Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #746: Casting Conundrums


Tom Cruise is in talks to bring Lee Child's novel One Shot to the proverbial big screen. In the adaptation he will play the novel's lead character, ex Military Policeman turned drifter/vigilante, Jack Reacher.

Now if you have the slightest familiarity with the Reacher books you are probably getting your sides stitched back together, because they have just split from the absurdity of it all.

If you know nothing about Jack Reacher, then you have to know that the character in the books is 6'5" tall, weighs about 250+ lbs, and has a face that would make Lee Marvin wince.

Sounds like a perfect fit for Tom Cruise.

In a
Furious D Show exclusive, I have the first photo of the villains in the movie:

But enough about Cruise's physical shortcomings, let's talk about him as an actor.

Tom Cruise is a good actor, he's no Gene Hackman, but he's good at what he does best. What does he do best? Cocky, confident, fast talking charmers either fighting against some sort of physical threat, or against their own personal demons. That's his niche and he's good at it.

To make him into the hulking, taciturn, and un-charming Reacher you're going to need more CGI than

So why is Cruise even being considered for the part?

Well, on Cruise's part it must be ego, and possibly some sort of Napoleon complex.

On the part of the people making the film, it's a case of too small for the part, but too big to deny. Despite quite a few career setbacks in recent years, Tom Cruise backs an outsized amount of clout in the Hollywood community. Getting him attached to the film will pretty much guarantee that it gets made, and people making it get paid.

It doesn't guarantee that fans of the source material won't think of the film as some sort of overpriced joke at best, and an insulting bastardization at worst.

Oh Hollywood. Won't you ever learn?


Charlie Sheen is reportedly sniffing around a major network for a new sitcom. Word is that CBS is out (natch), ABC and NBC have said "No thank you," leaving the moving finger pointing directly at Fox.

I can understand Fox talking to him, if there's a door open to exploiting something for cheap attention, they'll at least peek in before slamming it shut. However, I don't see them doing a deal with Mr. Sheen.

Here's why:


Charlie Sheen would cost way more than what he's really worth right now. Let's look at the costs:

1. Salary: Charlie Sheen is probably going to demand a salary commensurate to the one he pissed away at Two & a Half Men. Remember that at the time he was the highest paid star on TV.

2. Insurance: No movie or TV production goes forward without insurance to protect them if something goes wrong. I don't see any responsible production insurer willing to cover Sheen without getting paid a monthly rate that could feed a third world country for a year, and an up front deposit that could pay off the national debt of Greece.

3. The Audience: Everyone is pretty much sick of Charlie Sheen right now. The only reason most of the audience of his live shows were there was to catch him dropping dead on stage with their camera phones. When he failed to ring down the curtain and join the choir invisible live on stage, they were disappointed. Those who actually like Charlie Sheen as a comic performer would rather see him in a happier-healthier looking state in reruns of Two & A Half Men, than the wizened, rambling, wreck that he is now.

Add to that the simple fact that most viewers would see any new show starring Sheen without Sheen going through some sort of rehabilitation, both health and career wise, as a sleazy attempt to milk some money out of a sick pathetic character.

So I don't really expect much to come out of this. The costs are just too high.


  1. Blast Hardcheese14/6/11 11:34 pm

    I've read about six of the Reacher novels; decent plot, good twists, and well written. I gave them up after about the third time that sheer dumb luck saved Reacher when he should have died, but otherwise they're good, honest pulp.

    Reacher is a giant. His demeanor and abilities are not cocky kung-fu guy a la TC in the Mission Impossibles. He's more like Godzilla, and if he thinks you deserve it he will stomp you a new hole and walk it dry.

    Completely, completely wrong casting. You need someone who's a force of nature. I did see one suggestion of Dwayne Johnson; he certainly looks more the part.

    Oh, and anyone who actually pays Sheen with the expectation of getting work out of him is crazier than an outhouse rat and needs to be kept in a small room with no sharp objects.

  2. dcmatthews201015/6/11 1:33 am

    I expect exactly this kind of "casting conundrum" when/if a She-Hulk movie is ever made.

    According to the Marvel Universe wiki, She-Hulk stands 6' 7"; moreover, depending on the artist, she's drawn with a physique that might range from "merely" athletic to bodybuilder-level muscular. Naturally I expect that Hollywood will cast some skinny stick of a supermodel in the role. (Which is why, much as I love the character, I fervently hope they don't make a She-Hulk movie!)

  3. Blast Hardcheese15/6/11 7:21 pm

    Yeah, that would be a tough role to cast. You could go the Ahnold route and try to find someone with the right body type, then try to teach 'em to act...but I wouldn't bet on it working.

    It's the female version of the Tom Cruise problem. Just as we don't have a Lee Marvin type anymore, we also don't have any female stars who aren't 90-pounds-soaking-wet stick figures. Angelina Jolie looks like she could barely hold up a kumquat, let alone go toe-to-toe with 10 ninjas at a time.