After all "3:10 To Yuma", "Ocean's Eleven" and "Cape Fear" weren't too bad, were they?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Rio Bravo

This will only work if you've seen the film, so let's assume you've seen the original. Let's also assume the new version would follow the original pretty close. For a remake, I have some out-of-the-box casting ideas...
Sheriff John T. Chance- Nick Nolte. Listen, besides Clint Eastwood, there's no one else that could carry the part of an older lawman, who probably was a gunslinger back in the day. No one with the screen authority Nolte has, unless it was Clint or Tommy Lee Jones. Chance needs to be a big, tall presence and, frankly, I think Nolte is the more interesting choice.
Dude (Borachon)- Hugh Jackman. A drunk when he starts the picture, Dude must make the transformation to easygoing, capable (good with a gun) lawman (who also sings!) and make it all believable. Jackman is a good, but untested actor, who deepest role has been the part of a mutant killing machine in the "X-Men" films. Still perceived as a lightweight musical theatre singer, this would the part to make him a viable all-around actor in Hollywood's eyes. Just like a certain crooner from the fifties.
Colorado Ryan- Justin Timberlake. I know, I know. But he has been good in unexpected places ("Alpha Dog") and great in the expected places (SNL) and he would have, I think, a little less of the self-consciousness that Ricky Nelson had in the original. Plus, he and Jackman would nail the duets the two characters have.

Nathan Burdette- Alec Baldwin. Listen, this guy has become one of the great character actors and he would more than hold his own in the few scenes he would have with Nolte. Plus, any of his brothers would be great to play Joe, the character's imprisoned brother. Speaking of other characters...

Stumpy- James Garner. Again, he;s a guy who can hold his own with Nolte, plus Garner was cantankerous when he was young. Playing an old cantankerous guy should be a cakewalk.

Feathers- Ellen Barkin. To break with the original a bit, I think an age-appropriate love interest for Chance would be more interesting here. Barkin, like Debra Winger, plays tough, sexy, wounded really well.

Pat Wheeler- Gene Hackman. This is a toughie because Wheeler in the original was played by Ward Bond, who in most films plays characters who can handle themselves pretty well, fisticuffs-wise. So, when Wheeler doesn't, you have to feel it on a "Jeez-they-just-killed-Janet-Leigh-all-bets-are-off" level. A Hackman (or even Eastwood) killed off in the first thirty minutes would be a gut-punch for every audience member.

Consuela Robante- Eva Longoria. In the original, there is a Mexican couple that run the local hotel/saloon and are friends with Chance. They have a cute subplot about the guy ordering red bloomers for the girl. I think here, we could eliminate some of the running time and give Dude a love interest if Consuela were single. And this would put Longoria in a decent part to get her out of TV Land.

Director- Steven Soderbergh. He can handle large casts (giving everyone something to do that's interesting), has a good sense of how to change a remake around without losing the spark of the original and is his own cinematographer. So, you'll save money.

So, I've had my say. Howsabout you?


Dex said...

I like everything but your choice for Chance. Nolte? Seriously? He's a bit old, don't you think (he'd make just as good a choice for Stumpy), and he and Ellen Barkin--awesome pick, by the way--still have a, what, 15 year age difference?

What about Dennis Quaid? He's got the chops, he's the right age, and it would be a classic repairing.

your fiend, mr. jones said...

wow I don't know why I didn't get notified that someone actually commented on my blog... anyhoos, your take on Nolte was legitimate, but I wanted to have someone who has the physical Wayne-size and Quaid (on the money btw with age relation to Barkin) would be too short.

Of course with Garner having age-issues these days (mild stroke. sigh.), I would need someone else for Stumpy, so you may be right after all...