Thursday, February 16, 2006

Casting Confusion: Bond Babe, Lehane Leads

So we finally have a leading lady for the next James Bond film, "Casino Royale." Her name is Eva Green and if you've seen "The Dreamers," you've seen just about every centimeter of her. She's lovely, speaks decent English and proved in "Kingdom of Heaven" that she can avoid being upstaged by purdy cinematography and over-choreographed battle sequences. At 25, though, I think she's probably too young and inexperienced to be put in this position, but the producers did, after all, go after just about every single actress with more experience under the sun. They've suddenly got an awful lot riding on Daniel Craig and Green, two actors who haven't exactly developed the kind of following that gets $100 million movies greenlit. Incidentally, if I were casting the movie and going "young and French," I'd have checked into Ludivine Sagnier. She's only one year older than Green, but yowza. Then again, nobody asks my opinion.

The other part of the Bond news released today is much better. Jeffrey Wright against type as Felix Leiter? LOVE IT! As character actors go, he's as versatile as they get. He's played every kind of part, but he never ever seems miscast. It's a fabulous skill. He should have gotten an Oscar nomination for "Broken Flowers," but he's a bit like Philip Seymour Hoffman or Paul Giamatti. One of these years, it'll just be his time. Obviously "Casino Royale" won't be his Oscar movie, but it can't help but raise his profile.

The other piece of casting news, which may be less reliable, given its source (that'd be the Boston Herald), is that Ben Affleck is going to cast brother Casey and Michelle Monaghan as Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro in his directing debut, an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's "Gone Baby Gone." I haven't read this particular Kenzie/Gennaro tome, but I've read others and while I'm OK with Monaghan (adored her in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"), Wee Affleck couldn't be more miscast as the Alpha Male Gennaro. It's ridiculous, but if they're going young with the characters, Brother Ben would have been better off playing the part himself.

Oh well.

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