- Published on Friday, November 09 2012
- Written by Greg McIver
Well, it looks like Jason Reitman beat me to it. I was going to tackle Woody Allen, at some point, in one of my installments of RECASTING THE CLASSICS, but Mr. Reitman apparently has a John Malkovich-type portal leading into my brain. The Up In The Air writer/producer/director will be staging a live reading of Woody Allen’s Manhattan next Thursday (November 15) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. After producing other past readings for such films as Reservoir Dogs, The Princess Bride, and The Big Lebowski, Mr. Reitman now casts his eyes 'pon Allen’s 1979 masterpiece about a writer who falls in love with his best friend’s mistress.
Fred Savage, whom we all remember as the intimidating Kevin Arnold in "The Wonder Years" and the menacing child in The Princess Bride, will read the role of Yale, Allen’s character's best friend. Erika Christensen, who can currently be seen on the show "Parenthood", will step into Meryl Streep’s old shoes and read the part of Jill, Allen’s ex-wife. Mae Whitman, another member of the "Parenthood" cast, will read for Yale’s wife, Emily. And Shailene Woodley, who sadly does not have any ties to "Parenthood" but was nominated for a Golden Globe for 2011’s The Descendants, will play the part of Allen’s 17-year-old girlfriend, Tracy. (No further comment on that one...)
While Jason Reitman has formally announced his supporting cast, the identities of the two leads are being kept secret. I heard that he couldn’t decide who to pick, so he asked Florida to vote on it. They may have to push the reading back a couple of weeks... At any rate, the performances displayed by Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in the original film are pretty iconic, and it would be incredibly hard to guess whom Mr. Reitman has in mind for the pair. But since you twisted my arm, I’ll go ahead and make some educated guesses. The role of Mary could be done very well by Tina Fey. She has wonderful sarcasm along with a sense of self-assuredness about her, which would be perfect for the role, and it would be nice to see her flex those dramatic muscles a little as well. As for the role of Isaac, I think I’m going to go with Owen Wilson. He proved in Midnight In Paris that he can deftly handle Woody Allen’s material and portray a smart, yet bumbling everyman sort of character. His work in that movie, and the thousands of Wes Anderson movies that he has appeared in, shows that he is a fine actor and more than capable of handling this part. Actually, for me it’s a toss up between him and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but that's up for the people of Florida to decide. Choose wisely.
(Editor's Note: Both Greg and I originally hail from Florida, so we are allowed to make jokes about our home state. No angry tweets please! - Katie M.)
Greg McIver currently resides in New York City. Check out his other reviews and articles at www.nerdtopiacast.com, and be sure to tune in to his weekly podcast Filmtopiacast 3000 which is currently available on YouTube, iTunes, and Stitcher.