I’ve been convinced to give Dream Cast another try. (Thank my brother Ken, who posts comments here sometimes as “Ken,” if you’re happy to see this feature return.) This week: Midnight Run, the 1988 action buddy comedy starring Robert DeNiro as a bounty hunter and Charles Grodin as the mob accountant on the run he’s been hired to bring in.
(If you have a suggestion for a classic TV show or movie we should play with, feel free to email me.)
Midnight Run is one of my favorite movies, and one that continues to make me laugh no matter how many times I see it, because the humor springs from the characters, not from punchlines, and from the inspired performances of and palpable chemistry between DeNiro and Grodin. Key to a successful remake would be finding two actors who could replicate that chemistry and who are funny without trying to be comic.
The original cast:
Jack Walsh: Robert DeNiro
Jonathan Mardukas: Charles Grodin
FBI Agent Alonzo Mosely: Yaphet Kotto
Marvin Dorfler: John Ashton
Jimmy Serrano: Dennis Farina
Eddie Moscone: Joe Pantoliano
I’d love to get at least one woman on the cast — though I think Jack and the Duke both have to remain male, lest a romantic/sexual element be introduced that would completely change the dynamic. Shfiting Mosley to a woman, however, could create some additional comedy, since at several points in the film both Jack and the Duke pretend to be Mosely. And I’ve changed the mobster from Italian to Russian, which feels more appropriate for today.
My dream cast:
Jack Walsh: Russell Crowe
Jonathan Mardukas: Luke Wilson
FBI Agent Eliza Mosely: Angelina Jolie
Marvin Dorfler: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Jerzy Sergeyev: Christian Bale (he gets to do a new accent!)
Eddie Moscone: Sam Rockwell