a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dream Cast

I've been attacking my rewrite of my supernatural thriller with renewed vigor (and yes, Ian, I named a character after you).

Sometimes, when I think about the characters, and making them deeper or more interesting, I think about who my dream cast would be. This can sometimes be handy, because it'll add an edge to a character that wasn't there before; it's when I started picturing Clive Owen as my bad guy that he started coming to life for me.

Ironically, I started writing my Nicholl script so many years (and drafts) ago, that the main character, an 18-year-old girl, has now seen a bevy of actresses pass through the role in my thoughts, only to age up and pass the torch on to someone else. Initially, it was Winona Ryder (yeah, the original idea is that old). Then Drew Barrymore. Natalie Portman owned it briefly. Two years ago it was an Anna Paquin role. Right now, it's probably a Jena Malone part.

But the lead role in my supernatural thriller is a woman in her late 20s, and I can't really picture her. When I first started writing the script, a few years ago (when it was rather different), I was picturing someone like Maura Tierney in the part. But now I don't see her in it anymore.

I'm not sure who is perfect for it now. Maybe Natalie Portman, though she's a bit young. Still, reuniting her with Clive Owen can work (yeah, yeah, in my dreams. Exactly.)

I'll have to ponder over it some more.

Anyhow, I just thought it might be a fun thing to throw out there, for the writers who haunt this space. Who is the dream cast for your current script? Who do you picture roaming its pages?

Don't have to give any plot. Genre, maybe, with the names. Let's see who people are writing for.


At 7:03 AM, Blogger Robert Hogan said...

I have a comedy script that I would like to see cast with Ryan Reynolds, Brad Garrett, William H Macy, John Stewart and Danny DeVito.

At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Leif Smart said...

I have a story I've been tossing around which has a lead character that would be perfect for Kevin Sorbo. Seriously.

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Jennica said...

A big, broad comedy with Charlize Theron and Vince Vaughn.

Though seeing Robert's response, I'm thinking maybe *I* want to write a role for Jon Stewart too!

At 8:06 AM, Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

historical, 1720's, southern coast of america

british royal navy lt. - steven frye
badass pirate - - liam neeson
pirate bos'un - russell crowe
navy bos'un - - colin firth

and i'm sure there would be room found for stephen rae, brendan gleeson, crews of sailing ships back then were heavily scots-irish.

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Laura Reyna said...

"A big, broad comedy with Charlize Theron and Vince Vaughn."

I would like to see that! I love Charlize & she's inspired a lot of my movie ideas.

I have her in a rom com w/ Jon Voight as her dad, & possibly Brendan Fraser as the love interest.

I also have a crime thriller with Angie Jolie & Ewan McGregor (w/ his natural Scottish accent) as married drug dealers. And Benicio Del Toro & Peter Greene as the bad guys.

A Film Noir w/ Eva Mendes & somebody European. The guy keeps changing... Clive Owen is good, tho.

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Chris (UK Scriptwriter) said...

Don't you think if you do that you may find your character drifting into traits of other characters that actor has played?

I was writing a Rom Com and almost found myself writing a character exactly like George Clooney's character in One Fine Day. Looking at my original notes, I found I had drifted from the character I had intended to write.

At 8:41 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Well, it's always good to make your dream cast stretch a bit, too.

I just came up with a good possible lead for my supernatural thriller. Sarah Polley. She's got the kind of strung-out feel that the character needs, but the role winds up being a different one than she usually plays.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Webs said...

For "Sheep's End", I see Vin Diesel as Hawthorn, Seth Green as Bren (can he sing?), Keira Knightly as Tesha, an ex-girlfriend as Penny and Mario Batali as McFatridge.

The last is - oddly, I admit - a purely physical placeholder, but maybe I do watch too much Food Network.

At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Laura Reyna said...

Chris: "Don't you think if you do that you may find your character drifting into traits of other characters that actor has played?"

I agree w/ Scott. You make them stretch. That's part of the fun of dream casting.

You end up putting your fav actors in roles (& genres) that you haven't seen them play before.

How many of us have said, "oh, i wish __________(name of fav actor) would do this kind of movie. He would be great in it." But they're never cast in that particular role.

And i happen to love character actors, & this lets me give lead roles to actors-- albeit, only in my mind-- who would otherwise play the bad guy or the sidekick.

Has anyone heard of Ivana Milicevic? She played the sexy neighbor in Just Like Heaven with Witherspoon & Ruffalo. I think she's very talented. Not too many gorgeous women out there who can do comedy well. She's never gotten a starring role in a movie. I think she's so good i gave her a starring role in one of my movies. :-)

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Brett said...

I have a war drama that would be perfect for Scarlett Johansson and Leo DiCaprio/Topher Grace.

