Thursday, September 22, 2011

Casting my own movie: Barry

In addition to my power rankings as a way of looking forward to Moneyball, I also decided to cast my own baseball movie that will inevitably be told at some point, which is the story of the steroid era. So, why not focus the movie on the poster boy of the scandal, Barry Bonds? If that movie were to be made today (I hope it would wait for all the dust to completely settle like 61*) here is what I would want it to look like:

Title: Barry

There are definitely more creative and interesting titles out there, but something about just calling it Barry just makes it sound very serious, which is what I want the movie to be. I want it to take risks and be as respectful, dramatic, and heartbreaking as possible. Calling it Game of Shadows, the name of a book about the steroid era, would be good, but since the new Sherlock movie has that title, I cannot warrant calling it that. Barry it is.

Directed by: Ben Affleck

There are a lot of possibilities for the director, but Ben Affleck has suddenly become one of the most respected filmmakers in the industry after just two films. Also, he is a famed baseball fanatic. He is all about Boston, which is another reason why he should be involved. He will not give a glowing portrait of Bonds, and he will not be overly critical. He will be unbiased and want to show the story how it really was. Realism would be the key in this movie.

Written by: Tom Verducci and Ron Shelton

This is a completely random pair of writers. Tom Verducci has never written a screenplay, but due to his Sports Illustrated career, he probably knows more about Bonds and the steroid era than any other writer. His most famous and best articles were all based on this shamed time in the game's pastime. Ron Shelton is probably most qualified because he may be the best and most consistent sports film writer/director out there. This movie would have the historical accuracy and true dramatic touch it would need to be a great film.


Barry Bonds: Vin Diesel

This was the most difficult spot to cast. I agonized over this for quite some time, and Diesel just has to be the best option. His skin is too light, but his body size is almost identical, and as seen in Strays and other films, it has been proven that he can carry a film by himself in a drama. If the movie was more about the early part of Bonds's career, it would have to be Mehcad Brooks as the lead. But for the group of years in question, Diesel has to be the choice.

Dusty Baker: Laurence Fishburne

Finding a Dusty Baker is not all that difficult. There are several that would fit. Fishburne just seemed like the right age and right demeanor to capture Baker at his essence.

Bruce Bochy: Gabriel Byrne

I would love to see Gabriel Byrne in this kind of role. Bochy is such an odd manager, and it is a crucial part of the Bonds saga. Byrne could absolutely own it.

Greg Anderson: Ryan Phillippe

This was another difficult decision. For some reason Phillippe could not get out of my head. He plays a great victim, but Anderson was as much to blame as anyone in the case. He can really let out a great rage-filled performance when required. I am thinking of Phillippe in Crash or Breach.

Jeff Kent: Edward Norton

The rivalry and feud between Bonds and Kent was a major part of the late portion of their careers. Kent seemed like the one guy who was willing to call Bonds out. This part might be difficult, so I chose perhaps the most talented actor of his generation: Edward Norton. I would love to see some clubhouse verbal battles between Diesel and Norton.

Willie Mays: James Earl Jones

Old Willie Mays is a vital part of the Bonds demise. He was one of the only reasons that people were holding out hope that Bonds was still clean. Who better than the baseball film legend himself, James Earl Jones?

Bud Selig: Scott Glenn

This one was obvious. Everyone hates Bud Selig, and Scott Glenn plays a "great criminal in the background" type of role. Plus he looks exactly like him, right?

So, what do you think of this idea? Any better casting decisions? What other movie ideas would you like to see an article on? Let me know!

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