The world of rap is about to meet the world of [pause] Charles Dickens, with Disney's "modern take" on the 1837 classic Oliver Twist. Tony-winning director Thomas Kail is on board, while it has been announced that Straight Outta Compton's Ice Cube will be starring in the film as Fagin — the criminal boss of the orphan boys. Yes, really.
We all laughed when Reynolds returned to Deadpool, we all said Affleck was too old to play the Caped Crusader, well what do you have to say about this? Ice Cube (real name O'Shea Jackson) will also be co-producing the film under his Cube Vision banner. No stranger to Hollywood, Jackson started his acting career in 1991's Boyz n the Hood, took over from Vin Diesel for xXx: State of the Union, and more recently starred in the Ride Along and Jump Street franchises.
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The story of Oliver Twist has had many incarnations over the years, most famously the 1968 film Oliver! and the numerous stage shows since. As for a new version, I personally would love to hear a beatbox version of "Oom Pah Pah." We have already had the modern telling of Annie with Quvenzhané Wallis and Jamie Foxx, so we know it can be done. Sticking with the world of music, let's fan-cast the rest of the 'orrible orphans and co. in the Dickensian tale of woe:
1. Oliver Twist played by Justin Bieber
- Role: "Bieb" Back Soon
C'mon Disney, you know it makes sense. The bad boy of pop as the mischievous little orphan. Sure, Biebs may be a little old to play the young Oliver Twist, but can you smell the money casting him in the title role. Beliebers worldwide are sure to flock to see him in a pair of muddy Yeezy trainers and some hand me down Moschino.
2. Bill Sykes played by Kanye West
- Role: Twitter's No.1 target
Talking of Mr. West's infamous clothing brand, Oliver Twist needs a villain — step up Kanye West. Not afraid to speak his mind, or ruffle a few feathers, West is the perfect pantomime bad guy. The 1968 film has Oliver Reed's Bill Sykes as a baton-wielding psychopath, but I say Kanye's choice of weapon would be a mic. He can also hurl it his naysayers.
3. The Artful Dodger played by Miley Cyrus
- Role: You've got to twerk a pocket or two
We have already seen Miley Cyrus "boy up" when she imitated Justin for SNL, so stick a top hat on her and voila, you have your Artful Dodger. Playing the cheeky chappy who leads the rag tag bunch of orphan boys, Cyrus can stick her tongue out until her heart's content and twerk along to all your favorite songs. Plot-twist, half way through it turns out that Oliver has fallen for his best friend, who is actually a girl in disguise — a'la Amanda Bynes in She's the Man.
4. Nancy played by Taylor Swift
- Role: Singing for her $$$
Played by Shani Wallis in the 1968 film, Nancy is an integral part of the story. She's the street-wise street-walker who takes Oliver under her wing. Obviously we aren't insinuating that Taylor is a prostitute (or even a snake), but having her cast alongside West as his lover would be one way to bury the hatchet — or it could of course open up old wounds. We will keep Kim K at bay backstage.
5. Mr. Brownlow played by Eminem
- Role: Rap daddy
We all forget Marshall Mathers's caring side, from the love for his mom, to caring for his daughter Hailie Jade Mathers. Let's take the rapper back to his 8 Mile days where he was the doting brother to Chloe Greenfield's Lily while Kim Basinger got sloshed up. Oliver does have a happy ending thanks to Mr. Brownlow, the affluent bachelor who takes a shine to Oliver's plight. Presumably he would adopt him after a climactic rap battle, forcing Kanye's Bill Sykes to leave music forever.
6. The Orphans played by The Jonas Brothers
- Role: Background eye candy
Finally, we need those cheeky background pickpocketers who make up the rest of Fagin's gang. In between revealing stories about who has the biggest package, or how they lost their v-cards, the Jonas brothers could provide light entertainment and part of the soundtrack.
Still not convinced? Well alongside Ice Cube, the other producers are Wicked's Marc Platt and The Firm's Jeff Kwatinetz, so it does look like we will be in safe hands. Disney has previously visited Oliver lore, having produced the animated Oliver & Company in 1988, but this will be the first live-action story since Roman Polanski's 2005 adaptation. If Disney are looking to bring the centuries old story to a younger audience, I have even come up with a name for it — Get Twisty. Coming soon to a cinema near you!
Watch Ron Moody's performance of "You've Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two" from 1968, and don't forget our poll below!