Catwoman rumors on the prowl for Batman 3

Not a lot of flicks get this much buzz before its existence even announced. It’s got to be good to be Christopher Nolan when not only are the regular folks anxious to see this off the ground — with him at the helm of course — but even the celebs have started to express interest to get involved.

marioncotillardAccording to Coventry Telegraph blog, “Only few days ago Charlize Theron was saying how she would be delighted to play Catwoman in Christopher Nolan’s next Batman movie.” Miss Theron must love being clad in those tight-fitting leather suit — which she donned in Aeon Flux — alas, she’s not the top contender according to an internet fan poll. Today’s birthday girl Marion Cotillard, the french Oscar-winning actress (for playing Edith Piaf in La vie en rose), is apparently the top choice, with Rachel Weisz second, and Charlize Theron third.

It’s interesting that she’s worked with both Christian Bale and Nolan in Public Enemies and the hotly anticipated 2010 thriller Inception, respectively. Not that it’s any indication she’ll be cast though. Geez, there’s not even Batman 3 in the can yet so this is all just fans’ wishful thinking. Just for fun, check out a fanboy poster by DeviantArt of Cotillard in full catsuit costume at Looks pretty realistic, they even made up the cast that includes Dr. Who‘s David Tennant.

I’m just meh on this idea, the reason I love Nolan’s Batman films are largely because they’re short of the ‘freaks’ the comics are laden with. Now, I realize it’s unavoidable if they continue the franchise, but we can trust Nolan’s ability to elevate a comic book movie beyond a mere circus freak show. So, as long as he and Bale are in, the rest of the characters are basically just icing on the cake.

On a related Nolan news, reported that the British director is auctioning off a visit to the highly-secret set of his thriller Inception. The aim is to help raise funds for the nonprofit Pablove Foundation, which supports pediatric cancer research and treatment. Here’s what the lucky winner would get:

You and your guest’s (2)-hour set visit will also include lunch with Christopher where you will be able to ask him questions about his career and work as a screenwriter and director, and get tips from one of the best in the business.

The set is located in Los Angeles and the location will be revealed to the auction winner only, The set visit will take place week of Oct 12, 2009. Exact date the week of Oct 12, 2009 is TBD. No other dates are available for this visit.

The bid on eBay was closed at about 5pm PDT, with 31 people bidding and the last bid price was $3, 650! WOW, that’s a hefty price indeed. Filmonic is betting that the winner is an obsessive Batman fan who will use his 2 hours to probe Nolan about the next Batman installment. I couldn’t agree more!


Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: (Untitled)

Its stark white poster thumbnail — not to mention the name — on Apple trailer page piqued my interest. It just screams ‘quirky’ before I even found out what it’s about. Sure enough, it’s even more oddball that I thought. Here’s the gist: In this smart, satirical comedy, a brooding avant-garde composer falls for the gorgeous owner of a trendy New York art gallery and the quirky worlds of contemporary art and music are set on a hilarious collision course

I must admit I’m not very familiar with Adam Goldberg’s work other than his stint in Friends and sporadically in various films. This role seems tailor-made for him though, as ‘quirky’ seems to be his middle name. Marley Shelton looks gorgeous here and seems to be having much more fun than in the now-canceled CBS show Eleventh Hour, despite having to work with hunky Rufus Sewell every day! Vinnie Jones is in this one, too, the other guy besides Jason Statham in most of Guy Ritchie flicks. He looks hilarious as the eccentric artist whose creations are on the bizarrely morbid side.

This one might be too out there for my taste but the trailer made me laugh out loud, especially the bits at the concert with the can … err bucket kicking absurdity. It’s intriguing enough to check out when the DVD arrives.

For you indie lovers whose taste err on the fringe side, (Untitled) is released in theaters on October 23rd.

It’s raining Bateman – Jason B is EVERYWHERE!

It’s been quite a lovely & warm September but today’s rainy weather with high only in the mid 50s definitely signals the end of Summer. Yup, tank-top weather is done, over, finito. Well at least there’s the beautiful foliage to look forward to, and then the brrrrrrr months will be here for the next five months!

Funnyman Jason B
Funnyman Jason B

What does the weather have anything to do with Jason Bateman? Well, nothing really, other than  it seems as if it’s been raining Bateman lately. You know the feeling when you suddenly notice an actor in just about everything you see or read? Well, as I read about movies a whole lot before actually seeing them, that’s how I feel about the former 80s child star. Not that it’s a bad thing. I’d certainly rather watch more of Bateman than say, Seth Rogen.

