Oh, this is fabulous news! I’ve been keeping an eye on this project for some time now. In my previous post about Brontë’s sisters’ literary adaptation, when Ellen Page was reportedly still attached, they were still searching for the actor to play Rochester. Then miss Page left, but The Playlist reported that a rising auteur Cary Fukunaga — who won Sundance’s directing nod for his immigration-themed film Sin Nombre — is interested to direct. Well, now it looks like this project is back on the table and I must say I’m really pleased with the casting — this almost (though not entirely) makes up for my disappointment in the Wuthering Heights‘ Heathcliff casting of Gossip Girl‘s Ed Westwick, ugh!
According to Variety, Michael Fassbender, one of my picks for Top Ten Notable Foreign Actors, is in talks to play Rochester. He’d be joining Mia Wasikowska, who beat out several actresses to star in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and had a small role in last year’s war drama Defiance. Interestingly enough, the 20-year-old Aussie actress was one of Variety‘s Annual Top Ten Actors to Watch list. I have yet to see her work though, but physically she seems right to play the ‘plain jane’ heroine. I mean she’s pretty but not jaw-dropping-ly stunning.
As for Rochester, I had my own picks a couple of months ago, pondering who would fit this criteria:
If we’re to be loyal to Brontë’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. Byronic is essentially possessing a forlorn, temperamental, melancholic characteristic with a great disdain and regret over his dark past.
Alas, Fassbender wasn’t on my list, but I imagine he’s got the acting chops and range to pull off this role, even if he’s just a tad too young — not to mention handsome to boot — at 32 (Rochester is supposed to be about 20 years older than the 18-year-old Jane). His star is definitely on the rise, and for good reason. The German/Irish actor garnered rave reviews in Hunger, Fish Tank and Inglorious Basterds, and was recently cast in A Single Shot, a thriller with Forest Whitaker, William H. Macy and Thomas Haden Church.
The project is slated for release in 2011. Can’t wait to see how the stack up against a plethora of other adaptations of this classic story. What say you, folks? If you’re a Brontë fan, are you happy with the casting?