Earlier this week news broke that Fox was looking to remake Guys and Dolls with Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as their dream leads. Now while the article on Deadline infers (to me) that Tatum would be playing Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra in the movie, Nathan Lane in the 90’s revival) and JGL would be playing Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando in the movie, Peter Gallagher in the revival), I have to assume this is sloppy writing. I mean, look at the gif at the top of this post. If you are going by physical typing, CLEARLY Channing Tatum would be playing Sky and JGL would be playing Nathan. So that’s what I am going with for now.
I know this may surprise you, but I am a tad bit opinionated (I KNOW). So when this news broke, naturally I began screaming on Twitter about who else they should cast. Said screaming prompted my friend Chelsea to say “Why don’t you just write a blog post about it?’. So here goes…
I’m going to cover my thoughts on the 6 principle roles in Guys and Dolls: Nathan, Sky, Sarah Brown, Miss Adelaide, Nicely-Nicely Johnson, and Benny Southstreet. I’m also breaking my thoughts into three categories: “Yes, cast this famous person” (it should be noted that I am putting Tatum and JGL in this category as that is what the studio wants), “But also consider this alternative, perhaps less famous person” and “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD DO NOT CAST THIS PERSON” (for the four principles).
To the casting armchair we go!
Nathan Detroit: Manager of the “Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York”. Always on the run from the cops, he’s also always desperate for cash. Engaged to Miss Adelaide for 14 years and there is no wedding date in sight.
Please Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
JGL has proven his song and dance skills many times over between his appearance in this year’s Oscars, his stripping routine on SNL and his delightful song and dance number in 5oo Days of Summer. JGL also has just the right balance of charm and smarmy charisma that Nathan needs to have. Nathan is a shady guy and he’s a slick talker but he’s also incredibly charming. And JGL could pull off the pinstripe suit and fedora look with ease. Boom. Done.
But Also Consider: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Nathan Detroit is a perfect role for him. The Studio is totally right in their wishes.
Please Don’t Cast: Anyone From Glee #Sorry #NotSorry Gleeks.
Sky Masterson: Suave, handsome, wealthy dreamboat Gambler who has a reputation on betting on anything.
Please Cast: Channing Tatum
This is not my ideal choice, but this is who the studio wants. Tatum DEFINITELY has the looks for Sky and well…we know he has the dancing skills. But Sky sings a LOT, including perhaps the most famous song in the show “Luck Be a Lady”. Does he have the vocal chops to do it? Since when has that mattered to Hollywood?
But Also Consider: Aaron Tveit
His profile is rising after a great performance in Les Miserables. He’s a Broadway Baby, so we KNOW he has the vocal chops. And look how cute he is! Also, if you saw him in Catch Me If You Can on Broadway, you already know he looks good in a fedora.
Please Don’t Cast: Jeremy Jordan
I know he is the cuurent musical theatre It Boy. I’ve yet to see him on stage, but I have watched Smash and he does NOT translate well on screen…and you can’t just blame that on the fact that Brooklyn Jimmy is a terrible character. He comes off as smug and vacant and I am terrified of what he is going to do as Jamie in the movie of The Last Five Years. So ignore the urge, Hollywood!
Miss Adelaide: Headlining showgirl at the Hot Box club. Dumb, but not so dumb, she has a perpetual cold due to Nathan’s refusal to nail down a wedding date
Please Cast: Scarlett Johansson
I think this would be INSPIRED casting. Scarlett has long professed to be a musical lover and there were rumors a few years ago that producers wanted her for Maria in a new production of The Sound of Music. We know that she looks great in period clothes and she has the perfect body for those skimpy Hot Box girl costumes. Plus, she and JGL are buddies! Can you imagine them singing “Sue Me” together?
But Also Consider: Megan Hilty
Because Lord knows the Hilty needs a project better than Smash. She has the voice and she has the comedic acting chops. And like Scarlett, she would look AMAZING in those Hot Box costumes.
Please Don’t Cast: Amanda Seyfried
While you don’t have to be THAT GREAT of a singer to play Adelaide, it is so much better when you DO. Also, she made it pretty clear during all the Les Mis press junkets that she didn’t like doing musicals. So let’s think out of the box, okay Hollywood?
Sarah Brown: Wholesome, prim and proper girl who works at the Mission. She thinks she knows exactly what she wants until she gets a chemistry lesson from Sky Masterson.
Please Cast: Carey Mulligan
Look at that precious face. She’s perfect. And she proved that she has an excellent singing voice with this performance in Shame:
Sarah really needs to have a good upper register for songs like “I’ll Know” and “I’ve Never Been in Love Before”. While she doesn’t sing up in that range in “New York, New York”, you can tell from the timbre of her voice that she likely has that upper register.
But Also Consider: Emmy Rossum
I have to give credit to Jenn for this choice, and it really is quite a good one. She showed in Phantom of the Opera (a moment of silence for how dreadful that movie is) that she DEFINITELY has the vocal range to play Sarah. If they are willing to cast a not quite as well-known name, Emmy would be a lovely Sarah.
Please Don’t Cast: Lea Michele
I know I am hating on Glee too much in this post. Lea obviously has the voice…but I just don’t think she is right for Sarah. I think she would annoy the crap out of me. I think she lacks the sweetness and innocence that Sarah HAS to have.
Nicely-Nicely Johnson: One of Nathan’s most trusted sidekicks, Nicely MUST bring down the house with his rollicking number “Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat”
Please Cast: Neil Patrick Harris
The thing with Nicely and Benny is that they don’t necessarily have to be put in the same age group as Nathan. Everybody knows that NPH is a consummate performer. I just really need to see him in a movie musical, you guys. I think he would KILL it with “Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat”.
But Also Consider: James Corden
It’s always been you Craig.
Corden also recently took part in a reading for the Into the Woods movie. He definitely has what it takes to be Nicely…but would Hollywood cast him?
Benny Southstreet: Nathan’s other sidekick, who tends to be a bit dim
Please Cast: Jason Segel
Segel has proven his musical skills time and time again between his work on How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Muppets. He would bring a wonderfully goofiness to the role. Plus, how much fun would it be to see the HIMYM co-stars singing “Guys and Dolls” together? I can tell you, it would be as fun as this:
But Also Consider: Daniel Radcliffe
BECAUSE HARRY POTTER CAN SING AND DANCE AND NEEDS TO BE IN A MOVIE MUSICAL OKAY?
So those are my choices. I think Billy Elliot‘s Stephen Daldry should direct. I think it is safe to say that if I were in charge of this movie, it would be nothing short of awesome.
What about you, dear readers? Who would be in your dream cast?