Dream casting rumoured, dream casting confirmed

The big casting news of last week is that boyish-looking Scottish actor James McAvoy is rumoured to be the top choice to play fluffy footed Bilbo Baggins in Guillermo del Toro's big screen adaptation of The Hobbit. This is according to The Daily Express, which also listed Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe *yawn* and... erm... Jack Black as other studio favourites for the role.

Personally I couldn't be happier with this rumoured casting, and I hope it becomes a confirmed reality soon. I'm also holding thumbs that this bloody Tolkien Estate lawsuit doesn't derail production of The Hobbit again. Ho hum. I need this film NOW.

Anyway, McAvoy, who you may remember from Atonement and Idi Amin biopic The Last King of Scotland, looks suitably cute and hobbit-ish. He's also a pretty talented performer to boot. As an added bonus, he already has some fantasy film experience, having convincingly played the skittish Faun Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

McAvoy will next be seen in Wanted, the R-rated superhero film co-starring Angelina Jolie.

In other fantastic casting news, it's been confirmed that Jake Gyllenhaal WILL be playing Prince Dastan(?) in Mike Newell and Jerry Bruckheimer's Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, based on the classic video game. The Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain star will be joined by new Bond girl, Quantum of Solace star Gemma Arterton, who plays Princess Tamina.

Certain people are already grumbling about the casting of 2 Western actors as characters of Middle Eastern ethnicity. However, I'm not one of these people. I found the characters in Prince of Persia to be pretty Westernised anyway, so if Gyllenhaal and Arterton just slap on some self-tan, it'll work for me.

At least the film's plot sounds like the game:

In the fantasy adventure, Gyllenhaal will play Dastan, a young prince in 6th century Persia who must join forces with Tamina (Arterton), a feisty and exotic princess, to prevent a villainous nobleman from possessing the Sands of Time, a gift from the gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world.

Sounds like a lot of Aladdin-like fun, and I'm hoping that Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is the first acclaimed game-to-film adaptation. It's set for release in mid 2009.


MJenks said…
I really need to find a copy of Prince of Persia. It's one of those I keep forgetting about.

I threw up a little in my mouth when I read Jack Black as Bilbo. Ugh. There I went again.

I like Jack Black and all...for what he does. Taking on a serious role for the Hobbit would be about as disastorous as having Kevin Smith make a tender movie about love and relationships. Wait. What?
Dante said…
aw, I think Jersey Girl is a underrated masterpiece. :P

BTW new prince game coming. With a new prince who is also a thief, no more emo! :D
Pfangirl said…
You definitely need to seek out Sands of Time, MJenks. Forget Two Thrones and Warrior Within (the 2 sequels) but the first POP is just outstanding and so much fun to play.

As for Jack Black I cringed when I first heard that name. That said, the more I thought about it, if he was kept on a very short leash the whole time, he could pull off Bilbo. He was perfectly fine in Peter Jackson's King Kong, where he had a more serious role.

I do think Black would be better as one of the dwarves though - Bombur maybe?

And Dante, yeah, I know about the new POP game. Apparently it's done in a line-drawing/animated style.
Dante said…
Yes it cell shaded ;)
Anonymous said…
Don't you think that Gyllenhaal as a violent, epic hero sound odd? I mean, his past films have all been about the mind work, really. Darko and Zodiac are some pretty heavy, character driven pieces, as well as Brokeback Mountain.
Pfangirl said…
I don't know, Dan... if the filmmakers are staying with the tone of the first game I can totally picture Gyllenhaal as a cocky, acrobatic hero whose ego lands him in trouble more often than not.

You're right though. A Disney / Jerry Bruckheimer action movie is a big change in direction after Gyllenhaal's more cerebral work.

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