Deadline Approaching

As I said last month, if Will Smith wasn’t such a sad little status-quo money whore (i.e., playing only “safe” cool-guy roles that pay his whopping salary), he’d agree to portray Barack Obama in Jay Roach and Danny Strong‘s Game Change. No one has been cast as Obama yet…right? Ed Harris is playing John McCain.


(l.) Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in HBO’s Game Change; (r.) caption unnecessary.

51 thoughts on “Deadline Approaching

  1. 1st choice for Obama: Harry Lennix.

    2nd choice for Obama: Giancarlo Esposito

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    999,999th choice for Obama: Tom Green

    1,000,000th choice for Obama: Fred Armisen

  2. Sorry, gotta disagree. They don’t look alike and don’t sound alike. I’m sure he could do it (he CAN act when he wants to), but it’d be a little obvious to merely cast the most famous African-American in the world to play the second-most famous African-American in the world. As far as token physical resemblance, I’d go with Daniel Sunjata offhand. As far as actor’s I’d like to see take a crack at it, I’m going with Chiwetel Ejiofor. Since he’s never going to get a chance to play James Bond or Martin Luther King Jr, might as well let him try Obama. Just two cents.

  3. It will be interesting to see who they cast as Obama… With heavyweights like Moore and Harris involved as the Republicans, it’d be kind of underwhelming if some unknown was cast as Barack Obama.

  4. Will Smith would make a terrible Obama, for the reasons Scott cites.

    And while I’m surprised to say Julianne Moore certainly looks the part (and then some) — hopefully she doesn’t give the accent her “30 Rock” treatment.

  5. Has anyone read the script? My bet is that they’ll just show the behind the scenes of the McCain campaign and plan not to really show Obama other than news footage and long shots with doubles. Same way Roach did it with Bush and Gore in Recount.

  6. With all the casting announcements today, it seems like this movie is solely going to be focused on the McCain campaign and not Clinton v. Obama and the John Edwards drama

    If I’m wrong though, I hope HBO has made an offer to Hope Davis to play Hillary again. She was excellent in “The Special Relationship” despite her limited screen time. It seems like she could do a lot more with the role if given the chance.

  7. I had the same feeling having read the book jery. The story is more of Mccain’s loss than Obama’s win.

    I have to say I always thought Palin looked like Moore. Just like Hope Davis as Hillary (and she needs to reprise here), it wasn’t a matter of if but when.

    And Lennix was simply born to play Obama. Not just the face, he’s even the right height and age. Maybe if someone makes The Bridge next.

  8. Giancarlo Esposito looks the part (especially if he’s given prosthetic ears), but I think getting Obama’s distinctive vocal inflection down would be the biggest priority.

    Just as long as they don’t give it to Jeffrey Wright…

  9. Jeff, if Will Smith took the part, how would playing Obama not be one of his “‘safe’ cool-guy roles that pay his whopping salary”?

    A better question is whether Smith will ever play a villain. Or prove himself as a serious Actor (with a capital A) by doing some theatre.

  10. The news coming out about Game Change is really bugging me so far. It’s a great book, but the book is mainly about Hillary vs. Obama. The “Game Change” is about how he finally pulled ahead of her. McCain/Pailin/Edwards are subplots. I think we’re 2/3 through before Obama’s clinched the nomination.

    HBO would have a better story if they stick to the story in the book. If they’re going to throw out the Hillary/Obama stuff to focus on McCain/Palin, don’t call it Game Change.

  11. will smith is a ‘sad little status-quo money whore’?

    you’re getting sadder and littler all the time. and, you’re a whore, but not for money

  12. Obama: Lance Reddick

    Hillary: Sharon Stone.

    Also yeah what GAME CHANGE did you guys read? The McCain/Palin has some juice but it’s dwarfed by the Obama-Hillary-Edwards stuff.

  13. Will Smith will play Obama at some point. I’m not sure that story, however, has been written yet, and I don’t think he has to jump at an HBO treatment when he has a 10 – 15 year window. If you’re Val Kilmer you play Morrison in Stone’s biopic; you pass on Wayne World’s 2. Smith doesn’t need to claim the part in every treatment like Sheen does w/ Blair.

  14. Anyone see that test shot of Moore as Hillary, back when she was going to do “The Special Relationship?” She was a dead ringer, much closer than the shot above is to Palin (and I still think she’s pretty close). Somebody should do a Peter Sellars thing where she plays every major female figure in politics today.

