Saturday, May 7, 2011

Weirdest Casting Considerations

Ever saw an actor play a role and went, "Wow, it's like he/she's made for that character!"...? That is the result of perfect casting. For instance, Bruce Willis as an all-time best action hero John McClane, Hugh Jackman who is now immortalised as Wolverine, Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates in Psycho [1960], Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator [2000], Will Smith in plenty of his movies and others too numerous to mention.
- From If the Shoe Fits [May 27th, 2010]

Art by Bugsy Garcia
That was an entry I wrote almost a year ago. I know, I know. It's very pretentious of me to quote from myself, but I'm not trying to sound clever here, I'm just trying to make a point. What could have happened if the production crew filmed any one of these movies using one of the actors they considered, but didn't choose for the movie?

#1 Ashton Kutcher
Considered to play : Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman Begins [2005]

The saviour of Gotham?
Why it's a bad idea
Seriously, how can this not be numero uno? Milf hunter Ashton Kutcher as the Caped Crusader? As much as I admire Christopher Nolan, I have to say that would have been a totally WTF decision. As much as I am irritated at the sight of him, this is not an opinion based on prejudice. A superhero movie Batman Begins may have been, but it still requires some kind of acting.

If you think I'm being a little harsh on him, that might be true. After all, he did give a rather credible performance in The Guardian [2006]. But it didn't matter, he's no Michael Keaton. If you built your career around playing pranks on people and playing stereotypical dim-witted jocks, people wouldn't be able to take you seriously enough to convincingly play a psychotic superhero.

#2 Christian Bale
Considered to play : Robin in Batman Forever [1995]

The closest he ever got to playing Robin...
Why it's a bad idea
Speaking of Batman, here's another thing worthy of mention. Christian Bale who famously reinvented the Batman character, including giving him a voice multiple octaves lower once tried to settle for a lot less by auditioning for the role of the sexually-ambiguous sidekick Robin. So yeah, needless to say the dude had always been a good actor from the tender age of thirteen, so they actually considered him for the part.

Thankfully for us (and him) he didn't get the part, otherwise there is a chance that he wouldn't be considered for the Batman reboot and maybe, just maybe we might have to settle for Ashton Kutcher. *shivers*

#3 Nicolas Cage
Considered to play : Randy "The Ram" Robinson in The Wrestler [2008]

Why it is a bad idea
Mickey Rourke (and us, of course) have director Darren Aronofsky to thank for this. The studio wanted a more familiar face, someone with more star power for the role, but Aronofsky held his ground and eventually won out.

Now, Nicolas Cage is not a bad actor. There's nothing about him that triggers my fancy, but I have nothing against the guy. Still, consider the kind of movie The Wrestler was, and imagine how he would have fared in the role. Sure, he's just as much as a tough guy as Mickey Rourke, but can he really convince us to empathise and feel sorry for the character the way Mickey Rourke can? With that nasal voice and goofy Droopy & Dripple look, I seriously doubt it.

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