and that actor would have to be, of course, Gene Hackman. That's right. Twelve angry Hackmans screaming, sweating, arguing back and forth in a climactic battle between guilt and innocence---the awards would falleth like the summer rain.

  • Comment number 31.

    I have to ask...Who would Dr K recast in the Bruce Dern role in Silent Running? I'm thinking River Phoenix for the spirituality, or Jake Gyllenhaal for the earnestness, or Johnny Depp for the loneliness.

    But is there another child actress who could play Regan in The Exorcist?

  • Comment number 32.

    Some like it Hot: Cameron Diaz replacing Marylin, There's Something About Mary proved she could do that innocent beauty who truly doesn't realise or play on how beautiful she is with Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt replacing Curtis and Lemmon

    The Shawshank Redemption: Angelina Jolie as Dufresne, Dame Judi Dench as "Red", Emma Thompson as the prison governor, Meryl Streep as the ill-fated Brooks & Helena Bonham Carter as the rather nasty prison guard

  • Comment number 33.

    This a tough one I must say. However, I must say the idea of The Wizard of Oz with a modern cast appeals to me...

    Dorothy - Chloe Grace Moretz
    The Scarecrow - Sam Rockwell
    The Tin Man - Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    The Cowardly Lion - Toby Kebbell
    The Wicked Witch - Kate Winslet
    The Wizard - Ben Kingsley

    I realise this is a bonkers cast, an absurd combination but hey, we can dream.

  • Comment number 34.

    I would love to see Christina Hendricks as a modern day femme fatale in a present day film noir, perhaps 'The Long Goodbye'. Marlow? Maybe Adrien Brody or Mark Ruffalo could play him like Elliot Gould did. Whoever is cast, I'd have him chain smoking everywhere, sarcastically insulting the people telling him to put it out!

  • Comment number 35.

    Got a few decisions for my favourite film, Aliens:
    Ripley - Emily Blunt
    Newt - Chloe Moretz (yes I know she's too old but I cannot see anyone else playing a recast Newt)
    Burke - Mark Wahlberg
    Bishop - Michael Fassbender
    Hicks - Ryan Gosling
    Hudson - Joseph Gordon Levitt
    Gorman - Kyle Chandler
    Vasquez - Penelope Cruz

  • Comment number 36.

    I always thought that Kyle McClaughlin around the time he was playing in David Lynch's films would have made an interesting Seth Brundle in The Fly. But it would have required a Lynchian semi-retro disturbing approach to the Fly. Like The Fly set in the 50s via Alfred Hitchock with 80s special effects.

    A more macho take on the proceedings.

    Clark/Superman - James Brolin.
    He was charming but far more manly than Reeve.

    Lex Luthor - shaved head Marlon Brandon
    Instead of him as Superman's father and he would be less goofy than Hackman, more cerebral

    Jor-El, Supe's father - Gregory Peck
    Remember he played in Donner's The Omen and would represent even more that old school figure of wisdom that people would recognizes. Superman wished his father was Gregory Peck.

    Lois Lane - dyed hair Jessica Lange as Lois Lane. sexy and smart

    Newspaper Editor Perry White - William Holden

    Jimmy Olsen - Ron Howard
    a role destined for him

  • Comment number 37.

    I really don't see a point in re-casting movies I already like, but I never really saw any of the Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, etc. movies. I would be more inclinded to see if if it had all my favorite actors, so I'll pitch Ocean's Fouteen with:

    Samuel L Jackson
    Bill Murray
    Bruce Willis
    John Candy
    Eddie Izzard
    John Goodman
    Mickey Rourke
    Alan Arkin
    & Charlotte Gainsbourg

  • Comment number 38.

    Christian Bale as Cobb in Inception. DiCaprio is a major blot on an otherwise perfect picture.

  • Comment number 39.

    My apologies in advance but, off the top of my head, this is too easy: The Odd Couple starring Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode (Doctors of varying degree.)

  • Comment number 40.

    This was a fun task!

