Eons ago now, I wrote an article about re-making Ghostbusters for a new generation, basically re-casting the classic roles. In no way was I saying that the movie should be re-made, it should not, ever, but it was a fun exercise none the less, well I thought it was. So I thought I would continue my series of imagined re-makes with one of my personal favourite films of all time, JAWS. If anyone actually tried to re-make it in real life I think I would shit a brick, a literal brick, but they aren’t going to, and this is imaginary, so on with the fun!
Chief Martin Brody O.P.B. Roy Scheider
Brody is a tough character to cast. Scheider is so good in the role, bringing every-man charm to our protagonist. Someone then we can route for and like, but still convey Brody’s mortal fear of water. May I suggest Hugh Jackman? OK, so he would have to lose some of that Wolverine physique, but Jackman is one of the most likeable actors in Hollywood. I think he can play every-man, he can play superhero,Wolverine, and loser, Real Steel. I can see Jackman crouched on the sinking Orca as the shark comes towards him, ‘Smile you son of a bitch!’.
Quint O.P.B Robert Shaw
Quint is one of the greatest characters ever created in my view. He is amazing. As such, there are few actors who could bring Quint alive as well as Robert Shaw. My pick for this most awesome of roles goes to Russell Crowe. No stranger to life aboard a ship, check out Master and Commander, Big Russ could bring a great deal to the role of the salty sea dog. I bet he could give a killer U.S.S. Indianapolis speech. Would he be as good? I have trouble thinking anyone could replace Shaw, but if anyone could, then maybe, just maybe Maximus Decimus Meridius could, maybe.
Matt Hooper O.P.B. Richard Dreyfuss
Rounding out our trio of shark hunting heroes, Matt Hooper from the Oceanographic Institute. Younger, rich, an expert on sharks, Dreyfuss was again perfect in the role. Why am I racking my brains to try and recast this perfectly cast film? Well I can’t stop now, so I’m going for Ryan Reynolds. Handsome and at home with both comedy and more serious roles, casting Ryan Reynolds could allow for the remake to include parts of the novel that Spielberg didn’t choose to film. For example, in the novel Ellen Brody and Hooper have thought about an affair, a nice little side story that would work well with Reynolds.
Ellen Brody O.P.B. Lorraine Gary
Ellen Brody, at least in my mind, should be smart, sexy, a good mum and a strong woman. If we are going to go with the added plot point of a possible affair with Matt Hooper, she should also be drop dead gorgeous. May I suggest, Charlize Theron. A great actress and a stunning beauty, Ms. Theron would fit the bill exactly.
Mayor Larry Vaughan O.P.B. Murray Hamilton
I don’t know why, but the first name that came to mind when I thought about who to cast as Mayor Vaughan was Morgan Freeman, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. Freeman is obviously a great actor, and does extremely well in small, but important roles (see Nolan’s Batman franchise). Freeman can play pompous well, but can also do remorse and worry. Morgan Freeman is in my mind, a great choice for Mayor Vaughan.
Mrs. Kitner O.P.B. Lee Fierro
A figure of sympathy, pain and remorse, she has two big scenes and as such needs to be able to handle the emotions of losing her son to that bastard shark. For no other reason than I really fancy her, I would cast Kate Beckinsale. She is also a great actress, but I mainly fancy her.
Alex Kitner O.P.B. Jeffrey Voorhees
Another small role, but I hate when kids can’t act and ruin films. Kitner needs to be played by a smart kid who can act and I would like to suggest Brandon Stark himself, Isaac Hempstead Wright. A great actor and the beginning of his movie career.
Ben Gardner O.P.B. Craig Kingsbury
A tiny tiny role. Basically only a head is needed for THAT shocking moment. Can I suggest Paul Giamatti? If you have read my stuff before, you know why.
Chrissie Watkins O.P.B. Susan Backlinie
A tiny, but pivotal role, Chrissie Watkins is basically victim number 1, but her death is shocking and meaningful, and should resonate for the rest of the film. I’m imagining a bit of Scream style stunt casting, where a well known actress buys the farm early on. Watkins is a teenager, should be good looking, with the possibility of some nudity, she does die skinny dipping after all. My choice would be Jennifer Lawrence. She is Hollywood’s next big thing, and suitably famous after X-Men First Class and The Hunger Games. Her death would be shocking enough that the film would make a bold statement.
So those are my picks, and remember, in no way do I want this film to be remade, IT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN. But this has been a fun exercise, at least for me, and I hope you have enjoyed it too. Did I make any glaring errors? Would you pick different actors? Let us know below.