The Casting Couch: October 2014

My beautiful picture

Untitled Bond Movie Round Up

Lea Seydoux as a femme fatale

Dave Bautista as Hinx (henchman)

Thumbs Undecided on Seydoux/Thumbs Up on Bautista: Can’t say I’m too familiar with Lea Seydoux. She’s done some work in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and The Grand Budapest Hotel, but this is a wait and see for me. Bautista surprised everyone with his performance in Guardians of the Galaxy. It wasn’t spellbinding or anything, but he proved he had a lot of screen presence and timing. The idea of him playing a Bond villain named Hinx leads me to believe this next Bond outing could be much more of a traditional Bond film than the previous three, which could go either way for me. (DC)

Thumbs Up: I’m unfamiliar with most of Seydoux’s work as she hasn’t really strayed too far out of French cinema. She gained worldwide attention for her performance in last year’s Blue is the Warmest Color which, although I haven’t seen the movie, gives me hope that she will be a fine match up with Daniel Craig. Bautista comes in to fulfill the classic Bond movie trope of the weaker or less dangerous villains having hulking henchmen to give James Bond someone to physically fight with towards the climax of the movie. Bautista was tons of fun to watch in Guardians of the Galaxy this summer, and while he will likely not be playing as comedic a character in the next Bond his size will certainly make for an intimidating foe. (JM)

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David Spade returning as Joe Dirt — Joe Dirt 2

Thumbs Down: Huh? What? I don’t get it? You know what really pisses me off is that David Spade is a funny guy, but ever since Chris Farley passed away he’s been in the absolute bottom of the barrel comedic crap. I could absolutely see David Spade in a Wes Anderson movie. Maybe he can’t do any better, or maybe this is all he’s interested in doing, I don’t know. I do know there is a great comedy out there for David Spade, but Joe Dirt 2 won’t be it. (DC)

Thumbs Down: I, for one, do not feel there is a need to go back and explore the incredibly deep lore of the Joe Dirt saga. So no, no thank you, I would rather not see this happen. (JM)

Robert Downey Jr. returning as Tony Stark/Iron Man — Captain America: Civil War

Thumbs Undecided: I initially wanted to stick my nose in the air because I’m tired of seeing Robert Downey, Jr. play this character. The novelty of constant one-liners wore off after one film. What also wore off was seeing the same character arc after four films. Oh, Tony has to redeem himself. Great. I’m going to withhold complete judgment on this though and see where we are after Avengers: Age of Ultron. If Tony Stark is truly a different character with different motives going into Captain America: Civil War, I could get on board with this. So far now, this is TBD until I see Age of Ultron. (DC)

Thumbs Up: RDJ as Tony Stark is the most important cast member of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it’s great to see him continue the role as Iron Man is an incredibly important part of the Civil War storyline. With Marvel not announcing any more solo Iron Man movies at this week’s press event (at least not until 2020), there is no way we’ll be able to see him back as Tony Stark except for joining other hero’s movies like this. (JM)

Ezra Miller as The Flash — The Flash

Thumbs Up: I can’t say I’ve seen any of Ezra Miller’s work, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower and We Need to Talk About Kevin are dramatic roles, so that’s certainly encouraging. I also mentioned in my DC Universe breakdown piece that I’m usually in favor of unknowns taking on superhero roles, so I got no problem with this whatsoever. (DC)

Thumbs in the Middle: Outside of We Have to Talk About Kevin I’m not super familiar with Miller’s acting roles. In that film he played a creepy sociopathic murderer, which doesn’t exactly match up well with the image of the plucky, heroic Flash. However Christian Bale was able to shake the image of the murderous Patrick Bateman in American Psycho to play Batman just a few years later, so it’s possible the same could happen for Miller. (JM)

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Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak — Steve Jobs biopic

Thumbs WAY Down: As excited as I am about Aaron Sorkin writing the screenplay for this, that’s about all I’m excited for. Now with no Christian Bale as Steve Jobs, this one is barely on my radar. Danny Boyle is one of the most overrated directors around, and Seth Rogen playing Steve Wozniak is the icing on the stale cake. I have a feeling they are trying to Jonah Hill this one. Hill came out of nowhere with the dramatic chops in Moneyball. Can Rogen do the same? No. If he nails it I’ll cop to it, but we’ve seen Rogen try a dramatic-ish type role before in 50/50, and he wasn’t very good. I never liked Rogen as a comedic actor, so I’m not all that optimistic here as you can tell. (DC)

Thumbs Up: In the previous Jobs biopic I actually found Josh Gad’s performance as Wozniak to be one of the bright spots of the film, so I’m hoping Rogen can likewise bring his A-game for this supporting role. Rogen hasn’t really done much dramatic acting before (the closest he’s come is probably the cancer dramedy 50/50), but if Jonah Hill can graduate from comedies to now being a two-time Oscar nominee I feel Rogen can do the same. He’s an actor that usually gets his best performances playing off of others, so it’ll be interesting to see how they develop the Jobs-Wozniak dynamic here. (JM)

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange — Doctor Strange

*Not yet confirmed, but very likely

Thumbs Down: Cumberbatch will be fine as Doctor Strange, but this is a boring safe pick for Marvel. I enjoyed his performance as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, but I’ve never been blown away by this guy in anything. What’s really telling about Cumberbatch is in the two dramatic roles I’ve seen him in (12 Years a Slave, August: Osage County). He completely melts away against the other elite actors in those films. He can’t hang with them. I know they were courting Joaquin Phoenix hard and he ultimately passed, but that sure would have gotten me a hell of a lot more excited about a Doctor Strange movie. This is one of the pitfalls of doing a shared universe. There are going to be great actors like Joaquin Phoenix who pass because they don’t won’t to sign their lives away for 85 movies. If that’s why Phoenix ultimately passed, I would have preferred to get him for one movie as Doctor Strange, and then just recast the part. I really wanted to see him in that role, even if it was just for one film. (DC)

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Thumbs Down: About two months ago I had mentioned that I was growing tired of seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in almost every other major blockbuster, and this announcement doesn’t change my feelings at all. The man is a good actor for sure, but he doesn’t even closely resemble Doctor Strange in any stretch of the imagination, and there are many actors out there that would have been a better fit visually without sacrificing acting ability. Pedro Pascal, Oded Fehr, and even Andrew Lincoln are just a few of the “fan casts” I’ve seen online that would have been more surprising and sensible casting choices. (JM)

Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther — Black Panther

Thumbs Up: I wasn’t sold on this guy after 42, but seeing him as James Brown in Get on Up was all I needed to see. This guy can flat out act. I always found Black Panther to be a boring character, but with Boseman on board, I’m intrigued. A great choice. (DC)

Thumbs Up: Boseman is an excellent choice here, a young, black, and very talented actor who will hopefully carry on with this role through many Marvel movies (apart from Black Panther he is already confirmed to make an appearance in Captain America: Civil War). He wound up being very inspiring as Jackie Robinson in 42, an effectual and grounded performance made all the more noticeable in the sea of overacting and scenery chewing around him in that film. One of the most important aspects of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has been its ability to humanize the super humans, and by casting such a relatable actor Marvel aims for another amazing performance. (JM)

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