12 December 2010

Re-Cast #1: The Great Gatsby

So they're remaking The Great Gatsby and Baz Luhrmann has already incontrovertibly screwed up. The casting is all wrong: the squinty DiCaprio as Gatsby, the nicey-nice Carey Mulligan as Daisy (it should have been Blake Lively--catch my full re-cast after the jump) and the always insufferable Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway.

Lots of films, especially adaptations of literary classics, are undone by the actors chosen. Though in 1974 I would probably have picked much of the same Gatsby cast that Jack Clayton did (the choices for male leads, Robert Redford, Sam Waterston and Bruce Dern, still seem spot on). But just think about the 1949 and 2006 versions of All the King's Men. In the original all the composite characters and plot reductions drive me crazy and in the recent remake too many of the actors are British and/or phoning it in.

I tried to hash out the dream Gatsby cast with my friend Ashton and here's what we got.

Jay Gatsby: I favor CGI Robert Redford from 1974 since he always had the right look, or Brad Pitt, his anointed successor. Ashton thought James McAvoy, which works pretty well, or maybe Tom Hardy could step in.
Nick Carraway: I say Ryan Gosling because I want Ryan Gosling in every movie.
Daisy Buchanan: Blake Lively is the finalist who should have been Luhrman's pick; she's closer to Daisy in The Town than Mulligan is in anything she's done.
Jordan Baker: Anna Kendrick with her hair darkened and cruel smiles ramped all the way up is my favorite. Eva Green could also channel her Dreamers vibe as Jordan.
Myrtle Wilson: Scarlett Johansson would never do it even though it'd be a great role for her. If she ever decides to start doing good movies again.
Tom Buchanan: Josh Brolin (he'd could even keep all his True Grit mannerisms).
Ashton made many fine suggestions for the director of this film, once somebody puts a stop to Baz's madness: Danny Boyle, Joe Wright (only if it's written into his contract that he makes it lie the first hour of Atonement only), even Roman Polanski. In true WTT fashion, I'm going to ignore all these fine choices and say I want Sofia Coppola to do it. Because I think Marie Antoinette comes close to Gatsby-esque excesses and because she needs to redeem her dad's flat script in the '74 version. So now we're all set!

Alternately, we could bring this cast and crew back together:

But there's always more horrifying news, like Danny Boyle committing to make a sequel to Trainspotting.

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