Casting Couch: July News

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Robert Redford as Dan Rather (Truth)

Thumbs Up: After getting Oscar buzz for his performance in All Is Lost, and playing a major role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I’m enjoying the resurgence of Robert Redford. At 77, the dude is still plugging away. Redford playing Dan Rather in a political drama. Sure, why not? –DC

Thumbs Down: If you told me the esteemed Robert Redford was playing a Dan Rather-esque character, I’d be all about it. However, him actually playing Rather just doesn’t sit right with me. The two are pretty different personality-wise in opinion (and I get Redford IS an actor), but I just can’t see it. –BB

Alec Baldwin as Head of the CIA (Mission: Impossible 5)

Thumbs Up: Alec Baldwin doesn’t seem like the guy I’d want to hang out with at a bar, but as an actor, he’s extremely versatile. He’ll add a nice flavor to this franchise. Please don’t make him the typical mentor guy who ends up being evil though. –DC

Thumbs Up: What the latter day Mission: Impossible films have done really well is cast big name actors into the role of the CIA heavy. Billy Crudup and Laurence Fishburne were great in the severely under-appreciated MI:3 and Tom Wilkinson in his albeit brief appearance in MI:4 was solid. Baldwin will be a great addition and will play well with the returning Cruise, Renner and Pegg. I hold out hopes Paula Patton returns, she proved to be a really strong addition to the MI movies. –BB

The Jungle Book Wrap-Up:

Neel Sethi as Mowgli
Christopher Walken as King Louie
Giancarlo Esposito as Akela, leader of the wolves
Bill Murray as Baloo

Thumbs Up to Everything: We talk about this movie every month, but now my interest in the film has gone from “I’m intrigued,” to pure excitement. This is some incredible casting. As far as Mowgli goes, casting an unknown in that role makes sense. I don’t care who he’s playing, but anytime you get Gus from Breaking Bad (Esposito), I’ll take it. The big news though is Christopher Walken and Bill Murray. Walken as King Louie – that’s amazing. And while I championed John Goodman for Baloo the bear, Bill Murray is a pretty good consolation prize. I also feel like Murray is picky when it comes to roles, so the fact that he signed on for this bodes well. I still have problems with the director (Jon Favreau), but if you are going to make a live action version of the Jungle Book, I can’t imagine a more impressive cast than this. –DC

Thumbs Up To All: Everything here is perfect. I too wished for John Goodman to be Baloo, but hey, we got him as the voice of Sully so we can’t complain. Bill Murray can do no wrong anymore and he’ll be a great Baloo. Giancarlo Esposito’s casting is a stroke of genius, the man has such a great voice. Walken will slay as King Louie. –BB

Ben Whishaw as Paddington (Paddington)

Thumbs Down: Yeah, I don’t really care who does the voice of Paddington Bear. This is really just an excuse for me to complain about Whishaw’s performance in Skyfall. I love Skyfall, and it’s probably my third favorite Bond film of all time. But casting this little twerp as Q was just a total miss for me. I understand they wanted to go young for the character, and I get that. But I’m sorry, when I look at this kid, I don’t buy he’s a brilliant scientist who designs weapons and cars. –DC

Thumbs Down: First, let address this Skyfall criticism. Whishaw was the perfect choice as the new Q. He’s smart and smarmy, able to match wits and trade barbs with 007, like a good Q should. And frankly John Cleese, the last Q, was not a good Q. Woof. While I loved Whishaw as Q, I think it’s not a good choice for him to be Paddington Bear. He’s a little too smart and smarmy for the traveling teddy bear. We need someone a bit warmer sounding, maybe a James Corden or even a Matt Smith. Sorry, Whishaw is a poor choice. –BB

Jamie Foxx as Mike Tyson (Tyson Biopic)

Thumbs Up: The only problem with this choice is that it’s too perfect. This is going to be awesome. Tyson is the quintessential person you want a biopic on, and Foxx is the man to take us there. Plus, he needs to repent for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Ugh. With a script being written by Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street), this is a movie to definitely keep an eye on. –DC

Thumbs in the Middle: I like the choice, but not the movie. Can we really celebrate Tyson’s life when he’s still a quasi-relevant part of pop culture? Foxx will be good no doubt, but my doubt lies in the quality of this movie. –BB

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.