Monday, July 28, 2008

Positively True Adventures in Casting

Over the weekend, I caught the news that Tim Burton had all but signed up In Treatment star Mia Wasikowska to play the lead in his Alice in Wonderland movie. The thing's supposed to be a live action/CGI blend, so I'm not sure how much of Alice's part will be in Wasikowska's hands, but regardless, it's fantastic casting. I'm watching In Treatment on HBO On Demand this month, and Wasikowska's episodes are my absolute favorite. She's fantastic. Like if Bryce Dallas Howard were ten years younger and had emotions. I'm almost always less enthusiastic about CGI hybrids, mostly because there aren't as many actors to get excited about -- but Burton's gotten off on the right foot here.

In news that's less pure of heart, I saw the trailer for Oliver Stone's W earlier today, which did nothing to deter my from my opinion that this thing is a shallow, juvenile bad idea of a film. But the casting has been pretty inspired for some roles (Ellen Burstyn as Barbara Bush; Scott Glenn as Donald Rumsfeld). The trailer runs through the movie's sprawling cast, captioning them with the characters' names rather than the actors (which made me have to run to the IMDb to see that it's Thandie Newton playing Condoleezza Rice), and when they got to Karl Rove, I burst out laughing. Cast to play the Machiavellian cretin is Toby Jones, he of the guy-who-played-Capote-after-Phillip-Seymour-Hoffman fame. My glee is twofold: one, I think Jones can imbue Rove with the perfect kind of slimy malevolence; but two, I can't imagine Rove would be happy at the sight of elfin little Jones serving as his on-screen surrogate. It's the least he deserves.


Mathan said...

Glad to see that you've jumped aboard the Wasikowska Express.

velvet goldmine said...

Scott Glen? Man, since 2001 I've been transfixed by the interchangeability of Robert Culp and Donald Rumsfeld. I was sure that the first major movie featuring the Rumsfeld "character" would be played by Culp. They have the same mannerisms, the same I the only one who sees this?

Mathan said...

Robert Culp makes me smile. When I lived in Vegas he came into the restaurant where I worked and I recognized him immediately, but no one else did. At that point I started referring to him as "the other guy" because he wasn't the most memorable character on either I-Spy or Greatest American Hero.

But more to the point, when I saw him a few years ago he looked worse for the wear and thus would probably be too old to play Rummy.