Tuesday, July 07, 2009

August: Osage County (The Movie)

CAST THIS!

But before the movie... the tour! It starts in just under three weeks in Denver. I'm not getting paid for this but I'm going to shill because live theater needs to be promoted. It's so much cooler than TV ... even if Corporate America can't profit off of it as much (finite audience = number of seats in house) and thus makes it seem uncool by ignoring it or dismissing it as irrelevant.

Oscar winner Estelle Parsons, 81, headlines the August tour

And given that THE MOVIE -- all caps because if it's any good it'll be BIG -- is going to be the subject of much discussion whenever it begins to film and especially once it's in theaters, you'll want to be in the know early on. Even if you're not normally a theater person. If you haven't been following theatrical buzz and awardage these past couple of years, it's the latest from Tracy Letts who also wrote the incredible Bug which was made into a movie that a lot of people misunderstood or outright hated but I assure you that the play itself was phenomenal. They're much different beasts anyhow: Bug was taut, claustrophobic and tiny where August is messy (in the good sense), sprawling and very populated. It's a darkly funny drama about a family in crisis in Oklahoma. The father has disappeared and the daughters rush back home to deal with their abandoned and impossibly difficult pill popping mother. At three hours or so in length it's far more complicated than that but it's a great night out at the theater: funny, involving, memorable, dramatic. In short: if you're near it, get tickets. They're on sale now.

July: Denver August: San Francisco September: LA October: Portland and Seattle November: Toronto and Hartford December: DC January: Tempe, Dallas, Tulsa Feb: Chicago, Michigan, Iowa. It's also in Melbourne and then Sydney, Australia

<-- Parsons on the set of Rachel, Rachel with director Paul Newman

This will also give you the rare chance to see an Oscar winner live on stage. I stupidly missed Estelle Parsons here in NYC when she was playing Violet (one of the two lead roles, a combative mother and daughter) so I'm considering catching the show again in DC or Michigan if I can figures out the $. I always enjoyed Parsons as a comic foil on Roseanne and I love her work as the lesbian friend of Joanne Woodard in Rachel, Rachel (they were both nominated). That's such a fine underseen film so, rent it. Parsons won the Oscar as "Blanche" in Bonnie & Clyde (1967).

But back to August: Osage County
If you're game now, let's think up a dream cast.

Here are the main roles, in descending order of their "screen time" and the age according to the text (though obviously Hollywood will practice some creative license there)

Leads
Violet -Pill popping drug-addled matriarch, fond of devouring her young and filled with rage about her miserable childhood. She's also funny (65). Deanna Dunagan, left, originated the role on stage.
Barbara - Violet's eldest daughter, a college professor. Exhausted but controlling. Her marriage is failing (46)

Major Supporting
Roles
Ivy -Violet's middle daughter who has never left home. A secretive plain jane type (44)
Karen
-Violet's youngest. Flighty, willfully naive and eager to be loved. Newly engaged (40)
Bill -Barbara's husband, also a professor. He's left her for a student but comes back to Oklahoma with her to deal with the family crisis (49)
Jean
-Barbara's daughter. A sexually precocious pot smoking vegetarian (14)
Mattie Fae
-Violet's sister. Loud, flamboyant, nervous. Also fond of devouring her young (57)

Minor supporting characters
Charles -Mattie's husband. Calm, good natured (60)
Little Charles -Mattie's son, largely regarded as a shy loser (37)
Beverly -Violet's husband, a pontificating poetry-loving alcoholic. He disappears in the first act, setting the plot in motion (69)
Steve - Karen's insensitive businessman fiancé (50)
Johnna -empathetic Native American housekeeper and cook (26)
Sheriff Deon -Barbara's ex-boyfriend, on the search for Beverly (47)

The two lead roles and at least one of the supporting parts (Mattie Fae) are complete Oscar Bait roles: high drama, sneaky comedy, southern accents, total theatrical fireworks. The nearest film equivalent I can think of is Terms of Endearment but this is darker and more vicious, though also quite funny. And Violet is closer to Annette Bening's character in Running With Scissors in terms of how nightmarish she is as a druggy mother than to Shirley Maclaine's Aurora.


Working actresses in the right age range for the three daughters are too numerous to mention here but every actress in her late 30s to early young-looking 50s would be wise to already be prepping and campaigning for either Barbara, Ivy or Karen (or even Mattie Fae). Acclaimed juicy prestige material like this with so many roles for smart talented women doesn't come along regularly.

Though it's been assumed that Mike Nichols will direct and that Meryl Streep's talent and box office pull will win her the "Violet" role nothing is yet set in stone. The road from announcement to contract signing to pre-production can be quite volatile and with the Weinstein Co involved who the hell knows...

O
ther actresses in vaguely the right age range for the Violet or Mattie Fae parts (i.e. mid50s to mid70s) include: Judy Davis, Glenn Close, Kathleen Turner, Kathy Bates, Anjelica Huston, Dianne Wiest, Susan Sarandon, Sissy Spacek, Melinda Dillon, Diane Ladd, Jane Fonda among many others. It's an ideal movie for getting underused actresses back in play.


Is this all overwhelming to read? It was to type.

Some people have gone either further than me, like Walter Hollman (who you'll know from frequent comments right here) who has casting suggestions for every role.

I hope the lucky casting director takes this as seriously as one might take brain surgery. It's important!
There are so many options. You could go real life mother/daughter (Diane Ladd & Laura Dern) you could experiment with co-stars with proven chemistry reuniting (Thelma & Louise as Violet & Mattie Fae?). You could use math multiplied by Oscar fever to try and create the single most nominated cast in the history of motion pictures. Whether or not you've seen the play, cast away in the comments. Would you cast by pure talent, family resemblance or gut instinct?

I can't remember who suggested it to me but the idea of Kathleen Turner in the Mattie Fae role fills me with utter delight. So let's start there. Comment away!



110 comments:

Bailey said...

Wow, can I just say that the group of actresses in their 40s and 50s looks nothing like a random cross-section of 'real' 40 and 50-year-olds would. Some of them could pass for 30! Thank you Hollywood, for your age-defying abilities.

philistine said...

I don't want to disappoint you Nathaniel but the Weinstein have only heard about these 4 working actresses :
- Judi Dench
- Meryl Streep
- Nicole Kidman
- Renee Zellweger

so here's your female cast

Anonymous said...

I've never seen the play, but GLENN CLOSE for the matriarch. True it looks like nothing new for her, but then maybe she can finally get her very very VERY overdue Oscar.

Ryan said...

Don't have a complete list but would love to see Elizabeth Perkins tackle Barbara, and Rue McClanahan be Mattie Fae.

I liked Violet and Mattie Fae to be on the older side of things, just because it makes them look more rundown and vicious.

Maybe they should cast Cynthia Nixon and Mary-Louise Parker as the sisters to make up for leaving them out of their Tony winning roles, Pulitzer Prize winning play-movie adaptations! (Rabbit Hole & Proof)

Whoever gets cast I hope that they cast actual talent vs. stars because this play deserves it!

Marsha Mason said...

ooooh, you are baiting me to post w/ that little pic....

Roles like this are proof that plastic surgery is not always the older actresses best friend. Violet absolutely calls for a lived-in, to put it nicely, appearance, and I can't imagine someone stretched to oblivion can look anything like she's supposed to.

Does Sarah Palin want a career in entertainment now? If they wait twenty years, I bet she'll be Violet all over. Just show up with a camera crew.

