The newest contest has hit the "pages" of Moviepilot, and we find ourselves in the midst of a challenge to recast an existing or future release film with a confirmed cast. So I delved into the recesses of my mind to think about what movie I would want to recast, and I immediately thought back to a movie that I was watching yesterday afternoon- Olympus Has Fallen. I personally am a big Antoine Fuqua fan, all the way back to the days of The Replacement Killers, and I thoroughly enjoyed Olymups Has Fallen even though it was met with average reviews. I know that it was released 2 years ago and isn't quite 'current', but this October the sequel hits theaters, so I thought it would be fun to try my hand at a two-fold recasting: in essence recast the original film as well as the character tie in to the sequel. So follow me into the depths of my creativity if you will and let's begin with Olympus.
Main Cast (Recurring)
Mike Banning is the main protagonist through the film, and honestly Gerard Butler's performance through the film is part of why the movie was able to succeed even though the premise of the movie isn't all together original. Mike is an ex-special forces soldier turned Secret Service Agent spent years growing close to the Presidential family as he is on their immediate detail and spends time getting to know them all until one fateful night when he has to make a split second decision on a snow-covered bridge that ultimately saves the President but has to watch as the First Lady plummets to a sure death. Wracked with distress over what happened, Mike is removed from the Presidential Detail and now works at the Treasury at a desk. Enter the Korean terrorists and Mike charges into action in an attempt to rescue the president and avert complete nuclear destruction to the U.S.
It's tough to recast Gerard Butler in just about anything, because I do actually thing that he was a great casting for the character with a slight bit of brooding tossed in with aggression and machismo to boot. And there are only a few actors who I think can effectively pull that off and still remain believable as a character so I'm choosing Chris Hemsworth.
I know most people see him and immediately think of his time as the God of Thunder, Thor. Well, if you go back in time to when Olympus Has Fallen most people pictured Gerard Butler as either Leonidas, Kable or Sam Childers. We all will always have visions of past characters when we see someone on the screen especially when it's a name like Hemsworth or Butler. Putting that aside, I think Chris would pull off the brooding Banning character well. Chris first hit the big screen in Star Trek as the revered George Kirk, and it's only been up from there and I think having been cast as Mike Banning could have been a solid choice.
President Asher is te epitome of what we picture a presidential figure to be: strong willed, faithful to country and family and unyielding to powers that threaten our freedoms. When you look at Aaron Eckhart, he just oozes those characteristics. He has that demeanor of a president that wants to lead his country towards the pillars that America was founded on. Taken hostage President Asher faces the horrors of terrorists on our own soil as they threaten to kill his comrades and friends in order to achieve their ultimate goal of wiping America off the face of the earth through nuclear devastation.
Aaron Eckhart is a phenomenal president, and is as difficult to recast as Gerard Butler was, but if I were to cast a president in this film, I would have probably gone with an actor a little more aged as he has been president for at least 2 years, the job has started to wear on him, and the actor that I think could portray that is Gary Oldman.
He is one of my all-time favorite actors. He has seen countless films that leave him almost unrecognizable (The Fifth Element, Harry Potter, The Book of Eli, The Contender, Air Force One, Lost in Space) and that is one of the reasons I think he would be brilliant as President Asher. Gary Oldman is one of those actors that can build a character and embody those characteristics. Gary also has had several roles where he is called upon to make the tough choices as to what is necessary for the greater good, just look at his portrayal of Jim Gordon in the Batman movies.
Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs has everything under control. She is what the government needs as a director for security: she's tough, strict and well put together. She knows what needs to be done and she also knows her agents and their abilities. She's vital in the fight to save the kidnapped people and to halt the terrorists plight. Angela Bassett couldn't have been more stellar in her portrayal as the director. She gives off the vibe of being in total control of her situation.
Angela Bassett is known for her portrayal of smart, powerful women and that is definitely what we have in Secret Service Director Jacobs. In terms of recasting a strong female lead there's only one name that immediately comes to mind, even though she's very much a stark opposite to Angela, but I envision Tilda Swinton.
Tilda Swinton, she invokes this vision of sleek power and confidence. Along with being an incredibly versatile actress, it only makes sense that she could portray the director of the secret service. Tilda has had several incredible performances that just go to show her range and ability to completely ensnare her character and turn them into something of breathtaking beauty.
Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan is another pivotal character to the development of this movie. She is one of the final pieces that the terrorists use in their attempt to undermine the American government. She is one of the primary hostages and is brutally assaulted during the interrogation for her nuclear codes. She remains defiant and steadfast in will even though she is beaten nearly to death before President Asher convinces her to release her code. Melissa Leo is a solid actress, and has quite an lengthy list of films and characters to build from and I loved her portrayal of the Secretary of Defense.
