Monday, June 23, 2008

Miscast

"Mr. & Mrs. Smith" was on TV today and as I was doing chores I was watching it, and laughing out loud a lot. I like black comedies and I kept thinking to myself how funny Brad Pitt was in the role because I liked his goofiness. Of course, my thoughts then digressed to what the movie would have been like if another actor had been cast.....

What about all those movies in which you know the wrong actor was picked to play the role?

I remember when it was first announced that Daniel Craig was going to take over as James Bond and I thought no way! That guy is not even cool enough for the role. Was I ever wrong.

So you can imagine how hard it is to cast a movie. There have to be times when the casting seems like a good idea at the time, but I expect once filming starts it becomes obvious when the casting is just all wrong.

And then there are the movies that make us think, how the hell did they ever think this was a good idea???

Here's my list of the most miscast roles I can think of off the top of my head.

Jessica Alba in The Fantastic Four

I don't think one has to have any particular feelings about Jessica Alba one way or another to come to the conclusion that she was all wrong for this role. I mean really, Sue Storm? The blond, all American girl? Sister to Johnny Storm (played by Chris Evans)? When did this ever seem like a good idea? I thought Alba came across as too shrill and she never interacted naturally enough with Evans to play his sister. And do I need to mention the horrible dye job? Wrong wrong wrong.

Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

I haven't watched this movie in years because it I couldn't put myself through it again. I can't begin to understand why this iconic role would not be filled by an English actor, much less Kevin Costner. I think this film was done not too long after "Dances With Wolves" and Costner was in full arrogance and thought he could do anything. Clearly speaking with an English accent was not one of his skills.

Hayden Christensen & Jake Lloyd in the second Star Wars Trilogy

I know I'm not alone in having problems with the last three "Star Wars" movies George Lucas produced. I think one of my biggest complaints has to be the casting. This was the time to really lay down the character of Darth Vader and I can't help but feel that Lucas failed miserably. Lloyd can be excused for being a little kid-- he couldn't really help it that he wasn't suited for the role. But Christensen has not proven that he ever had the acting ability to pull off a young Vader. I wanted to blame Lucas' directing, but I keep hearing that Christensen is pretty wooden in everything he does ("Jumper" being the latest example). On the other hand-- Lucas had to have had his pick of virtually anyone for the role(s), why did he pick these two?

Tom Cruise in Interview With a Vampire

I know a lot of people go back and forth on this one. A lot of people have come to the conclusion that Cruise did a good job in the role of the vampire Lestat. Maybe. But I still feel as if Cruise was all wrong. I remember when I read the book, Lestat seemed very delicate and charismatic. Cruise could potentially pull off the charismatic part, but he could never be called delicate looking. Lestat was the rock star, all lithe grace and sinuous movement. Cruise is bold and never subtle. The image in my head never gelled with the casting of Cruise.

Ben Affleck in Daredevil

I've heard that there are people out there that didn't mind Affleck in this role. I'm not one of them. I wanted to like this movie a whole lot but I could never buy into Affleck as Matt Murdock. Maybe it's because he never seemed like the guy who would have enough discipline, or smarts, to become Daredevil. Maybe he's just too goofy for me. I don't know. I like it when real actors are picked to portray my favorite comic book heroes, like Christian Bale and Robert Downey Jr. Wouldn't someone like Bale have been kick-ass in this role? Maybe they'll remake it someday with someone tough enough to pull off the character.

Kate Bosworth in Superman Returns

I didn't like Bosworth as Lois Lane. I don't know if that was because of how the character was written or because Bosworth wasn't convincing. This might be a case in which I am picking on the actor when really, the movie is to blame. It never did have the magic of the original. But then, it was basically just a copy of a good movie that didn't need a remake. But I still think the movie might have been better had they cast someone who could play Lois with a little more life. You may or may not have liked Margot Kidder as Lois, but you have to admit, she had a lot more sass than Bosworth did.

Denise Richards in The World is not Enough

Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist? This was a good idea? Ever?

Will Smith in The Wild Wild West

This movie was soooo bad. I'm not even sure I should pick on Will Smith exclusively. It was bad enough that the original TV series was mangled so badly and Will Smith was cast in the role of Jim West, but Kenneth Branagh was horrible! I don't think I have ever sat through this whole film. In fact, I doubt casting anyone other than Smith could have saved this film, but the casting was a mistake too.

Ben Stiller & Owen Wilson in Starsky & Hutch

Why did these two have to go and ruin Starsky & Hutch? Why? I admit it. I like the old series. I don't remember it much from when I was a kid but I've managed to catch a couple of episodes since then and it was not a bad show. It could have been a decent cop movie, but no, Stiller and Wilson had to get their hands on it and turn it into another retarded spoof. That just irritates me. But then, Stiller and Wilson irritate me in just about anything.

People I'm "on the fence" about

Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix" -- I don't know that the movie suffered because he was in the role, but how much better could it have been with someone who could act?

Michael Keaton in "Batman"-- I never thought Keaton looked the part. Batman should have a square jaw and be at least six-feet tall. Shouldn't he?

Kirsten Dunst in "Spiderman"-- I'm not sure if it's the role I don't like or the actress. Maybe it's just the hair.

