Wednesday, February 25, 2009

10 Actors Amusing Reactions To Their Signature Characters Being Re-cast In A Remake *

* Or reboot or re-imaging or whatever rationale they’re using. This is not one of those “Hollywood has completely run out of ideas” posts – though the amount of remakes coming down the line is staggeringly depressing.

No, this is about when a new version of a beloved cinematic staple is announced and it’s obviously threatening to the original actors who won’t be included. Inspired by Faye Dunaway’s response to the absurd casting of a proposed BONNIE AND CLYDE remake (see #4), this list is what I believe are the funniest and most pointed reactions to redundant rehashes:

1. “I am Snake Plissken!” - Kurt Russell on an upcoming ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK redux. He elaborates in an interview with Entertainment Weekly: “I didnt play Snake Plissken, I created him! Goldie [Hawn] and I were talking the other day about this, and I said, ‘Man, this is weird, isnt it?’ And she said, “When they were going to do a remake of Private Benjamin, I thought, ‘I didnt play Private Benjamin, I created that role!’” Russell may not have to worry, with the state of the economy the movie is likely to be axed. Well, with hope that is.

2. “Nobody ever offered me a part.” - William Shatner on the new J.J. Abrams STAR TREK prequel. This is actually not so ridiculous a complaint – if Leonard Nimoy as Spock (in an odd time warp way I guess) can be included, why can’t the original James T. Kirk? Shatner even made a youtube video response to clarify things. Watch it here

3. “They didn’t even ask me!” - Adam West on being left out of the first BATMAN reboot starring Michael Keaton in 1989. David Letterman made this into a comic catchphrase and on a Saturday Night Live sketch, Michael McKean did a dead on impression of West declaring: “I wanted to play - Uncle Batman. He - he would be an older, distinguished gentleman -- much like yourself, Commissioner Gordon....(addressing Weekend Update anchor Norm McDonald) and he would help Batman fight crime!” Needless to say that didn’t happen. As Robin (David Duchovny – that’s right) on that skit said: “Holy Not-Taking-Your-Medication, Batman!”

4. “Couldn't they have at least gotten a real actress? - Faye Dunaway on the casting of Hillary Duff in the BONNIE AND CLYDE remake.

Duff responded “I think that my fans that are going to go see the movie don't even know who she is. I think it (what she said) was a little unnecessary, but I might be mad if I looked like that now too.” Jeez, show some respect little Miss 15 minutes of fame gone into obnoxious overtime! This is another should be axed project with only this cat fight left standing.

5. “These comedy remakes are horrible!” - Tom Selleck on the possible George Clooney * movie redo of Magnum, P.I. He elaborated: “I tell you what worries me - because I love Magnum and we have loyal fans - is they take these TV show titles, and they buy them and they spend $100 million on special effects, and then they make fun of them and trivialize it. Then they try and get the actor who used to be in it to do some ridiculous cameo to prove to the audience that it's OK. And I will not do that.” Sounds like a not so subtle jab at the Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson STARSKY AND HUTCH but a lot of other TV to movie adaptations fit the bill. * Now it looks like Matthew McConaughney is on as Magnum. Sigh.

6. “Pointless” - Gene Wilder on the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (The Wilder original was entitled WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY). 

Wilder went on: “It’s all about money. It’s just some people sitting around thinking ‘how can we make some more money?’ Why else would you remake Willy Wonka? I don't see the point of going back and doing it all over again. I like Johnny Depp, and I appreciate that he has said on record that my shoes will be hard to fill. But I don't know how it will all turn out.” Well, it turned out pretty bad. Depp’s Wonka was creepy not charming like Wilder’s and the movie misfired on many other levels. “Pointless” actually is an understatement.

7. “I’m furious” - Jack Nicholson on Heath Ledger getting the role of The Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT. From an interview in 2006: MTV: What do you think of another actor, Heath Ledger, playing the Joker in next summer's "The Dark Knight"? Nicholson: “Let me be the way I’m not in interviews. I’m furious. I’m furious. [He laughs.] They never asked me about a sequel with the Joker. I know how to do that! Nobody ever asked me.”

Nicholson, right after Ledger’s death, told reporters in London “I warned him.” What? Nicholson warned him about playing the Joker? “It’ll kill you!” Is that what Jack advised? Or was it a threat/curse? Anyway as much as I love Nicholson (and readers of this blog should know this well), his Joker was a joke while Ledger’s was the real deal. I know Jack as a 3 time Oscar winner knows this well by now. 

8. “Fletch is me!” - Chevy Chase on the proposed (but stillborn) FLETCH re-whatever it is.

Chase continues, “If I played any part in the Fletch remake, think about it: as soon as I appeared on the screen people would say, “Hey… There’s Fletch, man!” Silly idea. Keep me out of it.” Chase pissed off Kevin Smith (read Smith’s blog to find out how) who had a “Son Of Fletch” pitch, then FLETCH WON was on as a prequel with possible Chevy providing an older Fletch voice-over perspective with Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, Zach Braff, and Joshua Jackson (?) being tossed around for the role. This is more and more looking like another ‘not gonna happen’ projects. Unless they put it on the Underhill’s bill...

9. “When he had to do fart jokes, he lost me.” - Jerry Lewis on Eddie Murphy’s THE NUTTY PROFESSOR. Despite that Lewis was an executive producer on this and its sequel NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS he told Entertainment Weekly just last year: “I have such respect for Eddie, but I shouldn’t have done it. What I did was perfect the first time around and all you're going to do is diminish that perfection by letting someone else do it..” On Sunday however, at the Oscars Murphy presented Lewis (“from one Nutty Professor to another” he said) with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and bygones were nowhere to be seen.

10. “Give me a break - Joey Bishop on the “re-imagining” of OCEAN’S 11: Not exactly a reaction to his role because Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra’s original part) is the only name used from the 1961 original in the George Clooney/Brad Pitt/Everybody in Hollywood remake but Bishop’s response is priceless nevertheless: There will only ever be one Rat Pack. Its a joke. All they are doing in the remake is a cheap impersonation of the original Rat Pack. People knew about Frank and his broads and Dean and his drinking. They knew that we partied together. With the new version, you've got five or six people who never had any association with each other off screen.” 

They can’t sing either, right Joey? Right? Oh, sorry Mr. Bishop passed away in 2007. Maybe the success of OCEAN’S 11 and its 2 sequels was too much for him. Okay! Another patented Film Babble Blog list down. Anybody’s amusing response that you think should have made the list? Please let me know. 

More later…


Fonvielle said...

To be fair to Jack, his "I warned him" comment was regarding the medication Ledger overdosed on, which Jack experimented with as well. He said it during a Bucket List press junket, although the video seems to have been pulled from YouTube.

Fault really lies in the news wires, though, for ignoring this critical context.

Tami said...

love #6 haha!

Tami said...

anything chevy chase says = hysterical

sophomorecritic said...

I think this is kind of opinionated. I think Joey Bishop was right and you're ignoring the fact that the Ocean's 11 premise got stretched thin by Ocean's 12

Dan said...

Opinionated? I didn't say whether I thought Bishop was right or wrong, nor did I express an opinion on the Ocean's 11 movies - just that they were hits. For the geek bloggosphere record though, I'm not a fan of the Clooney Ocean's 11 movies or the original frankly.