Every lover of cinema pictures different actors in different roles. When we come to admire or enjoy performers, it’s hard not to think about what kind of part might maximize their talents. Throw in a general love of fiction and stories and it’s easy to start picking and choosing imagined roles for various actors. Basically, we all want to try our hand at casting in one way or another!
Since I’m not exactly a Hollywood producer or casting director just yet, a list will have to suffice for now. But these are 10 casting wishes I’d love to see come true.
10. Christian Bale - Rasputin
Rasputin, for anyone who many not be familiar with the name, was a Russian monk of sorts, alive during the turn of the 20th century and famous for a few reasons. The first is that as a self-proclaimed holy figure lacking any meaningful credentials or experience he became a close adviser to the royal family under Tsar Nicholas II. The second, and the one that makes him perfect subject matter for a drama, is that he’s known for having been extraordinarily - almost mystically - difficult to kill. There have been films based on Rasputin, but none has really garnered serious attention. It seems inevitable that one eventually will, and Christian Bale should be the actor behind it. He’s as capable as anyone working in Hollywood, can seemingly transform his body to any shape or size to fit a role, and would be equal to the task.
9. Marion Cotillard - Cleopatra
For many years now there have been rumors of Angelina Jolie attempting to get a Cleopatra film off the ground. Indeed, at a certain point she seemed destined for the role, and perfect for it. Then again, she also played a vaguely similar figure in the epic flop Alexander, so it might feel somewhat repetitive if she actually went through with it. Nevertheless, Cleopatra - more than a beautiful symbol, and in fact a fascinating political figure from history - deserves a historical biopic. Marion Cotillard, who has played manipulative as well as anyone and whose eyes can be seductive and murderous at once, would be an ideal fit.
8. Sean Bean - Remus Lupin
Sean Bean actually wouldn’t be a bad Rasputin either. He’s often at his best when he’s looking somewhat haggard, his hair hanging down over his face the way Rasputin is often depicted. Instead though, I like him for Remus Lupin in the inevitable Harry Potter adaptation on television. Provided this happens relatively soon, Bean could take his place as the rightful Lupin. His natural mix of toughness and sensitivity, combined with the fact that he’s inextricably linked with a sense of impending doom after dying in about 4,000 movies, makes him an ideal fit. Plus, if we’re being honest, he’s somewhat wolfish, in a rugged, handsome sort of way.
7. Lucy Hale - Dorothy
If you don’t think there’s a Wizard Of Oz reboot coming at some point, you haven’t been paying attention to Hollywood. 2019 is about to bring us new versions of Dumbo, The Lion King, Aladdin, and Mulan, and that makes it feel like we’ve officially entered an era in which the movie business is no longer shy about its preference for adapting existing material. At any rate, should this happen, Lucy Hale would be a fascinating pick to play Dorothy. She’s not quite an A-lister at this point, but she’s done some excellent work (most notably on Pretty Little Liars), she could be made to look quite a bit like Judy Garland, and - most importantly - she can sing.
6. Joaquin Phoenix - Dr. Jekyll
Dr. Jekyll, the mad scientist from Robert Louis Stevenson’s iconic early horror tale “The Curious Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde,” has never quite been done right on the big screen. But that doesn’t mean he’s not of interest. In the online gaming business, where players are on the lookout for exclusive games and interesting content, there are actually multiple games based on Jekyll & Hyde themes, though they’re somewhat cartoonish in nature. In the recent film The Mummy, Russell Crowe played a version of the character. But he is a character from a story that deserves its own modern adaptation, and Joaquin Phoenix would be perfect for the role. He’s extraordinarily talented and capable of being both quietly charming and completely insane. This is a role that would challenge him, which can only have wonderful results.
5. Lupita Nyong’o - Sula
“Sula” is one of the greatest novels of the last 100 years, and yet no one ever talks about adapting the Toni Morrison story as a modern film. It would seemingly be just the stuff for Oscars material, given its deep, honest, yet almost surprisingly alluring dive into the lives of two young black women in an age of rampant inequality. These women begin as children in the story, but the role of the young woman Sula, after childhood, would be an incredible part for Lupita Nyong’o. She’s proven to be about as good as they come, and has a certain wink-wink charm about her that could bring to life the nearly magical atmosphere that sits almost invisibly over this novel.
4. Tom Holland - Eragon
“Eragon,” the fantasy novel by young author Christopher Paolini, has been made into a film already. The only issue is that it was done poorly. The truth of the matter though is that this is a heck of a story, even if Paolini was a teenager when he wrote it. It deserves a second chance, and while this is unlikely to happen, at least anytime soon, Tom Holland - the kid who’s our newest Spider-Man - would be excellent in the title role. The part basically calls for a believable hero who can be both wide-eyed in wonder and defiantly in charge of a difficult situation. Holland appears to be a very talented actor, and could probably pull this one off in his sleep.
3. Lily James - Princess Diana
I don’t have too much to say about this idea. But Lily James was labeled a breakout after the Mamma Mia sequel from this past summer with good reason. As much as any actor or actress working currently, James has a magnetic, infectious joy about her, which is just the sort of thing people adored Princess Diana for. There isn’t too much of a physical resemblance, but that can be worked on. The bottom line is Lily James can really act, and she has a quality about her that matches what we’d like to see in a Diana portrayal, and which cannot be taught or faked.
2. Chris Hemsworth - King Arthur
We’re in desperate need of a fresh King Arthur interpretation following a Guy Ritchie-helmed disaster in 2017. And there just isn’t a better actor for it than Chris Hemsworth. I’d prefer him at his leaner physique, say from Rush, Bad Times At The El Royale, as opposed to full Thor mode. More importantly though, Hemsworth’s long blonde hair would be perfect for the part, and his boundless charm could bring Arthur’s general goodness to life more effectively than anything else that’s ever been tried in the role. Plus, who doesn’t want to see this guy wield Excalibur?
1. Chadwick Boseman - D’Artagnan
We’re also in desperate need of a really good, deserving adaptation of “The Three Musketeers.” It’s never quite been done perfectly, even though Alexandre Dumas left us with such rich material to base a film off of. And the most important role would go to D’Artagnan - young, eager, courageous, and capable. If you close your eyes and think about it, and forget that every cinematic D’Artagnan or musketeer of note has been white, it’s actually a role very well suited to the up-and-coming Chadwick Boseman, who could use a big project outside of Marvel so that he doesn’t become known solely as Black Panther. Some would see it as a bold choice, but I believe it would be the right one.