And, yes, I'd be wonderful as Violet. Thank everyone on here for thinking of me!!!

Victor S said...

As you described Mattie Fae my mind had only one thought: Susan Sarandon!
And where is Julianne Moore on your list of possible daughters? Maybe we can have a family of redheads. Just dye Nicole Kidman hair in red (the way she looks her best) and you have half of the family.

Joe Reid said...

I don't know if it's the inevitability or what, but I find myself wanting anyone BUT Meryl Streep in the lead. Sarandon, Close, Weist, Judy Davis, whoever. Streep just seems too obvious.

For the daughters, give whatever role's baitiest to Laura Linney, PLEASE. And I love the Elizabeth Perkins suggestion.

Fernando Moss said...

Sigweavie as Violet... with Julianne Moore, Cynthia Nixon and Famke Janssen as the three sisters...

Agustin said...

Norma Aleandro (The Official Story) is playing Violet here in Buenos Aires.. I'm dying to see it.
Barbara is played by Mercedes Moran (she was the lead in Lucrecia Martel's La Cienaga, The Swamp).

Joe Shetina said...

I'm excited. I think I'm going to get to see it!

Jim T said...

philistine, why would that disappoint him? At least for me, the first 3 names are excellent choices but I'm afraid Dench is too old for the any part. So Mirren? I think I prefer Redgrave (for Violet, that is). But Meryl needs to be there somehow. God, is this supposed to be fun?

Winslet for Karen!

Mike said...

Judy Davis, Glenn Close, Anjelica Huston, Sissy Spacek, Sally Kirkland or Sigourney Weaver, among others, getting a great film role is a thrilling prospect. I would love to see theses underused talents get the opportunities they deserve!

Derek said...

Oooh, Kathleen Turner as Mattie Fae. I love that idea. She certainly has a voice to match the actress I saw play Mattie Fae in the show (and she was fabulous!).

But my biggest casting hope is that Laura Linney gets to play Barbara. I think she would be perfect, and it would be a great great role for her!

NicksFlickPicks said...

Laura Linney as Barbara. Done.

Glenn Close for Violet, I hope.

But probably none of them will be as good as that Aleandro/Morán pairing. That sounds phenomenal!

Kyle said...

I'm getting cinematic wood thinking about all the Oscar potential this film has if it's done right. Meryl pretty much has to be Violet for box office purposes, right? But dammit, I want Glenn Close to get something in this and get her Oscar. I don't think I'd completely buy the two of them as sisters, but at this point, I won't be picky.

NATHANIEL R said...

kyle i don't know they both have rather severe noses, Streep and Close... so maybe that could be accentuated to see sisters.

nick i do agree that Linney would make quite a good Barbara. And the role has enough mousy bite that it could suit both sides of her screen persona, the girl next door and the flashes of someone sexier, deadlier, funnier, whathave you that Linney calls up in her best work.

fernando your cast list is fascinating in that Hollywood will never think of ANY of them let alone all of them. although i'm sure that Famke would kill for a role here given her enthusiasm about the play when i talked to her.

philistine you have a point. The Weinsteins are faithful at least (or unimaginative... take your adjective pick) in their casting choices.

bailey i know. And what's more is i tried REALLY hard to find the most recent pictures that I could and they still look much younger than civilians ;) Debra Winger I was like WHAT? and then remembered how pretty she was in Rachel Getting Married.

joe i think it was you who brought up Judy Davis to me and she does have the severity that Violet needs as well as the razor sharp comic timing. She's a bit young for the role but who knows. Hollywood might pair a 50something with a 30something instead of going the 60/40 route.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

I for one would like to see Sally Field/Debra Winger as Violet, Susan Sarandon/Meryl Streep as Mattie Fae, Laura Linney as Ivy, Holly Hunter (or Kristin Scott-Thomas, seems just like the perfect fit for the role) as Barbara and Marisa Tomei as Karen. I know Tomei and Linney are of the same age but Tomei has that sense of youth that makes her look much younger. And I was surprised to know Hunter was 51! I was going to suggest her for Ivy or Barbara but with that age... Nevertheless, she looks 10 years younger...

Sarandon would be perfect in this loud, flamboyant, joyful role and Field, well, she's a natural at that type. She practically plays the same role in Brothers&Sisters: restless matriarch of a collapsing family who loses her husband who has a lot of issues with her daughter...


For Jean, I think almost everyone would suggest Saoirse Ronan but I could see Dakota Fanning craving for that role...

Jeff Bridges for Mattie's husband. Joaquin Phoenix/Mark Ruffalo as Mattie's son.

For Barbra's husband I'd pick Liam Neeson/Ralph Fiennes.


I think I'm going nuts because no way they'd be able to pull off such a talented and EXPENSIVE cast...

Anonymous said...

I think Helen Mirren would KILL as Violet. Laura Dern or Linney as Barbara.
What about Celia Weston as Mattie Fae? Or even Dianne Wiest.

John O said...

Can we make it a multi-racial cast and have Morgan Freeman play Beverly and Viola Davis play Barbara? Or should I go back to dream land?

NATHANIEL R said...

John O -- well they went slightly multiracial with the last broadway cast since Phylicia Rashad was the final Violet here in NYC.

anon 4:48 -- can helen mirren do a southern accent?

john said...

i think the trick here is to look outside of American actresses (except Streep) so expect europeans and perhaps australians to be in the mix.

Scott said...

Well the first name I thought of for Mattie Fae was just mentioned - Celia Weston. She could kill in that role. If not her, I liked Elizabeth Ashley in the part on stage.

As to Violet, I really think she needs to be older than a lot of these people are. Out of the names mentioned here I think Wiest is the best choice - unless the make-up people can make Judy Davis look appropriately fragile.

As to Barbara, I'd go with Ms. Clarkson or Ms. Janney.

NATHANIEL R said...

scott i agree that it'd be good to keep Violet older. But Hollywood will probably want to skew a touch younger. But if they do stay with the late 60s age of the character I think it'd be kind of grand to give the part to a legend like Jane Fonda.

i dunno.

i'm just hoping it's someone special and that they understand that it's a classic role to be really dived into with great nuance and control and passion.

i don't doubt that Streep could handle it but I worry (maybe this is unfounded) that it wouldn't mean as much to her as some other actresses (like, say, Glenn Close) who might understand that their legacy would depend on it to some degree... rather than just another notch in their belt, you know?

NATHANIEL R said...

Oh and Marsha so true about too much plastic surgery ruining any chance of working the great roles into your old age.

when i was preparing these visual charts I had to reject some people because I was so frightened of their new faces. (initially i was going to put Dyan Cannon, who is 72, in the mix but she didn't look human anymore. and we all know about faye dunaway (which is a real shame because my god she was such an ACTRESS for awhile)

Q said...

For my money, no one does rage and humour with as much depth as Miranda Richardson. If she's not in this, I shall release the hounds.

Pivo said...

I've just read the "book" and the play itself is one of the priorities of my US vacation, next December.

VIOLET
Meryl Streep. Period. A choice that reduces the ages suggested by Letts in something like 5-10 years.

BARBARA
Laura Linney. Me and you and the Oscars love her. Double nomination by one film in the Lead Actress category since... 'Thelma & Louise'?

IVY
Gwyneth Paltrow was my first option, but this role keeps much resemblance with Margot Tenembaum. So I go with Marisa Tomei. The underdog star as the underdog daughter.

