Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Novel Film Blogfest 2010, Day 3

As this short but sweet book-to-movie blog-hop comes to its close, I want to share with you what I would do were I the casting director for the film adaptation of one of my favorite books. Yes, its already a movie, three of them, in fact, but they did it so wrong with the 1974 edition, I just have to jump in with my ideas.

The Great Gatsby. Don't know how many times I've read the book, but my first time I do remember well. (Don't we all.) (..oops, sorry, been a long, hot summer...)This classic was assigned reading for my junior year English class. I think it would help you to know that the teacher of junior and senior English was NOTORIOUS for being strict. She didn't give As. You might be lucky to pull a B. (For more about her, read one of my first blog posts where I tell you why I'm even here, doing this blog thing.) (It's her.) She made us read the book, talk about the book, write about the book, and pretty much live and breathe F. Scott Fitzgerald for over a month. I was in heaven.

Because of all that work with the novel, the picture in my head of what each character looked like was pretty firmly implanted by the time I read it again. And again. As an adult, I discovered the 1974 Robert Redford version of the movie adaptation. I tried to enjoy it, I really did. But as some of my long-time readers know, I'm a bit of a control freak. It was hard to watch it when the wrong people were on the screen.

Were I casting it, Jay Gatsby would be played by Aaron Eckhart. He totally charmed me in Erin Brockovitch. Yes, it's a crush. Have you seen his eyes? When they are all on you...Where was I? Ok, Jay is set.

Daisy Buchanan. I don't know why, but I've never been a fan of Mia Farrow (who played Daisy in the 1974 edition).  Instead I'd pick Renee Zellweger. She'd made a great debut in Jerry Maguire, then continued to show us her range in other films. Have you seen Chicago? How many Hollywood actresses can actually act, sing, and dance all at the same time? Not many, in my opinion. Not that they're not trying...but Renee has the chops. And the delicate, waif-like look.  And in my head IS Daisy.

For Nick Caraway, I'd pick Jake Gyllenhaal. He also has great range, and I think he's right to capture Nick's “trying-to-fit-in-but-do-I-really” conflicts.  And, um, some rather pleasing physical attributes.

The rest of the characters can stay as they are. They didn't in any way stand out as “wrong”. So if you're looking for a casting agent, feel free to give me a call. I'd love to have a useful outlet for all the images floating around in my head...

If you could re-cast a movie, who would you choose? I'd love to know. And a big thanks for hanging around for the last day of Novel Films Blogfest 10. Click the button in my sidebar for more entries. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow.


Brian Miller said...

nice...i like your casting...another one i will have to think on....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sam Worthington was horribly miscast in the remake of Clash of the Titans. His acting was awful. Of course, the whole film was a train wreck. Sorry, Harry Hamlin will always be Perseus to me.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about casting any movie with specific people, though I usually know what 'type' would be good for my favorite books. Thanks for joining in the blogfest!

If you get a chance, check out a fellow writer's zombie story and help me make him wear an embarrassing shirt next year! It's the ultimate grudge match between social media and the zombies. Details are here:

Jayne said...

Thank you so much for coming by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment. :)

I actually didn't 'get' The Great Gatsby when I first read it. I found it a rather depressing but clever book - the 1920s were beautifully drawn and I could see that house, those parties, those world-weary too young too cynical people... but I just didn't like the characters that much.

But then I chose the book as an exercise is writing a synopsis and breaking it down made me rethink. I also did some reading around the story (never studied it at school, wasn't part of our curriculum) and it did make me appreciate it a whole lot more. Finally!

I definitely agree with your casting, esp Jake as Nick. I can really see that working. Have you given Hollywood a call yet? :)

Cheryl said...

I'm not much of a movie-watcher, especially when it's a movie made from a book, so this is tough.

This doesn't really count but I was a big Robert B. Parker fan. His earliest writing was his best. I thought Robert Urich cast as Spenser in "Spenser for Hire" on TV was good.

When Tom Selleck cast himself as Jesse Stone for the made-for-TV movies, I wanted to cry. Stone is a much younger man. I'm not sure who I'd cast in that role, but younger by about 25-30 years works for me.