Just this year alone, he has done no less than FIVE movies: State of Play, Extract, Up in the Air, The Invention of Lying, and Couples Retreat. And this busy dude has already got three flicks in the works for 2010: Arrested Development movie, The Baster (with Jennifer Aniston, ugh!) and the recently announced Hancock sequel.

I’ve only seen one episode of Arrested Development, so I’m curious to see it as a feature film. Now, I’m not thrilled about the last two projects, I mean seriously, how many mediocre rom-coms can miss Aniston stomach? I for one cannot fathom how she managed to snatch some fetching leading men (Aaron Eckhart in Love Happens, and my fave Scot Gerry Butler in next year’s The Bounty) whilst simply extending her ‘Rachel Green’ persona in one pedestrian flick after another. As for Hancock, I can’t be bothered to see it given the unanimously abysmal reviews, but some have said Bateman’s probably the best thing in that flick (that’s saying a lot given the leading man is Will Smith!).

It’s been a long steady climb to stardom for Bateman, but after a series of small roles in TV and movies, he’s finally hit it big. He has Mitch Hurwitz — creator of Arrested Development — to thank for as that show was pretty much the key to his big break. This is what he told USA Today:

“Obviously, I couldn’t be more grateful. This is all I know how to do. If Arrested Development didn’t come along, I don’t know what I would be doing.”

I’m happy for him. Bateman is the kind of actor whose presence is always welcome in my book. He’s so darn likable — effortlessly so I might add — that he just lights up the screen no matter how small his role is. He is the comic relief even in serious flicks like The Kingdom and State of Play, even playing a slimeball in the latter, you still can’t help but like the guy. M. Carter astutely summed out his ‘nice guy’ quality in her Extract review: “At the center of all this is Bateman, who couldn’t play mean if his life depended on it. Too vulnerable and empathetic, that one. He’s so earnest a guy it’s impossible not to like him…” She elaborated a bit more in her comments section: “I’m not sure it’s possible to DISLIKE Jason Bateman — I mean, he has that kind of well-meaning Everyman quality that’s endearing. But I’d love to see him do something totally out of character, like play a villain or a murderer in something. It might not be believable, but I’m eager to see if he has range…”

Now, I like Bateman’s work but I agree wholeheartedly with her assessment. I think in a way perhaps he’s a bit like Aniston (gasp! I know, I know, how dare I?) in that even in a variety of roles, the essence of the characters he plays is pretty much the same. With that said, I respect him for his ability to select good quality projects to be in — which is something I cannot say about Jen, despite owning her own production company.

Thus, I haven’t given up hope that one day Bateman will surprise us with a killer role (literally or otherwise), but until then, I’m looking forward to see him in The Invention of Lying (Ricky Gervais is one shrewdly hilarious Brit, but I hope this will be better than Ghost Town); and even more so, the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost wacky sci-fi comedy Paul in which Bateman plays a special agent. I read about this last month, the story centers on two British comic-book geeks who are traveling across the U.S. and encounter an alien outside of Area 51. The real-life buddies Pegg and Frost co-wrote the script in their fourth collaboration on screen, in roles that are definitely tailor-made for them. As a fan of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, I’ll be adding this one to my Most Anticipated Flicks of 2010 list!

In any case, Mr. Bateman is definitely on a roll now and he wishes to stay there. As he told USA Today, he hopes for the type of career longevity enjoyed by Gene Hackman and Bill Murray. “This is a tough town to live in if you’re not relevant. I’m not making my decisions based on the fear of that. But there’s a reason people have a long career. And it’s because they’re doing respectful work. I really want to be in that group,” he said in the interview.

With such a good head on his shoulders, he should be able to manage that.

Christian Bale – skinny again for “The Fighter”

Bale as Dick Englund
Bale as Dick Eklund (left) in “The Fighter”

Damon got fat, whilst Bale got skinny (again!). I was reading a couple of articles where Matt Damon told reporters how fun it was for him to gain 30 pounds to play Mark Whitaker, the corporate VP whistle blower in The Informant!. He basically stopped going to the gym and ate everything in sight. Christian Bale on the other hand, looks scrawny again for his role in The Fighter, though not as scarily skeletal as he did for The Machinist when he lost a third of his body weight. I don’t even want to know what his regimen must be like, that kind of intense weight yo-yo-ing can’t be good for his body. The last time he lost a massive amount of weight was in Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn in 2006.