KAREN
I believe this particular casting will be the biggest age gap between stage and screen. The Weinstein Co. is not likely going to cast 4 'mature' leading ladies. It's a shame, but this is Hollywood. So I think Karen will be 30. Or 28 going on 30. Maggie Gyllenhaal!

BILL
Bill Pullman, in order to finally show in the movies some of the strength he carries in his theater roles.

JEAN
Smokes pot and has sex with an older man. The girl must be major. Amanda Seyfried and Evan Rachel Wood would be perfect choices years ago, but some newbie will problably get the part.

MATTIE FAE
C-E-L-I-A W-E-S-T-O-N. Please!!! She is truly southern, has not star power enough to overshadow Streep and deserves an Oscar nom. But, if it will be all about star power, give Dianne Wiest her movie career back.

CHARLES
Alan Arkin can be funny as the old southern moron.

LITTLE CHARLES
Michael Shannon would be THE choice before Revolutionary Road. So... I think Justin Kirk deserves a meaty role onscreen.

BEVERLY
It's a cameo, but he must be an equivalent to the legend Streep. Jack Nicholson is the obvious choice.

STEVE
Paul Schneider. A likely Oscar nominee at the time of casting and conceivable as a mature charmer.

JOHANNA
Catalina Sandino Moreno, in account of Hollywood's ignorance in the differences between colombian, chinese and Native American.

THE SHERIFF
An unknown guy. There are too many star names above for one single poster.


P.S.: Sorry for the lame English. I tried to be the most comprehensible I could.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

ooh Kathleen Turner as Mattie Fae is too, too delectable!

i like the idea of Meryl already saving a place on the mantelpiece. i don't much like the idea of her as Violet, though. Jorge's idea for her as Mattie, though...a supporting role in something like this is just the thing to get her a win, isn't it?

Aaron said...

Did i dream this, or was Jane Fonda in negotiations to play Violet? I love me some Fonda, but I just do not see her as Violet. MERYL STREEP would kill in it (even though it's not an exciting choice), but she would be absolutely perfect. Glenn Close would be good as well, and so would Susan Sarandon (for some reason Sarandon still looks young to me, though, I can't believe she's 62!!!)

BARBARA--they should give it to Amy Morton cause she was absolutely freakin' brilliant on Broadway, but I think LAURA LINNEY would do a satisfying job.
IVY--hated this character. The girl that played her when i saw it was HORRIBLE, so my view is schewed. She has many emotional, angry fits, so it's a juicy role. Maybe LAURA DERN? Not sure about this role, it's a tricky one.
KAREN--NAOMI WATTS. She can play vulnerable so well, mixed in with naivete and aloofness (did I make that word up?).
MATTIE FAE--KATHY BATES. She would nail it. I could see her winning Supporting Actress for this.

Tom Wilkinson or Richard Jenkins would be good for Mattie Fae's husband (that's the biggest awards caliber performance for a male IMO). I could see Mark Ruffalo as Mattie Fae's son, but he may be too good looking for the role. Maybe Liam Neeson for Barbara's husband, but Neeson and Linney always work together (or so it seems) haha! But, if done right, this would be a fantastic movie! I hope Mike Nichols does it--he's so great with actors!

Chris said...

I actually just saw this before it closed on Broadway.

Violet: Sissy Spacek
I think the venom of the character would stretch her in new ways and give us something we haven't seen before.

Barbara: Laura Linney
This role is PERFECTLY suited to all of her best abilities and acting style! Finally her Oscar role!

Ivy: Marisa Tomei
From the first time I read the script, I couldn't picture anyone else playing the role. Even when I saw it live, Marisa wouldn't leave my head.

Karen: Ashley Judd
"Bug" gave us her career-best performance, and due to her casting in that film, she can't be far off of Letts's casting ideas. Plus, she'd play her departing breakdown brilliantly.

Mattie Fae: Susan Surandon
You need someone who can be broad, but still make it believable and honest. She's the one.

Also:
Everyone's gonna be yelling for Meryl as Violet. I say: way too obvious. If anything, she should play Mattie Fae, because we've never seen her do that type.
Sally Field would also have great potential as Violet or Mattie Fae.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the studio push Violet into a Supporting Actress to keep out of the way of Barbara as the lead. Though Violet towers over the whole thing, she will have considerably less screen time. Don't forget this is being produced by Harvey Weinstein, and he'll pull whatever strings he can to get as many noms and wins as possible.

Oh, and if Glenn Close comes anywhere near this, I will hurt someone.

Terris said...

My dream cast:

Violet- Meryl Streep/ Glenn Close
Barbara- Julianne Moore
Ivy- Marisa Tomei
Karen- Julia Roberts
Mattie Fae- La Bening/ Susan Sarandon

Terence said...

I would LOVE to see Deanna Dunagan get to recreate her stage work as Violet. Too often the Broadway actors are glanced over for adaptations. But if someone else must play the part, it would be great to see Sally Field take on the character. She plays such an understanding compassionate mom on Brothers and Sister and she could do a complete 180 with this character and show us how great she is.

As far as the daughters, anyone can play Mattie Fae or Ivy but Barbra has to go to someone who can be physically imposing but reserved...when in doubt go with Laura Linney.

Wayne B. said...

Now I've never seen the play so I did mine based on the role descriptions and instinct. Mine skew older than the ages said but I would love to see these particular actors in these roles:

Violet - Stockard Channing
Barbara - Holly Hunter
(I like the fact that they were once rivals for an Oscar. I think they could create fireworks together.)

Ivy - Jennifer Jason Leigh
Karen - Mary-Louise Parker
(It's sort of a cheat, JJLeigh's been cast as Parker's sister on 'Weeds')

Bill - John Slattery
(Would love to see him breakthrough from TV to film.)
Jean - Allie Grant
(She's got gorgeous natural curly hair like Holly and has some dramatic chops as well.)
Mattie Fae - Jean Smart
(I don't know why but I just pictured Jean Smart right away.)

Charles - Jeff Bridges
Little Charles - Alessandro Nivola
(I think he can subvert his attractiveness; he made a convincing creep in 'Face/Off')
Beverly - James Brolin

Steve - Billy Campbell
Johnna - Misty Upham
(Might as well strike while the iron's hot.)
Sheriff Deon - Adam Baldwin
(I need to see him on the big screen again.)

NicksFlickPicks said...

Nathaniel: Marylouise Burke as Violet? ;) That way she can rocket up the chart when you do Actresses of the 10s.

Celia Weston as Mattie Fae is a genius choice.

Interesting that no one's brought up Jessica Lange, who used to have a sure shot at anything that was set anywhere between Philadelphia and Nevada.

@John O: I love your idea. Can we add Ruby Dee or Cicely Tyson as Violet, switch in Angela Bassett as Barbara and lock in Viola and Kimberly Elise as the other daughters, get Don Cheadle and Columbus Short in there, Shareeka Epps or Keke Palmer as the young gal...?

Fernando Moss said...

I know my dream cast would never make it to the film but... well I'm allowed to dream...

As for Kathleen Turner she would be great... If she plays Mattie then I'd go Sissy Spacek for Violet and for the 3 sisters Lisa Kudrow, Laura Linney and Meg Ryan for the sisters...

or maybe (based on their looks) Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts and Jennie Garth.

Criticlasm said...

Wow--I love this post. I've heard too that it's Nichols to direct. Maybe he'll cast Elaine May as Violet? Just kidding, though that could be fascinating.

For Violet I kind of love the idea of Judy Davis--she's all angles and I think could be amazing in it. I've heard Estelle Parsons is amazing, and she's won an Oscar, but I can't imagine anyone being better and scarier than Deanna Dunagan. I love Meryl, but I really don't see her in this. Ditto for Glenn, wierdly.

