We're big fans of Jason Reitman's curated live read series at LACMA, which finds unexpected actors giving a new voice to classic movie roles in front of an adoring audience. The director has organized performances of everything from Reservoir Dogs to Ghostbusters, and EW is reporting that he'll be putting on a live read of cutthroat epic Glengarry Glen Ross next.
The film's original cast consists of all men, including: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris and Kevin Spacey. The real estate salesmen take desperate measures to save their own asses when a corporate bigwig is sent to evaluate them. The men have one week to claw their way to the top, since only the top grossing duo will get to keep their jobs, with the others fired from the company. The situation becomes a rough and tumble crisis, and the testosterone runs high. Reitman, of course, is flipping that notion on its head. He's cast:
Robin Wright in the part of Al Pacino: "hotshot sales agent Ricky Roma"
Catherine O’Hara in the part of Jack Lemmon: "desperate Shelley Levene"
Maria Bello in the part of Ed Harris: "Dave Moss, the tough-talking underperformer"
Allison Janney in the part of Alan Arkin: "aging, weak-willed George Aaronow"
Mae Whitman in the part of Kevin Spacey: "office manager John Williamson"
Alec Baldwin's part hasn't been cast yet. We're crazy about this group of strong character actresses and can't wait to see where it goes. "We toyed with the idea of doing a gender swap on a film like Top Gun, but instead decided on a full reverse from men to women," Reitman said. "Glengarry was Elvis’ [film critic Elvis Mitchell] idea. It’s the perfect candidate as there is no reason this script needs to be read by men outside of our own social stereotypes."
Too often in films, we see the cutthroat side of women when it centers on relationships and vying for a man's attention. Even when women are presented in a corporate environment, the focus is on balancing family or children with their profession. Glengarry Glen Ross largely eliminates that stereotype and will hopefully inspire some fresh ideas for budding screenwriters as they consider new roles for female leads.