Keira Knightley in "Pirates of the Caribbean"-- I didn't mind her in the first one but she irritated me in the sequels. Is it me, or is her mouth always open?


That's all I have right now. I'm sure if I have time to think about it, I could come up with a ton more. But now it's your job. Tell me who drives you crazy in a particular role. And just for kicks, maybe let me know who you think would have done it better.

15 comments:

DesLily said...

wow, there's a lot here I agree with lol... but I do have to keep watching Costner as the Prince of Thieves because of Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham! (too funny)

Anakin McFly said...

(sorry about the repost; Internet connection problems and I thought it didn't come out correctly):

Recon found this post and declared it 'getting so old', and presumably not worth rehashing the usual arguments against.

So on behalf of the rest of the Keanu SWAT Team, I would like to direct you over here.

and ask you to read the part regarding The Matrix.

Thank you and have a nice day.

- Anakin McFly
Keanu SWAT Team

furiousBall said...

100% agree with you on Tom Cruise as Lestat.

The worst one I've seen recently was Paul Giamati in Shoot 'Em Up... he's supposedly the big bad guy. He's 5'7", weighs a buck fifty, balding, and looks like the creepy guy you hope isn't at the copier when you have to get the report done.

Charles Gramlich said...

I felt the same way about many of these. I didn't mind Alba in Fantastic Four because it was such a fluff movie. I thought casting Chiklis as The Thing was a worse mistake. I agree with you absolutely on Starsky and Hutch. I was very pissed off.

SQT said...

Deslily

Alan was probably the only good thing about the film if I remember correctly.

Anakin

Hmmm. Well, I did say I was on the fence.

FB

I couldn't sit through that whole movie so I didn't think I could realistically comment on Giamatti. Strange casting though.

Charles

I couldn't get past her hair.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Kate Bosworth was very miscast.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Now while I'll admit that I haven't seen either Fantastic Four beyond previews and trailers, I knew right away that Alba was way mistcast as Sue Storm. I don't think that she is all that good of an actor, she can say her lines while looking poputy/wooden but there's not much else to her. Oh yeah, except her body, I guess.

Wilson said...

"Keira Knightley in "Pirates of the Caribbean"-- Is it me, or is her mouth always open?"

My thoughts exactly ><

Carl V. said...

I love Mr and Mrs. Smith. Both Pitt and Jolie did such an excellent job with both the black comedy and the sexiness that the roles called for. I appreciate Pitt the most when his characters are quirky and odd.

I have to agree with each of your main points..you're right on. As for your on the fence, I think the first Matrix film is pretty much a perfect movie and I enjoyed Reeves in it. I like Dunst in Spiderman and Knightley in all the Pirates films but I think that is as much about how much I like both actresses as the roles. Surely the Mary Jane role got weaker with each film in the trilogy. I got really annoyed with what they did with the character and also didn't like Knightley's character as much in Pirates 2...but not because of her.

Oh, and I thought Paul Giamatti was fantastic in Shoot Em' Up. A great deal of what made the role as outlandish is because it was him.

Violet said...

Huh, I thought I was the only person pissed off about Starsky and Hutch. I'm only twenty five and I loved watching reruns of that series. It was hearbreaking to see them ruin it, not to mention that the originals actually had a cameo in it.

The Star Wars Trilogy was horrible anyways. I don't care who they would have cast. I fell asleep during most of them. They were long and drawn out, not like the original three. Luke Skywalker will always reign supreme!

Fab said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fab said...

I can't believe on how much I agreed here! Kevin in Robin Hood - not particularly Errol but still...I did not like him in that. (But then am not a Kevin fan).

Daredevil, sorry to say I could not get hooked after 10 seconds and left the dvd be.

And Antonio Banderas as Armand in Interview with a Vampire? In the book it's supposed to be a 17 year old boy with curls? A complete re-write that did not appeal to me, though nothing against Antonio, but am straying from the "miscast" issue a bit.

But I realize how casting is difficult. My friend makes short movies and on his final project his actor seemed better than his actress on the shoot. But once we looked at the shots taken, we realized the girl came across better then him. Sometimes it just turns out weird...

Li said...

Right on about Cruise. Of course, the character of Lestat was obviously meant for Sting to play. Guess he wasn't available.

Justin M. Sellers said...

I don't know about Keanu in the Matrix either, but man I loved that movie. Laurence Fishburne was great, and Hugo Weaving no doubt owned Agent Smith in the first one. After the first one, tho, Smith got on my nerves.

I'm also not an old-time Iron Man fan, but I've checked out a couple comics and the old cartoon ;D I'm impressed with how accurate Downey Jr. seems!

And yeah, Tobey Maguire is right on!

I gotta add:
-Russel Crowe as Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Steven Maturin in Master and Commander.
-I hate the new Star Wars (Jar Jar must die!!), but I was really impressed with Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan and Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine...up until they did that stupid fast-aging thing with him.
-The entire main cast of Firefly, absolutely, every one of them. It was shortlived, but they worked wonders with those characters in that little time.
-Alan Rickman as Snape!

Great post! I expect to keep coming to this blog ;)
Justin
www.lightofar.com

Jay Amabile said...

you're dead on about the Jessica Alba/Invisible Girl miscast