Jeff Bridges for Beverly--I think he could haunt the proceedings.

I like the Catalina Sandina Moreno idea for Johnna, though wouldn't that be amazing if they actually found a Native actress. She's silent a lot, but a key, key role. They'll probably cast Penelope Cruz, but I really love Michelle St. John, who is in "the Business of Fancy Dancing" and is a superb actress with a great presence, at least in that film.

Amy Morton, please, once again, for Barbara, but I don't think that's going to happen any more than Rondi Reed will. But if we can't get Celia Weston, who is fabulous, for Mattie Fae, can we have Kathy Bates, please?

I can see Laura Linney as Barbara, but I loved Amy Morton's height and timing. It would depend on the chemistry with Violet, I just don't love Laura Linney. I can almost see Mary Louise Parker in this more.

I can't help but see Ivy as Mary Beth Hurt, but that's not going to happen. I'm of the mind at the moment that Rachel McAdams can do anything, so let's pop her in. While we're at it throw in Ryan Gosling. Little Charles?

I kind of love Maggie Gyllenhaal in there somewhere (Karen?), but I want her to be more vapid yuppie. And closer to 40. Teri Hatcher. You laugh, and so do I, but it would kind of work if she could get to the emotional stuff, and who knows? Marcia Cross? Okay, while I'm at it, I'll go for the gold--Felicity Huffman.

Oh, wait--she'd be a great Barbara!

And for the record, I do love Melinda Dillon, Holly Hunter (who's Southern but too young for Violet sadly), and Frances McDormand, who would be a great Barbara, but maybe a little past the right age.

Tricky. Either way, can't wait to see it!

Criticlasm said...

Oooh--Jennifer Jason Leigh as Ivy--I love that. That's excellent.

And I never thought of Stockard Channing--she'd be great as Violet.

I love Sally Field, but she'd really have to mine a completely different, completely unlikeable thing to work for me.

And it's true, there seem to be some actresses who have plastic-surgeried there way out of this one.

Will said...

I don't have a full cast, but a few ideas:

I also think that Laura Linney would be perfect for Barbara, but I bet that Cate Blanchett is also in consideration.

My ideal Violet would be Lily Tomlin. I really think she could do it. It's too bad that Joan Allen isn't a few years older, because I would love to see her in this role too. Love Meryl Streep, but I'm really, really hoping it doesn't happen here. She would've been a great Barbara 10-15 years ago, though.

Since I saw the play, I've thought of Parker Posey as a potentially wonderful Ivy.

Maybe Winona Ryder for Karen? Why not?

I also love the idea of either Kathleen Turner or Celia Weston for Mattie Fae, but I have a bad feeling that Kathy Bates's name is getting thrown around.

Fernando Moss said...

Oh yes... PARKER POSEY!!!

then for Barbara ALLY SHEEDY... and Karen Marisa Tomei

Matt Mazur said...

Wow, I bet Norma Aleandro is amazing in the part! That is inspiring.

I think Sissy Spacek for Violet is the best choice and that Streep would be miscast. To me, that character is haunted, and Spacek does that very well and in an unfussy way. Sally Field, who I am normally not the biggest fan of, could be a good fit, too. I love the idea of it being Diane Ladd, but that is complete fantasy.

What about Jean Smart as Mattie Fae? That could also be a killer role for Jessica Lange. I have to say Kathleen Turner would be brilliant and heartbreaking in this role as well. That could bring her some deserved recognition.

As the sisters, Melissa Leo, Laura Dern and Jennifer Jason Leigh? If we are thinking younger, than Sally Hawkins (Ivy), Amy Adams (youngest) and Gillian Anderson as Barbara? The possibilities are endless!

I'm totally sold on Mike Nichols as being the best choice to direct, either...also, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren should not be a part of this.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

Uh I'm totally seeing the blondes... Meryl Streep, Dianne Wiest, Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow (Renée Zellweger) and Cate Blanchett...


I'm sure that Harvey Weinstein is salivating with the potential... «Come see five Academy Award winners in a movie adaptation of a play that will mark the year!»

NATHANIEL R said...

technically they could go MANY different ways with Mattie Fae, physically speaking... but I agree with Nick, elsewhere, that with Violet you're more limited... you need to see her bones. It's got to be someone severe and skeletal I think for maximum effect.

In some ways Joan Allen's UPSIDE OF ANGER role is a kindred spirit to the Violet role (albeit sexier and less harsh). So I wish Joan was 10 years older and then she'd EASILY be my first choice for the role.

but right now i'm still crazy about the Judy Davis idea.

will LILY TOMLIN? what an interesting choice. I guess i can sort of see that Nashville Mask in Violet a bit.

sally field.... hmmm. Having seen Sally Field onstage in THE GOAT OR WHO IS SYLVIA I can definitely vouch that she has more in her than just the warm often tearful matriarch she usually plays in film and television.

I need to let this Kathleen Turner as Mattie Fae idea go though because I can't imagine they'd give it to her even though she'd be p-e-r-f-e-c-t.

matt did you mean you're "not" sold on Nichols? cuz I'm not. I mean unless we're talking sharp eyed early Nichols but there's something about the more recent work that doesn't feel as incisive to me. And given the plays length i really think this movie needs a RUTHLESSLY sharp director who is willing to shave without cutting into any of the play's major arteries.

Kevin D. said...

Is it odd that I was totally thinking Patti Clarkson for Mattie Fae? She has that sexy thing down pat. As for Streep playing Violet, I agree with those who said she would be miscast. I either see Spacek or Fonda playing that role. As for the daughters, really anything goes. I had initially imagine Winslet as Barbara, sure, she's a bit young for the part, but I feel it sort of fits her.

I may just orgasm whilst thinking of the endless casting possibilities, I'll stop now while I'm ahead.

NATHANIEL R said...

and i want to second or third all the Marisa Tomei mentions. Just put her in somewhere. She's totally proven herself a durable and resourceful actresses over a surprisingly long career. Reward time!

Lynn said...

GRACE
ZABRISKIE
SHOULD
PLAY
THE
LEAD

No other options are even mildly satisfactory.

Lynn said...

And maybe Debbie Reynolds as Mattie Fae?

Matt Mazur said...

God GOOD Grace Zabriskie would be fab-u-lous.

And yes, Nathaniel, I meant I am NOT sold on Nichols -- I don't really find him to be a sharp as others. I think he's just such a perfunctory, default choice for directing stage work, which is lame.

Cort said...

Nat, you totally forgot Ellen Burstyn or Gena Rowlands

Lynn said...

None of these options would be anywhere near as good as Zabriskie, but:

Mary Tyler Moore? She showed good dramatic chops in Ordinary People and this role is basically hers in OP + booze, x 100.

Liv Ullmann? Just make the 'grandma' an 'oma'.

I've always been interested in seeing how good Liz Smith could be in a dramatic role. Hmm.

Susan Tyrrell? She has no legs, but still...

Criticlasm said...

Jean Smart! I love that idea.

And Grace Zabriskie would be fab, though I've never seen her carry anything, so I don't know. She'd probably blow it out of the water.

I love that all these names keep coming out? Cate Blanchett? I hadn't even thought, but that makes sense.

Patricia Clarkson is an interesting choice for Matty Fae, but I see her as a little older and a little more lived-in.

I'm really fascinated by Lily Tomlin. Huh.

