Thursday, 10 June 2010

Robert Rodriguez's 'Fire & Ice' - a spot of fan-casting!


So it was recently announced that Robert Rodriguez has a live action remake of Fire and Ice in development. This prompted me to do two things; first, to pray to the movie gods that this means Rodriguez is actually getting behind the camera solo again, rather than giving all the best gigs to his proteges (I'd be way more excited about Predators if he were directing); and second, to actually make a point of seeing Fire and Ice. It's a movie I've long since heard about, but somehow had never gotten around to seeing until now. Having now rectified the situation, I think it rocks. No, it's not the most original or intelligent bit of fantasy adventure ever made, but the characters, the landscapes, the animation style ('rotoscoping,' I believe they call it) is all so very evocative. It's the stuff of every thirteen year old boy's dreams. And damned if we can't see echoes of it in Avatar.

I'm not sure when I first became aware of the late Frank Frazetta; most likely when following the agonising development of the John Carter of Mars movie, which of course Rodriguez was set to direct for Paramount before he quit the DGA. Could helming this movie be his way of making up for missing out on John Carter? After all, he'd gone so far as to seek the services of Frazetta himself as, I believe, production designer. I think we can expect Rodriguez's Fire and Ice (again, assuming he's directing which I don't think he has categorically stated yet) to be every bit as slavish and heartfelt a recreation of Frazetta's vision as Sin City was of Frank Miller's. Hell, if Frazetta was still with us I wouldn't be surprised to see him roped in as co-director too. 

How long it will be before we actually see the damn movie is another matter. Rodriguez seems to perpetually be talking three or four movies in advance, and has a good few others on the go; I'm sure a lot of us are getting a bit restless waiting for Sin City 2. But what the hell, a bit of harmless speculation never hurt anyone, did it? So I've been pondering just who might be right for the live action counterparts of the cartoon characters Bakshi and Frazetta brought to the screen back in 1983. Here, for your entertainment, are my casting choices. (And, lest anyone misinterprets any of the following as actual casting scoops, may I emphasise this is 100% unofficial fanboy daydreaming, based on nothing but my own opinions of who I think would be right for the part.)

 Larn

The boyish, blonde, muscular hero of the piece; tough, noble and skilled, but still quite young and inexperienced. The part could most likely open to any of the innumerable young blonde men who were in line for Captain America before Chris Evans beat them all to it, but the guy I really picture in the role is:

 Charlie Hunnam

He's the right age and physicality, and most importantly his work on Sons of Anarchy demonstrates he's good at being tough. That he remains largely unknown in movies is no bad thing; this could be a part that makes a star, rather than a part that needs a star. And Rodriguez is no stranger to giving TV stars their big break in movies - remember George Clooney in From Dusk Till Dawn?


Nekron

The big bad. With his wild hair, slender frame and slightly effeminate manner he's reminiscent of an albino Don Dokken, but he's a powerful and dangerous guy nonetheless. Dunno about you guys, but I'm thinking:


Michael Fassbender

Again, he's ideal physically, and he's at just the right stage in his career to start taking these kind of villain roles. (And before anyone asks, he was my pick for this part before the recent rumours linking him to Magneto in X-Men: First Class and/or the baddie in the Spider-Man reboot.) Not forgetting of course that he's worked with Rodriguez's BFF Tarantino.


Darkwolf

Now this guy's a different story. The ultimate bad-ass, shrouded in mystery, he's an old hand at kicking inhuman arse, and he's got a serious score to settle. This part calls for an established movie tough guy, but one who hasn't been in the limelight for a while. My pick?

Dolph Lundgren 

Having played He-Man, he's got a history in these kind of roles. While he's long established in the pantheon of 80's action heroes, he's also never been too big-headed to take supporting roles. And advance photos/footage from The Expendables suggests he's only become more bad-ass with age. I truly think he'd give the part some edge. And look at how Rodriguez casts guys like Mickey Rourke, Michael Biehn, Jeff Fahey, and now Steven Seagal - he's all about giving 80's guys their comebacks.

Juliana

Mother of Nekron, the woman pushing him to conquer the world; hints of Lady Macbeth, hints of incestuous desire. The power behind the throne, she might be regarded the true villain of the piece. I picture only one woman taking the role:



Adrienne Barbeau

She's got the age, the gravitas and the sex appeal, no two ways about it. Again, she's an 80's star who's never quite had the recognition or the major roles she deserves, and as Rodriguez has cited Escape From New York as the movie that inspired him to become a filmmaker, I have no doubt he'd jump at the chance to hire her.


