Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Could Have Beens: Josh Hutcherson Parker / Toni Roxie Collette

Josh Hutcherson's Spider-Man screen test went up at Latino Review. Though I'm sure they'll be pulled soon it's fun to watch. It's actually interesting to see how much effort went into these screen tests. Wouldn't it be great to see all of them back to back? We're talking wire stunts, editing, scene recreations from the original Spider-Man. Everything. Plus, it's not one of those audition tapes that makes the actor look bad. Hutcherson looks like he'd be an excellent Peter Parker. All the press he got for even being in the running will surely do him good. Well, that and holding his own in the stellar The Kids Are All Right cast this summer. I see a SAG nomination come January 2011 (ensemble).

Here's the video and a few screen caps in case it disappears.




The online wailing about Andrew Garfield is a clear case of fear of the unknown. He's as solid a choice as any and probably moreso given that they went with him without any bankability whatsoever and him being older than they'd planned on going. In other words: they know something we don't, having seen his screen test.

But "could have beens" are fun, too. Every once in a blue moon I try to imagine Basic Instinct with any of the women who were considered or rejected it before Sharon Stone got it... and there were so many. I always wonder if Holly Hunter would have won a second Oscar for As Good As It Gets had she not priced herself out of the movie. Or I try to picture Rachel McAdams as Invisible Girl in Fantastic Four. Easy! Or Brad Pitt attempting an English accent for About a Boy. How weird would that have been? (That's why Not Starring is such a fun site to visit randomly.)

This topic also makes me think of Evita (1996) and how it might have been Streep or Pfeiffer (who recorded a demo) instead of Madonna in another iteration.

My saddest could-have-beens will probably remain Michelle Pfeiffer as Clarice Starling (Fact: turned it down) -- not because Jodie wasn't superb but because, well, Oscar! -- or Toni Collette as Roxie Hart in Chicago (Rumor: deemed not bankable enough despite being first choice). Both would surely have been excellent.



But maybe the Toni Collette as Roxie thing haunts me only because I l-o-v-e-d her in The Wild Party on Broadway so much. And because I wanted her to play Liza Minnelli for so long in a biopic. I'm dying to see Toni in another musical. Will it ever happen again?

28 comments:

Michael B. said...

For some reason this looks entirely fake to me, but I was entertained all the way through.

Lucky said...

when I think of 'Could have beens', only one name comes to mind: Jennifer Jason Leigh. I mean, poor woman: she missed roles in Taxi Driver, Boogie Nights (the role of Amber Waves), The Breakfast Club, the leads in Pretty Woman, Chicago, The Accused, and so many more...

/3rtfu11 said...

The Piano originally written for Sigourney Weaver
Ghost originally offered to Jackee
Misery originally offered to Anjelica Huston
Fatal Beauty originally written for Cher
Burglar originally written for Bruce Willis

NATHANIEL R said...

Michael -- how could it be faked? It's so performed and choreographed. No amount of found footage of Josh Hutcherson could ever achieve this.

Alex said...

I think it's interesting that Meryl Streep/Goldie Hawn, Frances McDormand/Holly Hunter, and Michelle Pfeiffer/Jodie Foster were all attatched to THELMA & LOUISE at one point. I wonder who would play who in the Foster/Pfeiffer pairing. I could see it both ways...

4 words: David Bowie in HOOK.

Joan Cusack in PULP FICTION has got to be a lie, right?

Lastly, think how different Emma Thompson's career would've been if she hadn't turned down BASIC INSTINCT. Just think, her 1995 Best Actress nomination could've been for CASINO!

Michael B. said...

By fake I mean it's a real video, of course, but not an audition tape for Spiderman.

Joe said...

Garfield must have been AMAZING because I loved Hutcherson in that clip. Great acting from him and he fits the geeky action hero (and cute guy oblivious to his cuteness)very well. I guess he is pretty short at 5'7 though and Garfield will probably be a bigger name by the end of this year than Hutcherson will be. That said, I still miss Tobey.

Good call on Toni as Roxie. I'd never seen that musical before and she would have fit right in with the time period. She does awkward so well. However, those clips of her singing made me want to cast her as Velma Kelley.

