Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Great (film) Debates vol. 40

Sometimes you can't top perfection. Sometimes you can. Maybe Star Wars could have been better with a little tweak here and there?

If you were going to recast Darth Vader as a female character, who would you choose?

Panelist: BevfromNYC

I am not sure, but I bet Angelica Huston might be evil enough. There’s always Glenn Close or Meryl Streep. And if you want to recast Spaceballs, then I would choose Linda Hunt!

Panelist: T-Rav

I'd have to pick Tilda Swinton, in light of her work in the Narnia movies, Constantine, and a couple others. There's a vague creepiness in her characters, combined with an ice-cold demeanor and a hidden ferocity, which I think would work very well for a female Vader. She does the villain thing very well.

Panelist: Tennessee Jed

Darth Vaderess? Look, I so want to put in Barbra Streisand who is one ugly woman with a good voice who had the clout to cast herself in romantic leads with Redford and Kristofferson (I can almost visualize the hurl leaking between my fingers as I furiously try and hold back the enevitable tide of spew just thinking about her. Besides, she has the morals of a pig. Alas, this is a serious question and deserves an equally serious answer, so I'll go with Grace Jones.

Panelist: ScottDS

I'll say Louise Fletcher, best known as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Kai Winn in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I realize this may be a cop out answer for people familiar with those two characters but if Fletcher can do one thing, it's evil... and not just evil, but the ruthlessly efficient banal brand of evil which is much harder to pull off. (Incidentally, a cursory glance at her IMDb page reveals a lot of guest starring roles on TV but only a handful of memorable films. I guess this proves winning an Oscar doesn't guarantee immortality.)

Panelist: AndrewPrice

Julie Andrews. Wait, I'm kidding! My choice is Joanna Cassidy. She was the girlfriend in Roger Rabbit, replicant Zhora in Blade Runner, and has had numerous other "tough guy" roles. She's very able to project strength and strength of personality.

Comments? Thoughts?

76 comments:

ambisinistral said...

Rosie O'Donnell. She could pull off mentally strangling lackeys, shooting electricity out of her fingers, and saying "Luuuuke, I'm your father."

Tennessee Jed said...

each and every choice here is an extremely good one if you think about it. Streep has turned into a wicked old witch and Close can do nasty really well.

Tilda Swinton makes a great vaguely menacing villain, Rav. She might not have the physical size to do the Vadress intimidation, however.

Louise Fletcher is an incredibly good choice Scott. She could make the transition from nasty bitch to, "Luke I'm you mother" in a heartbeat.

Andrew - Joanna Cassidy is a classic villainess.

tryanmax said...

Sigourney Weaver

DUQ said...

Excellent choices and a fascinating question! I'll have to get back to you with my answer.

DUQ said...

tryanmax, I would have said Sigourney Weaver until I saw Paul where she played a heavy and I thought she wasn't very good at it.

AndrewPrice said...

ambisinistral, She certainly has the evil part down, I just don't think she has the gravitas. Gravity yes, gravitas, no.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree, they are all excellent choices and interestingly, I suspect they would all have played the character very differently.

I hadn't thought of Grace Jones, but she could definitely do it.

I like Scott's Louis Fletcher choice a lot as she's already played a role where she had to be rather evil and menacing and she did it very well.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, She's a good guy? LOL! Actually, she would probably make a good choice based on her acting in Alien 3 where she did menacing rather well early in the film.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, By all means, let us know your thoughts.

Doc Whoa said...

I wonder if Kathy Bates could play the role? I know she doesn't quite look the part, but has the attitude.

AndrewPrice said...

Good question Doc. She definitely can do menacing evil, but can she do it without trying to seem cute first?

Doc Whoa said...

Also, no love for Ellen Page? (Just kidding!)

Tennessee Jed said...

Max - I agree, I think Sigourney could do it based on Ripley. Remember, Darth has to actually be good and evil.

Tennessee Jed said...

Doc - wow, Kathy Bates. I wouldn't have seen that one coming ;)

Tennessee Jed said...

I just thought of another couple of candidates. Knoxville's Dale Dickey (Winter's Bone) and Daryl Hannah (based on her Kill Bill character)

Tennessee Jed said...

I googled a list of the tallest actresses and in addition to the usual suspects, I came accross one who would be visually stunning in the role: Famke Janssen (a villainous Bond girl in Goldeneye plus some work in the X-Men films.)

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Charlize Theron

Serena Williams -- the tennis player

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I'm glad you're kidding!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I can't believe I didn't think of Famke Janssen! She would be fantastic! She's had lot of roles that require the various parts of the Vader personality and she's always pulled it off! Great call!

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, I don't know if Williams can act, but she can certainly intimidate!

Theron is a good choice too. I'm looking forward to seeing her in Prometheus.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

What about Alice what's her name... the Borg Queen

or even better....