Melissa got her first big break on the soap opera, All My Children, and slowly but surely she got breaks into bigger roles until she hit pay dirt with a string of solid characters in The Fighter, Oblivion, Prisoners & The Equalizer. As for a recast there were a couple names that came to mind, but only one stuck Marion Cotillard.
Now, you may not know the name off the top of your head, but I'm nearly positive that you have seen her characters if you're reading this article: Mal in Inception, Marion/Talia Al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises, Josephine Bloom in Big Fish, Billie Frechette in Public Enemies. She has played many strong willed characters, but she still has the ability to remain feminine as well and could easily pull of the Secretary of Defense.
Speaker of the House Allan Trumbull. A veteran among politicians, composed, well spoken, meticulous and widely respected. He is devoted to his country and has an unflinching determination that allows him to make the tough choices even though his friends and innocent people are in the line of fire from the terrorists that seized the white house. Morgan Freeman is without a doubt one of the most incredible actors, and if you're anything like me you are reading this section in his voice. See right there, you just did it.
Morgan Freeman is in my opinion an actor without comparison, so it's really incredibly difficult to recast him as a character, so I won't. My recasting choice is Morgan Freeman.
There's no rule stating that I can't choose the same actor or actress for the role especially when I feel that they are the right choice. Morgan Freeman knows no limits to his acting range; from the comical in Bucket List as well as Bruce & Evan Almighty to the serious leader in Deep Impact, Glory and The Sum of All Fears. Morgan Freeman is just an incredible actor, and I couldn't imagine this movie without him. Titty Sprinkles.
Main Cast (Single Film)
Former Secret Service Agent turned private security for the South Korean Prime Minister's personal detail. Dave Forbes is vicious and vindictive - using his skills as a mercenary for hire. He turns out to be among the terrorist plot as the entire Korean assembly was merely a ploy to get all the necessary people together for their ultimate goal. I love Dylan McDermott for these types of roles, he carries a good presence as a seemingly good character only to have the tables turned and discover that he's dirty and dastardly. I think he played Forbes really well.
Dylan has a strong television and film career basing several roles on the characteristics needed to play Forbes, and for recasting it took me a while to narrow down my list to one name Ian Somerhalder.
Ian is a fairly recent addition to the mainstream acting world getting his first substantial role as Boone Carlyle on the show Lost. I loved his character and I loved his time on screen although I couldn't believe he died when he did. Sorry if that was a spoiler. His presence on Lost as well as his portrayal of Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries make me believe that he can play both the good and the bad sides of a character which is what is needed for Forbes.
The disguised assistant to the South Korean Prime Minister who actually turns out to be a North Korean terrorist mastermind whose soul purpose is to bring down America after his mother was killed by an American landmine. Kang is meticulous and has planned out nearly every detail besides Mike Banning getting involved which ultimately makes him alter his procedure in order to attempt his escape and still bring down the country. Rick Yune plays the cold-blooded killer exquisitely as he has played many of his other characters after first hitting the American streets as Johnny Tran in the original Fast and the Furious.
Rick Yune plays the strong willed, strong fighter really well, and it's tough to stick to the demographics of the film and cast a korean actor with the same skills and presence as Rick, but I believe that I found my recasted Kang in Byung-Hun Lee.
If you don't know the name that's okay because he's just starting to really hit Hollywood hard. He found his first supporting role as Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and he has found strong roles continue to pour in with G.I. Joe: Retaliation, RED 2 and the upcoming Terminator: Genisys & Magnificent Seven. He has played and will continue to play strong characters with a great deal of presence and purpose.
There is nothing really known about this character other than she is tagged as playing a major role in saving London from a terrifying future set out by 3 brothers whose lives were changed due to a drone strike. Since there is little known about her character it's really tough to recast especially considering that I have only a few instances where I've seen her.
For a recast though I have to throw names like Gemma Arterton, Natalie Dormer and Emilia Clarke out there for the shear British element, but I'm going to go with Emily Blunt.
Emily, quite recently has had a string of action leads in movies with The Adjustment Bureau, Sicario, Edge of Tomorrow and the future release of The Hunstman. WIth this string of films, she's proven that she can handle a character who would need nerves and grit as an MI6 agent.
So there it is, my recasting for both Olympus & London Have Fallen. I would have loved to see these actors and actresses in these roles.