King Jarol

The Lord of Fire Keep, he exudes the wisdom of age but - naturally - remains a tough motherfucker you wouldn't want to mess around with. My pick for the part:




Powers Boothe

He's the right age, he's got the right look, he's got that awesome gravelly voice, and of course he's worked with Rodriguez before in Sin City. What else need be said? He's your man.






Taro

Son of Jarol, brother of Teegra, the would-be hero of the piece; well-meaning, but lacking what it takes to be a true sword-swinging loincloth-filling bad-ass. Somehow I can see this part going to:

Jared Padalecki

To date, I don't particularly care for this guy as an actor. I'm not a fan of Supernatural and I pretty much hated Friday the 13th '09, his performance being a considerable factor in that. But the key problem I've had with him is he tries to play tough and never convinces. But for Taro, that wouldn't be an issue; like I said before, as much as his intentions are good, he's just not the bad motherfucker he would like to be. As such, Padalecki would fit the role just fine. And Rodriguez is not averse to casting the young and beautiful.



Roleil

Flame-haired lesbian witch. A small role, but a juicy one, with ample opportunity to vamp it up as hammily as possible. Who else could it be except for: 
 
 
 
 

Rose McGowan

Come on, this is a Rodriguez movie, we all know she's got to be in there somewhere. And hey, if she's not going to be Red Sonja anymore, she can at least get one sword & sorcery redhead role. And she'd do a great job. I've noticed it's become quite popular among fanboys to bash her name ever since Rodriguez's directorial career has been sidetracked by his failed attempts to get star vehicles for her off the ground (both the aforementioned Red Sonja and Barbarella), but I say to hell with that. She's a fine actress, she's classic movie star sexy, and she was great in Planet Terror, so I for one would love to see her in more movies. Even so, she's definitely not right for the one role left to fill on my imaginary casting sheet...




Teegra
 
Yes, I saved until last the one character whose casting - from my typical red-blooded heterosexual male perspective - is the most fun to ponder (note that it's the only piece of casting Harry Knowles came out and asked Rodriguez about). The sheltered princess of Fire Keep, longing for adventure but utterly unprepared once she's thrust headfirst into it, she radiates child-like innocence and good-heartedness, yet finds she's not incapable of standing up for herself when pushed. And, of course, she does all this whilst wearing the flimsiest, most transluscent bikini ever designed, serving to cover almost nothing of her luscious, voluptuous physique. I have no doubt this will be the most hotly contended role, with innumerable way-too-skinny pretty girls in line for the job. What can I say, for me only one name springs to mind:


Kelly Brook                         

Hormonally charged, immature fanboy casting? Yes - and what of it?! Let's not be coy, Teegra is a pure wet dream fantasy figure, and as a generation of Brits like myself will attest, so is Kelly Brook. A huge part of why Frazetta is so celebrated an artist is the way he painted women: not the taut, nigh-anorexic figures we sadly see so many of in recent times, but soft, curvaceous, well-endowed, not shying away from a little flab in the belly. But not only is Kelly Brook a perfect fit for the role physically (and not unaccustomed to wearing very little in front of the camera), but she's also a better actress than she's given credit for. She could totally pull off the deer-in-the-headlights quality that Teegra requires, and make future generations of young movie geeks long to come to her rescue. Which is, after all, what Fire and Ice is ultimately all about: fuelling the imaginations of the pubescent, and giving grown-ups a taste of that state of being once again. 

So there you have it. Mr Rodriguez, you better be taking notes. And I'd better get a kick-back.

So thanks for stopping by, San Diego: if you agree/disagree with any of my suggestions, please feel free to let me know, and if you've never seen it buy Fire and Ice (2-Disc Limited Edition) here.

And just because you can't have too many shots of Teegra:



Mmm, lusting after cartoons...

4 comments:

  1. Excellent casting choice!

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  2. I swear. Teegra's ass.

    Dat ass.

    It's literally perfect, and IMO her best feature. White woman with ass sheeeet....could get me a battle axe myself and get up in there.

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  3. Yes totally Kelly Brook, I'm an artist and Ive actually studied her trying to learn anatomy, and when I was looking at her, I was thinking, man she looks like a Frazetta girl. Her upper torso is so small, then she has this very curved hour glass figure and shapely chest. Totally she could easily do this, she could be in so many comicbook fantasy films. Keeley Hazell would be good too.

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  4. I have no idea how the hell I got here, but I am definitely gonna go get my old Fire And Ice from the dusty top shelves!

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