Tuesday, December 2, 2008

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And this is the proper day:


And it's Tuesday, which means that, regardless of what I wrote earlier, I gots to does a Casting Coup. In keeping with the spirit of the Season, of course, I will keep it Christmas. And what greater Christmas story is there than Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol?

I know, I know. It's been done. Many, many times. Like, 106 or something, including a dramatic reading filmed for PBS starring James Earl Jones and Martin Fucking Sheen. And we're getting a new one next year starring Jim Carrey, Bob Hoskins, Colin Firth and Gary Oldman. Plus, LA's Kodak Theatre is mounting a stage production starring Christopher Lloyd and Gene Wilder.

But, you know, I haven't gotten my say in this. And darn it, I want my own Christmas Carol!

Who is She: The wife of Bob Cratchit. Helluva gal, loving and kind, but does she ever have an opinion!

Tiny Tim: "I think I know who sent it: Mr. Scrooge."
Mrs. Cratchit: "Oh, dear, whatever'd make you think that?"

Previously played by:

Miss Piggy (A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, The Muppets Take Manhattan)

My Choice: Academy Award/Golden Globe Winner for Best Actress (Howards End) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Sense and Sensibility), BAFTA Winner for Best Actress (Howards End, Sense and Sensibility), SAG Award Nominee for Best Actress (Sense and Sensibility), WGA Award Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay (Sense and Sensibility)

Emma Thompson (Stranger Than Fiction, Love Actually)
As gifted in drama as she is in comedy, Emma Thompson could take this scene-stealing role and make it into a showstopper. Not the bad kind, either. She could play mother, wife and protector. A small role, sure, but it fits.

Who is She: The sister of Scrooge, the mother of Fred. A sweet girl, shows Ebenezer goodness and love, at Christmas. Practically a saint.

Quote: "And you're to be a man...and are never to come back here; but first, we're to be together all the Christmas long, and have the merriest time in all the world."

My Choice:

Emilia Fox (Keeping Mum, the upcoming Dorian Gray)
I like to see Fan as Scrooge's older sister, like in the 50s version. Emilia is pretty, but is pale enough and, well, English-looking enough to possibly be sick. And dying. In childbirth.

Who is She: The beloved of young Scrooge, she ended their engagement when he began to value money more.

Quote: "Another idol has displaced me; and if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come, as I would have tried to do, I have no just cause to grieve."

Previously played by:

Meredith Braun

My Choice:

Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace, St. Trinian's)
She's an up-and-comer, much like her male fans. A pleasing voice and undoubtedly beautiful. Good and pure is doable for her, despite being best known as jailbait and a good lay.

Who is He: The jovial merchant under whom Scrooge was first apprenticed. Throws kick-ass parties.

Previously played by:

Fozzie the Bear (The Muppet Movie, Muppet Wizard of Oz)

My Choice: Academy Award/Golden Globe Winner for Best Supporting Actor (Iris), BAFTA Winner for Best Supporting Actor (Moulin Rouge!), SAG Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (Iris) and Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture (Little Voice, Moulin Rouge!)

Jim Broadbent (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Richard III)
His turn as Zidler is proof that he can throw a good party. If the script calls for it. Great father figure, too.

Who is He: The nephew of Scrooge, the son of Fan. He is happily married to a woman of little means, inviting his uncle to their place every year. He loves Christmas.

Previously played by:

Steven Mackintosh (The Jacket, Underworld: Evolution)

My Choice: SAG Award Nominee for Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture (3:10 to Yuma)

Christian Bale (Rescue Dawn, Newsies)
Kind of my go-to guy for pleasant chap with a charming smile. Boyish. Fun-loving. Now if only he knew that.

Who is He: The Scrooge of the Past who loves his sister, works for Fezziwig, and slowly becomes greedier and more selfish.

Previously played by:

Raymond Coulthard (The English Patient, Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures)

My Choice:

Matthew Goode (Brideshead Revisited, the upcoming Watchmen)
He looks like the young version of who I have in mind for Scrooge. A versatile character actor who just happens to have leading-man good looks. Besides, it's a fairly brief role.