    As perfect as Glengarry Glen Ross already is, in every respect. Since it's a play, I don't think that it's out of the question to envisage a different cast reading the same script (and I MUST be the same script, word for word)

    This imaginary adaption would have been made around 2007-2008, for reasons that will become clear.
    Ricky Roma - James Michael Imperioli
    Shelley Levene - William H Macy
    Blake - Christopher Walken
    George Aaronow - Larry David
    Dave Moss - Heath Ledger
    John Williamson - Philip Seymour Hoffman
    James Lingk - Tom Cruise
    Larry Spannel - Tim Robbins

    What a great film already though.

  • Comment number 41.

    This one's been surfacing from time to time in my mind for years... Replace Andie McDowell in Groundhog day With... Geena Davis. Easy. Easier than replacing Bill Murray anyway. I suppose if I had to however it would be with the late Phil Hartman. No particular reason why, but imagine it... It would have been a different film altogether (Everybody:"It would have been a different film"), but and equally interesting and entertaining one nonetheless.

  • Comment number 42.

    Not that I've got a problem with Gambon as such, but I always hoped for Sir Ian McKellen as Dumbledore after Richard Harris' sad demise. I agree it was maybe too similar a role after his stint as Gandalf but I always thought he had perfected the "I know more than you so please just accept this kindly smile as recompense" schtick from his time on LOTR than Gambon ever managed to convey

  • Comment number 43.

    Dear Dr K,

    One simple recasting comes to mind, Russell Crowe as the lead in Kingdom of Heaven. That would mean that Liam Neesons character would need to be re casted to make the father son relationship work, so maybe John Hurt instead of Liam Neeson.

  • Comment number 44.

    It's been said by many of my friends and myself that you could take Brendan Fraser out of pretty much any role he has had and replace him with Nathan Fillion and the result would be a much stronger film, with Fillion's charisma and absent Fraser's cheesiness. The one that springs to mind most of all would be The Mummy. I am of course bending the assignment of "Recast *Great* Films" somewhat here.

  • Comment number 45.

    I'd like to talk about future flubs in casting that we still have time to remedy.
    Anthony Hopkins is in line to play Alfred Hitchcock in a story about the making of Psycho. He may do something with it, but why cast SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS when you can cast the marvelous actor Timothy Spall? Anyone who saw his portrayal of Winston Churchill last year in The King's Speech should agree that Timothy Spall was born to play Alfred Hitchcock.

  • Comment number 46.

    Much in all as I liked Jim Carrey and Ed Harris in "The Truman Show", it did feel that it was two actors going against type. I would have loved to have seen Jack Lemmon circa 1960 in the role of Truman Burbank with James Mason as Cristof. I can even clearly hear in my mind Lemmon saying "...and if I don't see you good afternoon, good evening and goodnight!" and...let's all do our best James Mason impressions now...."I am the creator...of a television show that is watched and loved by millions"

  • Comment number 47.

    I also like "Three Kings" and the cast was fine but....what if you could take four actors out of the mid-sixties and cast them instead: Paul Newman replaces George Clooney, George Segal replaces Mark Wahlberg, Woody Strode replaces Ice Cube and Dennis Weaver instead of Spike Jonze

  • Comment number 48.

    It would have been a dream to see Steve McQueen play Al Pacino's role as Vincent Hanna in Michael Mann's seminal film, Heat and Paul Newman playing Neil Macauley.

    Also to see Warren Oates play Lester Burnham in Sam Mendes' classic film American Beauty would have been very interesting having recently seen him in Two Lane Blacktop.

    Finally I think Sharon Stone would have been perfect in Janet Leigh's role in Hitchcock's Psycho.

  • Comment number 49.

    I actually forgot one which is Brad Pitt playing Jay Gatsby in the Great Gatsby in place of Robert Redford and Ed Norton playing Nick Carraway. This is the cast I wish were starring in the upcoming remake and also for it to be directed by David Fincher. The fact that it is being directed by the very annoying Baz Lurhmann and also being in 3D is leaving me no hope at all.

  • Comment number 50.

    I know a lot of people like to forget this movie but 'watchmen" is one of my all time favorite films,I've read the comic countless times but this movie changed me as much as the comic book did.So here's my new cast.

    The comedian:christian bale

    Rorschach:Edward Norton

    Nite owl II:Ben affleck

    Silk specter II:Emily blunt

    Ozymandias:Matt Damon

    Dr.Manhattan:Hugh jackman

  • Comment number 51.