The Fighter is a boxing drama directed by David O. Russell (watch the trailer), a project he inherited from Darren Aronofsky (perhaps he just didn’t want to do another violent contact sport right after The Wrestler?). Mark Wahlberg plays the boxer “Irish” Micky Ward and Bale plays his half-brother Dicky Eklund, Ward’s sometime trainer and small-time criminal. Eklund was featured in the 1995 documentary High on Crack Street and has battled drug addiction for years, hence Bale’s crackhead, balding look. A method actor that Bale is, he apparently refused to be seen whilst he isn’t filming. According to azcentral site, Bale bewildered his costars — which also include Melissa Leo and Amy Adams — by going missing constantly from the set. A source told ‘E!’: “You only see him when it’s time for his scenes. Other than that, no one has any idea where he is. He just goes missing.” I like Bale, but boy is he one eccentric actor.

But before you think this guy can’t have any fun, I stumbled upon this pic whilst perusing Bale’s forum on IMDB:

Bale at Pirates Day B'day Party
Bale with the Pirates For Hire at a friend’s b’day Party on Sept. 19

Apparently he was at a friend’s daughter’s birthday party in California where they hired Pirates for Hire to perform. Someone posted this excerpt on ‘Where’s Christian Bale?’ thread from someone’s blog who happened to be at the event. It’s a pretty cute story:

“… one of his pirate friends said to Christian (not realizing it was really Christian Bale standing there– and all being actors who make their living acting like other celebrities and such) “Omg! You could totally make a living playing Christian Bale for parties.” Christian smiled and said “thanks,” and walked away. They then kind of realized that it was in fact Christian and there was some debate since Ted (who I spoke with) said he was a bit surprised by Christian’s size. He said he was pretty thin and his hair is buzzed so he ‘didn’t look like Batman’. LOL! Once he heard his voice though he knew it was him.

Bale also got a kick out of a little-known fact that one of the ‘pirates’ knew about him:

So they are there doing the party, and he said the backyard where they all were having the party (which also had a huge pirate ship for the kids to play on, and face painting and such) was two levels, one higher up than the other, and he was watching Christian walk by to go to the other level. He said his one friend (who was playing a pirate as well) told him that Christian Bale played Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island (I had to look that one up. It’s a TV movie starring Charlton Heston. Wow, I had no idea!). So as Christian is walking close to them, one of them calls out “Well if it isn’t the young Jim Hawkins all grown up now!!!” and the other chimes in “Aww, no, he is nothing but a scallywag now!” (basically just ribbing him as pirates) and he said Christian turned around totally amused and stunned, cracking up laughing and said “You guys are incredible!!” He then walked over to them and kept laughing, saying “NO ONE would’ve known that!” (And was cracking up that they called him out for his role in Treasure Island) They just said “we’re pirates! And we’re fans!” He said it was then that Christian said “can I get a picture with you guys?” and whipped out his own camera. They responded “Can we get a picture with you??”

Nice to see Bale smiling and goofing off for a change.

Happy Monday, folks, I thought we all could use a bit of fun!

Law Abiding Citizen’s 4th Clip – Biblical

Ok yeah, that line will get spoofed on a lot. It’s kind of like Butler ‘THIS IS SPARTA!!’ line from 300.

GB’s channelling Kevin Spacey’s John Doe role in Se7en here, and longtime GB fans know he’s got that darkness/danger edge to him beneath his jovial nature. He even said so himself according to LA Times blog: “This is the Hannibal Lecter role. It’s Kevin Spacey in ‘Se7en,’ “

I follow LAC’s director F. Gary Gray on Twitter and lots of people who got lucky enough to see the screening in L.A. and NY tweeted their responses and they all seem to like it. One called it a ‘roller coaster of a movie,’ and another even gushed that it was a spectacular movie. I’m just hoping it’d live up to the trailer and GB has a substantial movie in his hands after a couple of recent duds.

No BSG movie for Bryan Singer … for now at least

BSGlogoThanks to my buddy Vince, a.k.a Rockerdad who lent me the miniseries DVD, my hubby and I were hooked on Battlestar Galactica almost instantly. That’s why when I heard Bryan Singer were interested to adapt this to the big screen, I got really excited. It was short-lived as I soon found out he wasn’t thinking about the Ron Moore’s contemporary version, instead his vision was to do a sequel to the original 70s version. According to, he actually was already working on the BSG remake project prior to the 9/11 attack. However, given the plot about the Cylon surprise attack on Caprica, the studio got very nervous about it and the whole thing fell through.

