If Classic Movies Were Cast Today

Published 5 years ago by , Updated July 11th, 2013 at 12:09 pm,

Godfather Re Casting If Classic Movies Were Cast Today

It is an almost impossible task to properly remake a classic film, but that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from trying. So we started thinking, what if instead of copying the classics with a new spin, the original films had never been made? What if cinematic classics like The Godfather were casting right now, for the first time – in 2010?

Before you light the torches and break out the pitchforks, understand that this is hypothetical fun. There are countless options for many of these characters, but we’ve picked the actors and actresses we feel best fit the profile of each – and the ones we would most like to see if these iconic roles were being filled for the first time.

The main problem with coming up with something like this is distinguishing a character from the actor. Sometimes actors create a character by bringing a distinct personality to the role. Others would argue that happens with every performance. For instance, how can you ever imagine Don Vito Corleone played by anyone other than Marlon Brando?

Some of the actors that follow could even outperform the original if given the opportunity. But don’t forget, these casting calls are being treated as if there is no knowledge of the original film’s existence. As difficult as it sounds, release your grasp on these memorable movies and tell us what you think of these modern day re-casts.


Revenge of the Nerds

There is no better time to bring up Revenge of the Nerds than 2010. In the era of “geek chic” dorky, scratchy-voice actors are today’s big thing and if Nerds had never been made, it could very likely happen today.

The only person missing is Christopher Mintz-Plasse, but there just wasn’t a spot for him. The following is the best collection of dorks and nerds that Hollywood has to offer. On the other side of things, Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy) seems perfect for the jock character, Stan Gable.

You may also think Charlie Day from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is too old to portray Booger, but Curtis Armstrong made the character legendary and he was already 31 years old.

  • Lewis Skolnick – Jay Baruchel
  • Gilbert Lowell – Michael Cera
  • Arnold Poindexter – Jesse Eisenberg
  • Lamar Latrelle – Donald Glover
  • Dudley ‘Booger’ Dawson – Charlie Day
  • Stan Gable – Garrett Hedlund
  • Betty Childs – Blake Lively
  • Coach Harris – Seth Rogen


Bonnie and Clyde

The two toughest actors in Hollywood would fit perfectly together as the titular pair of criminals. Tom Hardy’s rugged charm and Evangeline Lilly’s down-home toughness would provide the bang needed to bring Bonnie and Clyde to life.

The age range is the most important part of this casting process and these two are the best fit for a romantic tangle in the middle of gunfire and excitement. Based on their prior acting credits, you know they’ll bring solid acting to the roles as well.

  • Clyde Barrow – Tom Hardy
  • Bonnie Parker – Evangeline Lilly


The Graduate

Anne Bancroft, the actress who played Mrs. Robinson, was only 36 years old at the time of The Graduate‘s release. It played into the storyline of the character regarding her relationship with her daughter and Ben Braddock. It may seem like Braddock and Elaine Robinson are the main characters, but the headliner was Anne Bancroft.

Angelina Jolie is 35 years old now and in the perfect form to portray a young mother who seduces her daughter’s new love interest. But starring opposite her need to be the brightest stars in Hollywood and there are plenty right now.

  • Ben Braddock – Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Elaine Robinson – Emily Blunt
  • Mrs. Robinson – Angelina Jolie


The Wizard of Oz


The Wizard of Oz is a story that has been told in a number of ways, from the original book to the classic film, remakes and multiple musicals. Even Michael Jackson sported the Scarecrow outfit in The Wiz. But if none of this existed and the original story had never been made into a major motion picture, how would it all shake down?

The story focuses on Dorothy’s adventure, and she is the most difficult to cast. Imagine crazy Al Pacino as the strange Wizard of Oz or Jim Carrey’s physical comedy in the role of The Scarecrow. But a beautiful, young girl that exudes innocence and intrigue must be cast as Dorothy. While her upcoming role in Sucker Punch might change that image of her, Emily Browning fits the bill.

  • Dorothy – Emily Browning
  • The Wizard of Oz – Al Pacino
  • The Scarecrow – Jim Carrey
  • The Cowardly Lion – Mickey Rourke
  • The Tin Man – Sharlto Copley
  • The Wicked Witch of the West – Keira Knightley


Taxi Driver

It’s almost too easy casting Iris in a 2010 Taxi Driver. There is only one young actress in Hollywood that seems willing to tackle the controversial roles and blow people away: Chloe Moretz.

As for one of the more difficult roles of all time, Travis Bickle, it seems there is only one man for the job. Sam Rockwell is a perfect choice for blending melancholic sarcasm with an ability to physically decay on film.