    A cool British version of 'Reservoir Dogs' set in a garage, somewhere in East London, 1964 (and filmed in the 1960s, directed by Charles Crichton)

    Mr White - Stanley Baker
    Mr Blonde - James Mason
    Mr Orange - Peter Sellers
    Mr Pink - Richard Attenborough
    Nice Guy Eddie - Michael Caine

    K-Billy DJ - Alec Guinness (voiceover) playing some 20s/30s jazz à la Al Bowlly

    and Joe Cabot played by Mr Ronnie Barker.

  • Comment number 52.

    I understand that Stephen King wanted Jon Voight to play the main part in The Shining? Certainly would have been a more interesting choice.

    Personally I'd replace Nicholson with a more everyman type actor. Richard Dreyfuss, perhaps? Or even Viggo Mortensen. Anyone other than Nicholson

  • Comment number 53.

    Why the hate for Nicholson?! He's extraordinary in The Shining. His performance is iconic and the cinematic world would be a poorer place without it.

  • Comment number 54.

    Well my favourite film is 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' so here's a tough assignment... Pfff...

    Paddy Considine as The Good
    Jean Dujardin as The Bad
    and Taika Waititi as The Ugly

    alternatively, I could quite happily have Tom Hardy in all three roles and I think he'd do them all perfectly well.

  • Comment number 55.

    The all Hackman 12 Angry Men put me in mind of this brilliant Kirk Douglas inspired animation: For some reason the discussion of Kurt Russell roles now makes me want to see a face-off between Snake Plisken, McReady, and Jack Burton.

    Still struggling to recast my own favorites, as they by definition have great casts already. Elle Fanning, on the strength of Super 8, could probably handle Regan in The Exorcist. I agree with Kapitano (beat me to it, I'd already thought it as someone else had mentioned Silence...) about Brian Cox as Lechter his portrayal in Manhunter was cerebral and skin crawling threatening, not scenery, erm, chewing like Hopkins. The retro casting of modern films above strike me as the way to go, kudos especially for '60s Reservoir Dogs.

    Although, of course, as already observed, everything's better with Muppets.

  • Comment number 56.

    Notorious, with Cary Grant as Biggie Smalls, Claude Rains as Tupac and Ingrid Bergman as Li'l Kim.... wait, hold on a moment.....

  • Comment number 57.

    Much as I love the Harry Potter franchise, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed with two characters casting. I love both Imelda Staunton & Jim Broadbent, they are fantastic actors...but imagine a Proffessor Slughorn played by Ian McNeice! The perfect build, physical appearance and ability to pompously bluster. And every time I watch Order of the Phoenix I always imagine an Umbridge Jo Scanlon (from The Thick of It), a brilliant comic actress who can also be imposingly villainous (look at her performance in Spaced and Stardust!)

  • Comment number 58.

    I love Clint Eastwood's Mystic River - great story, a crackling screenplay, and brilliant direction. Unfortunately the actors that were chosen are all wrong for the part. Here's what I would change:

    Viggo Mortenson - Sean Penn
    Michael Keaton - Kevin Bacon
    Forrest Whitaker - Laurence Fishbourne
    Josh Brolin - Tim Robbins

    And for The Shining:

    John Voight - Jack Nicholson
    Ellen Burstyn - Shelley Duvall

  • Comment number 59.

    Dr. K,

    One of my all time favorite films is 'Arsenic and Old Lace' a brilliant film and it still holds true to this day.

  • Comment number 60.

    *sorry my computer seized up on me*

    Dr. K,

    One of my all time favorite films is 'Arsenic and Old Lace'; a brilliant film and it still holds true to this day.

    Here's casting my father and I discussed:

    Directors: The Cohen Brothers

    George Clooney - Cary Grant
    Maggie Smith - Josephine Hull
    Judith Dench - Jean Adair
    Clive Owen - Raymond Massey

    To take the role of Peter Lorre we've had significant trouble; but whittled it down to potentially Robin Williams. Lorre is such a hard act to follow; who do you think would be good for the role?

  • Comment number 61.

    @Patch_Adams1981 Inspired casting. I would watch that.

  • Comment number 62.

    Isn't this an ongoing centuries old experiment with 'Hamlet'?