No one's mentioned Reese Witherspoon--too young? I could kind of see her as Karen.

And I like Bill Pullman as Bill.

Ooky said...

Who would you pick as director, Nat?

Jake said...

Streep would be miscast? She said herself that she can play anything and given her track record, I'm inclined to believe her.

NATHANIEL R said...

Ooky... the director thing is tricky. on the one hand you need someone who is really talented who can control all the actors and inspire them while also keeping the pace bristling and the tone sharply swivelling.

bu on the other hand, i think an auteur might be wrong for it because it is already has such a strong identity. I'm not sure it needs another "stamp" on it.

so i'm torn on who would be good for it. I want someone like Paul Thomas Anderson who is excellent with actors and brilliant at the cinematic part as well, but maybe it needs someone with a little less of a voice to let the play do its thing.

tricky tricky

Lynn said...

I just hope that Streep doesn't get the lead - I love her but I just think she's not right for this role at all.

Murtada said...

I like all the suggestions of a multi ethnic cast....
how sissy spacek as violet and viola davis as barbra

Agustin said...

You're all too excited.
This will end up being a comedy of teenage sisters played by Miley Cirus, Demi Lovato, and other Disney Stars with Megan Fox and Jessica Alba as Violet and Matty Fae.

ShoNuff said...

having seen all violets on broadway, i've been thinking about this for months...

i've come up with 3 casts:

violet - jane fonda or ellen burstyn
barbara - holly hunter or julie white (or jodie foster)
ivy - kyra sedgwick or hope davis
karen - drew barrymore or jennifer anniston
mattie fae - kathy bates or finnola flanagan
charlie - albert finney or brian cox
bill - vincent d'onfrio or chris meloni
little charles - peter sarsgaard or zach braff
jean - aimee teegarden or kaya scodelario

Matt Mazur said...

This would have ideally been done by Robert Altman. :-(

Other choices:

Courtney Hunt? Hmmm?

Todd Field?

Todd Haynes?

NATHANIEL R said...

agustin lol.

Matt if we're bringing people back from the grave how about Cukor, Wyler or Wilder?

Jorge Rodrigues said...

I'm starting to really enjoy thinking of possibilites... My list currently stands...

Helen Mirren (Violet)
Frank Langella (Beverly)

Can you imagine them as a couple? Ha so funny!

Emma Thompson (Mattie Fae)
Richard Jenkins (Charles)


Two underrated actors for two underdog players... I don't know how no one mentioned Thompson before...

Laura Linney (Barbra)
Marisa Tomei (Ivy)
Rachel Weisz (Karen)

Weisz because she can play a diversity of styles, Tomei because I need her there and she looks fit for the «never-left-home» daughter. Linney because we all agree that it would be a great choice for the part. Maybe Laura Dern because Weisz and Tomei are brunettes.

Liam Neeson (Bill)
Ryan Gosling (Little Charles)
Catalina Moreno (Johanna)

Now would Clooney be a fit for Steve? I think he would (I'm getting glimpses of this insensitive husband/fiancé type from Burn After Reading...)

And what about Pitt for Sheriff?

Rick said...

We have tickets to see the play when it hits San Francisco .. I really know nothing about the play except what you wrote about

I hope Meryl Streep gets the mother's role as I feel it will clinch her her third Oscar!

NicksFlickPicks said...

MIKE. LEIGH. Including rehearsal time.

I bet Burstyn's got a solid shot at this. Anyone know if she's got any knack for playing an aging addict?

NATHANIEL R said...

Nick -- well if you include Leigh's rehearsal time that cuts out a lot of the big stars who this won't mean as much to anyways ;) How many of them would be willing to give up 6 months of their life rehearsing before filming even begins?

for Johnna I'm voting Q'orianka Kilcher (she's a bit younger but she definitely seemed older than her years in THE NEW WORLD) but in truth i think Johnna is the least successful part of the play and if i were the adapting writer/director i'd be tempted to excise her from the production altogether.

You have to make cuts somewhere. It's never going to be a 3 1/2 hour movie. (i'd also be tempted to cut Beverly out altogether. Jump right in)

i've become totally suspicious of what they might cut. you know they've got to get rid of a whole hour.

NATHANIEL R said...

well if they went with burstyn (in her 70s) they could definitely cast age appropriate for the daughter roles. Maybe Holly Hunter for Barbara then?

Bryan said...

If only because Violet is where Margaret White could easily have ended up, can't you imagine Piper Laurie as Violet?

Lynn said...

I can certainly imagine Piper Laurie as Violet, and it makes me want to claw my eyes out... *shudder*

18 Year Old Blogger said...

Nathaniel, I saw Parsons on stage in NY and let me tell you don't miss the opportunity to see her on tour! I might even see you in DC because I'm DYING to see it again (And btw it's also going to Connecticut and that's much closer than Michigan...)

But here is my cast:

Violet-Estelle Parsons (I mean she's not well know, but still ACADEMY AWARD WINNER Estelle Parsons still helps)...and if not her then I say Polly Bergen
Barbara-Nicole Kidman
Ivy-Naomi Watts
Karen-Jennifer Jason Leigh
Bill-Kevin Bacon
Jean-Saoirse Ronan
Mattie Fae-Polly Bergen

&
Directed by: Mike Nichols

Glenn said...

I haven't read many of the suggestions, but here are some thoughts of my own:

For Violet I'm thinking Jane Fonda, Glenn Close or someone like that for Violet. Stockard Channing, perhaps? Really has to be able to let rip with bitter barbs. I saw Estelle Parsons in the role on Broadway earlier this year and she was great.

The actress they had playing Karen looks identical to Laura Dern so I'd love to see her given a shot. Laura Dern would be a good Barbra, although maybe the dysfunctional families have had their day where Linney is involved. What about Lorraine Bracco or someone from that '80s/'90s era? How about Allison Janney?

How about Toni Collette for Ivy? Too young, probably, which is a problem the Broadway version had when I saw it. The actress they had playing her looked to be no older than 30 and then suddenly she's a spinster!

I fear they'll get Paul Giamatti for Phillip Seymour Hoffman for Bill. Ugh.

Are there any native american actresses other than, say, Q'Orianka Kilcher who have had any buzziness in the last few years? I can't think of any, but maybe I'm forgetting.

They should keep the actress that they had for Maddie Fae though. She was great. You can't have somebody who's a thin sprig of a thing playing her.

Terris said...

And what about Vanessa Redgrave for Violet's role? I think she will be very good in it!n

But I still vote for Meryl... she has in a sense a severe aspect... and of Mike Nichols will really direct the film I bet she will be in!

Glenn Dunks said...

I wonder though if Meryl would even want to take it. That'd be four big Broadway roles in a short amount of time (Angels in America, Doubt and, yes, Mamma Mia!)

NATHANIEL R said...

well why wouldn't Meryl want to take it? It's a sure fire Oscar nomination and a challenging role and nobody has complained about her Broadway phase ... and if Nichols is the one (as he probably will be) she's always game to work with him.

Catherine said...

I can't really comment intelligently because I haven't seen or read the play and I find it hard to cast roles I'm not familiar with, but basically I am salivating at the possibility of any combination of these great actresses being cast in a film together. I'm also dying to get a copy of the playscript to read for myself. So, good job everybody!

Anonymous said...

Allison Janney for Barbara, no doubt. I was so surprised/happy when I saw Walter Hollmann put her down too.

Yancey said...

