Frank Darabont, who claims he’ll die before he gives up on dream project Fahrenheit 451, has said he’s “out to an actor” for the role.
But if he’s really after the cash he needs to get the Ray Bradbury adaptation on Hollywood’s front burner, we’d suggest one of these actors…
Hot Choice: Thanks to Twilight, he’s got a built-in, screaming, adoring and generally worshipping audience who are currently following him around New York even though he’s shooting another movie and not a vampire sequel.
And though Twilight means he’s got a certain amount of clout these days, he’s still not as pricey as some bigger stars.
Which means the producers can spend more of the budget on effects (and hair products to keep the thesp in perfect, tousled, tweenage-girl-faint-causing condition) and get a proven moneymaker in the lead. Ka-ching!
Cold Comfort: Of course, you can’t just assume that Pattinson’s crowd will follow him into the cinema for a dark, dystopian look at a world gone horribly totalitarian, a world where books are burned because they’re considered dangerous.
And chances are his audience aren’t rushing into a film that will likely make them think about issues and stuff.
Maybe the filmmakers could hire Kristen Stewart as lead character Montag’s disaffected wife, Linda, and they could sell it as the reunion movie between vamp outings…
Next: Megan Fox
Hot Choice: She’s not only in the biggest movie of the moment (albeit not very much), but she’s also one of the biggest names in Hollywood right now.
She’d be sure to generate interest, especially if Darabont’s willing to shift the main character to a female “fireman”, while maintaining the plot about the character who bucks the system before running off with rebels.
Promise the fan boys a couple of run-ins with gushing hoses and a little artfully shot, moistened skin and they’re in. Plus, it’s sci-fi and Megan Fox + sci-fi is big right now.
Cold Comfort: But there’s a problem. Not only will Fahrenheit purists baulk at the changes and the casting, but she’s really not proven with the sort of deep dramatic material that fuels Fahrenheit’s futuristic fire.
True, she’s done comedy and she’s about to tackle horror with Jennifer’s Body, but when your main acting experience is looking at nothing and imagining a giant robot, we’re not sure you’re qualified to channel Ray Bradbury’s words.
And she’s likely getting ever pricier, especially now Revenge Of The Fallen is a big hit…
Next: Christian Bale
Hot Choice: Did somebody say “intense, moody, driven”? That he can do. In spades. In fact, Bale’s usual – these days – scowly performance fits perfectly with the Montag character at the centre of the story.
Bale already has experience taking on cherished characters with the likes of Batman and John Connor, so tackling another shouldn’t really worry him.
And we’re pretty sure he’d agree to drop his fee to work with Darabont, so the production team could squeeze more bang for their buck.
Cold Comfort: Sadly, there’s also more to Montag than just being moody and brooding.
And while Bale could likely stare down the futuristic robo-dog that hunts his character (assuming they’ve left that intact from the book), we’re not 100% certain he can convey all of Montag’s emotions, particularly the joy he feels when he’s finally free to live life with literature.
And no, shouting, “Oh, goood!” doesn’t count. He couldn’t convince us he was in love with Bryce Dallas Howard, we’re not sure he’d be right for this.
Maybe they should try Sam Worthington instead. Hang on, that’s not a bad idea…
Next: Sam Worthington
Hot Choice: If there was one actor who emerged unscathed from the many critical maulings Terminator Salvation received, it was the largely unknown Aussie.
He got the lion’s share of the story and he carried it off well, showing a range of emotions.
Thanks to the robo-pic, he’s now a name actor, but not yet in the stratosphere, and like Bale would probably drop his fee to work on some good material. He’d be perfect, surely?
Cold Comfort: Is he enough of a name to command the sort of cash Darabont will be after to make his dream a reality?
Well, after Avatar, maybe. But the truth is, that one, even more than Terminator, will be sold on its creator’s name and the wow-factor of its look than the leading man.
He could be the one that Darabont is asking to help with the movie – but we’d have to doubt it at this point.
Could he do the role? Most definitely. Would he be considered enough of a draw? Tougher to say…
Next: Hugh Jackman
Hot Choice: He’s got star quality in bucket loads. He can help genre projects make dosh, even when they’re not exactly brilliant (Wolverine, anyone?)
So imagine what he could do with Fahrenheit 451. He’s got genre cred, a face people outside the sci-fi fan base recognise, he’s proved that he’s a decent actor and he’s used to working with effects.
Cold Comfort: Yet is his name too big, his face too recognisable? Unlike most of the people on this list, he’s not exactly cheap. And no one would consider him an unknown, unlike his breakout role in X-Men.
The producers might start to worry that audiences wouldn’t buy him as Montag, but we’d still give him a shot.
Next: Tom Hanks
Hot Choice: He’s actually been Darabont’s top choice for years. Consider it – they’ve worked together before (on The Green Mile), Hanks has a more than proven track record and there isn’t a studio executive alive who wouldn’t greenlight a movie with him in the lead.
He’s charming, but has shown other sides to himself. And Montag would be among his most challenging roles, offering him the chance to really show some range again.
Cold Comfort: Sadly, while Darabont has been trying to work something out with him for ages, Hanks just doesn’t seem to be biting.
He must’ve read more than one draft of the script by now and if he isn’t committed, there’s surely a reason. Hanks is a canny businessman/ producer and something is holding him back from agreeing to make the movie.
Could it be a problem with the director’s recent work? Or even something as simple as timing issues? After all, Hanks is in high demand.
Finally, there’s the money. Would he ditch his hefty (albeit well-earned) fee to work with his old Green Mile mucker? Maybe…
Next: Stephen Moyer
Hot Choice: He’s the budget option, currently to be found playing vampire Bill Compton on vampire TV show True Blood.
With his relatively affordable face leading the cast, the budget would, like some of the other cheaper options on the list, allow the filmmakers to go all out on other parts of the film.
Plus True Blood has become very popular, with near Sopranos-level viewer loyalty and Moyer could translate some of that fandom to awareness for the movie.
Cold Comfort: But is he too unknown? The British thesp has mostly worked on TV and nervy movie producers would likely be unwilling to gamble what is likely to be an expensive proposition (one that also tackles weighty themes and is entirely devoid of giant machines punching each other) on an untested thesp.
Still, stranger things have happened – and even more unknown thesps have been rocketed to stardom through just such a project…
We think Darabont will go for someone a little more famous. But to be honest, we just want to see him finally get to make the movie.
Like This? Then try...
- 5 Films That Could Now Win An Oscar
- 7 Directors Who Should Revisit Their First Movie
- 7 Books That Could Be The Next Twilight
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter for the latest news, features and reviews delivered straight to your inbox.