    How about Edward Furlong in T3 or a Young Nick Stahl in T2?
    Mark Ruffalo in The Incredible Hulk or Edward Norton in Avengers.
    Anthony Hopkins in Man Hunter.
    Jodi Foster in Hannibal.
    Christopher Lambert in Mortal Kombat 2
    Heath Ledger in ALL of imaginarium of doctor parnassus
    Matt Damon in Bourne Legacy
    Peter Sellers in any Pink Panther film he wasn't in.
    Michael Keaton in Batman Forever.
    put bruce willis's hair into Die Hard 4.0
    Eddy Murphy in upcoming Richard Pryor bio
    Morgan Freeman in new Alex Cross film
    Bill Murray in Fear and Loathing but keep Johnny for Rum Diary
    Terrance Howard in Iron Man 2
    Elmo cameo in The Muppets
    Adam West as Bruce Wanye's dad

    part of me really wanted to see katie holmes in the dark knight and watch what happened to her.

  • Comment number 63.

    What a good game this is, only two suggestions (so as not to bore) for a couple Scorsese films - Edward Norton replacing Nicholas Gage in BRINGING OUT THE DEAD and Ian Holm (as Melies) in HUGO. Both great and underused actors.

  • Comment number 64.

    Ah easy peesy lemon squezzy. A twelve year old Jamie Bell in Kes. For Brian Glover, the P.E.teacher in The Temper Traps `Love Lost `music video. That would be great!

  • Comment number 65.

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned a Bond film yet. However as much as I love Daniel Craig's performance in the wonderful Casino Royale, I can't help but imagine Michael Fassbender as James Bond. From his performances in Inglorious ahem, Shame and his brilliant cameo in the otherwise mediocre Haywire, he'd make the Bond role his own, not to mention he would look good in a suit or tux.

  • Comment number 66.

    Hmmm, if I was a movie producer with a perverse sense of humour and excessive amounts of cash to burn, i'd love to re-(mis)cast 'Jaws' with the following:

    Brody - Daniel Radcliffe
    Quint - Zac Efron
    Hooper - Danny Dyer
    Ellen Brody - Lorraine Gary (boom-boom)

  • Comment number 67.

    I would like to re-cast John Huston's 1956 Moby Dick - in all aspects. So Massachusetts becomes Orkney, which has a long history of whaling, and Natucket is Stromness where the old HQ of the Hudsons Bay Company is now an arts centre.
    The Pequad would now be played by Discovery, currently docked at the superb museum dedicated to it in Dundee.
    Captain Ahab would be played by Peter Mullan (of course). Whilst David Tennant would play Ishmael.
    Martin Compston would play Starbuck, Alan Cumming - Stubb and Ken Stott - Flask.
    Brian Cox would be Captain Boomer. Paddy Considine - Manxman.
    The hapooners would be Cliff Curtis as Queequeg and Idris Elba as Daggoo.
    In keeping with the book Ship's Carpenter would be played by Morgan Freeman.
    Alex Norton would be my Elijah.
    Oh, and I would drop the Orson Welles-type cameo altogether.
    The whale, of course, would play itself.

  • Comment number 68.

    Sir Alec Guinness in the movie version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Sorry Gary Oldman but trying to play George Smiley as a quiet and rather dark character was just wrong.

    Michael Madsen as Vincent in Pulp Fiction. I heard Tarantino wrote the part for him but he turned it down to be in Wyatt Earp with Kevin Costner. He definitely would have added some darkness to the role which John Travolta just doesn't have.

  • Comment number 69.

    Wow, yes I agree with the people saying Heath Ledger instead of Bloom in Kingdom of Heaven - it actually makes me sad to think how amazing that would have been. I'm also liking the suggestion of Ryan Gosling in Avatar over Sam Worthington, however on reflection it needs someone a little harder, a little more militarised... Imagine Tom Hardy as Jake. In fact imagine Tom Hardy replacing Sam Worthington in everything.

  • Comment number 70.

    Also, the most miscast film that comes to mind for me is Superman Returns - I really don't know what all the fuss was about with that film, woefully miscast. Brandon Routh I thought was alright as Superman, but Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane was terrible! And I'm a big fan of Kevin Spacey - but seriously, I think it's his most misjudged role - didn't sit right at all with me.

    How would I recast it? The Nolan/Snyder reboot has beaten me to it - I LOVE that cast, it's perfect - can't wait to see what they do with Man of Steel.