Peggy Sue said...

I love Michelle as everyone else here but I just can't believe the incredible amount of great roles she has turned down over the years. Should we blame her or her agent?

OtherRobert said...

Wait. Toni Colette would have been an Oscar winner for Chicago killing it as Roxie Hart? But, but she was Queenie. She basically played the role already, only a much harder version of it in a way more interesting show. No fair.

I think the classic, obviously, is Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady. Not that Hepburn didn't kill it in the role on the silver screen, but I can't help but wonder what if the real Eliza Doolittle had played the role? Then again, that's par for the course in musical adaptations, even now. Could you imagine the Hairspray movie musical with Marissa Jaret Winokur, Harvey Fierstien, Laura Bell Bundy, Kerry Butler, Dick LaTessa, and Matthew Morrison?

In the future, we can easily discuss the could have beens of Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel in the Wicked film, or Lin-Manuel Miranda in In the Heights.

Craig Bloomfield said...

/3rtfu11 - I remember a rumour about Misery being offered/written for(?) Bette Midler and Gene Hackman. I kinda wished they made two Miserys now. I could see her doing it.

Seisgrados said...

I'm sure "notstarring" got its facts wrong. I´m pretty sure I read an interview at the time in which Demi Moore desperately wanted the part in Basic Instictbut she was turned down because she had small breasts. That was before Striptease. Anyone remember that?

By the way Nat, I'd pay good money to see Collete's screen tests!

Dan said...

Please tell me this scene is not going to be in the next Spider-Man film. I'm having deja vu already.

NATHANIEL R said...

Seisgrados -- wasn't that Linda Fiorentino?

cal roth said...

I really doubt any other pair could win the Oscars Hopkins and Foster won. They both were ultra specific with their acting choices in the movie, far from easy routes. Like, they made their roles Oscar-bound without being Oscar-bait. Clarice and Hannibal are not that kind of roles like Jennifer Hudson's in Dreamgirls.

Pfeiffer's Oscar role was in The Door in The Floor. It'd be a big comeback, back with Bridges onscreen, the role is great and a role in which she could excel (I can't see her as Clarice, no way). Basinger couldn't make it work as an Oscar vehicle because she had already won, but Bridges and Pfeiffer together? It'd be too great for them to ignore such a story, at least for Pfeiffer. She could be the Sarandon (overdue, prestige) to stop that Elisabeth Shue (Swank) from winning.

Anonymous said...

I'm still holding on to the hope that Toni Collette will be cast in a big screen musical adaptation. I would love to see her tackle Diana in Next to Normal, with Anna Kendrick as Natalie and RDJ as Dan. (Fill the rest of the cast with unknowns, and you've got yourself a winner)

-Jonny

chris na Taraja said...

OMG why wasn't toni collete cast as Liza!? that's a crime!

I"m over the Spideman thing. he's cute, but didn't we just see that whole scene with Toby McGuire. the first Spider man was good, WHY.

And why not Wonder Woman....hey, Toni Collette as Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman the musical!!

/3rtfu11 said...

Craig,

Their names were originally suggested on the physical script by William Goldman. Many actors declined the Paul Sheldon role. IMDB has a decent list of names including Warren Beatty.

Midler or Huston you see as an alternative?

Craig Bloomfield said...

/3rtfu11 - Never knew that about Weaver/The Piano. (Also, Jennifer Jason Leigh lobbied for that role, too - don't know why it didn't happen - but hence Campion giving her a role in In the Cut.)

Hackman and Huston would've been ace. (I'd have loved to have seen Midler do it, too - and she coulda.) Huston could've done that role in her sleep (and would've def won the Oscar that year, with two roles up!), but perhaps in the end Bates was perfect - and she was, really. It was her win. Although I'd have liked to see the Academy break with their daft traditions and given joint BA Oscars that year to both Bates and Huston. (It was one of the only years where I was 100% split with who I wanted to win.)

Coincidentally, I'm doing Huston, as per your nudge, for this week's Take Three.

cal roth said...