Asia Argento as Darth Vader directed by Dario Argento

LawHawkRFD said...

Hillary Clinton

BevfromNYC said...

See, I went for the obvious choices that anyone would say. I like the idea of Tilda Swinton. Oh, and Famke who? How do you guys know these things??

Doc Whoa said...

Bev, Angelika Huston is a good choice. Famke Jensen was in X-Men and a lot of horror movies like Lord of Illusions.

Individualist said...

That is an easy one Linda Blair

Doc Whoa said...

Richard Dawson died! Survey says... R.I.P.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, That's sad. Dawson had a lot of good will with me.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, I think she's Alice Kreig or Kreiger. And yeah, she would be a good choice.

Direct by Dario Argento? LOL! Lucas won't be happy to hear that one!

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, She could be Vader's secretary of state, but that's about it. LOL! How about Pelosi?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Years of intense study. ;)

(p.s. How do the next set of questions?)

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, With the head spinning bit, that would work really nicely! LOL!

BevfromNYC said...

Oops Andrew.! I will get them asap.

DUQ said...

Doc, Forget Ellen Page... Julie Andrews. You know it!

AndrewPrice said...

No problem Bev. :)

BevfromNYC said...

And Nancy would be waaaay to scary for Darth Vader! She is much better suited as the Alien Queen bug creature in Alien 1, 2, and 3, but even Signorney Weaver could not defeat her...

BevfromNYC said...

Julie Andrews would be perfect. All she would have to do is that "Mary Poppins" thing. Scary!

AndrewPrice said...

Could you see Julie Andrews breaking into song in the middle of threatening Princess Leah? That would be really funny.... wrong, but funny.

I guess we would also need to change their last names to Luke and Leah von Trapp?

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, Pelosi would probably be too evil. She could only play bad guys who drip venom and slime all over the place.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: The part calls for looking evil, then looking good. How could we tell the difference with Pelosi and all that botox holding her face in a permanent death-grin?

ScyFyterry said...

Great choices! Judy Dench. She's playing a very similar character in M in James Bond.

Tennessee Jed said...

for some reason, Bev, Pelosi come across with more of a moronic- no make that an almost a childlike naivite that defies scary. Here latest 6-3 for Obamacare speech reminded me of those crazy silly things our grandkid toddlers do that make us laugh at their fundamental silliness.

Tennessee Jed said...

Terry - there is something to be said for British villains. But just as with Vader, you could have one person do the voice (Dame Dench) and another do the body (Uma Thurman after bulking up 2o punds for example.) This assumes the same costume work. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed and Lawhawk, I think the problem with Pelosi is that she tends to specialize in comedy. It would be like casting a Marx Brother as the lead in some drama.

tryanmax said...

If we can joke about Ellen Page, then I'm tossing in Zooey Deschanel.

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, Judy Dench! Great, great choice! :)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Now you've gone too far.

It's always funny until somebody loses an eye or somebody mentions Zooey "the idiot" Deschanel. The woman makes Biden look like Einstein. She's the female Pauly Shore. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

// rips out hair

Tennessee Jed said...

Max - l.o.l., there are some things one doesn't joke about. O.k., I'll grant you, her name is joke worthy. But when discussing her acting chops, I try and simply avert my eyes.

Outlaw13 said...

Elizabeth Hurley, yeah I said it. She played the devil in one movie and I think she could pull it off...with a British accent. If not she'd at least be good to look at. :)

Outlaw13 said...

And come on people... acting chops? We are talking about Star Wars right?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Ditto.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, Ooooh, I like Elizabeth Hurley. She is indeed good to look at, plus I like her personality. The movie I think you're talking about was Bedazzled.

Yeah acting. LOL!

tryanmax said...

Okay, fine. I get it. I'll be happy to admit that I've gone to far if anyone can explain away THIS.

Tennessee Jed said...

well for one thing, the lips don't work l.o.l. Pretty fun, Tryanmax

AndrewPrice said...

Hmm. You have me there tryanmax! LOL! Maybe she's Vader's illegitimate daughter? Luke, Leah and Zooey?

BevfromNYC said...

That's a hoot! I was seriously contemplating Zooey Dechanel. She'd be great and bet she could do "evil" really well! Hey, I'm serious!

Backthrow said...

I'd say Mercedes McCambridge, who had a great voice (started out as a radio actress), was scary as both a butch lesbian gang leader in TOUCH OF EVIL and as the demon voice in THE EXORCIST... except she was only 5'3. Maybe if she did a James Earl Jones voiceover deal with somebody else (Lucy Lawless?) cast as the on-screen Vader, it would work out.

Diana Rigg would be cool as Vader; not AVENGERS-era young "Emma Peel" Rigg, but when she was in her late-30s/40s, during the time the original trilogy was in production. She's a decent height (almost 5' 9), has the Shakespearean acting chops in spades (won a Tony for playing MEDEA, for example), possesses a commanding voice, and can be both beautiful and scary.