  • Comment number 71.

    Dr K,

    After a brief discussion with my wife, we came to the conclusion that while "Gangs of New York" is not an amazing film by any standard, it would have been infinitely helped by not having Cameron Diaz within a 40mile distance of the project.

    Thankfully she can be replaced with anyone who can act the 'period prostitute' so Kate Winslet, while not great would have made it slightly more watchable.

  • Comment number 72.

    Christ Mark, this is a harsh assignment! For Luc Besson's LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL, I would replace Jean Reno with Havier Bardem, Gary Oldman with Ben Kingsley and Natalie Portman with Chloe Moretz. These are not preferences, just alternatives.

  • Comment number 73.

    I considered this years ago with some friends and it has to be The Muppet's Hamlet.

    Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - Kermit the Frog
    Ophelia - Miss Piggy
    Horatio - Fozzie Bear
    Polonius - Gonzo the Great
    Ghost of Hamlet's Father - Sam the Eagle
    Rozencrantz and Guildenstern - Waldorf and Statler
    Player King - Dr Tooth
    The Players - The Electric Mayhem
    King Claudius - Michael Cain or other token human.

    It'd certainly knock Mel Gibson's version into a cocked hat. Can you picture it?

    Hamlet - Erm, hie thee to a nunnery, Piggy.
    Ophelia - Oh, yeah! Hai-yah!

    Exit pursued by a pig.

  • Comment number 74.

    I would cast John Cazale as Andy in Shawshank Redemption. Cazale was only in five films before he died, all of which were Oscar nominated for best picture. He had such an understated, melancholic but transfixing presence that I can't help but wonder how many more brilliant performances he would have turned out if his life hadn't been cut short.

  • Comment number 75.

    Although I hate the current trend of reboot comic book movies i.e. Hulk, Spiderman..etc, The Fantastic Four is dying to be remade with a decent cast, story and director at the helm. My choice:

    Director: Matthew Vaughan

    Reed Richards: Sam Rockwell (He deserves a big budget lead)
    Sue Storm: Sienna Miller
    Johnny Storm: Charlie Cox (He and Sienna worked together well in Stardust & Casanova)
    Victor Von Doom: Mads Mikkelsen
    The Thing: Bruce Willis (The only choice although maybe Jason Statham)

  • Comment number 76.

    I would absolutely love to see Nicholas Cage as George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life, perhaps re-titled as It's a Wonderful Hamfest.

    Also, I reckon Jim Carrey might do something interesting with the Peter Sellars roles in Dr Stranglelove (but then I do happen to find the art of butchery quite interesting).

  • Comment number 77.

    My absolute favourite film that falls into the "underappreciated gem" category is the 2008 film SPEED RACER, and I have to admit that the film's unusual casting had a large part to play in the scathing response it got critically and commercially. Emile Hirsch was acceptable in the lead role, but I truly think that it should have been given instead to one of the actors shortlisted before him: Zac Efron. He would have embodied the idiosyncratic tics of the source material much more effectively by comparison. Christina Ricci was fine as Trixie, the love interest, but the age difference would be more pronounced opposite Efron, so I would replace her with Kate Mara, another shortlister who you might remember as Heath Ledger's daughter in BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.

  • Comment number 78.

    Since you have been talking about him recently I would have loved to see Viggo Mortensen in the role of Nathan Algren from "The Last Samurai".
    When I was about nine years old I saw "Lord of the Rings" and loved it very much. Aragorn was one of my favouritre characters. A few years later i saw the poster from "The Last Samurai" and thought that Viggo was riding the horse insted of Tom Cruise. When I finally saw the movie I was disappointed, aldough Cruise's performance was decent.
    I think that it would be more interesting if that was the case. What do you think?

  • Comment number 79.

    Recast every single role of Jim Carey with Matt Frewer as Max Headroom. The original and so much better.

    @FiascoKid: Prepare the brain bleach. Dr K and Doc M in Brokeback Mountain. :-)

  • Comment number 80.

