Friday, March 17, 2006

On The Trouble of Anthropomorphical Casting

by Nick
Or You Can Cross All Your T's But... (from a quick read of yesterday's Empire Online)

Casting Benicio del Toro as a werewolf is one of those things that just seem so inevitable that you wonder what the point is. You can already picture the performance in the back of your mind, maybe because it's like he's already done it before - The Pledge comes to mind. Having Andrew Kevin Walker script is also a really natural fit, and he'll know exactly how to get in the right amount of gothic horror feel. And they'll probably get the perfect semi-hip director to make it.

Basically it's about as safe a property as Cinderella Man. You know exactly how it's going to turn out and there's no excitement whatsoever. Next they'll cast Robin Williams as a man who gets the properties of a monkey, Tom Cruise as hyena-man and Dakota Fanning as a smurf.
The premise of a girl being "cursed with a pig-face", as Christina Ricci is in the film Penelope, inherently implies a painful predicament for the character, likely being the whole world thinks she's ugly. Problem with this though is that, uh... she looks pretty cute. Cute, close to beautiful, to be honest. Thereby ruining the entire premise, and creating something of a credibility problem.

I'll still see it though, if only cause she looks great.
For those fans of Harry Potter who haven't read Philip Pullman's Northern Lights trilogy, all I can say is you're missing out. Fantastic set of books. Very much regret missing it's run on the West End stage in London (I'm poor, alas). Even the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury praised it to the heavens (if you'll excuse my wording).

With the casting of the main character of Lyra underway in the UK, the film looks like it might actually be happening. Fingers crossed they'll keep the adult tone without losing the atmosphere of the books. Or vice versa.

The most important casting ain't Lyra, though. What will be most indicative of where they're going with this will be the casting of the Iorek Byrnison, an armored polar-bear. Much as the casting of Liam Neeson as Aslan said about how the Narnia films would be, or Andy Serkis as Gollum and King Kong, the casting and treatment of this guy will show where they're going with this series of films. Here's hoping they make some brave choices.


Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

Defamer points out that Del Toro has been down this road before, when he played the dog-faced boy in Pee Wee's Big Top. Typecasting!

3/17/2006 07:55:00 AM  

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