A pre-anorexic/pre-plastic surgery Lara Flynn Boyle from the mid-90s (think RED ROCK WEST, THE TEMP and especially THE LAST SEDUCTION) might work.

Maybe Faye Dunaway, Claudia Cardinale or Sophia Loren?

Louise Fletcher and Famke Janssen are both excellent choices.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Pam Grier...

Current Carrie Fisher...

Joan Crawford could do it -- and I'm not talking Mommie Dearest character assassinated version...

Bea Arthur?

And I'd like to see what Roger Corman could do with it. Though wouldn't the character have to be named Dark Mater -- in which case Larry the Cable guy could voice it.

Commander Max said...

It would completely change the tone of the movie.
But interestingly enough it does sound like something Lucas would try. While falling flat on his face doing it. Considering what SW is based on, a woman in such a role would fall flat.

That said.

I would limit the selection to the actresses of the day.
Eleanor Audley would be a top choice. But oddly enough if a woman was in the role as Vader(a woman named Darth Vader? That's like naming a girl Starbuck.), you have to dump the Emperor. Or name her Empress, Hollywood really likes showing woman in powerful singular positions.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I simply cannot compute that idea. My head will explode.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, Diana Rigg! Great choice. I liked her a lot and I think she could do "tough."

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Pam Grier could absolutely do it! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Max, It would absolutely change the tone of the movie, but it would be interesting to see the results. "Luke, I am your father... er, mother. Twins? What twins? What are you talking about?" LOL!

T-Rav said...

Okay, didn't get to the laptop until now.

I guess the size thing is a strike against Swinton, but I think it's more about the ability to project menace. One doesn't have to be tall and powerfully built to intimidate.

I like Scott's choice, too; Louise Fletcher would be great for the role.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's true. As Yoda said, "judge me by my size do you?"

obiwan2009 said...

Regarding Darth Vader, I could almost see Linda Hamilton from Chuck and the Terminator films as the token parental villain turned hero. Think about it, when the Emperor started shocking Luke, I could imagine her saying... "Keep your hands off my child you (insert expletive here)" and trust me, she would have expletives to make even Bruce Willis ashamed of his role in the Die Hard movies, given what she was willing to do to protect herself, her unborn child, and her child, in the Terminator 1 and 2 films, plus how nasty she is in trying to protect Chuck in the big spy game. If there's any actress who makes a nasty mother when you mess with her kids on screen, it's Linda Hamilton.

Commander Max said...

I could hear Eleanor Audley saying that.
"Twins, what are you talking about".

So if we change Vader, would we change Obiwan as well?
If we didn't that would open up the question of Odiwan being Luke's father.
That would be funny, "well, Luke there was that one night".

Anthony said...

Angela Bassett (her villianous Green Lantern cameo is the only thing I remember about the movie) and Tilda Swinton (ditto for Constantine).

Yes, I watch a lot of crappy movies.

AndrewPrice said...

obiwan, Linda Hamilton could probably do it, though I think Vader swearing would be a mistake. But she's got the physical presence to do it, especially after she bulked up for T2.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, LOL! Obiwan would definitely have to be the father. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I think we all watch a lot of crappy movies! LOL!

I can see Swinton. I can't recall Bassett in the role you mention though.

rlaWTX said...

y'all are very... creative!

AndrewPrice said...

We strive for it rlaWTX! :)

Commander Max said...

I kept thinking about this. You change the sex of Vader, thus changing the sex of Anakin. This has some big implications, or at least no more Luke Skywalker, that is if his mother's maiden name is Skywalker.
Or do we switch Padme Naberrie as well.

So Anakin could be Anny Skywalker.
Padme could be Pad(I like Pud) Naberrie.
Lea would be unchanged(since she was adopted out, so how could she remember anything about her mother? I digress). But Luke kept his father's name, so Luke would now be Luke Naberrie(Luke Kenobi, would sound a little better). But it still leaves the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader. Who is no longer a Sith Lord but is a Sith Lady(following tradition). But the Dark Lady of the Sith, Darth Vader sounds odd. But it might be fitting since Lucas turned Vader into a sobbing wimp. (Andrew, remember when we used to think Vader was cool bad guy.)

Why can't people leave things alone.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, There was indeed a time when Vader was a cool bad guy... before Lucas turned him into a lousy, whiny, abusive wimp. Grrr.

You could of course go a different route on the name and make Vader into Dorthy Vader. ;)

Commander Max said...

Dorthy Vader and his, I mean her red slippers.

"I'll get you my pretty, and your little wookie too."

I can't get it out of my head, Vader(James earl Jones) stating, "There is no place like home(breath, boots clicking)".

AndrewPrice said...

Max, LOL! Excellent! :)

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