Monday, December 20, 2010

We've Got Spooks and Ghouls and Freaks and Fools...

Ok. let's forget about Christmas and the cold weather for this post, shall we? I'm already tired of both of them. Instead, I've become entranced by those weird Hollywood rumours about supposed film projects and alleged casting. Obviously, most are absolute bollocks. One which struck me as such on first sight was that Russell Brand had been cast in a Hollywood remake of the old BBC children's TV series Rentaghost. Now, it isn't the idea of Hollywood turning a crap old British TV series into a movie which marked this one out as a fake. These days they'll remake anything. Especially children's programmes. Damn it, in the States they've just released a big budget Yogi Bear movie mixing live action and CGI, featuring Dan Akyroyd and Justin Timberlake as the voices of Yogi and Boo Boo. OK, I know that sounds completely made up, but, trust me, it's true. So, a Rentaghost film isn't improbable, and neither is the casting of Russell Brand. After all, he's pretty much established himself now as a credible transatlantic star. No, what gave the story away as bollocks was the claim that Brand was to play Fred Mumford. Oh, for God's sake! Anybody who knows anything about Rentaghost knows that Fred Mumford was the really boring conventional ghost. There is no way any competent casting director would put Brand in that role. It's the sort of role you'd give to Bill Pulman, or Kevin Costner - dependable, but dull as ditch water.

Now, if the story had claimed that Russell Brand had been cast as manic court jester poltergeist Timothy Claypole, then I would have believed it. Damn it, he even has the same beard as the original Claypole, not to mention the deliberately archaic speech patterns and propensity for over acting. If anyone was to make a film version of Rentaghost, the main casting problem would be the third ghost, Mr Davenport, who, as I recall didn't actually last long in the original series. He was a pretty boring character, (even more so than Fred Mumford), some kind of effete Edwardian gentleman. maybe they could play him as all out camp and cast Nathan Lane. In the interests of balance, they'd probably have to make Fred Mumford black. Which would at least make him mildly interesting. Eddie Murphy would be ideal casting, but I suspect they'd actually get Sinbad. Or one of the Wayans brothers. All of which leaves the main non-supernatural character to cast - the ghosts' sleazy and grasping landlord Mr Meeker. Who else but Harvey Keitel? I can just see him wearing Meeker's trademark trilby hat and sporting his dodgy seventies 'tache, growling "Get out of here you fuckin' spooks", as he tries to collect the rent. So, there you have it - my formula for a Rentaghost film. If you re a Hollywood producer, my consultancy fees are very reasonable.

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