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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

dream cast: hypothetical ‘Simon & Simon’ movie

We tried this last week, and it was a lot of fun, so I’m continuing to test this as a regular Thursday feature. We take a book to adapt to TV or film — or a movie or TV show to remake — and we recast it with actors working today.

It’s another great 80s show this time: Simon & Simon, the 1981-8 CBS dramedy detective series about two brothers, Rick and A.J., who run a PI agency in San Diego.

Gerald McRaney played Rick, the older brother: he’s an ex-Marine Vietnam vet and a bit rough-and-tumble; he drives a pickup truck, wears a cowboy hat, and is generally the life of the party. Jameson Parker was A.J., who is smoother and more sophisticated, likes books and wine, dresses fashionably, and drives a Camaro. Mary Carver played their mother, Cecilia, who was pretty spunky and got into plenty of trouble of her own. And Tim Reid played Downtown Brown, a police detective who sometimes threw work the boys’ way, and sometimes helped them out on cases.
I have two dream casts — one if a movie stuck with the series’ dramedy spin, and one if it went more goofy.

Dramedy dream cast:

Rick: Josh Lucas
A.J.: Matthew Fox
Cecilia: Judi Dench
Downtown Brown: Don Cheadle

Goofy dream cast:

Rick: Luke Wilson
A.J.: Owen Wilson
Cecilia: Christine Baranski
Downtown Brown: Chris Rock

Who would you cast? Have fun!

This one had a catchy theme, too (though one without lyrics to get stuck in your head all day):

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  • dafydd

    The quick-fire comedy answer is Dr.Phil and David Spade, however…

    Rick: Nathan Fillion

    AJ: Jason Bateman

    Cecilia: Blythe Danner

    Brown: Mos Def

    Next up, The Rockford files re-cast…David Boreanaz in a plaid jacket and chest high trousers!

  • dafydd

    I forgot to add that MaryAnn’s inclusion of Owen Wilson makes me think of his turn in “The Big Bounce” which had a very “updated” Magnum PI vibe to it (even though it wasn’t very good) which, as we sad 30ish folk know, was the lead in for Simon & Simon for many years.

  • Bill

    Rick: Woody Harrelson
    A.J.: Vince Vaughn
    Cecilia: Bea Arthur
    Downtown Brown: Can’t beat Don Cheadle

  • Bill

    Though I think the brotherly pairing of Fillion and Bateman is a hell of an idea.

  • MaryAnn

    Rick: Nathan Fillion
    AJ: Jason Bateman
    Brown: Mos Def

    Yes! All much better than mine.

  • Karen R

    Rick: Nathan Fillion/Adam Baldwin (let there be twins!)
    A.J.: Sean Maher
    Cecelia: Bonnie Bartlett
    Downtown Brown: Ron Glass (this would be a dignified Downtown Brown, you know)

    Also, you can watch eps of S&S at Hulu! I stumbled across them when I checked out the site after watching Dr. Horrible.


  • Lily

    You forgot about Janet and Myron!!!

  • Dramedy dream cast:

    Rick: Josh Brolin
    A.J.: Jared Leto
    Cecilia: Helen Mirren
    Downtown Brown: Samuel L. Jackson

    Goofy dream cast:

    Rick: Bruce Campbell
    A.J.: David Hyde Pierce
    Cecilia: Holly Hunter
    Downtown Brown: Samuel L. Jackson

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