Monday, August 11, 2008

Casting Couch: Neuromancer

So, they are making a Neuromancer movie. I don't know how I feel about it. Apparently the director is the guy behind the "Toxic" video and the movie Torque, which is bad, but he also did the video for "Knights of Cydonia", which was pretty awesome. My general opinion of most music video directors is that they are hungrey young things taking work to get work who dream of getting their personal dream project. Hey, maybe this will be Joseph Kahn's personal dream project.

Hayden as Case? Eh, I don't know. Christiensen seems more just incredibly uneven to me than necessarily bad, but I don't like his track record. Case is either an incredibly easy character to play—blank, empty brooder—or an incredibly difficult role to play—just what is going on under that blank exterior? Can it be conveyed while still being blank? (Oddly, despite much belly-aching from the io9 commenters, I actually think that (a younger) Keanu would have been just right for Case. I have always thought Keanu is less blank than stoic; there's things going on in his head, but it's hard for it to get across—exactly like with Case. And Case seems kind of gruff and short with people, and Keanu's gruff voice would seem to fit really well for that.) I am just not sure Christiensen can pull off the more complicated version of Case, and his tendency to come off as petulanet would work against Case's gruffness. But then, Case isn't exactly tough either. That's Molly. He's at least naturally pretty enough to buy that Molly would take an interest in him even though he's a half-dead drug addict. (Although I think one of the reasons that Molly became "interested" in him was as much a part strengthening their ties to each other compared to their ties to their controller. Molly was creating an insurance policy against a possible double-cross from Armitage).

Speaking of Molly, that's the casting decision that I see as crucial to the movie's success. cast the wrong pop starlet and the character will just not work. Change the character to fit the actress and the story on't work. Personally I my tentative pick would be Nora Zehetner, who was on Heroes for a while. Her character wasn't for the most part any like Molly, except in the flashbacks, where despite being petite she was able to convey coldness. I think she could do Molly's casual cruelty well, and the voice fits, all casual and low-pitched. Basically, she seems capable of conveying both Molly's maks as well as what is going on underneath (mostly occasional regret, not remorse). Also she has the correct, dancer's frame. Molly just doesn't work unless you cast someone who looks a bit like an acrobat. Someone like Hayden Peniatierre would just look wrong. Too tiny and stumpy.

Also, she has big eyes, would give the make-up department plenty of room to work with in coming up with permanent mirrorshades that don't restrict facial movement. More important than you would think.

For the rest of the cast? I would go with William Fichtner, (last seen getting perforated by the Joker) who does brooding military man intensity on the edge of snapping better than anyone. Thomas Haden Church would be an acceptable substitute. The Finn seems like a no-brainer Steve Buscemi role. Old Julie would be a fun Peter O'Toole cameo. Or maybe Michael Gambon? Maelcum? Um, Malcolm Jamal-Warner? He has dreadlocks. I think that Owen Wilson would be great as Riviera. Beautiful with a broken nose? Also, he once played a serial killer in something, (The Minus Man?) and I heard he was good. James Franco would also be good, (I still remeber that smile as he's eating pie in the mostly crappy Spiderman 3) as would Heath Ledger, if he wasn't dead. Actually, Franco would be fun as Lupus Yonderboy. They better have Lupus Yonderboy!

God, I hope they don't fuck this one up.