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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

dream cast: hypothetical ‘Real Genius’ movie

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to remake an 80s classic TV show or movie with an all-new cast. This week: Real Genius, the 1985 comedy about science geeks, college life, and the military-industrial complex.

(This Dream Cast was suggested by reader John. If you have a suggestion for an 80s TV show or movie we should play with, feel free to email me.)
The original cast included:

Chris Knight: Val Kilmer
Mitch Taylor: Gabe Jarret
Professor Jerry Hathaway: William Atherton
Jordan Cochran: Michelle Meyrink
Lazlo Hollyfeld: Jon Gries

Oh my god, don’t hate me, but I’ve never actually seen Real Genius, so I’m gonna have to sit this one out. Well, sort of. If I had to pick a young Val Kilmer for today, I’d probably go with Michael Cera. I feel I’m constantly picking Cera for teen stuff, but he’s really really charming and authentic and adorable. For a 2010 William Atherton (“Dickless” in Ghostbusters), I might have to go with, oh… how about Mad Men’s John Hamm?

This is apparently an unreleased trailer for the film, via a site called Clipser that I’d never even heard of before and am delighted to have discovered. It reeks of being fan-produced and not actually a lost trailer (that voiceover has a weird edge to it), but, whatever:

“Lasers are cutting-edge technology”? Oh, you wacky 80s, you!

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