    I was watching/listening to your interview with Daniel Radcliffe it struck me that he looked a lot like Elijah Wood. Now your question has made me wonder whether he could have played Frodo in The Lord of the Rings much better than Wood, had he been the right age. Elijah wood was good at the doom and gloom, but wasn't believable as a lovable, excitable, well read, and intelligent hobbit as he was portrayed in most of the book. Maybe this was Peter Jackson's fault (similarly to Knightley's performance in A Dangerous Method being Cronenberg's), but Daniel Radcliffe seems much more like the Frodo I imagined (and by the way I read the book after seeing the films, so Elijah was originally Frodo in my mind, but still ended up thinking the book's Frodo was much different).

  • Comment number 81.

    The Matrix

    Neo - Matt Damon
    Morpheus - Bruce Willis
    Agent Smith - Ed Harris
    Trinity - Zoe Saldana

    Hmm, looks like they got it right the first time, don't let me get into Casting any time soon.

  • Comment number 82.

    M, Dr K, im not sure if you really understood the Shining, Jack Nicolsons performance is absolutly amazing. Not as good as in 1WFICN, but great none the less. Anyways, I think that Liam Nesson would give a good-albeit bland- performance as the preist in the Excorist.

  • Comment number 83.

    If Blade Runner had been made in 1972:

    Deckard - Steve McQueen
    Rachel - Ali McGraw
    Roy Batty - Yul Brynner (before Westworld, so no question of typecasting)
    Gaff - Warren Oates
    Bryant - Walter Matthau
    JF Sebastian - Elisha Cook Jr
    Pris - Pam Grier
    Eldon Tyrell - William Holden
    Leon - Joe Spinell

    Douglas Trumbull could direct, and you'd have something ALMOST as good as the 1982 movie.

  • Comment number 84.

    In the field of squeaky scalped actors, I think Yul Brynner would be a good choice to replace Marlon Brando in "Apocalypse Now." At least I could see him as a more believable renegade Special Forces colonel than old Mister Mumbles from the Waterfront. Brynner could do creepy and menacing (watch "Westworld"). Brando just came off as a rather... sullen and... disconnected man who just stumbled in from the Actors Studio.

    The horror, indeed.

  • Comment number 85.

    I know this will be controversial, but much as I like the Harry Potter films, either Tim Roth (who was the producers' first choice) or Christopher Eccleston as Snape. Not only are they both closer to the character's age than Alan Rickman, they would also better portray the inner turmoil, bitterness and danger of Snape, which Rickman's pantomime flourishing and silly line delivery completely undermine. Fun as that is to watch, it isn't Snape.

  • Comment number 86.

    I'm sure this has been said before elsewhere but, as Brian De Palma and George Lucas held the casting calls for 'Star Wars' and 'Carrie' at the same time, how much better would 'Star Wars' have been with William Katt as Luke, Nancy Allen as Leia and John Travolta as Han? ...OK, maybe not that last one, but still...

  • Comment number 87.

    Just watched Mark's video report of this blog's previous entries and was stunned that no one seems to have mentioned Sofia Coppola's execrable performance in "The Godfather, Part III." You can hear the brakes screeching to a halt on whenever she makes her bovine appearance...Andy Garcia gets a hernia supporting her...and God forgive me but when she is shot at the end it's a relief. I re-watch GIII every few years to see if I've changed my mind, but no.

  • Comment number 88.

    I LOVE catch me if you can
    but to recast it- tough
    but i'll try

    Frank Jr. Ryan Gostling
    Carl Handratty- Hugh Jacman (Huge Action)
    Frank Abignale Sr.- David Thewlis

    But To recast them with classic actors
    Wow. That's alot harder

    Frank Jr.-Roy Scheider
    Carl Handratty- Al Pichino
    Frank Sr.- John Hurt
    Jack Byrns- Clark Gable
    Roger Strong- Charlton Heston

  • Comment number 89.


    I think that draws this thread to a nice conclusion. I would definitely go to watch that! Genius...

  • Comment number 90.

    Driving Miss Daisy, with Hoke played by Michael Clarke Duncan, and Miss Daisy played by The Rock.

  • Comment number 91.

    Tough call Dr K but after much thought (10 mins) I'm opting for a 'post Katrina' 'Night of the Hunter' which I believe would roll a little like this (at least the principal adult characters):

    Harry Powell: Sean Penn or a less 'Taken' Liam Neeson
    John Harper: Idris Elba
    Willa Harper: Viola Davis
    Rachel Cooper: Monique

    Failing that 'The Mask' with Christian Bale as Stanley Ipkiss

  • Comment number 92.

