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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

dream cast: hypothetical ’A Hard Day’s Night’ remake

It’s still Thursday for a little while, and that means it’s time to remake an 80s classic TV show or movie with an all-new cast. This week I’m stretching a bit to include something that’s not quite 80s but impacted Gen Xers a lot as kids: A Hard Day’s Night, the 1964 Beatles movie that was basically the first music video.

(The idea for this week’s Dream Cast comes courtesy of reader Eric-Jon. If you have a suggestion for an 80s TV show or movie we should play with, feel free to email me.)
Remaking A Hard Day’s Night means, when it comes down to it, recasting the Beatles. Which some will consider blasphemy. But you know what? It’s gonna happening eventually, and probably soon — someone will make a movie about the Beatles that will require actors representing the iconic musicians. So why shouldn’t it be us?

The original cast:

Paul McCartney: Paul McCartney
John Lennon: John Lennon
George Harrison: George Harrison
Ringo Starr: Ringo Starr
Paul’s grandfather: Wilfrid Brambell
TV director: Victor Spinetti

My dream cast:

Paul McCartney: Zac Efron
John Lennon: David Cross (from The Reader)
George Harrison: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Ringo Starr: Emile Hirsch
Paul’s grandfather: Michael Caine
TV director: Kevin Spacey

Let the hate begin.

I dare you not to get up and dance:



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  • PaulW

    Can’t we just clone the Beatles and bring them back for a tour anywho?

  • Kathy A

    “He’s very…clean.”

    Love Brambell in this film! I got the reference to him in Spaced, unlike my sister who couldn’t place the name until I reminded her of Paul’s grandfather.

    Love the press conference later in the film. “Are you a mod, or a rocker?” “I’m a mocker.”

    And George’s interview with the clothes designer/marketer. “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that–that’s grotty!”

  • MaSch

    Judging by your comment “Let the hate begin”, I assume you realize that your choices could be regarded as a little controversial? That your creds as Britophile are in serious danger when you suggest casting three Americans and one German (whose last name is written with “K”) as “the” British pop/rock band?

    Of course you do. Have a lot of fun being hated! ;-)

  • Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew.

    Just so much ew — you’ve never seen so much ew.

    I saw Zac Ephron as Paul McCartney and couldn’t even read the rest of the cast.

    Ok, just peeked and saw Kevin Spacey in the Victor Spinetti role.

    I’m drooping with disappointment Maryann that these thoughts would even occur to you, let alone your actually putting them down in html. Please stop this madness at once, and let us never speak of this again.

  • MaryAnn

    So no one has any other suggestions?

    It’s on your head when Hollywood decides it needs to remake this movie, and won’t be able to turn to the Internet for casting ideas.

  • acker

    Paul McCartney – Leonardo De Caprio
    John Lennon – Jonathon Rhys Meyers
    George Harrison – Colin Farrell
    Ringo Star – ??

    Geofrey Rush – The Manager
    Jack Nicholson – Paul’s Grand Dad

  • Jason Mathews

    Alexei Sayle would be perfect for the role of the director…

  • Jason Mathews

    Craig Charles, and John Bishop would be good somewhere as well…

  • Jason Mathews

    Craig Charles, and John Bishop would be good somewhere as well…

  • Rob

    I would see Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Lennon, simply because he looks the most like him. I didn’t see the connection until I was watching him in “Brick” tonight, and saw that if they ever did a good biopic about Lennon, JGL would be a good choice to play him

  • Hillary Clinton

    I polled this group (all were in awe and agreed) and this is the definitive new cast-

    Paul: Prince Harry
    John: Seth Rogen
    George: Alan Radcliffe
    Ringo: Jessie Eisenberg
    Paul’s Grandfather: Paul McCartney
    TV Director: Sacha Baron Cohen

  • Alex Hubble

    Judging that we don’t have to cast all british actors
    Miles Teller- John Lennon
    Daniel Radcliffe- Paul McCartney
    Andrew Garfiel- George Harrison
    Dominic Monaghan- Ringo Starr
    James Cromwell- Paul’s Grandfather
    Brian Doyle-Murray- T.V. Director

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