Friday, September 18, 2009

The Stand - Casting Call

One of the favorite books that I have read over the past few years is Stephen King's The Stand. It's pretty epic. Lots of great characters and long enough for character development.
It was made into a 1994 TV mini-series supervised pretty closely by King. It was good I guess as most parts made it into the book. But some of the casting decisions are head scratchers to say the least. Check out how I woulda done it.

Tony Brown's Casting Call for The Stand:

Larry Underwood
TV Version - Adam Storke - pretty much the biggest thing this guy ever did, definitely not a launching off point for him
My Pick - Casey Affleck
Why? Larry is by far the best character in the book. He is real. He experiences growth. These amazing circumstances he has change him. This makes him more identifiable. You see a real journey. I would go with Affleck because he fits the character description well. He could be a blossoming rock star, he could be that age, he could abandon a woman and come back for her. I also like it that Affleck isn't super known, but in the Assassination of Jesse James movie, he really showed his dramatic ability. I think Affleck could pull off the internal journey of Larry Underwood.

Stu Redmond
TV Version - Gary Sinise - nothing wrong with this pick
My version - Matt Damon
Why? - Stu is kind of the backbone of the novel, pretty much in it from start to finish. He is the All-American, everyman kind of guy, not the most complex or exciting, but a hero nevertheless. I think Damon would be perfect for this.

Nadine
TV Version - Laura San Giacoma - Yes, the girl from Just Shoot Me with the big Quinn Buckner gap in her teeth. Worst choice ever.
My Pick - Rachel Weisz
Why? This may be the most perfect fit. Nadine is alluring and innocent, a bit older, virginal and capable of carrying a demon child. I originally thought of Kate Beckinsale, but she is too pretty and one-dimensional I think Weisz could pull of this dichotomy very well as evidenced by her variety of roles. .You could easily see why Larry and Flagg want her and why kids are drawn to her. Hers is the opposite journey as Larry's.

Fran
TV Version - Molly Ringwald - fits the role pretty well
My Pick - Liv Tyler
Why? Frannie is, well, kind of annoying. Molly Ringwald is that, as is Liv Tyler, but I think you would like Tyler a bit more. I thought of Evan Rachel Wood for this role, but I think she might be too good for it. Liv Tyler is a natural fit - womanly, young, strong at times, annoying at times, not too lovable.

Glen Bateman
TV Version - Ray Walston - this guy has done everything from My favorite Martian to Picket Fences. You might best recognize him as Mr. Hand in Fast Times At Ridgemont High
My Pick - Gene Hackman

Why? You really can't go wrong with Gene Hackman. Glen was an interesting character, a bit too all knowing at preachy at times. I think Hackman could bring both the intelligentsia and humanity to create a great Glen.

Nick
TV Version - Rob Lowe
My Pick - Don Cheadle or Djimon Hounsou or David Wenham
Why? I couldn't really pin this one down. Wenham is Faramir in Lord of the Rings and the narrator in 300. I love Hounsou in his dramatic roles. I think all three could really convey emotion, strength, and vulnerability without speaking. Complex, even tormented character, all three have shown they are up to that job.

Tom
TV Version - Bill Fagerbakke - big dude from Coach
My Version - ???
I really don't have anyone better for this role. Any suggestions?

Rita
TV Version - not in it
My Pick - Talia Shire - Rocky's Lady
Why? - This goes to my Larry Underwood preference. Rita is an integral part of his story, maybe not to The Stand as a whole, but big in Larry's journey. I couldn't leave her out.
I originally thought of Susan Sarandon for this one, the cougar of choice these days, but I think she is too attractive. I thought of Sharon Stone, but ended with Talia Shire because of her age, her acting ability, her hint of attractiveness, and I think she would be a great Rita for Larry.

Randall Flagg
TV Version - Jamey Sheridan - might recognize him from Law and Order: Criminal Intent
My Pick - Daniel Day Lewis or John Malcovich.
Why? These might be cliche picks, but I know both could kill the role. I might lean towards Day-Lewis due to his ability to be physically imposing. Think Gangs of New York. In Flagg you need someone scary, powerful, but also charismatic and alluring, so you can identify with the people on his side.

Trashcan Man
TV Version - Matt Frewer - Most Recently seen as Moloch in Watchmen
My pick - Gary Oldman
Why? I don't really recall an age for Trashy, just that he was F-ing crazy. Oldman could do this. I thought of Philip Seymour Hoffman as well and Ben from Lost. All might be too good for this role, but it is essential.

Ralph Brentner
TV Version - Peter Van Norden - Who?
My Pick - Brian Dennehy
Why? Another all American character. I just think Dennehy would be a perfect farmer. Maybe a bit too old. Considered James Gandolfini and Tommy Lee Jones, but Gandolfini will never be anything but Tony Soprano.

Harold
TV - Corin Nemec - aka Parker Lewis Can't Lose
My Pick - Emil Hirsch
Why? Another great character journey here. His is set in motion early, but you never really think he's going to go fully to the dark side. I don't really like Emil Hirsch, but he is a great actor. He has that depth to be the slimy Harold, to front for a long time, and have something hiding under the surface, and he seems to be alright with weight fluctuation as seen in Into the Wild, so adding some pounds wouldn't be a problem.

There you go. A much better version than the original. I should be a casting director! Let me know what you think, and where I went right/wrong.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about Mother Abigail? I think of Debbie Allen immediately. definitely mother to the world. Larry: Timothy Olyphant, who I love, and I believe could be Stu as well. Also Mark Ruffalo as Larry, conflicted yet heroic. How about this for Flagg? it came to me. Val Kilmer based on his performance in The Doors. Charming yet extremely dark. How about Daniel Craig? played Bond and Perry Smith. I like Matt Damon for Stu based on All The Pretty Horses. Jeff Bridges from the 70's comes to me for Stu. also Aaron Eckhart with darker hair. Nick Andros? Nick Stahl. I believe Stahl will win an Oscar someday, it was the only picture that came to my mind for Andros. Zoe Saldana for Nadine, if you could see the movie Haven, you might see it. Speaking of Haven... Bill Paxton for Stu...

Anonymous said...

Glen Bateman... oooh.. Brian Cox. yeah, definitely. Danny Glover, why not... or present day Jeff Bridges. Maggie Gyllenhaal as Nadine, just because Maggie can do anything... Jake Gyllenhaal for that matter for Stu or Larry...probably Larry.

Rusell Crowe for Flagg based on 3:10 to Yuma and Virtuosity, also because he can do just about anything as well.

Anonymous said...

id love to see ben winshaw play nick andros. i dont know why but he's as close as it comes to my image of nick.

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