Meh, I’ve only seen the original 70s version for about 10 minutes and no offense, but I doubt I’d ever get hooked on that show. Ron Moore and David Eick’s version was so compelling and well-written with an excellent cast. Good enough to even win the prestigious Peabody award for excellence in broadcasting.

To those who aren’t well-versed in this sci-fi series, basically both the 70s version and the later one is the same: Set in a distant galaxy where humans create a cybernetic race, basically intelligent robots, called Cylons. The Cylons ended up revolting against humanity, destroying all of human race civilization except for a small fleet of ships on the run and lead by the humanity’s last warship, the Battlestar Galactica. Hunted and pursued by the Cylons, they fight their way through space looking for safety and a new home.

The Cast of Ron Moore's BSG Series
The Cast of Ron Moore's BSG Series

It’s a riveting sci-fi drama that’s well worth adapting into the big screen. The thing is, the cast is a huge part of why I love the contemporary BSG. Without Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, and the rest of the superb cast, I’m not sure I’m as keen to watch it.

Now, I like Bryan Singer. He set the bar high with The Usual Suspect, and his follow-up Apt Pupil, a creepy Nazi-themed thriller, was quite masterful. I respect him even more when he pretty much launched the trend of comic book movies with the excellent X-Men and X-2. But after he kind of botched the Superman franchise with Superman Returns and Valkyrie wasn’t a box-office hit, I’m not sure where his reputation stands right now.

But BSG fans can rest easy for now. According to heatvision blog, the director is already on to another project, some fantasy adventure called Jack the Giant Killer. This is a good thing in my book. The power that be ought to just spend some time figuring out what vision of the sci-fi series they want to go with, and find a decent writer(s) to create a feature film that’s worth-seeing. Whether or not Singer will still be involved in the project, I wonder whether he’s got the chops to do to BSG what J.J. Abrams did with the critically-lauded Star Trek?

BSG fans, what do you think about the whole remake idea? Do you think Singer is the man to do it?

FlixChatter’s picks of buzz-worthy TIFF movies

The Toronto Film Festival wrapped this past weekend. The last 10 days, 250+ feature films from 60 countries had been screened there, making it a bustling marketplace for films and bidding war for studios has officially begun.

Various sites and blogs have been covering the festival from day one, blog about the most buzzed-about movies at TIFF. Cinemablend’s posted Toronto’s 5 Most Talked About Movies; Canadian’s news site has put their annual Chasing the Buzz poll selected by a panelist of cinephiles (which tally the votes of 56 most-anticipated flicks from the festival); indiewire listed their picks of ‘winners, losers and the Oscar worthy;’ and my personal favorite festival source The Playlist blog have all kinds of news and reviews of noteworthy TIFF movies. According to CBC news, the winner of TIFF’s People Choice Award this year is Precious, which my friend Jeannette tipped me off a couple of weeks ago (thanks J!). It’s an urban coming-of-age tale of a teen girl who tries to overcome abuse, illiteracy and teen pregnancy. Starring comedian Mo’Nique, one of the executive producers is Oprah, who got on board upon hearing its buzz at Sundance the beginning of the year. All of this reminds me I have to rent last year’s winner at TIFF, Slumdog Millionaire (yes, I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t seen that one).

In any case, out of all the buzzed-about flicks, there are probably only a handful of them I wouldn’t mind seeing. A bunch of them that got rave reviews are either too bizarre or controversial for my taste.

So here goes:

Clooney in Up in the Air
Clooney in Up in the Air
  • Up in the Air
    George Clooney stars as a downsizing expert in a dramedy by Juno director Jason Reitman. I’m no Clooney fan by a long shot, but I’m intrigued by the plot that seems very timely with all the jobs lost in the airline industry. The supporting cast are made up of real comic talents: Danny McBride, J.K. Simmons, and Jason Bateman (wow, he’s one busy dude!), and an up ‘n coming actress who drew rave reviews, Anna Kendrick.
  • Bright Star
    The life story of poet John Keats fascinates me, and I’m a sucker for unrequited love stories. The trailer looks great – Ben Wishaw & Abbie Cornish seem to have great chemistry. The Playlist calls it “… an exquisite piece of cinema, gorgeously sewn and lovingly realized...” From the director of The Piano, Jane Campion, I’m just glad there won’t be a naked Harvey Keitel in this one [shudders].
  • Leaves of Grass
    I’ve been anticipating this one since July, where Ed Norton plays identical twins: one’s an ivy league professor, the other a crooked pot dealer (is there any other kind?). The Playlist was surprised that this is more than a hilarious pot comedy: “…pot comedy, family identity drama, anti-semitism commentary, violent drug thriller and intolerance parable with deep philosophical themes...” Whoaa… I didn’t expect that, either. Leave it to Norton to flabbergast and leave us dumbfounded, wouldn’t expect anything less since I first saw him in Primal Fear.
  • The Joneses
    I’ve been a longtime fan of David Duchovny, and it’s been a while since I saw Demi Moore in a feature film. Another timely premise about all-American consumerism run amok, it looks funny yet thought provoking. Duchovny is excellent in a satire with his witty and deadpan humor. This role of husband/father in a seemingly perfect and too-good-to-be-true suburban family seems to fit him perfectly. The Hollywood Reporter had mostly great things to say about the movie, which is a debut of first-time writer/director Derrick Borte.
Collin Farrell in Ondine
Collin Farrell & Alicja Bachleda in Ondine
  • Ondine
    Now, this one took me by surprise as I haven’t heard about it until I read the buzz surrounding TIFF, but it’s one that definitely piqued my interest. The Playlist calls it a “… romantic and wondrous fairytale … about an Irish fisherman (Colin Farrell) whose life is transformed when a gorgeous female sea nymph is caught in his fishing net (Alicja Bachleda)”  Shot in Ireland during the Hollywood’s writers’ strike, the Neil Jordan’s film looks lush and ethereal and well, dreamy. I recently read that Farrell fell in love with polish actress Bachelda during filming, so we can probably expect a genuine chemistry between the two.
  • The man who stare at goats
    Another Clooney movie, whaddayaknow? Hmmm, I must be warming up to him which is so unlike me… but I can’t help it after I saw the trailer. Ewan McGregor — another Scot who fails miserably attempting an American accent — plays the reporter who encounters an enigmatic Special Forces operator (Clooney). The scene of them in the desert pretty much sold me on this one, not to mention the goat-staring one. Everybody looks hilarious in this black comedy that’s interestingly enough is based on a true story! A hilarious exploration of the government’s attempts to harness paranormal abilities to combat its enemies, that’s the premise of the Jon Ronson’s best seller that inspired it. Jeff Bridges, reprising The Big Lebowski‘s dude again as psychic program founder, as well as Kevin Spacey round up the excellent cast.
  • Young Victoria
    Another costume drama based on a true story, this time with my fave actress Emily Blunt as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. The Playlist pretty much credited her and Rupert Friend — who plays Prince Albert — for carrying the movie on their shoulders, “They’re dynamite together, displaying a rare chemistry – they carry the movie on their shoulders, and you can’t fail to be moved by the strength of the relationship that the actors develop.” The trailer looks awesome — with beautiful costumes & stunning scenery — but I’ve heard that music before. Why is it that they keep using similar scores for different movies? Kind of like when Gladiator came out, almost every action films that followed use that same type of ethereal-sounding score! Sorry I digress. I’m definitely going to see this one. Instead of forbidden or tragic love story, it’s nice to see the start of an enduring and happy marriage portrayed on screen.

There are probably a few others that I’m forgetting about tonight. I’ll post ’em later as I remember them. Boy, too many flicks, too little time!

Brand new Law Abiding Citizen clip – Get Down

Thanks to director F. Gary Gray for the info via Twitter.

To those who haven’t heard about LAC — sheesh, where have you been? =) — here’s the gist: An everyday guy (Clyde) decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets his family’s killers free. His target: The district attorney (Nick) who orchestrated the deal. Jamie Foxx is Nick and Gerard Butler plays Clyde. Wow, looks like the DA will soon learn a very important lesson: be careful who you’re messing with.

See the Confession clip I posted last week. The movie comes out October 16. Can’t wait!