As for the pimp, Matthew ‘Sport’ Higgins, Oldman’s performance in True Romance proves he can become anybody he wants. A simple reprisal of that character would make an intriguing turn as the disgusting pimp who controls Iris and clashes with Travis.

  • Travis Bickle – Sam Rockwell
  • Iris – Chloe Moretz
  • Matthew ‘Sport’ Higgins – Gary Oldman


Continue to space opera, war, and mafia movie classics…

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  1. All great suggestions! I am worried though… would all these be shot in 3D? Otherwise… I am not sure what we would do! lol

    Great work!

  2. That’s a nice fun ‘what if list’. Some of them almost sound quite good ideas. What might Star Trek be like if they cast it today…Oh wait….

    • lol sam..i find i cant comment on this topic, mom taught me that if you cant say anything nice…..

      • This was all pretty sickening which is surprising considering the fact that i love most of these actors/actresses.

  3. Slow news day.

    • Nah, just a fun feature of “What If” castings.

      -Your father who abandoned you

      • LMAO.ROFL. Best comeback in the history of the internet.Great fun list.I really like The Godfather and The Wizard Of Oz

        • Agreed on both remarks. Epic, Kofi. Epic.
          On the subject of the article, Jim Carrey would make a horrifying Buffalo Bill. Some of his reactions toward the beginning of Bruce Almighty still make me uncomfortable almost purely through his anger and utter self-assured snark. As Buffalo Bill, I think his switch from funny man to blatant psycho killer would be a chilling move- unlike The Number 23, which was good on the first viewing but has since consistently impressed me less with each viewing.

  4. I like the idea of bonny and clyde

  5. ‘The Godfather’ catapulted stars from the New York theatre scene to Hollywood stardom so I don’t think television stars like Milo Ventimiglia are the best substitutes. Perhaps Eddie Redmayne or Thomas Sadoski for Michael?

    Abe Vigota could play the same part. He still looks the same. :)

    • Thomas Sadoski would be incredible as Michael or even Sonny. And he is Italian on his mother’s side to boot.

  6. Definitely love your casting choices for Revenge of the Nerds and The Godfather!!

  7. This was inspired writing. I want to see Sam Rockwell as Travis Bickle. As in NOW. Not bad choices for THE GODFATHER, either.

    As for my own ideas, how about EASY RIDER? I’d stick with James Franco filling in for Dennis Hopper. Here’s a stretch: Jake Gyllenhaal in Jack Nicholson’s role. And finally, I’m thinking maybe Jeremy Renner for Peter Fonda’s Captain America?

    Please keep your snide comments decent, I bleed easily. ;)

  8. The Wizard of Oz should not even have people thinking about a recast. There is no other cast but the original…

    … there I said it :)

  9. Nathan Fillion as Mal Reynolds was better than Han Solo, so he’s an obvious choice for Han Solo

    • Yeah right. Han Solo would b**** slap Mal 12 parsecs across the galaxy!

  10. when I got to THE GRADUATE, I puked

    • Cryptic remark…

  11. I love it nuff said

  12. Josh Holloway for Han Solo. He’s got the Old Spice swagger.

    • I think I like Holloway for Solo. Holloway would def shoot first in that Greedo situation.

      • Thanks Kofi!

      • han shot first anyway…..

        • Here, here Anthony!

  13. love the recasting of The Godfather!

  14. This was good! Aside from Julia Stiles in SOTL, all of these fit the bill perfectly imo

  15. Rofl I love that someone said Slow News day because 5 minutes ago I was amazed at how many articles were already up this early in the day and I was thinking wow a lot of news today. It’s like he only opened one article it happened to not have news and he decided to be snarky lol.

    I think you nailed it with most of the list. With most of them I only disagree with one cast member and the rest is good. With Nerds I love the entire cast and I’m ready to see it now. I mean hell Charlie Day is in it bring it on.

    The very few I disagree with are
    Jim Carrey in both Wizard of OZ and in Silence ugh that’s a bad thought.

    Angelina in the graduate got me all excited about JGL and then I noticed Angelina that’s like having a fun time with a girl and at the last second she punches you in the face and walks away. (10 points to whoever gets that reference.)

    James Franko I mean when are people gonna learn he’s great as a stoner, but usually he’s just a bad actor. Watching him try to act in Spiderman was heart breaking he wanted to act so bad and just couldn’t pull off anything other than bumbling script reader.

    Jamie Ball as Luke. I mean I’m not a Star wars fan, but huh? Luke Skywalker the legend and you go with Jamie Bell ? He’s not exactly a great actor I mean he’s not Paul Walker bad, but he’s not really great either. Not to mention he just doesn’t fit the part.