  15. Oddly enough, Moore’s going to have to tone down to NOT sound like a characature.

    When I hear Palin now, particularly when she’s speaking to a crowd, SHE sounds like an over-the-top impression of herself. It’s like I forget how strong her accent/inflection/whatever you call it is.

  16. Yeah, I’m all for Will Smith mixing it up and doing edgier or artier stuff for stronger directors…

    But a Jay Roach cable movie, surely you CAN’T be serious? Yeah, I know, why doesn’t Tom Cruise work on repairing his luster by doing a five-week stint as Boreanz’s ex-partner on fucking BONES?

  17. Two weeks ago I was connecting in Dulles airport, and a United pilot passed me on the escalator. He looked exactly like Obama, and you could see his discomfort at being stared at … in DC of all places. Someone in central casting needs to scout United’s pilots.

  18. Harry Lennix is simply too perfect for the part to even entertain thoughts of Will Smith in the role. Lennix had that small bit in State of Play where every inflection was Obama-esque.

  19. That picture of Moore fills me with an instant sense of dread. I wondered if we were going to get the fine actress Moore or the UNBELIEVABLE HAM Moore, and I guess we have our answer now. She’ll make Tina Fey’s performance look minimalist.

  20. Funny how much heat Harry Lennix gets because of some very vague resemblance; Doesn’t really speak well of the real deal’s supposed DYNAMIC LIGHTNING HOLLYWOOD CHARISMA when people are champing at the bit to have him portrayed by a journeyman TV character actor with no particular star quality.

    Leader of the free world? Harry Lennix couldn’t get elected to make a workplace doughnut run.

  21. Lex: I think it says more about the lack of 40-something black actors in Hollywood than anything to do with Obama’s charisma.

  22. “Also yeah what GAME CHANGE did you guys read? The McCain/Palin has some juice but it’s dwarfed by the Obama-Hillary-Edwards stuff.”

    HBO will fund a movie making fun of Sarah Palin. They won’t fund one telling the sleazy story of John Edwards. What about their programming choices over the last decade ever made you think otherwise?

  23. Maybe they’re not covering Edwards in this because Aaron Sorkin is about to tackle that? Isn’t his film based on Andrew Young’s book suppose to go to HBO or is it meant to be a theatrical release?

  24. “Also yeah what GAME CHANGE did you guys read? The McCain/Palin has some juice but it’s dwarfed by the Obama-Hillary-Edwards stuff.”

    HBO will fund a movie making fun of Sarah Palin. They won’t fund one telling the sleazy story of John Edwards. What about their programming choices over the last decade ever made you think otherwise?

  25. Making a TV potboiler about this circus of whores is the ultimate redundancy. It was trashily acted the first time around.

  26. “HBO will fund a movie making fun of Sarah Palin. They won’t fund one telling the sleazy story of John Edwards. What about their programming choices over the last decade ever made you think otherwise?”

    Or maybe it’s that Palin is currently a major media personality and Edwards is now … a guy who lives in North Carolina.

  27. Danny Strong is a pretty damn good writer – see RECOUNT if you have objections. So I don’t doubt the material is strong enough to attract some big players.

    What about Don Cheadle for Obama? Or Terrence Howard, if he’s not throwing a shit fit (isn’t that what got him replaced on Iron Man 2 by Cheadle)?

  28. I liked Recount in spite of itself. Turning Boies into some righteous hero was laughable.

    See Harry Lennix in Titus. One of the coolest villains ever.

    If they’re seriously only doing the McCain thread, it’s like adapting To Kill A Mockingbird but cutting out the trial to just focus on Scout and Boo.

  29. “Or maybe it’s that Palin is currently a major media personality and Edwards is now … a guy who lives in North Carolina.”

    That’s be a great argument if we weren’t talking about people who seem to think the 2008 election is interesting enough at this late date to make a movie about at all.

  30. “Or maybe it’s that Palin is currently a major media personality and Edwards is now … a guy who lives in North Carolina.”

    That’s be a great argument if we weren’t talking about people who seem to think the 2008 election is interesting enough at this late date to make a movie about at all.

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  32. ‘m going with Chiwetel Ejiofor. Since he’s never going to get might as well let him try Obama. Just two cents.

  33. ‘m going with Chiwetel Ejiofor. Since he’s never going to get might as well let him try Obama. Just two cents.

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