We're not the biggest fan of running each and every actors wish list that outlets get their hands on. Sure, it's fun to imagine what could have been when it comes to finished films and who was originally wanted for a role (if only Alice Eve had stayed on X-Men: First Class instead of January Jones...), but when it comes to a film in preproduction, it's all just wild speculation. Having said that, however, every now and then wish lists do offer up some insights as to a film's intentions, and when it comes to remakes, the speculation alone can be pretty telling.
The first in today's wish list casting concerns MGM's remake of the classic (and, as this writer would argue, untouchable) Paul Verhoeven sci-fi flick, Robocop. According to Twitch Film, the studio wants to, unsurprisingly, skew to a younger, handsomer direction than the original film. Their sources say that the studio's, though not necessarily director Jose Padilha's, short list is topped by none other than Star Trek's Chris Pine.
And while we haven't read the script, if the studio does indeed want to cast Pine as a veteran police officer who is violently gunned down only to have his body re-purposed as the biological core of a crime-crushing cyborg, it's an ominous sign that they just don't get Robocop. That's not a slight against Pine, he's a fine actor, it's just crucial that the cop who eventually becomes robocop be a person who clearly has been through hell and back while on the job. Unfortunately, a 30-year old hunk just doesn't scream veteran police officer.
The second in today's non-casting is a bit more hopeful and also comes to us via Twitch. Todd Brown (who guests with us every Friday for the International Trailer Domination Tour) was the first to out Spike Lee as the director of Mandate Picture's remake of Park Chan-Wook's brilliant revenge film Oldboy, and now he's reporting that the studio wants Josh Brolin as a man who is, for no apparent reason, held in a private prison for 15 years only to one day wake up in the outside world.
Brolin is certainly an interesting choice. He's a reliable actor who is, Jonah Hex aside, having one hell of a career resurgence right now, and if there's anyone with the marketability and the talent to try to match Choi Min-Sik's truly unforgettable turn as Oh Dae-Su, he's your man. Personally, though, I'd like to see George Clooney break far out of his comfort zone to take on the gritty role. I'd pay top dollar to see Clooney eat a live octopus-- that's assuming, of course, that the octopus-eating scene is retained in Mark Protosevich's script, which Twitch also reports is set to pull from the Korean Film, the Japanese manga it was adapted from and yet still feature around 20% new material.
And finally we come to new casting for The Bourne Legacy. Unlike Pine for Robocop and Brolin for Oldboy, an actual offer has been made to Edward Norton to play the bad guy in Universal's Matt Damon-free continuation of their mind-wiped assassin saga. We don't know much about how his character fits into Operation Treadstone, we just know new star Jeremy Renner is going to be gunning for him. We also now know that Rachel Weisz has been cast as the female lead in the Tony Gilroy-directed film, but that's about it as far as confirmed Bourne news goes.
But what make you of all of this? How excited are you to see Norton face off against Renner? Is it fine if MGM tries to woe women with their new Robocop? Is Brolin man enough to pull this off*?
Note: If you're wondering why Choi Min-Sik is apologizing to the octopus, it's because eating it was actually against his Buddhist beliefs. He was so dedicated to the role, however, he said a prayer before every take and put his religion aside just to get the shot.