Today Matt Zoller Seitz over at Salon takes on one of Trash Culture Mutancy's favorite pointless activities -- recasting movies. It sort of reminds me of the early 1980's, when my friend Anni and I used to sit around Baumgart's, which in those days wasn't the bizarro yuppie Jersey chain of Asian restaurant/bruncheries/ice cream parlors that it is today, but was a single store in Englewood, New Jersey that hadn't been updated since 1942 -- the kind of place where you could have a bowl of soup or an egg salad sandwich and a ball of homemade ice cream, and mull over who we'd cast in The Stand. Of course a reasonably presentable version of Stephen King's magnum opus ended up being made for television, and if Jamey Sheridan wasn't quite the Randall Flagg we'd envisioned (we always figured on Frank Langella, then past his sexy pretty-boy days but not quite into the Creepy Old Manhood in which we see him today), he did a quite credible job.
This is the sort of pointless time-waster that people used to do before blogs and Facebook came along to eat our days. "Casting the movie", and its cousin "Recasting the movie" surface periodically. We're not quite at the point of people thinking about a remake of Titanic with Elle Fanning and Justin Bieber yet, but Leonardo DiCaprio is now playing embittered widowers and Kate Winslet is already in the Mildred Pierce years of her career in one of those weird Hollywood things in which an actress in her thirties plays mother and the actor/actress who plays her offspring is only twelve or thirteen years younger (like 38-year-old Gretchen Mol playing 29-year-old Michael Pitt's mother in Boardwalk Empire). So the Fanning/Bieber remake speculation can't be far off, now that James Cameron is planning to wring another few bucks out of his already billion-dollar movie with a 3-D version planned for release in 2012.
So it's kind of fun reading Seitz' ideas about recasting, even though I disagree with most of them (with the exception of Mark Wahlberg in Gangs of New York.
So what movie would YOU recast if you were doing a remake?