Sunset Blvd Movie Adaptation Casting Ideas

dfrillsnedit
Understudy
joined:10/14/14
Understudy
joined:
10/14/14

So I've seen a few posts about the Sunset Boulevard movie musical adaptation. As this is one of my favorite musicals of all time (along with being one of my favorite films as well) I have a lot of ideas of who I'd love to see get cast. 

I've decided to not include Broadway specific talent, only because knowing Hollywood, they want to get individuals who are "bankable" (or affordably bankable), and probably will fill the smaller roles with Broadway actors/actresses. I'm also basing this one either talent who have proven their singing abilities on screen, or can "sing" but we have yet to hear them do a Broadway score, yet we know they can act the heck out of any project.

We've already got Glenn (duh), so here's my ideas for the rest.... 

Joe - Chris Pine or Dan Stevens (both of whom have sang in various projects, with one being a truly proven vocal talent in a variety of projects - and he's got Babs approval Sunset Blvd Movie Adaptation Casting Ideas )

Betty - Lily James or Evan Rachel Wood (*Or if we're going to character age accurate casting, I'd love to see Elle Fanning or Hailee Steinfeld try singing a non-pop musical score.) 

Max - *This one is tough, because I always want Max to have the lowest voice possible, but there's also this part of me that wants Alfred Molina or Ralph Fiennes in that role. Both are younger than Close, but that hasn't stopped Broadway casting before at least. 

So, who would you cast? It is just fun to day dream, even if your idea isn't too "realistic"! Can't wait to hear your picks! :) 

Updated On: 3/3/19 at 11:12 PM
The Josh Profile PhotoThe Josh Profile Photo
The Josh
Broadway Star
joined:10/7/10
Broadway Star
joined:
10/7/10
Jake Gyllenhaal
CATSNYrevival Profile PhotoCATSNYrevival Profile Photo
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/1/04
I actually really like the Chris Pine suggestion. He’s perfect for Joe. Now I’m going to be disappointed if it’s anyone else.
schubox
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/16
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/16/16
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga
Justin D Profile PhotoJustin D Profile Photo
Justin D
Broadway Legend
joined:4/11/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/11/05

please keep Hugh Jackman away from this, I know he has a history with the show and seems to be the 'go to' guy these days for musicals but personally I am tired of hearing him. 

also no on Lily James, she was terrible in mamma mia.

 

I like the idea of Chris or Jake for Joe, the other characters personally I dont care for. I just hope its done well and as I said in another thread, I am already dreading the cuts to the score.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
dfrillsnedit
Understudy
joined:10/14/14
Understudy
joined:
10/14/14

Justin D said: "please keep Hugh Jackman away from this, I know he has a history with the show and seems to be the 'go to' guy these days for musicals but personally I am tired of hearing him.

also no on Lily James, she was terrible in mamma mia.



I like the idea of Chris or Jake for Joe, the other characters personally I dont care for. I just hope its done well and as I said in another thread, I am already dreading the cuts to the score.
"

 

Yeah, as much as I love Hugh, I really don't want him in the movie. In my opinion he's too old for the role, and he'd overshadow Glenn, imo. 

As for Lily James, Mamma Mia I think was more an issue with direction than her tbh. I'll defend her in Cinderella and Downton Abbey, along with various other roles, to this day. She's also one of the few movie/TV actresses that I could hear singing the score and has the "Betty" vibe that I personally would be looking for if I was casting the role.

Personally, I really hope they don't go for everyone's "favorite" Hollywood to Broadway girl, Anna Kendrick, because imo she's overexposed in the movie musical landscape.

Chris would be my Joe simply because he's got that rough and tough element that seems like he's been beaten down by life a few too many times. He also has the classic Hollywood look that Norma would fall for, along with a slightly deeper voice that I think works best for the role of Joe.

I'd be okay with Jake, but his voice doesn't really give me a "Joe" sort of vibe. Acting wise, he could pull it off in his sleep, but personally I've only heard bits of him in Little Shop and Sunday in the Park, so maybe I'll have to do more research to hear (vocally) why he'd be right for the part. My mind is stuck on Alan Campbell's voice when I make vocal comparisons. 

Dave28282 Profile PhotoDave28282 Profile Photo
Dave28282
Broadway Legend
joined:7/7/16
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/7/16

This is actually very hard to cast right.

I dislike Glenn Close in the role because she lacks nuance. Nuance in singing and nuance in acting. She seems struggling with the notes, which makes the scenes insincere. Her appearance and acting portrayal are indeed too much like a drag queen and I miss all the fragile, girly nuances that Gloria Swanson had.

I would think a bit more in the direction of types like Celine Dion, who really has a lot of Norma's qualities if you look closely, or a type like Michelle Pfeiffer. But the latter wouldn't be able to handle the score, just like Glenn isn't, and Celine might not be able to act well enough, though I would be very interested to see what she would do with the material.