Pondering the latest remakes of the Brontë sisters’ novels

I recently saw the trailer for Bright Star (see trailer below), which is about the poet John Keats and his love and poetic inspiration Fanny Brawne. It looks pretty good, especially the fact that it’s based on a true story. Being a fan of period pieces — with Ang Lee’s Sense & Sensibility being my utmost favorite — I might check that one out. Hopefully it’s better than the rather underwhelming Becoming Jane (which I had hoped to like better than I did). I’m not familiar with Ben Whishaw’s work other than seeing him in the creepy Perfume trailer, but Abbie Cornish was good in Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

Dalton as Bronte Sisters' Heroes
Timothy Dalton as Bronte Sisters' Heroes

Now, seeing that trailer made me ponder about the developments of the Brontë sisters works — yup, you guessed it: Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights — which have been done many times over! Just by searching in IMDB, there are 20 and 15 TV and film adaptations respectively, and I don’t think they’re done with either anytime soon. My favorite version of the Jane Eyre adaptation pretty much depends on who plays the role of Rochester. Well I’m a girl, so naturally! It’s no coincidence that it’s played by the most underrated thespian on the planet: Timothy Dalton, who also happens to play another Brontë’s literary hero Heathcliff in 1970.

Let’s talk about Wuthering Heights first. Published in 1847, Emily Brontë’s novel is a tempestuous and tragic love story across social classes between Heathcliff and Catherine. It’s a dark, brutal and eerie tale of unrequited, unbridled love that shall remain timeless. I haven’t seen the Ralph Fiennes version with Juliette Binoche as Cathy, but based on the 1970 version, Dalton was excellent as the brooding, ferocious yet bewitching protagonist. So when I heard they’ve picked Ed Westwick for the 2010 adaptation, let’s just say I’m not at all keen on it. I mean, come on, that teenybopper from Gossip Girl? So he’s got dark hair and a Brit, but among the lineup of Fiennes, Dalton, Laurence Olivier, Ian McShane, just where does Westwick fit in?? Unless this is a WB TV version perhaps? [scratching head]

Although Heathcliff is generally typecast as a romantic hero, his brutality and madness actually makes him quite an unsympathetic anti-hero. It’s a rare and complex persona that requires a certain actor with substantial talent and charisma to pull it off believably. Heath Ledger, who reportedly is named after that legendary character, would be perfect in this role. Other more spot-on contenders would be Henry Cavill (The Tudors), James McAvoy (Atonement), Rupert Friend (Cheri), those are just on the top of my head. Oh, I could see Lee Pace (The Fall) in this role, too, he’s got a strong presence on screen and fellow movie blogger Meredith would agree he’s got dramatic acting chops in spades. Gemma Arterton (agent Strawberry Fields in Bond’s Quantum of Solace) seems an ok choice as the equally troubled Kathy, although I’ll be tired of seeing her as she’s going to be so many films next year (Clash of the Titans, Prince of Persia). Casting aside, I’m curious to see how loyal this version would be to the novel (this UK site has a pretty comprehensive list of WH adaptations and how they fare). It’s far more than just two young people falling in love. The dark, gothic theme of the book is filled with grim and unpleasant characters that’s tricky to translate to screen.  My gut tells me with Westwick on tap, they’ll probably sugarcoat this intricate story to appeal to the junior masses.

Now, as for Jane Eyre, the equally enduring novel by Charlotte Brontë, the heroine is a lowly governess who falls in love with her much older boss, Edward Rochester. She’s the “poor, obscure, plain and little” girl who tantalize Rochester, but remains stern despite her strong feelings for him. I love the scene where Dalton’s Rochester held the petite Jane (played by Zelah Clarke) in his arms when she threatened to leave him, and he said, “how could something so small be so indomitable?” There are so many heart-wrenching scenes in that BBC miniseries, but I wish the production (especially the lighting and Jane’s costume) and pacing were a bit more appealing.

Juno actress Ellen Page — who’s Canadian — has been signed on to play Jane, which irked the British film industry that such a famous British role went to someone from across the Atlantic. I’m still on the fence on that myself. Although she looks the part, I don’t know if she’d be my first choice. Nevertheless, I think she’s a good actress so I hope she’ll surprise me. They have yet to find the actor to play Rochester though, which I’d be anxious to see who ends up scoring such a classic character. Like I mention above, Dalton forever defined the role for me. I know I’m going to draw a lot of flak from a plethora of his fans, but BBC 2006 version’s Toby Stephens just didn’t come close to Dalton’s mesmerizing portrayal. He wasn’t a bad choice, but Dalton set such a high standard that I have yet to see anyone else top him. Even Dalton himself said Rochester was the highlight of his career, and I agree. The IMDB reviewer of the miniseries said it all:

Rochester is, famously, not handsome; Jane and Rochester are literature’s famous ugly couple. And Timothy Dalton is nothing if not stunningly handsome. But Dalton gives a mesmerizing performance as Rochester. He just blew me away. I’ve never seen anything like his utter devotion to the role, the text, the dialogue, and Rochester’s love for Jane. Dalton brings the page’s Rochester to quivering life on screen.