I'm trying to think of who's closest to Deanna Dunagan in body type, and the best I can come up with is Judy Davis, and she'd nail it. They might have to age her up a bit, but I think she could pull it off pretty easily. The problem would then be who could match up with her realistically in age (the daughters, sisters, etc.), body types, etc. If Meryl gets the Violet role for the box office, then so be it. That's the business, and it's not like Meryl's a slouch that couldn't be awesome as this character. Glenn Close would be wonderful, and that could finally get her that elusive Oscar. Sally Field's an interesting way to go, and so is Jane Fonda. I could see Sissy Spacek as Violet too. Barbara kind of has to go to Laura Linney. Celia Weston could be great as Mattie Fae depending on who gets the Violet role. Not sure about the other daughters or the guys in the piece. I kind of got the impression that the Oscarbait roles are Violet, Barbara, and Mattie Fae, correct? Not to take anything away from the rest of the casting potential. There are no small parts, you know . . .

Wayne B. said...

Nathaniel - love the Q'Orianka suggestion! I wish she had more film work.

steolicious said...

I would love to see a „red-head“ family
Violet – Sigouney Weaver (this is only with a great make-up dep. possible but I would love it)
Barbara – Julianne Moore
Ivy – Laura Linney
Karen – Cynthia Nixon or Debra Messing
Bill – Wiliam Dafoe
Jean – Saoirse Ronan
Mattie Fae – Bette Midler or Dianne Wiest

Yavor said...

* ok, does anyone know what happened to "The Ice at the Bottom of the World" with Theron, Connelly and Streep rumored to star in it? If this project sees the daylight and Meryl actually takes part, then here's that dramatic role she's been waiting for such a long time. If it happens she should be banned from entering the "Osage County" cast. But if she doesn't get into the first, I'd pay money to see her in the second, she simply needs to star in one of these, am I right?

*I'd love to see Sissy Spacek win an Oscar again, yeah. And Jane Fond and Lady Redgrave sound amazing too.

*On the other hand, I think Emily Watson deserves's to be one of the sisters, I somehoe remember her performance in Gosford park and really can imagine her acting wonderfully in this one.

*Maggie Smith would be a perfect Violet, but she's played too many violets in her career and is 74-years old. Other than that, Maggie would bring back the Jean Brodie days with a performance in such a film, she would kill it!

Anonymous said...

About that multi-racial cast ... I have not seen the play but, based on your comments and remembering an interview Meryl gave to Oprah months ago, they talked about "having something in the pipe" for both of them and Julia Roberts, directed by Mike Nichols. It could be this movie.
I can easily picture Meryl as Violet, Oprah as Mattie Fae and Julia as Barbara.

Dan Callahan said...

Barbara really does have Laura Linney's name on it; she's the Amy Morton of film.

Ellen Burstyn would knock it out of the park as Violet; it's a shame Judy Davis is too young for it, because she's perfect for Violet physically, emotionally, vocally, you name it.

The idea of Lily Tomlin as Violet blew my mind, for some reason. It would never happen, but I'd love to see it.

Mary Tyler Moore and Jean Smart for the TV movie version?

C'mon, big screen comeback for Kathleen Turner as Mattie Fae. Great idea; I won't let go of it til I have to.

All this being said, it will probably be Meryl as Violet, Julia Roberts as Barbara, and some inappropriate Brit like Mirren or Dench somewhere. And it won't be much good.

But when they revive it on stage in 20 years time, Judy Davis can then take Violet and cover herself in glory and awards.

Carl said...

Is Celia Weston really too heavy to play Violet? She seems perfect for it otherwise, and she already has the name right. I suppose, though, that she could do a fine Mattie Fae to Grace Zabriske's Violet...they already look like sisters to me.

Criticlasm said...

I really love the idea of Mary Tyler Moore or Polly Bergen for Violet, but I think both are on the wrong side of the age thing--a little over the age.

LOVE the idea of Julie White as Barbara.

And anyone else seen Michelle St. John, or just me? Still pushing for her.

Oprah as Mattie Fae--that's kind of genius.

JP said...

Could Mary Tyler Moore handle the strains of this role now? She's been in poor health lately with her diabetes. Whoever said Grace Zabreskie for Violet, right on! That's too perfect for words. But it'll never happen. All Meryl has to do is blink and the role's hers. And Mike Nichols is the director attached to the project? Please, that's a wrap.

I respect color-blind casting, but I don't know if I could suspend my disbelief to that degree to have this Midwestern family (who aren't above being racist) have a black matriarch or whatever. No one might care on stage with Phylicia Rashad, but film's another matter.

All the big names seem to have been mentioned. I think that the big "names" will get these roles at the expense of character with the exception of a few. As long as the adaptation isn't screwed up, I'll give whatever casting choices made the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

This movie seems to be "paradise" for middle age actresses and I can not see how Meryl could be not interested in the part of VIOLET. It has everything it could for being a challenge in her career and a perfect twist after 2009 two comedies in a row. Violet is a character like she has never done yet, phisical and psicologically. I have no doubt she´ll even loose weight for her.
Meryl likes to work with new actors every time, Julia Roberts also is a favorite of Nichols, but my choice would be Laura Linney for Barbara. I´d also love to see Mamie Gummer in one of the supporting roles.
If not Meryl, my second choice would be Glenn Close or Susan Sarandon, both most evident choices.

Alex said...

Right now I'm really sort of upset that Judy Davis, Joan Allen, and Debra Winger aren't 5-10 years older than they are. Any of those 3 would be perfect.

I LOVED the Bette Midler suggestion, but I'm glad everyone is warming to my Kathleen Turner comeback idea :)

Glenn Close and Susan Sarandon are both at the top of my lists for Violet. Both of them still have box office appeal, especially for the people who would even want to see this in the 1st place. Remember, guys, this is Hollywood so we can't have Celia Weston in the lead! What are you people thinking? Sigourney Weaver would be a great comeback story too...

Laura Linney for Barbara, no question. It's perfect for her. I kinda hope that they cast a previous Oscar-winner for one of the leads just so the other one gets their due.

Can Marisa Tomei do a southern accent? If yes, go for it! If not, and I doubt it, Jennifer Jason Leigh.

TheMedwenitsch said...

Oh my god,
I SO would love to see geena davis and susan sarandon together in something again.
Maybe a mixture of both their typical kind of movies (they were usually in Very different movies...?) and roles would be pretty awaysome.
Anytime. Anywhere.

NATHANIEL R said...

isn't it weird that they haven't tried to co-star again. I've never understood that.

that's one thing classic hollywood seemed to understand that modern hollywood is mostly stoopid about. if two movie stars have GREAT chemistry, pair them again. Duh.

StinkyLulu said...

StinkyLulu's Late-To-The Party & Ridiculously Idiosyncratic Dream Cast:

VIOLET: Sissy Spacek
MATTIE FAE: Jean Smart or Glenn Close or Kathy Bates

THE THREE SISTERS:
Patricia Clarkson, Laura Dern, Amy Ryan

JEAN: Abigail Breslin
JOHNNA: Delanna Studi or Misty Upham

CHARLES: Chris Cooper. Totally.
BILL: Anthony Edwards
LITTLE CHARLES: David Harbour
STEVE: Paul McCrane
BEVERLY: Tommy Lee Jones
SHERIFF: David Morse or Michael Beach

NATHANIEL R said...

stinky... another vote for Sissy Spacek? wow. people are really going for that idea. and I guess that mesmerizing In the Bedroom rage would be a wonder to return to... with a little bit of her crimes of the heart southern comedy thrown in?