Amy Adams could be a great Betty, but the score is way out of her range, quality wise. The score of Sunset has lots of long, high notes that will just be embarrassing. Lily James wouldn't be able to handle it either. They could act in spite of the notes but history has shown this will never really work, except in crying scenes.

Joe is difficult. I think they will sugarcoat his character in this version though, because they do that with all male roles nowadays, everything has to suit the desires of the general woman, but I really like a darker side in him too. They will make him sexier (add a nude swimming pool scene of course), more goofy, more submissive, so if the role loses its real edge I guess many more actors could play it.

SomethingPeculiar Profile PhotoSomethingPeculiar Profile Photo
SomethingPeculiar
Broadway Legend
joined:6/15/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/15/14

Joe:  Chris Pine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Oscar Isaac, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Patrick Wilson, Matt Smith, Mahershala Ali, Armie Hammer, Alexander Skarsgard, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, James Marsden, John Krasinski, Chris Evans, Zachary Levi, Leslie Odom Jr.

Max:  J.K. Simmons, Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Irons, Jonathan Pryce, Kevin Kline, John Lithgow, Hugh Laurie, Mandy Patinkin, Kelsey Grammer.

Of course, all these guys have different levels of box office clout and singing abilities, and some of them aren't quite right! But remember: you rarely get your first choices in this industry. Also, the actors have to gel with Rob Ashford, and the studio may not greenlight it til there's a legit Joe in place.

Not focusing on Betty because she's a thankless role –– that could be your Broadway/West End person, or someone who ALW can call in a favor to. It won't be a prominent actress like Amy Adams or Lily James.

Updated On: 3/4/19 at 11:33 AM
Justin D Profile PhotoJustin D Profile Photo
Justin D
Broadway Legend
joined:4/11/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/11/05

Dave28282 said: "This is actually very hard to cast right.

I dislike Glenn Close in the role because she lacks nuance. Nuance in singing and nuance in acting. She seems struggling with the notes, which makes the scenes insincere. Her appearance and acting portrayal are indeed too much like a drag queen and I miss all the fragile, girly nuances that Gloria Swanson had.


Surely this can be sorted out in direction, remember on stage makeup and stage acting will be far different from what you would get in a movie

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
CATSNYrevival Profile PhotoCATSNYrevival Profile Photo
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/1/04
Sunset Blvd Movie Adaptation Casting Ideas#10
Posted: 3/4/19 at 12:40pm

I think Chris Pine for Joe is just perfect. He's got the voice, he's got the look and nearing 40 himself he won't look too young next to Glenn but still passable for 35 perhaps. I still don't see how they'll manage to make Glenn look 50 without that Michael Douglas CGI from Ant Man.

MrsSallyAdams Profile PhotoMrsSallyAdams Profile Photo
MrsSallyAdams
Broadway Star
joined:11/12/13
Broadway Star
joined:
11/12/13

Though the songs will surely be cut it's fun to dream cast "The Ladies Paying" and "A Little Suffering."

Manfred and Co:
The camp route: Michael Urie, Sean Hayes, Harvey Fierstein. Neil Patrick Harris. The cast of Queer Eye.
The classy route: Matt Bomer. Zach Quinto. Ian Mackellen (ha!)

 

The Masseuse, Psychiatrist and co:
Get your Broadway diva cameos in here. Emily Skinner, Alice Ripley, Sutton Foster.
Or even better. All the former Normas with Patti Lupone mangling Glenn in the massage chair.

threepanelmusicals.blogspot.com
QueenAlice Profile PhotoQueenAlice Profile Photo
QueenAlice
Broadway Legend
joined:5/3/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/3/15
A gentle reminder that Betty Schaefer is 22 years old.
“I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then.”
ScottyDoesn'tKnow2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/22/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/22/14

With a 70+ year-old Close, I wouldn't mind having the other characters aged up as well.

Midnight Radio
Broadway Star
joined:5/26/07
Broadway Star
joined:
5/26/07
Bradley Cooper as Joe, Lady Gaga as Betty, Sam Elliot as Max
QueenAlice Profile PhotoQueenAlice Profile Photo
QueenAlice
Broadway Legend
joined:5/3/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/3/15

ScottyDoesn'tKnow2 said: "With a 70+ year-old Close, I wouldn't mind having the other characters aged up as well."

All good and well but I think it’s pretty imperative to the story that Betty is likely the age Norma was at the height of her glory. Betty’s youth (and optimism that comes with youth) is essential to the story in my view. I wouldn’t suggest they age the character.

 

“I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then.”
dfrillsnedit
Understudy
joined:10/14/14
Understudy
joined:
10/14/14

QueenAlice said: "A gentle reminder that Betty Schaefer is 22 years old."

Thanks for mentioning that, QueenAlice! That's why I was mentioning in my list that Hailee Steinfeild (though she hasn't proved she can sing any kind of Broadway score) is age appropriate. But I doubt they'll actually cast a 22/23 year old in the role - and if they do I'll be highly surprised. 