    Everything else seems fine. I mean I couldn’t possible care less about Bonnie and Clyde so I skipped it.

    • “not paul walker bad”

      hahaha Amen brother

  16. For the most part, I was fine with choices you made and definitely enjoyed this “thought experiment”, but I was just wondering: For most of these, of course, you want to pick different actors and actresses because of ages and the passage of time, but wouldn’t James Earl Jones still be able to do the voice? Don’t get me wrong…I love the idea of Peter Cullen speaking about the stundent becoming the Master, but I’m just sayin’… :)

  17. I really like alot of these — I think a better choice for Buffalo Bill in SOTL would be Cillian Murphy. I think he has a creepy factor that with Jim Carey could come off as a touch campy even at his best.
    Besides, someone like Murphy would redefine the role, problably the same way that DDL would with the role of Hannibal (an inspired choice for sure BTW)

  18. Classic movies would suck if they were cast today.

  19. I like the taxi driver case. And fillion as solo is perfect.

  20. I would see most of these

  21. Sam Rockwell as Travis? Hell yeah!

    Hmm… as GregB says, Cillian Murphy would be a better choice as Buffalo Bill.
    Other than that the only thing I have a gripe with is Gandolfini as the Don.
    Not that he wouldn’t fit the role, but how about a sligthly grittier version of “The Godfather”?
    With Niels Arestrup from “A Prophet” as the Don? He was simply brilliant as the malevolent and at times straight up scary old Corsican mafioso.

  22. “Angelina that’s like having a fun time with a girl and at the last second she punches you in the face and walks away. (10 points to whoever gets that reference.)” – Mr & Mrs Smith (yes, I even bought that on DVD!)

  23. Nope it was not Mr and Ms smith it was the TV show Californication.

    He is having sex with a girl and she asks “Are you about to finish?” he tells here he is so she punches him in the face twice gets up before he finishes and leaves.

  24. Haha. This would have been awesome. Especially Revenge Of The Nerds, The Wizard of Oz, Apocalypse Now, Star Wars and The Godfather. All those would have been amazing. But as said before, without the 3D crap.

  25. I agree with whoever said Josh Holloway should be Han Solo. As much as I love me some Nathan Fillion, I hate typecasting even more. I feel like it’s kinda lazy to just find the actor who has the closest role to this famous one and stick him in it. I had the same problem with you casting Gandolfini as Don Corleone and McKellen as Obi-Wan.

    Also, seriously, Peter Cullen as Darth Vader?? Look, it’s easy to forget nowadays, but when James Earl Jones was cast as Vader, nobody knew who he was. He had a unique voice that no one had ever heard before. He was a cypher, and that’s integral to Vader’s character. Casting someone as prolific, but indeed talented, as Cullen completely negates that. Also, it’s funny that you cast Warwick Davis as R2, because if it hadn’t of been for Star Wars, he wouldn’t have ever gotten into acting in the first place.

    Lastly, Kiera Knightly as The Wicked Witch? You can’t just say something like that and then not explain yourself.

    • “Also, seriously, Peter Cullen as Darth Vader?? Look, it’s easy to forget nowadays, but when James Earl Jones was cast as Vader, nobody knew who he was.”

      In “Jesus of Nazareth”, he was Balthazar…in “Roots”, Alex Haley in “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976), he was Leon Carter, All-Star; in a segment of “Great Performances”, he was King Learand in “The Great White Hope (1970), Jack Jefferson

      In “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)”, he was Lieutenant Lothar Zogg

      Pretty good for an unknown that nobody knew, huh?

  26. Megan Fox as any of these:

    Emmeline in “The Blue Lagoon”
    Erin Grant in “Striptease”
    Carolina in “Desperado”
    Kelly or Suzie in “Wild Things”
    Leticia Musgrove in “Monsters Ball”
    Elizabeth in “9 1/2 Weeks”
    Luisa in “Y Tu Mamá También”

    You understand where I’m going with this??

    • You want all these movies to suck…?

  27. A remake of Revenge of the Nerds was underway for release in 2007, but was shelved after two weeks of filming for being to “rauchy”. 20th Century Fox has said there is little chance that the film will be revived.

    Too bad, because the casting you had was ingenious.

  28. sheer nonsense. the only interesting cast replacement is daniel day lewis for anthony hopkins in silence of the lambs.have you seen the original films???

  29. i liked how you threw siezmore a bone in the godfather.
    the guy needs some sucess to help him get his confidence back.
    I really like his ability as an actor.

    this is a nice exercise… so what is the degree / certification that you would get in order to cast a movie? havent you ever noticed that the casting credit has a cert after thier names… what college gives this out?