Rochester’s imperiousness, his humor, his rage, his vulnerability: Dalton conveys all, sometimes seconds apart. It’s stunning.

The casting director in me has been dreamily jotting down which actors have the potential to fill such big shoes of playing Rochester. If we’re to be loyal to Bronte’s book, he’d shouldn’t be someone classically good looking. But that shouldn’t be a barrier either, as personifying Rochester ought to go beyond the physical form. Just like Dalton, who despite his stunning good looks, was astutely able to capture the inner turmoil and essence of the hero’s byronic nature. Byronic is essentially possessing a forlorn, temperamental, melancholic characteristic with a great disdain and regret over his dark past. With that in mind, here are my top picks:

  1. Richard Armitage – I mention Richard a lot on my blog and for good reason: he’s perplexingly underused! If you’ve seen him in North & South, you know he’d be perfect as Rochester. He can do forlorn and brooding on cue. Add a touch of madness and voila!
  2. Rufus Sewell – Rufus is known to play charming bad boys so this role would fit him like a glove! Imagine watching those lovely, dreamy eyes glancing at miss Eyre with secret longings despite his devil-may-care exterior.
  3. Dougray Scott – This underrated Scot has proven his range, he’s played a villain in MI2, a prince in Ever After and WW II code breaker in Enigma. He’s somehow got a permanent gloom in his eyes even when he smiles, which would suit Rochester byronic nature nicely IMO.
  4. Joseph Fiennes – The darker looking of the Fiennes brothers, Joseph is the less well-known of the two, but no less talented. Convincing as English literature greatest figure in Shakespeare in Love and a prolific stage actor, I’d think this talented actor would do the Rochester role justice.
  5. James Caviezel – Best known in his role as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, I first noticed this Washington state native in the costume drama The Count of Monte Christo. He’s got that melancholic look about him, yet he’s played a villain convincingly (Deja Vu). If he could nail the British accent down, I’d love to see him in the role.

Now, I’m purposely going with somewhat obscure (to most moviegoers anyway) actors here, but these more well-known thespians could be great in this role as well:

  • Daniel Day-Lewis – Duh! Is there any role this guy can’t do? He might be a bit too old though at 52, as Rochester is supposed to be in his late 30s.
  • Gerard Butler – He’s played dark, tortured soul believably as Phantom, so no doubt he could do Rochester just as well and be so darn sexy to boot!
  • Johnny Depp – No stranger to costume drama, Johnny will bring a quirkier version of the Thornfield Hall master. Not only can he get the accent down, we know there’s that tortured-soul quality about him that’s wildly captivating.
  • Clive Owen – The tall + dark Brit naturally looks moody and brooding, and with an Oscar for one of his dramatically brutal performance in Closer, we know he can tackle this role.
  • Gary Oldman – He might bring out the more sinister side of Rochester. Just like Day-Lewis, Oldman can pretty much believably play any role, but at 51, he might also be a bit too old.
  • Hugh Jackman – The last romantic period piece he did in Kate & Leopold was absolutely swoon-worthy, despite the lame plot. He would be the first Aussie to play Rochester, and those tight-fitting Victorian costume would fit him oh so well!

So what do you think, folks? Do you find any of these actors worthy of playing Rochester?


THIS JUST IN: Law Abiding Citizen Clip – Confessions

F. Gary Gray just said via Twitter that he’s going to the very first screening of his new thriller tonight. Regina Hall, Bruce Mc Gill, & Gerard Butler will be there. “Tonight’s the very first screening of “Law Abiding Citizen”. It’s finally finished & I feel really really good,” he tweeted.

The film is also set to kick off Urbanworld Film Festival next Wednesday, Sept. 23 in New York. I’m curiously waiting the early reviews of the movie. In the meantime, check out the exclusive clip courtesy of MovieWeb.

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