But as others have mentioned, yeah if they cast Betty a little older (in her late 20's/early 30's) I won't mind it, as obviously Glenn is a older than movie Norma is supposed to be. 

Updated On: 3/4/19 at 04:15 PM
ScottyDoesn'tKnow2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/22/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/22/14

I get that, but I also wonder how jarring it would be for both Joe and Betty to look like they fifty years younger rather than like 15-30 years younger (Joe/Betty).

dfrillsnedit
Understudy
joined:10/14/14
Understudy
joined:
10/14/14

MrsSallyAdams said: "Though the songs will surely be cut it's fun to dream cast "The Ladies Paying" and "A Little Suffering."

Manfred and Co:
The camp route: Michael Urie, Sean Hayes, Harvey Fierstein. Neil Patrick Harris. The cast of Queer Eye.
The classy route: Matt Bomer. Zach Quinto. Ian Mackellen (ha!)


The Masseuse, Psychiatrist and co:
Get your Broadway diva cameos in here. Emily Skinner, Alice Ripley, Sutton Foster.
Or even better. All the former Normas with Patti Lupone mangling Glenn in the massage chair.
"

This entire comment made me smile - I really hope that some of these castings would come true Sunset Blvd Movie Adaptation Casting Ideas 

dfrillsnedit
Understudy
joined:10/14/14
Understudy
joined:
10/14/14

CATSNYrevival said: "I think Chris Pine for Joe is just perfect. He's got the voice, he's got the look and nearing 40 himself he won't look too young nextto Glenn but still passable for 35 perhaps...."

RIGHT?! I feel like he has that old Hollywood charm, but also looks like someone that got the crap kicked out of him by life and the whole studio system in general. Also, thinking of him during the New Years scene - he'd get the little flairs of comedy down perfectly. 

Updated On: 3/4/19 at 04:24 PM
StylishCynic
Chorus Member
joined:7/5/16
Chorus Member
joined:
7/5/16

Joe

James Marsden, hands down. I really think this could be his ticket to more A-list projects. He's been killing it on Westworld. He has the singing chops, and he has the Old Hollywood look to him. I also think it may work in his favor that there isn't a triple-A director at the helm of this because they may try to "budget" on talent and not book A-listers all around to accommodate for Ms. Close.

Betty

Anne Hathaway could really nail this if she grew her hair out. She, too, has a very Old Hollywood look to her. If Amy Adams could play 20s in Sharp Objects, Anne could definitely play Betty. 

Rooney Mara could be a fun surprise if she can sing

Cameos

Christine Baranski as the reporter at the end who says, "As dawn breaks over the Murder House, Norma Desmond --famed star of yesteryear-- is in a complete state of shock."

RuPaul as Manfred (The Lady's Paying shop-owner) 

Nathan Lane as Cecil B. Demille

Niles Silvers
Stand-by
joined:9/27/18
Stand-by
joined:
9/27/18

All good suggestions, but who will play the Waxworks?  

rg7759
Featured Actor
joined:5/6/16
Featured Actor
joined:
5/6/16
Forgive this it's niche, I think Glenn as the only star works. Since we're on the live musical thing, Joe is Chris plopodoupopoolos from Christmas story live. He's more than proved himself. Since the wife showed us Glenn's daughter can't act, she can play the non speaking young norma. Victor Garber max. Jesse Meuller betty
Scarlet Leigh Profile PhotoScarlet Leigh Profile Photo
Scarlet Leigh
Broadway Star
joined:4/18/13
Broadway Star
joined:
4/18/13
Sunset Blvd Movie Adaptation Casting Ideas#23
Posted: 3/5/19 at 10:19pm

Re: Ages. As others have mentioned, though Betty's age is specifically mentioned in the musical as 22, I could see them aging all the characters up by 10 years to accomodate Close's age compared to Norma's. Close could read 60 still but no way she can read 50. So if they age up Norma to 60, perhaps Joe could be in his mid early to mid 30s and Betty in her mid to late 20s.

That all being said, and knowing that they are going to try to Oscar bait the heck outta this one....

Joe: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Pine, or Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt.

Betty: Lily Collins is really the ideal one in my book but.... if they REALLY want to Oscar bait it to the MAX... Emma Stone. Really NOT ideal in my book but I could see it happen.

Damiensta
Stand-by
joined:5/11/12
Stand-by
joined:
5/11/12
Sunset Blvd Movie Adaptation Casting Ideas#24
Posted: 3/5/19 at 10:19pm
Javier Bardem as Max.
Someone unexpected
Call_me_jorge Profile PhotoCall_me_jorge Profile Photo
Call_me_jorge
Broadway Legend
joined:1/9/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/9/15
Sunset Blvd Movie Adaptation Casting Ideas#25
Posted: 3/5/19 at 10:43pm
Probably not famous enough, but Jason Danieley as Max, Betsy Wolfe as Betty, and I really like the idea of Chris doppooppolous(lmao) as Joe