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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What’s your dream actor/director pairing, and what kind of movie would they make?

Hilarious headline in the Onion this week:

Ridley Scott Trades Russell Crowe To Tim Burton For Johnny Depp

And though I hate to quote an entire story, this one is so short:

HOLLYWOOD, CA—Directors Ridley Scott and Tim Burton traded their favorite actors Wednesday, closing a deal in which Scott received Johnny Depp and Burton received Russell Crowe plus two guys from Black Hawk Down and a three-pack of watermelon Bubble Yum. “I’m going to cover his face in white powder and make him wear a purple fright wig and a Victorian frock coat with swirls all over it,” said Burton, who unsuccessfully attempted to trade away an old Michael Keaton with whom he hardly ever plays anymore. “Russell Crowe’s going to be the best misfit undertaker ever!” Scott, meanwhile, told reporters that he was just glad he got rid of a crappy action figure like Crowe and that he and Burton had definitely called no tradebacks.

Funny, yes, but maybe, in the face of the tiredness that is both Robin Hood and Alice in Wonderland, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to get our creative geniuses out of their ruts by surprise switchups in their working partners. And even filmmakers and actors who aren’t in creative ruts could likely benefit from the unexpected: that Onion headline could just as easily read “Nicole Holofcener trades Catherine Keener to Wes Anderson for Owen Wilson” and been just as funny. (Well, Wilson could really use a shakeup, actually…)

What kind of movie would Russell Crowe and Tim Burton make together? What if James Cameron acquired Frances McDormand from the Coen Brothers?

What’s your dream actor/director pairing, and what kind of movie would they make?

(Thanks to bronxbee for the Onion link.)

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • doa766

    I would like to see Stallone and Schwarzenegger on an British romantic drama about a gay couple called “I remember Cecil”

  • e

    Can either of them correctly pronounce the phrase “I remember Cecil”?

    I was looking at box office and I can’t believe how much money Alice in Wonderland has made. I saw it and after I just had a neutral feeling, I didn’t hate it, but sure didn’t love it.

  • Martin Scorsese trades Leo DiCaprio to Kevin Smith for Ben Affleck and Jason Mewes. Affleck and Mewes to star with Jennifer Connelly in remake of the Philadelphia Story, now retitled the Manhattan Story. Kevin Smith plans on using DiCaprio for upcoming epic (budget set at $285,000) Rise And Fall of Cherry Hill NJ.

  • I love Joss Whedon, so he’s my director choice … I’d love to see him direct the current cast of Doctor Who in a Doctor Who episode (maybe written by Whedon too?) … that’s my geek fantasy … or maybe directing Neal Patrick Harris (as Avon) in a movie adaptation of Blake’s 7. (Oh, and this upcoming “Glee” episode has both Whedon and N.P.H. I understand!!)

  • JoshDM

    I don’t have an actor/director pairing, but about 12 years ago, I’d have paid to see Tom Hanks and Robin Williams together in a movie.

    That terrible “my two dads” movie with Williams and Billy Crystal (my third choice at the time) kind of make me ill though, so maybe it wouldn’t work.

  • Pausner

    It’d be fun to see David Cronenberg do an Adam Sandler comedy. His slapstick would be extremely explicit and maybe we’d see another fantastic performance from Sandler.

    wait, what? This was a pairing I wanted to see?

    Well then, hmmm…

  • Hank Graham

    I’d like to see Steven Spielberg make a film with Nathan Fillion.

    I’d like to see Martin Scorsese make a comedy with Meryl Streep.

    I’d like to see George Lucas make a film with a writer.

    I’d like to see Richard Rodriguez make a comedy about a large family, something in the vein of his short, “Bedhead,” which I think is still the best thing he’s ever done.

    I’d like to see Tim Burton find a good writer he trusts as much as he does Danny Elfman.

    I’d like to see Terry Gilliam’s film version of “Good Omens,” starring James Marsters.

    I’d like to see someone do “Leiningen vs. the Ants,” with Spencer Tracy.

    I’d like to see a Michael Curtiz film with George Clooney.

    And Jeff: Joss Whedon and the current cast of Who? I am totally in on that.

  • Brian

    Quentin Tarantino + Clint Eastwood. I’d love to see the old codger play just one more unapologetic badass role before he faces away, and QT might just be the right guy to do it. And maybe said movie would actually give QT a legitimate excuse to use a bunch of Ennio Morricone music, which he likes to do whether it fits or not anyway.

    Also, I’d like to see Sean Penn do a Judd Apatow movie. Not because I like either of them; I just think Penn needs to be tortured for our entertainment.

  • @Hank: Lucas did make a movie with a writer, called “The Empire Strikes Back,” which, I think, is the expectation that proves your rule.

    Joss Whedon, directing the stars of Hulk II and Iron Man, whose names I cannot spell so I will not defile. Oh, wait, he’s directing The Avengers for 2012. Yippee! Doing the dance of joy!

    Joss Whedon and John Cusack.

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