Frankly, I wouldn’t remake the Godfather, ever. It’s like touching Kurosawa’s works. Sacrilege!
But if I had to, I’d reimagine it in another setting altogether (frankly, I think
- The Aging King: Don Vito Corleone
I originally thought of Denzel, but that’s such a boring and expensive choice; rather, what if you actually made it an aging patriarch (a la
- The Heir to the Throne: Sonny Corleone
Have you seen him in? He’s one of very few young actors who possess the intensity, yet composure, that an unknown magically brought to the screen in The Godfather. Frankly, I’d love for Elba to play Michael Corleone’s character, but he’s a tad too old for that role.
But Sonny’s charm and intensity this guy can most definitely play.
- The young’un who turns King: Michael Corleone
Sometimes we forget Jamie’s an Academy Award winner and has yet again proved his acting chops with
- The foolish prince: Fredo Corleone
Michael K. Williams (aka
This one would be a departure for Michael K. Williams, but boy is he a good actor and would easily slip into the really big shoes left behind by John Cazale.
- The consigliere: Tom Hagan
Someone whose ethnic difference matters in this film. Hagan being a part of the Sicilian household is an interesting choice, and Waltz who most recently played a German in Tarantino’s spaghetti western would be perfect.
At this point, after and , Christopher Waltz can’t go wrong, but it’ll be interesting to see him branch out of Tarantino’s verse, and this is a role that he can really sink his teeth into.
- King’s friend, confidant: Clemenza
I almost went with Clarke Peters (Lester Freamon from The Wire) but he looked a tad much like Morgan Freeman, plus I figured we needed a jovial type to play a Clemenza character and who better to do that than Bunk himself.
- Reluctant princess: Michael’s girlfriend/wife, Kay
She’s already played similar roles, pairing up with in a mob movie. She’d have to play a more innocent version of that, but, boy, would she be perfect in this role.
- Troubled daughter: Connie Corleone
After watching Kerry Washington’s role in Django Unchained, I can’t think of any other actor to play Connie’s role who likewise has one of the worst scenes of domestic abuse played out in this film.
- Evil emissary: Barzini
Yes I’ve always wanted to know how an intensely focused Lester Freamon would be, if he were evil. Well, now we’d know.
- Arch nemesis: Solozzo
The one. The only. , if only we can get him to NOT play his own smug self. But I’m sure a good director can coax that out of him.
While considering the actors, I wanted to make sure they’d look like a family, be affordable as a team, and wanted to keep in mind the relative merits of these artists at the stage of their lives compared to Pacino, Duvall, and DeNiro in the 1970s.
And here’s a potential setting:
According to the federal prosecutors chronicled in Stiffed: A True Story of MCA, The Music Business, and the Mafia, organized crime seemed to play a big hand in the music division of the entertainment conglomerate MCA Inc.
In 1983, under the new regime of MCA Records Group president Irving Azoff (ex-manager of the Eagles and Steely Dan), reputed mobster Salvatore ”Sal the Swindler” Pisello became a major player in the label’s business. Though Pisello had neither office nor salary, MCA kept writing him large checks — and he had the run of the place.
More questions on Casting:
- Which are the most unusual examples of casting in movies that worked for you?
- How do they cast people to play fat or ugly characters in movies? How do the fat and ugly actors feel about it?
- How do non-A-list actors have any negotiating leverage at all?