Only considering the nominees, the only tie situation I can remember in Best Actress is Cher/Close. Maybe Adjani/Pfeiffer, but that's not a case of tie: sometimes I consider each one the winner, then I change my mind.

If we consider all the performances of a year, including the snubbed ones, we'd have a lot of ties, of course.

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

Craig - I can't wait for your Take Three on Anjelica Huston just to see which roles you chose. I just saw The Addams Family again and she was a perfect modern day follow-up to the role. I could never imagine anyone, let alone Cher who wanted the part, else play Morticia.

And in Addams Family Values, Anjelica's got a great screen bitchery moment: "But Debbie. Pastels?"

Dave in Alamitos Beach said...

I'd just settle for an album or two with Toni Collette singing showtunes that require a brilliant actress. Surely she must have SOME down time right?

NATHANIEL R said...

cal -- yeah, once you open it up to the non-nominees. things get crazy :)

Anonymous said...

Craig,

The tragedy of The Piano is that Weaver never saw the script or was directly given an actual offer. The director contacted her agent who rejected the project without informing her. He told Campion that Weaver doesn’t do these kinds of movies. Must’ve been all that good Alien money? Hunter wins the Oscar and Weaver fires her agent!

Kathy Bates is Annie Wilkes. Her frumpy, full figured, Americana type is exactly who this character needed to be. She looks like a nurse you’d see at any hospital stateside. A loner, reader of romance pulp --- Huston is too high brow physically and vocally for that matter to make the character spot on.

Bates’ Oscar win reminds me of Frances McDormand in retrospect. Both character actresses shot at Oscar glory is in the lead category. Bates’ win was aided by three of the nominees being previous winners. Huston being the most recent and Hollywood doing right by Julia Roberts making her wait.

/3rtfu11 said...

Craig,

The tragedy of The Piano is that Weaver never saw the script or was directly given an actual offer. The director contacted her agent who rejected the project without informing her. He told Campion that Weaver doesn’t do these kinds of movies. Must’ve been all that good Alien money? Hunter wins the Oscar and Weaver fires her agent!

Kathy Bates is Annie Wilkes. Her frumpy, full figured, Americana type is exactly who this character needed to be. She looks like a nurse you’d see at any hospital stateside. A loner, reader of romance pulp --- Huston is too high brow physically and vocally for that matter to make the character spot on.

Bates’ Oscar win reminds me of Frances McDormand in retrospect. Both character actresses shot at Oscar glory is in the lead category. Bates’ win was aided by three of the nominees being previous winners. Huston being the most recent and Hollywood doing right by Julia Roberts making her wait.

Janice said...

Toni as Roxie has always haunted me too, ever since I read it in the NY Times - and I never saw her on Broadway in the Wild Party, Nathaniel, so it's not just you. She would have been amazing.

That is a fun site, btw! I had to look up La Kidman - and I still can't believe that ZeeZee was "runner up" for the role of Satine. (Dodged a bullet there, we did.) Catherine Zeta-Jones I can see, but Miss Z of the squirrel-faced squint, as the "most beautiful courtesan" in all of Paris? Someone tell me that's just a rumor.

On the other hand, it says Natalie Portman was a choice for Ada in Cold Mountain; although Kidman supposedly picked up the role after Cate Blanchett - and her ex-husband -dropped it. so apparently Natalie wasn't first choice but I can well imagine her in that role after having read the book - Ada is dark-haired, and probably about Natalie's age, so she would have been perfect for it.

Roark said...

if nothing else, hutcherson's got a nice ass.

NATHANIEL R said...

Roark -- he doesn't turn 18 until October so SHHHHH ;)

adam k. said...

Yeah, I remember seeing Josh in Bridge to Terabithia way back when and thinking he'd grow up to be a hottie. He was really good in that. Glad his career is going well.

I could definitely see how Andrew Garfield would be better, though. Josh comes off kinda one-note geeky here, seems very much like a repeat of Tobey Maguire, while Garfield seems more metro/geek-chic, and a little more compelling in general. I'm sure HIS audition tape really knocked them out, and would never be leaked.