Then there 's the action rom-com that would be perfect for Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, 'cept they just signed to do a painfully similar project written by theat guy who wrote ANALYZE THIS and GANGS OF NEW YORK.

Is Chris Kattan still working? Maybe I oughta pen a vehicle for him...

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Spanish Prisoner said...

Thriller. With Colin Farrell and Dominique Swain in the leading roles. Max von Sydow in a supporting role.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Cathy Krasnianski said...

I'm toying with an idea for an adult comedy.

Jack Nicholson, as Hollywood's greatest lothario (no stretch there, right?). He would be joined by a bevy of famous middle-aged Hollywood actresses.

And Justin Bartha would be his gay son.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger Formerly, The Dude Spoke said...

I have a college comedy I'm writing, and while there are plenty of young parts for cheap up and coming WBers, there are three older leads, the dean, the football coach, and the band instructor, that I envisioned Jeffrey Tambor, Will Arnett, and Tony Hale playing respectively. (I like Arrested Development)

But now that I've seen Brick, I want that Joseph Gordon Levitt guy for the lead.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Ryan Paige said...

I have an action comedy for which my dream cast is somewhat obscure:

Joanna Garcia, George Eads, Lyle Lovett, Sarah Alexander, Bruce McGill and Mary Steenburgen.

I am low, apparently.

At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Joe Valdez said...

A low budget romantic comedy set in 1981 with Ryan Gosling, Alison Lohman and Rosario Dawson.

For anyone writing a big movie, I don't see how you can do better than Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie. Mr and Mrs Smith was terrible and they were still unbelievably good together.

If Naomi Watts was cast in the lead of anything I'd written, I could pretty much die happy.

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Well, for my Food Fight comedy script, my manager is aiming at the big guns. I always pictured guys like Owen/Luke Wilson in it. Vince Vaughn, Stiller, those guys. I'd love to have Jason Bateman & Ryan Reynolds, too. But my manager wants bigger, like Jim Carrey & Will Ferrell and that's who he plans to approach. I guess I could live with those two.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger said...

For "Force Majeure" (which you gave me notes through your site) I picture Anson Mount as Nate and Natalie Portman as Jacie.

For my latest script "Sultana" (a civil war romance) the lead actors would be Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Walker with Rachel McAdams as the lead actress.

It certainly makes it more enjoyable to write when you have a clear image of an actor in the role.

At 9:55 PM, Blogger Averyslave said...

Family drama (with a touch of magic) centering around New York baseball. Stars Steve Carell, Billy Crystal, Amy Adams, and Lili Taylor.

At 12:44 AM, Anonymous Vera said...

I know what you mean about Clive Owen making your baddie come to life. Daniel Craig did the same for me (that was before he accepted the part as James Bond), and I am very pleased with my Villain. The only problem is that he is "better" than my Hero... but I guess that's because the baddies are usually more interesting characters!

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

I'm rewriting Star Wars. The only one I have cast is George Lucas.

He will play the part of Greedo.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Optimistic_Reader said...

I've been imagining Ray Winstone as one of the leads of my current project, and it's worked wonders. For my rom-com, I've been thinking James McAvoy and Nathalie Press as two of the characters in a triangle. Ooh, and just writing this made me think of Thandie Newton as the remaining character. So thanks for this, Scott!

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Formerly, The Dude Spoke said...

I also always wanted to make a movie where Ron Perlman and Tom Waits play badass brothers.

And I might want to throw Nick Chinlund in there for good measure, maybe as their cousin

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Dave said...

strangely enough, I don't ever picture any actors in my parts. They're all sort of undefined to some degree. I have a dreamy idea of what they're like, but nothing solid.

Sort of strange now that I think about it. It's almost like looking through a glass shower door at my characters.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Tim Clague said...

I recently wrote about this on my blog. Same idea - still great advice.

Read it here.

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous friarduck said...

For my low-budget thriller, I'm thinking about doing a Rachel McAdams AGAINST Ryan Gosling sort of thing, and turning The Notebook casting on its head.

At 5:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see... my current script I have no vision of a dream cast as of yet, so I'll use my very first script (which Nicholl QT'd right next to yours -- congrats).

Superhero-action script. Originally the lead was written with DMX in mind. However, since he's done many nutty things since, I now see Will Smith (kinda different).

Will Smith, The Rock or Vin Diesel (villain), Eva Mendes (d'oh... I thought of this before "Hitch"), Anthony Stewart Head, and Gwen Stefani (she wouldn't have to say much).

Wow... that looks kinda dumb when I write it out. And drug-induced.

At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A classic-style noir, where the initial set-up gradually reveals a much darker and stranger truth...
Dream cast would include Michael Wincott, Lena Olin, Ian McShane and Tim Roth...


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