StinkyLulu said...

I just want to watch Sissy all the time. I think she's really good at delivering lines that are funny even when the character's not trying to be (don't forget how funny she is in COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER). And the thing for me having only read the play is the balance between Violet feeling so delicate and so steely strong that I think Sissy would nail. Plus Sissy's from Texas. (I worry about Brits doing Oklahoma accents.)

And I'd just love to have Sissy and Tommy Lee play husband and wife again (even if they don't have scenes together).

Chris Na Taraja said...

wow is number 67 Marsha Mason. At first I was leaning towards Sissy Spacek, or maybe even Patricia Clarkson as the Mother, but what about Marcia Mason? I've always liked her.

Anonymous said...

Definitely Sissy Spacek for Violet.

It seems like crimes against American cinematic humanity for her not to have had a decent leading role since her majestic return to form in 2001 in In the Bedroom. Give this girl a decent part in a good flic and she never fails to deliver.

Speaking of Crimes, recall in 1986 when she did two roles based on plays and turned in spectacular performances all opposite oscar winning actress - Bancroft in 'night Mother & Keaton & Lange in Crimes of the Heart and was the only one to be oscar nominated of the bunch that year (and win the Globe and New York Film Critics Circle award).

Please, let's get her back on screen in some decent roles. Next up is her one and only film on the books - Get Low. Wonder what that'll be like.

Craig said...

Hey, how about Helen Mirren as Violet; Sissy Spacek as Mattie Fae; Parker Posey as Karen; Bill Nighy as Charles; Laura Linny as Barbara; Ryan Gosling as Little Charles; Jennifer Jason-Leigh as Ivy; Phillip Seymour-Hoffman as Bill; Jack Nicholson as Beverly; Kevin Bacon as Steve; Dakota Fanning as Jean.

Glenn Dunks said...

I still say the Mattie Fae character should be played by the actress from Broadway. She was so good. At least the one I saw was.

Anonymous said...

I totally didn't think of the Mike Nichols connection. If he directs, then you better bet your ass that Julia Roberts will be playing Barbara. There is no question about it. He's obsessed with her.

Surprisingly, it wouldn't piss me off that much. Roberts can have a biting sense of humor that's required for Barbara. It would be a big stretch for her, and it would be interesting to see how she would play it.

NATHANIEL R said...

anon 12:28... i agree that it might be interesting but i also am not sure it would be good. I think Julia is a better actress than she gets credit for being (in general) but I am also not so sure about her range and her ability with nuance which Barbara needs.

craig... it's interesting that people want big stars for Beverly. I guess that opening monologue could be fine and you could bring up some classic pairing with the casting of violet... but honestly if it were me, I think I'd cut Beverly out of the film. They have to bring the running time down from 195 minutes, don't they?

it was easy to sit through as live theater goes but i cant' imagine movie audiences staying still that long. Titanic is the only hit movie i can think of (in modern times) that got away with that length.

oh no The Wesinteins I can see it now. a semi colon nightmare

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY: VOL. 1

Craig said...

How about Michelle Pfeiffer for Barbara? I'm surprised you haven't mentioned her in this role, Nate.

Craig said...

. . . BTW, Pfeiffer has that controlled steeliness with a tinge of vunerability the role of Barbara demands . . . .

DonnaT said...

Sissy Spacek in "In The Bedroom" just amazing. She defies her age. Wonderful movie.

Glenn Dunks said...

There are some other issues though:

What will be cut out? (As Nat said, this movie can't be over 3 hours long).

What feeble way will the director/writer use to "expand" the play and make it more film-like. Will character go for drives or for walks or something more substantial?

Just how will the dinner table sequence play out? It's the scene that will make or break the film version.

What will the art direction be like? I can't wait to see what they do with it.

StinkyLulu said...

@glenn: if they're at all smart (i know, i know) in opening it up, they'll have everyone's establishing scenes in the cars as they drive the vast bright openness of the Oklahoma highways rather than in the foyer to the house. i could totally see it really working, especially given that the house is supposed to be so dark in the beginning. and the house itself is supposed to be fairly vast, which I could see working as well (having just rescreened The Big Chill where almost every scene is inside the same house).

NATHANIEL R said...

stinky... that's a great idea. especially because they're lives should suddenly feel darker and more constricted as soon as they reenter their childhood home.

i'm totally not of the school that believes one set = stage bound feel on film. I mean consider BOUND. The entire very long climax takes place in one apartment building and it never ever ever feels anything less than cinematic. Hitchcock also sometimes has very limited sets. There's so much you can do but unfortunately i think most directors don't have enough range to pull it up. And they're also so married to extreme closeups these days that they forget the power of the entire spectrum from long shot to close-up.

i'm not sure why it's such a problem with stage plays on film because it doesn't need to be.

glenn i'm guessing they go with the circular camera which is tired now that everyone uses it but i remember when it was a fairly fresh device -- the use in Hannah and Her Sisters was so awesome.

and i agree: that scene will make or break the film. As will ART DIRECTION.

Josh R said...

Given that Violet was supposed to be a child during The Great Depression and a member of "The Greatest Generation", I think most of the actresses previously mentioned are too young. How about Joanne Woodward, Ellen Burstyn, Patricia Neal, Shirley MacLaine, Jean Simmons or Gena Rowlands?

Anonymous said...

The play was shallow - it had as much depth as an episode of "Mama's Family" with Vicki Lawrence. I sat there predicting every moment: Now the mother will have her monologue, now she'll end up alone and play the phonograph, now she'll crawl up the stairs to the attic. I loved the actress who played the daughter - her entire characterization consisted of running her hands through her hair.

People gushed because there's nothing better around, but that doesn't mean it was good. It was more camp than insightful.

Never believed one minute. Steppenwolff specializes in white trash plays where the actors scream alot.

SigLNY said...

This is the best post ever as I have been casting this movie in my head for over two years. So, here is my overlong two cents; better late than never. ( I gave extra points to Americans with theatrical bona fides)

Violet-
1st Choice - ELLEN BURSTYN (Is she funny enough though?)
2nd Choice - GLENN CLOSE (People don't use her nearly enough) or DIXIE CARTER (THINK ABOUT IT! WHOA! And see my choice for Bev.)
Wild Card - ELIZABETH TAYLOR (It would be the biggest comeback EVER and if Nichols directs, quite a reunion. She is just too far gone.)
Super Wild Card - Elaine Stritch (I could then die happily)
Will get - MERYL. (She'll be great. But, I just wanna see SOMEONE ELSE.)