What is It: A Christmas Spirit that takes Scrooge through his Future, as pertains to the Christmas season.

Quote: "---"

Previously played by:

Not Sweetums

My Choice:

Richard Kiel (Happy Gilmore, Moonraker)
I know, I know. I don't really need a name for this, per se, but Kiel is a nice compromise. Only real geeks know who he is, and he's enough of a monster to fill out that costume frighteningly. Kiel stays.

What is It: A jolly Christmas Spirit that takes Scrooge throughout the Christmas...well, come on.

Quote: "Come in, and know me better, man."

Previously played by:

The Jolliest Muppet Ever

My Choice: SAG Award Winner for Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)

John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Living Daylights)
Does any man have a jollier bass than Sallah? "INDY! HA-HA-HA! Bad dates..."

What is It: The Christmas Spirit who takes Scrooge through the origin of his unhappiness, and also makes him feel like a chump.

Previously played by:


My Choice: Academy Award/BAFTA/Golden Globe Nominee for Best Supporting Actress (Atonement)

Saoirse Ronan (City of Ember, the upcoming The Lovely Bones)
The book describes how childlike the entity is, something the Muppets did in the most disturbing way imaginable. Saoirse Ronan has a sprite-like quality to her, and she's not terrifying, so that'll do. That'll do.

Who is He: Scrooge's old business partner, now dead as a doornail. Wrapped in chains, he comes back to haunt Ebenezer.

Quote: "Business! Mankind was my business!"

Previously played by:

Statler and Waldorf (TV's The Muppet Show, Muppets from Space)

My Choice: SAG Award Nominee for Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers)

Christopher Lee (Diagnosis: Murder, Airport '77)
This is really self-explanatory. A haunting presence bellowing at you in a stentorian voice? C. Lee is the way to go.

Who is He: Scrooge's clerk who, despite being poor and badly treated, maintains the Spirit of Christmas. Has a crippled son, the youngest of a large brood that keeps multiplying, suggesting that the Cratchits may be Catholic.

Quote: "I give you the founder of the feast: Ebenezer Scrooge!"

Previously played by:

Kermit the Frog (The Great Muppet Caper, the upcoming Letters to Santa: A Muppet Christmas)

My Choice: BAFTA Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (Bridget Jones' Diary), SAG Award Winner for Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture (Shakespeare in Love)

Colin Firth (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Pride & Prejudice)

Who is He: The famous miser who hates Christmas and loves money until Marley and the Ghosts come to change his mind and his SOUL.

Quote: "Bah! Humbug!"

Previously played by: Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor (Hannah and Her Sisters, The Cider House Rules), BAFTA/Golden Globe Winner for Best Actor (Educating Rita), Golden Globe Winner for Best Actor (Little Voice), SAG Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor (The Cider House Rules)

Michael Caine (Sleuth, Sleuth)

My Choice: Academy Award/BAFTA Winner for Best Actor (The Silence of the Lambs), BAFTA Winner for Best Actor (Shadowlands), Golden Globe Nominee for Best Actor (Magic, The Silence of the Lambs, The Remains of the Day, Nixon) and Best Supporting Actor (Amistad), SAG Award Nominee for Best Actor (Nixon), Best Supporting Actor (Amistad) and Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture (Bobby)

Anthony Hopkins (Fracture, Beowulf)

There's magic in the air this evening
Magic in the air
The world is at her best, you know
When people love and care
The promise of excitment is one the night will keep
After all there's only one more sleep till Christmas

The world has gotta smile today
The world has gotta glow
There's no such thing as strangers
When a stranger says "Hello"
And everyone is family, we're havin' so much fun
After all there's only one more sleep till Christmas

'Tis the season to be jolly and joyous
With a burst of pleasure we feel it all right
It's a season when the Saints can employ us
To spread the news about peace and to keep love alive
"Merry Christmas, so long!"

There's somethin' in the wind today that's good for everyone
Yes, faith is our hearts today, we're shinin' like the sun
And everyone can feel it, the feelin's runnin' deep
After all there's only one more sleep till Christmas
After all there's only one more sleep till Christmas day

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