    It's going to have to be the English Dub because my knowledge of Japanes actors in limited but a dream cast for my favorite film Ghost in the Shell would be

    Sigourney Weaver as The Major
    Adam Baldwin as Batou
    Patrick Stewart as Chief Aramaki
    Edward Norton as Togusa
    Orson Welles as The Puppet Master, preferably using the voice he used in the '86 Transformers film

  • Comment number 93.

    This is a hard one, as my favourite movie is anime classic Akira, so it's both Japanese and animated thus can't be touched. Monty Python and The Search for the Holy Grail is next, and without the Pythons it wouldn't exist.
    I love the Wicker Man, and Christopher Lee is fantastic, but how about Christopher Walken as Lord Summerisle, he'd be even more mystic and powerful.
    I also adore Sean Pertwee in Dog Soldiers, but it'd be amazing to see Brian Blessed play Sgt Harry Wells. Brian can speak in a dramatic quiet way as well as his booming awesomeness, so that Devil tattoo speech would be just as great. Also the sight of him writhing in agony as Kevin McKidd tends to his exposed guts with superglue would be hilarious.

  • Comment number 94.

    It has to be Charles Bronson in Once Upon a Time in the West. I can't watch that film without wondering how much better it would be with Clint Eastwood starring as the harmonica-playing main character. What makes it worse is that apparently Clint Eastwood turned down the role in the first place!

  • Comment number 95.

    The question about updating The Great Escape would be how factual would it be ? In which case as there were no Americans in the actual camp then does that mean no motorcycle jump? Here goes:

    Ryan Gosling/ James Macavoy - Hilts (Steve McQueen), Paddy Considine - Hendley (James Garner), Michael Fassbender - Big X (Richard Attenborough), Tom Hardy - Danny Velinski (Charles Bronson), Colin Firth - Blythe (Donald Pleasence), Dominic West - Sedgwick (James Coburn), David Tennant - MacDonald (Gordon Jackson), Eddie Redmayne - Ashley-Pitt (David McCallum)

  • Comment number 96.

    When I saw Asa Butterfield's performance in Hugo, the thought that kept entering my mind was 'Wow, this kid would have made a perfect Harry Potter!'

    I love the HP movies but Daniel Radcliffe doesn't have the charisma or emotional range to carry such a huge role.

  • Comment number 97.

    This is only a recast idea in terms of role assignment but it is one that I have often pondered about. I would be interested to see how Heat would have turned out, had De Nero and Pacino's roles been the opposite way around. I find it hard to imagine the cold detached personality of Neil being played by Pacino and the excitable over involved Lt. Hanna being played by De Nero.

  • Comment number 98.

    I would of prefered Emma Stone in the place of Ellen Page in Inception. I dont know if it was the character or Ellen Page herself that just annoyed me and seemed really obnoxious. Emma Stone would of given a gentler more sympathetic look in understanding Cob than just barging in.

  • Comment number 99.

    I'll try and do a better job than The Architect with The Matrix - as I believe it is one of the best films where all the cast members are expendable. Shot at the same time, with a few role gender changes, but with David Fincher as director (whilst somehow allowing him to also direct Fight Club):

    Chiwetel Ejiofor: Neo
    Liam Neeson: Morpheus
    Angelina Jolie: Trinity
    Ralph Fiennes: Agent Smith
    Judi Dench: Oracle
    Steve Buscemi: Cypher
    Gina Torres: Tank
    Sean Pertwee: Apoc
    Haley Joel Osment: Mouse
    Peter Dinklage: Switch
    Tony Todd: Dozer

  • Comment number 100.

    Dear Doctor
    Kingdom of Heaven (the directors cut ) is awesome ... but we come to the Bloom problem . everything else about this film is dandy ... perhaps when technology allows Tom Hardy could be digitally replaced in the lead role ... or Powers Boothe ...or Sean Bean ...or even see about bothering the ghost of Robert Shaw ... anyone .... Anything .... maybe a zebra ... but please .... not Mr Bloom .. to have such an otherwise fine film tainted with such a wet fop bothers me something chronic .... ta in advance


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