Mattie Fae:
1st Choice - PIPER LAURIE (Brilliant and out of the spotlight for too long.)
2nd Choice- KATHY BATES (She's an obvious but dependable choice. The most Rondi Reed-ish of the lot.)
Wild Card-GLENN CLOSE (her and Meryl together would be overwhelmingly awesome.)
Will get: KATHY BATES

Barbara-
1st Choice - AMY MORTON (PLEASE! STAR CAST THIS HOWEVER YOU WANT BUT GIVE ME MY AMY!!)
2nd Choice- LAURA LINNEY (full-stop.)
Wild Card - AMY MORTON (She needs to be on the list twice)
Will Get: LAURA LINNEY (unless Julia Roberts sneaks in)

Ivy- (Hardest part to cast)
1st choice - MARY LOUISE PARKER.
2nd Choice - GWENETH PALTROW (especially if the Weston's are skewing blond.)
Wild Card - ANNE HATHAWAY (ridiculously too young but from some reason I can see her in the part)
Will get: MARISA TOMEI

Karen:
1t choice- PARKER POSEY
2nd Choice- AMY RYAN
Wild Card- JULIA ROBERTS (this part would be better for her than Barbara but is it too small?)
Will Get: AMY RYAN

Charlie Aiken (Mattie Fae's Husband)
1st Choice - CHRIS COOPER
2nd Choice - BILLY BOB THORNTON (too young?)
Wild Card - JOHN GOODMAN (I can see it but is he just TOO fat?)
Will Get: CHRIS COOPER

Bill Fordham (Barbara's Husband)
1st Choice - BILL PULLMAN (He is a wonderful stage actor and his skills aren't used on film enough.)
2nd Choice - TOM HANKS (Too big a star?)
Wild Card - BILL IRWIN, GARY SINISE (Steppenwolf!) or TRACY LETTS (He is an actor after all.)
Will Get: TIM ROBBINS

Little Charles:
1st Choice: ETHAN HAWKE
2nd Choice : JAKE GYLLENHAAL (too young?)
Wild Card: GIOVANNI RIBISI or KEANU REEVES
Will Get: JAKE GYLLENHAAL

Steve Heidebrecht (Karen's Fiance):
1st Choice: GARY COLE (Perfectly Swarmy)
2nd Choice: KEVIN SPACEY
Wild Card: JOHN MALKOVICH or GARY SINISE (get some Steppenwolf in there!)
Will Get: MICKEY ROURKE

Beverly Weston (the Patriarch with the opening monologue that they BETTER NOT CUT!):
1st Choice: HAL HOLBROOK (then cast Dixie!)
2nd Choice: FRANK LANGELLA
Wild Card: JACK NICHOLSON or ROBERT REDFORD
Will Get: FRANK LANGELLA

Director:
1st Choice: MIKE NICHOLS (Hopefully he can redisover his Virginia Woolf aesthetic).
2nd Choice: STEPHEN DALDRY (but a Brit shouldn't direct this really)
Wild Card: ANNA SHAPIRO (the original director) or TRACY LETTS (worked for JP Shanley).
Will get: MIKE NICHOLS

Mr. Movie Geek said...

I saw this post a while back, but hadn't read the play. I just finished re-reading it today, and wanted to see the casting ideas. They're all so great! (I never thought of Linney as Barbara or Weston as Mattie Fae...brilliant.) My thoughts:

VIOLET. I thought of Sissy Spacek for the longest time, but Glenn Close would also be a great choice.

BARBARA. I was struggling with this one...I thought Annette Bening would be nice for a while, but again, now that I saw Linney's name I have to jump on that bandwagon.

IVY. I always pictured her physically resembling Mary-Louise Parker or Jane Adams. Both a slightly younger than the part, but I think that they could both pull it off.

KAREN. This was the biggest toughie of them all. I heard Kristen Chenoweth's voice in my head, for some reason, but I highly doubt how well that would work. Maybe Toni Collette?

MATTIE FAE. From the get-go, Margo Martindale was my embodiment of Mattie Fae. True, she is virtually unknown, but I seriously think she could leave quite an impression and "break into the mainstream" through the film ala Melissa Leo from last year.

BILL. Bill Irwin, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin...really, not too difficult a role, but it should be handed a talented man.

JEAN. HAS to been an unknown. If Dakota Fanning got that part, I swear to God...

JOHNNA. I thought Q'Orianka from the beginning. I was amused by someone else's post about Catalina Sandino Moreno though, considering Jean's (very brief) mention of Maria Full of Grace in the attic scene.

Needless to say, I'm ecstatic for this project and can't wait to see who will eventually get cast into it.

ken said...

My vision for the casting possibilities of the film version
of August:Osage County is a doozey.

Beverly Weston=GENE HACKMAN,TOMMY
LEE JONES,KIRK DOUGLAS,ROBERT DuVALL,JACK NICHOLSON,or STEWART
GRANGER.

Violet Weston=ELIZABETH TAYLOR,
JENNIFER JONES,SHIRLEY MacLAINE,
ELLEN BURSTYN,LAUREN BACALL,GLENDA
JACKSON,VANESSA REDGRAVE,JANE ALEX-
ANDER,CAROL BURNETT,or MARY TYLER
MOORE.

Bill Fordham=MICHAEL DOUGLAS,KEVIN
COSTNER,WARREN BEATTY,NICK NOLTE,
ROBERT DeNIRO,AL PACINO,HARRISON
FORD,or WILLIAM HURT.

Barbara Weston-Fordham=JANE FONDA,
FAYE DUNAWAY,SUSAN SARANDON,MERYL
STREEP,SALLY FIELD,JESSICA LANGE,
DIANE KEATON,SISSY SPACEK,MICHELLE
PFIEFFER,or CHER.

Ivy Weston-DEMI MOORE,ANNE ARCHER,
JODIE FOSTER,JULIENNE MOORE,or
JOAN ALLEN.

Karen Weston=ANNE HATHAWAY,AMY
ADAMS,GWENYTH PALTROW,MARY-LOUISE
PARKER,REBECCA DeMORNAY,WINONA
RYDER,or LINDA BLAIR.

Mattie Fae Aiken=SHIRLEY KNIGHT,
PIPER LAURIE,MARSHA MASON,KATHY
BATES,PATTY DUKE,DEBBIE REYNOLDS,
GENA ROWLANDS,SHIRLEY JONES,STELLA
STEVENS,or CAROL LYNLEY.

Charlie Aiken=ED HARRIS,BEN GAZZARA,GEORGE SEGAL,FRANK LANGELLA,JAMES WOODS,or JAMES CAAN.

Little Charles Aiken=ROBERT DOWNEY
JR.,JAKE GYLLENHALL,ROB LOWE,EMILIO
ESTEVEZ,ETHAN HAWKE,JOSH HAMILTON,
C.THOMAS HOWELL,or TIMMOTHY HUTTON.

Jean Fordham=ELLEN PAGE,DAKOTA
FANNING,ANNA PAQUIN,JULIET LEWIS,
or SARA GILBERT.

Steve Heidebrecht=CARL WEATHERS[for
a jolting piece of surprise casting.]

Johnna Moneveta=ROSIE PEREZ,SOFIA
COPPOLLA,SILVANA GALLARDO,or VICTO-
RIA RACIMO.

Sherrif Deon Gilbeau=BRIAN DENNEHY,
or RANDY QUAID.

My choices for the film version's
director are:

MIKE NICHOLS,ANG LEE,WOODY ALLEN,
ROBERT REDFORD,SYDNEY POLLOCK,or
NORMAN JEWISON.

notanotherblog said...

Speaking directors, Sidney Lumet and Sam Mendes. They're heavyweights in theatre and they'll be great for this movie.

Anonymous said...

You know Doris Day has been itching to come back to do a film....and what a way of coming back to movies...also Im surprised no one has mentioned BETH GRANT (from Sordid Lives) or even Delta Burke?

Anonymous said...

I think that ROSEANNE BARR would make a sharp, antagonistic, yet incredibly sympathetic Violet.

Joanna said...

I really like Sigourney Weaver for Barbara, Laura Linney as Ivy, and Drew Barrymore as Karen. And I LOVE the idea of Redgrave as Violet and Rue McClanahan as Mattie Fae.

Anonymous said...

We have to think in no Oscars winners for the cast like Glenn Close, Michele Pfeiffer, Amy Adams, Julianne Moore with the exception of Meryl Streep if she doesn´t win it for de Iron Lady.